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Instructions for the Family

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Instructions for the Family

Ephesians 5:7 KJV 1900
7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them.
There is a way we are to walk - translated live
This walk
affects other
affects our testimony
affects our relationship to God

The new birth places us in a new family where we are God’s beloved children. The family of God is the idea of the family raised to the superlative. The world knows nothing about this kind of bond. The world has lodges and fraternities, but it cannot weld people together in families. The family is God’s idea. Satan hates the family and has designed and put into operation many forces that can destroy the family.

We are a family and God’s children and he expects us to walk a certain way.
Walk in Love - your behavior
The new birth places us in a new family where we are God’s beloved children.
We are together
We understand each other
The new birth places us in a new family where we are God’s beloved children.
We have a common bond
We stick up for each other
We can relate to each other
Illustration - In Ca seeing an Auburn fan … only certain things we understand
Marathon runners - we are a certain family
The Bible Knowledge Commentary C. Walking in Love (5:1–6)

In applying his doctrines, Paul now for the third time used the term for “walk” (peripateō, trans. “live” in the NIV; 4:1, 17; 5:2). This is thus the third section in his discussion on the conduct of believers. God’s children are to walk (live) in unity, in holiness, and in love.

The family of God is the idea of the family raised to the superlative.
The world knows nothing about this kind of bond. The world has lodges and fraternities, but it cannot weld people together in families.
The family is God’s idea.
In applying his doctrines, Paul now for the third time used the term for “walk” (peripateō, trans. “live” in the NIV; 4:1, 17; 5:2). This is thus the third section in his discussion on the conduct of believers. God’s children are to walk (live) in unity, in holiness, and in love.
The 1st Instruction is be a follower of Christ

I Be a Follower of Christ

Ephesians 5:1 KJV 1900
1 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;
Believer’s Bible Commentary C. Appeal for a New Morality (4:17–5:21)

God’s example of forgiveness in 4:32 forms the basis of Paul’s exhortation here. The connection is this: God in Christ has forgiven you. Now be imitators of God in forgiving one another. A special motive is appended in the words, as dear children. In natural life, children bear the family likeness and should seek to uphold the family name. In spiritual life, we should manifest our Father to the world and seek to walk worthy of our dignity as His beloved children.

God’s example of forgiveness in 4:32 forms the basis of Paul’s exhortation here.
Ephesians 4:32 KJV 1900
32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
eph 4.
The connection is this: God in Christ has forgiven you.
Now be imitators of God in forgiving one another. A special motive is appended in the words, as dear children.
The connection is this: God in Christ has forgiven you. Now be imitators of God in forgiving one another. A special motive is appended in the words, as dear children. In natural life, children bear the family likeness and should seek to uphold the family name. In spiritual life, we should manifest our Father to the world and seek to walk worthy of our dignity as His beloved children.
In natural life, children bear the family likeness and should seek to uphold the family name.
He looks like his father
She looks like her mother
In spiritual life, we should show our Father to the world and seek to walk worthy of our dignity as His beloved children.

Each Christian should be an imitator of God because he is God’s child. As a child imitates his parents, so ought a believer to imitate God (cf. Matt. 5:48; Luke 6:36)

Each Christian should be an imitator of God because he is God’s child.
As a child imitates his parents, so ought a believer to imitate God (cf. ; )
Matthew 5:48 KJV 1900
48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
Luke 6:36 KJV 1900
36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.
We are to be followers of Christ
A follower knows the leader
Listens to the leader
Takes commands from the leader
As a family leader we are to be a follower
Matthew 16:24 KJV 1900
24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
Deny self
Follow
also a follower forget things that are less important.
Philippians 3:7–10 KJV 1900
7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. 8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, 9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: 10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
I have different priorities
different values
different friends
Who are you following
2 Instructions is

II Walk in Love

Ephesians 5:2 KJV 1900
2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.
Believer’s Bible Commentary C. Appeal for a New Morality (4:17–5:21)

Another way in which we should resemble the Lord is by walking in love. The rest of the verse explains that to walk in love means to give ourselves for others. This is what Christ, our perfect Example, did. Amazing fact! He loved us. The proof of His love is that He gave Himself for us in death at Calvary.

Another way in which we should resemble the Lord is by walking in love. The rest of the verse explains that to walk in love means to give ourselves for others. This is what Christ, our perfect Example, did. Amazing fact! He loved us. The proof of His love is that He gave Himself for us in death at Calvary.
Another way in which we should resemble the Lord is by walking in love. The rest of the verse explains that to walk in love means to give ourselves for others. This is what Christ, our perfect Example, did. Amazing fact! He loved us. The proof of His love is that He gave Himself for us in death at Calvary.
look at
1 Peter 2:12–24 KJV 1900
12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation. 13 Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; 14 Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. 15 For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: 16 As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. 17 Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king. 18 Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. 19 For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. 20 For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. 21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: 22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: 23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: 24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
1 Peter 2:21 KJV 1900
21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
1 peter 2.12-24
Love serves
Love is forgiving
Love sacrifices
Love is kind
Not prideful
not easily provoked
Not easily offended
Loves truth
bears all things

Two things love is: longsuffering and kind.

1 Corinthians 13:4 KJV 1900
4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
Love suffers long and is kind.
a. Love: At the beginning, we see love is described by action words, not by lofty concepts. Paul is not writing about how love feels, he is writing about how it can be seen in action. True love is always demonstrated by action.
b. Love suffers long: Love will endure a long time. It is the heart shown in God when it is said of the Lord, The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance (). If God’s love is in us, we will show longsuffering to those who annoy us and hurt us.
c. Love is kind: When we have and show God’s love, it will be seen in simple acts of kindness. A wonderful measure of kindness is to see how children receive us. Children won’t receive from or respond to unkind people.

(4b-6) Eight things love is not: not envious, not proud, not arrogant, not rude, not cliquish, not touchy, not suspicious, not happy with evil.

1 Corinthians 13:4–6 KJV 1900
4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; 6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
1 cor 13.4-
a. Love does not envy: Envy is one of the least productive and most damaging of all sins. It accomplishes nothing, except to hurt. Love keeps its distance from envy, and does not resent it when someone else is promoted or blessed. Clarke describes the heart which does not envy: “They are ever willing that others should be preferred before them.”
Love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth.
a. Love does not envy: Envy is one of the least productive and most damaging of all sins. It accomplishes nothing, except to hurt. Love keeps its distance from envy, and does not resent it when someone else is promoted or blessed. Clarke describes the heart which does not envy: “They are ever willing that others should be preferred before them.”
i. Is envy a small sin? Envy murdered Abel (). Envy enslaved Joseph (, ). Envy put Jesus on the cross: For he knew that they had handed Him over because of envy ().
b. Love does not parade itself: vaunteth itself - Love in action can work anonymously. It does not have to have the limelight or the attention to do a good job, or to be satisfied with the result. Love gives because it loves to give, not out of the sense of praise it can have from showing itself off.
c. Love… is not puffed up: To be puffed up is to be arrogant and self-focused. It speaks of someone who has a “big head.” Love doesn’t get its head swelled; it focuses on the needs of others.
d. Love… does not behave rudely: behave itself unseemly - Where there is love, there will be kindness and good manners. Perhaps not in the stuffy, “look at how cultured I am” way of showing manners, but in the simply way people do not behave rudely.
e. Love… does not seek its own: Paul communicates the same idea in : in honor giving preference to one another
Romans 12:10 KJV 1900
10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;
Philippians 2:4 KJV 1900
4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
f. Love… is not provoked:
. Also, carries the same thought: Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. This is being like Jesus in a most basic way, being an others-centered person instead of a self-centered person.
i. “Love is never satisfied but in the welfare, comfort, and salvation of all. That man is no Christian who is solicitous for his own happiness alone; and cares not how the world goes, so that himself be comfortable.” (Clarke)
We all find it easy to be provoked or to become irritated with those who are just plain annoying. But it is a sin to be provoked, and it isn’t love. Moses was kept from the Promised Land because he became provoked at the people of Israel ().
f. Love… is not provoked: We all find it easy to be provoked or to become irritated with those who are just plain annoying. But it is a sin to be provoked, and it isn’t love. Moses was kept from the Promised Land because he became provoked at the people of Israel ().
g. Love… thinks no evil: Literally this means “love does not store up the memory of any wrong it has received.” Love will put away the hurts of the past instead of clinging to them.
h. Love… does not rejoice in iniquity: It is willing to want the best for others, and refuses to color things against others. Instead, love rejoices in the truth. Love can always stand with and on truth, because love is pure and good like truth.
ii. Real love “never supposes that a good action may have a bad motive… The original implies that he does not invent or devise any evil.” (Clarke)
h. Love… does not rejoice in iniquity: It is willing to want the best for others, and refuses to color things against others. Instead, love rejoices in the truth. Love can always stand with and on truth, because love is pure and good like truth.

(7) Four more things love is: strong, believing, hopeful, and enduring. Spurgeon calls these four virtues love’s four sweet companions.

1 Corinthians 13:7 KJV 1900
7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
1 cor 13.
Bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
b. Love… bears all things: The word for bears can also be translated covers. Either way, Paul brings an important truth along with
i. “You must have fervent charity towards the saints, but you will find very much about the best of them which will try your patience; for, like yourself, they are imperfect, and they will not always turn their best side towards you, but sometimes sadly exhibit their infirmities. Be prepared, therefore, to contend with “all things” in them.” (Spurgeon)
1 Peter 4:8 KJV 1900
8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.
ii. “Love does not ask to have an easy life of it: self-love makes that her aim. Love denies herself, sacrifices herself, that she may win victories for God, and hers shall be no tinsel crown.” (Spurgeon)
b. Love… bears all things: The word for bears can also be translated covers. Either way, Paul brings an important truth along with : And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.”
i. “Love covers; that is, it never proclaims the errors of good men.
i. “Love covers; that is, it never proclaims the errors of good men. There are busybodies abroad who never spy out a fault in a brother but they must hurry off to their next neighbour with the savoury news, and then they run up and down the street as though they had been elected common criers. It is by no means honorable to men or women to set up to be common informers. Yet I know some who are not half so eager to publish the gospel as to publish slander. Love stands in the presence of a fault, with a finger on her lip.” (Spurgeon)
ii. “I would, my brothers and sisters, that we could all imitate the pearl oyster. A hurtful particle intrudes itself into its shell, and this vexes and grieves it. It cannot eject the evil, and what does it do but cover it with a precious substance extracted out of its own life, by which it turns the intruder into a pearl. Oh, that we could do so with the provocations we receive from our fellow Christians, so that pearls of patience, gentleness, long-suffering, and forgiveness might be bred within us by that which has harmed us.” (Spurgeon)
c. Love… believes all things: We never believe a lie, but we never believe evil unless the facts demand it. We choose to believe the best of others.
d. Love… hopes all things: Love has confidence in the future, not pessimism. When hurt, it does not say, “It will be this way forever, and even get worse.” It hopes for the best, and it hopes in God.
e. Love… endures all things: Most of us can bear all things, and believe all things, and hope all things, but only for a while! The greatness of agape love is it keeps on bearing, believing, and hoping. It doesn’t give up. It destroys enemies by turning them into friends.

The best way to understand each of these is to see them in the life of Jesus.

b. We can measure our spiritual maturity by seeing how it sounds when we put our name in place of the word love. Does it sound totally ridiculous or just a “little” far-fetched?
c. There is a reason why Paul put this chapter in the midst of his discussion of spiritual gifts. Paul wants the Corinthian Christians to remember that giftedness is not the measure of maturity, the display of love is.

1 Corinthians 13:1–8 KJV 1900
1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. 4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; 6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; 7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. 8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
1 Corinthians 13:4–8 KJV 1900
4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; 6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; 7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. 8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
1 cor 13
3rd Instruction is:

III Be Aware of Vain Words

III The Demands of Christ
Ephesians 4:3–7 KJV 1900
3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. 7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.
Ephesians 5:3–7 KJV 1900
3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; 4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. 7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them.
Ephesians 3:3–7 KJV 1900
3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, 4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) 5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; 6 That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel: 7 Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.
eph 5.3-63-5
Ephesians 5:3–5 KJV 1900
3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; 4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
Believer’s Bible Commentary C. Appeal for a New Morality (4:17–5:21)

In verses 3 and 4 the apostle reverts to the topic of sexual sins and decisively calls for saintly separation from them. First, he mentions various forms of sexual immorality:

Fornication. Whenever it is mentioned in the same verse as adultery, fornication means illicit intercourse among unmarried persons. However, when, as here, the word is not distinguished from adultery, it probably refers to any form of sexual immorality, and the NKJV usually so translates it. (Our word “pornography,” literally, “whore-writing,” is related to the word translated fornication.)

Uncleanness. This too may mean immoral acts, but perhaps it can also include impure pictures, obscene books, and other suggestive materials that go along with lives of indecency and that feed the fires of passion.

Covetousness. While we generally think of this as meaning the lust for money, here it refers to sensual desire—the insatiable greed to satisfy one’s sexual appetite outside the bounds of marriage. (See Ex. 20:17: “You shall not covet … your neighbor’s wife.…”)

These things should not even be named among Christians. It goes without saying that they should never have to be named as having been committed by believers. They should not even be discussed in any way that might lessen their sinful and shameful character. There is always the greatest danger in speaking lightly of them, making excuses for them, or even discussing them familiarly and continually. Paul accents his exhortation with the phrase, as is fitting for saints. Believers have been separated from the corruption that is in the world; now they should live in practical separation from dark passion, both in deed and word.

5:4 Their speech should also be free from every trace of:

Filthiness. This refers to dirty stories, suggestive jokes with a sexual coloring, and all forms of obscenity and indecency.

Foolish talking. This means empty conversation that is worthy of a moron. Here it may include gutter language.

Coarse jesting. This means jokes or talk with unsavory, hidden meanings. To talk about something, to joke about it, to make it a frequent subject of conversation is to introduce it into your mind, and to bring you closer to actually doing it.

It is always dangerous to joke about sin. Instead of using his tongue for such unworthy and unbecoming talk, the Christian should deliberately cultivate the practice of expressing thanks to God for all the blessings and mercies of life. This is pleasing to the Lord, a good example to others, and beneficial to one’s own soul.

5:5 There is no room for doubt as to God’s attitude toward immoral persons: they have no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. This verdict is in sharp contrast to the world’s current attitude that sex offenders are sick and need psychiatric treatment. Men say immorality is a sickness; God calls it sin. Men condone it; God condemns it. Men say the answer is psychoanalysis; God says the answer is regeneration.

Three offenders are specified, the same three found in verse 3—the fornicator, the unclean person, and the covetous man. Here the thought is added that a covetous person is an idolater. One reason he is an idolater is that he has a false impression of what God is like: his concept of God is a Being who approves sensual greed, otherwise, he would not dare be covetous. Another reason why covetousness is idolatry is that it puts the person’s own will above the will of God. A third reason is that it results in the worship of the creature rather than the Creator (Rom. 1:25).

When Paul says that such persons have no inheritance in the kingdom, he means precisely that. People whose lives are characterized by these sins are lost, are in their sins, and are on the way to hell. They are not in the invisible kingdom at the present time; they will not be in the kingdom when Christ returns to reign; and they will be forever shut out from the everlasting kingdom in heaven. The apostle is not saying these are people who, though they are in the kingdom, will suffer loss at the Judgment Seat of Christ. The subject is salvation, not rewards. They may profess to be Christians, but they prove by their lives that they were never saved. They can be saved, of course, by repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus. But if they are genuinely converted, they will no longer practice these sins.

Notice that the deity of Christ is implied in the expression, the kingdom of Christ and God. Christ is put on an equal level with God the Father as Ruler in the kingdom.

5:6 Many people of the world adopt an increasingly lenient and tolerant attitude toward sexual immorality. They say the gratification of bodily appetites is needful and beneficial, and that their repression produces warped, inhibited personalities. They say morals are entirely a matter of the culture in which we live, and that since “pre-marital,” “extra-marital,” and “gay” sex (which God’s word condemns as fornication, adultery, and perversion) are accepted in our culture, they ought to be legalized. Surprisingly enough, some of the leading spokesmen in favor of making sexual sins acceptable are men who hold high positions in the professing church. Thus, the laymen who always thought immorality was immoral are now being assured by prominent clergymen that such an attitude is passé.

Christians should not be hoodwinked by such double talk. Because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. The Lord’s attitude toward such sins as fornication and adultery was seen in Numbers 25:1–9: twenty-four thousand Israelites were slain because they sinned with the women of Moab. The Lord’s attitude toward homosexuality was displayed when Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed by brimstone and fire from heaven (Gen. 19:24, 28).

But God’s wrath is displayed not only in such supernatural acts of punishment. Those who practice sexual sins experience His judgment in other ways. There are physical effects, such as venereal disease and AIDS. There are mental, nervous, and emotional disorders arising from a sense of guilt. There are changes in the personality—the effeminate often becomes even more so (Rom. 1:27). And of course there will be the final, eternal judgment of God on fornicators and adulterers (Heb. 13:4). No mercy will be shown to sons of disobedience—to those who are descended from disobedient Adam and who willfully follow him in disobeying God (Rev. 21:8).

5:7 Believers are solemnly warned to have no part in such ungodly behavior. To do so is to dishonor the name of Christ, to wreck other lives, to ruin one’s own testimony, and to invite a torrent of retribution.

Eph 5.

a. Love Is to Be Enthroned (5:1–2)

(1) The Exhortation (5:1)

“Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children.”

The new birth places us in a new family where we are God’s beloved children. The family of God is the idea of the family raised to the superlative. The world knows nothing about this kind of bond. The world has lodges and fraternities, but it cannot weld people together in families. The family is God’s idea. Satan hates the family and has designed and put into operation many forces that can destroy the family.

In the family of God we are to be followers of God. The Greek word translated “followers” here can also be translated “imitators.” Just as children in a human family often imitate their parents, so in God’s family we are to imitate God. He is our model. Since God is love, we must imitate Him and express love to those in the family of faith and to the lost world outside.

A friend of mind copastors a large church. Thousands attend its services and participate in its ministries. Every Sunday the aisles are filled with people coming forward for salvation, rededication, and church membership. Years ago I asked him what the secret of success was. He replied, “Our people love God, our people love each other, and our people love the lost.” No wonder people flock to that church.

In writing to the successful church at Ephesus, Paul reminded the Christians there that love is to be enthroned and exhorted them to imitate God.

(2) The Example (5:2)

“Walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.”

Paul generally used the word walk to describe a person’s outward life, the life that other people see. The word depicts progress in the Christian life because the Christian life never stands still. It is a life of movement. As Christians, we are either moving forward or sliding backward. We are becoming more like Christ or we are slipping back into our old ways.

We must keep Calvary before us and make Calvary love the goal toward which we walk. The Lord Jesus is the supreme example of love. At Calvary He expressed His love for us and His love for God.

Jesus said, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). Paul added, “God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). The love that took the Son of God from the heights of Heaven and the throne of the universe to that cross of shame and woe, on a skull-shaped hill called Calvary, to die on our behalf is “more than tongue can tell.”

Calvary expressed the Lord’s love for His Father too. There was a burnt-offering aspect to the cross (Leviticus 1). In Old Testament times the burnt offering was the highest expression of love for God. Its unique feature was that it was all for God. The burnt offering was one of the three sweet-savor offerings, and there were different grades of burnt offerings ranging from a turtledove to a full-grown bullock. The size of the offering indicated the measure of one’s appreciation and love.

When the offering was a turtledove or a pigeon, the priest helped, thus indicating that while the expression of appreciation and love was acceptable and pleasing to God, it was so feeble that a more mature believer needed to help make it known. When the offering was a bullock, the offerer was still considered unable to comprehend all that Calvary meant. But a full-grown bullock represented a mature, virile appreciation and love for God.

All of the full-grown bullock was burnt on the altar except the skin. The skin was given to the priest. Here again the symbolism is significant. The priest represents the fulltime minister of the gospel, the person whose whole life is given to the ministry. Sacred themes occupy his thoughts daily and continually, while secular matters play a minimum part in his life. Reserving the skin for the priest was God’s Old Testament way of saying that not even the most consecrated believer can fully understand the devotion of Christ to His Father as expressed in offering Himself on the cross; he cannot get beyond the surface. Yet the goal of our lives is still to love as Christ loved.

b. Lust Is to Be Dethroned (5:3–7)

(1) God’s Demands Are Not to Be Underestimated (5:3–5)

(a) The Principle Is Underlined (5:3–4)

i. The Holy Spirit States His Antipathy to Lust (5:3–4a)

a. Immorality in Our Walk (5:3)

“Fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints.”

The expression translated “not be once named” can be rendered “not be even named.” In other words, such sins are unthinkable for a child of God.

In Romans 1:24 Paul linked uncleanness with dishonoring the body through carnal sin. In Paul’s day, as in ours, sexual promiscuity was taken for granted. Everybody indulged in it; it was an acceptable lifestyle. Many of Paul’s heathen converts had been brought up in a permissive atmosphere where it was common for a man to keep a mistress, frequent houses of ill repute, gratify his lusts in casual liaisons, or accept a partner without bothering with the formality of marriage. These practices were considered natural, not immoral. Yet the Holy Spirit says that such behavior must not even be mentioned in Christian circles. They are the antithesis of genuine Christianity. Moreover, covetousness itself—the root sin from which sexual sins are often the fruit—must be banished from our accepted moral code.

Our society may be tolerant of these sins. Governments may pass laws legitimizing behavior that a generation ago would have brought a prison sentence. The Holy Spirit, however, will not tolerate such immorality. The conduct of a Christian is controlled not by a heathen society, but by the Holy Spirit.

b. Impurity in Our Talk (5:4a)

“Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient [befitting].”

Just as offensive to the Holy Spirit and just as destructive of spiritual life as immorality in our walk is impurity in our talk.

“Filthiness” comes from the word aischrotēs, which signifies something shameful or obscene. A Christian should not tell dirty jokes or talk about things that make other people blush. In our day, open talk about intimate matters is acceptable. Nothing is sacred. The language of the gutter is freely used in books and broadcasts. Vulgar talk that would have been considered pornography a generation ago is now hard to avoid. The tendency is for us Christians to lower our standards also. The world is always trying to pour us into its mold, but the Holy Spirit brings us back to the gold standard of Christlike behavior; He takes us away from the worthless paper currency of the world’s immoral ways.

“Foolish talking” is silly talk. The original Greek is rendered “buffoonery” in the lexicons. “Clowning” would be the more modern word. The trouble with flippant talk is that it degenerates into worse talk. After a serious meeting we often allow Satan to snatch away the seed by foolish talking. Often when a person is facing eternal issues, someone will inject a flippant word and the moment of decision disappears. Flippancy in conversation can become a habit with some people and it is almost impossible to have a serious conversation with them. They turn everything into a joke or a pun.

“Jesting” is ribaldry. This word is used in classical writings to describe cultured insolence. Although some people think it is clever to make cutting remarks, the Holy Spirit expresses His personal antipathy to such ego-building, hurtful words. They are not to be used by God’s people.

ii. The Holy Spirit States His Antidote to Lust (5:4b)

“But rather giving of thanks.”

Since we have to talk about something, let us elevate our conversation to a higher plane. Let us use our tongues to express gratitude to God for all that He has done for us and use our conversational skills to encourage others to think seriously about spiritual things.

(b) The Penalty Is Underlined (5:5)

“No whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.”

Paul bluntly wrote that a person who is guilty of non-Christian practices cannot expect to have any share in the kingdom of God. These practices prove that he is not in the kingdom of God; they betray the presence of an unregenerated heart. Jesus told Nicodemus, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3).

A cheap form of Christianity is in circulation today. It is not really Christianity at all, just a popular counterfeit. People make professions of faith that entail no repentance, no genuine conversion, no regeneration by the Holy Spirit, and no dynamic new life in Christ. Such people can be deceived into thinking that they are Christians, but they see no need—and feel no impulse from an indwelling Holy Spirit—to give up sinful practices or resist them. It is “business as usual,” the same old dirty business as before. Such people are as lost as they were before they went through the meaningless motions of professing to believe, being baptized, and joining local churches. Their penalty is devastating. Hell awaits them. Their lives reveal that their professions of faith were only lies.

Let us make sure we understand that lust is to be dethroned. God’s demands are not to be underestimated.

(2) God’s Demands Are Not to Be Undermined (5:6–7)

(a) We Are to Recognize Deception (5:6)

“Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.”

Paul challenged the notion that people can be saved and still habitually commit the gross and grievous sins he was denouncing. He contradicted the notion that the penalty for such sins in the lives of Christians is simply exclusion from the coming millennial kingdom. There may indeed be millennial loss for negligent Christians, but people who indulge in the vices Paul was describing are not Christians.

“Let no man deceive you,” says the Holy Spirit. Those whose teaching undermines God’s absolutes in the realm of personal morality are speaking vain words. The word translated “vain” in Ephesians 5:6 literally means “hollow, empty.” Teaching that lacks substance and divine authority is deceptive.

We know that people who practice immorality are not Christians because the Holy Spirit calls them “children of disobedience.” The expression is also used in Ephesians 2:2 to describe lost people.

In Romans 1:18–32 Paul wrote that the wrath of God is to be poured out on the ungodly. God’s parental discipline will assuredly visit His own children who fall into moral sin, as David discovered. But His wrath is reserved for the unsaved who sin habitually. God will not pour out His wrath on those whom He has saved from wrath (1 Thessalonians 5:9).

(b) We Are to Repudiate Deception (5:7)

“Be not ye therefore partakers with them.”

No true child of God can compromise when tempted to take part in immoral behavior. God demands that we make a clean break with the ungodly lifestyle of our unregenerate days. Such a deliberate break with our past sins is proof that we not only profess Christianity, but we also possess Christ.

7. A Convicting Dist

eph 3.3-7
In verses 3 and 4 the apostle reverts to the topic of sexual sins and decisively calls for saintly separation from them.
First, he mentions various forms of sexual immorality:
Fornication. Whenever it is mentioned in the same verse as adultery, fornication means illicit intercourse among unmarried persons. However, when, as here, the word is not distinguished from adultery, it probably refers to any form of sexual immorality, and the NKJV usually so translates it. (Our word “pornography,” literally, “whore-writing,” is related to the word translated fornication.)
Uncleanness. This too may mean immoral acts, but perhaps it can also include impure pictures, obscene books, and other suggestive materials that go along with lives of indecency and that feed the fires of passion.
Covetousness. While we generally think of this as meaning the lust for money, here it refers to sensual desire—the insatiable greed to satisfy one’s sexual appetite outside the bounds of marriage. (See : “You shall not covet … your neighbor’s wife.…”)
These things should not even be named among Christians.
It goes without saying that they should never have to be named as having been committed by believers.
They should not even be discussed in any way that might lessen their sinful and shameful character.
There is always the greatest danger in speaking lightly of them, making excuses for them, or even discussing them familiarly and continually. Paul accents his exhortation with the phrase, as is fitting for saints.
Believers have been separated from the corruption that is in the world; now they should live in practical separation from dark passion, both in deed and word.
again
Ephesians 5:6 KJV 1900
6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.
5:4 Their speech should also be free from every trace of:
Ephesians 5:4 KJV 1900
4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.
Filthiness. This refers to dirty stories, suggestive jokes with a sexual coloring, and all forms of obscenity and indecency.
Foolish talking. This means empty conversation that is worthy of a moron. Here it may include gutter language.
Coarse jesting. This means jokes or talk with unsavory, hidden meanings. To talk about something, to joke about it, to make it a frequent subject of conversation is to introduce it into your mind, and to bring you closer to actually doing it.
5:5 There is no room for doubt as to God’s attitude toward immoral persons: they have no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.
When Paul says that such persons have no inheritance in the kingdom, he means precisely that.
When Paul says that such persons have no inheritance in the kingdom, he means precisely that. People whose lives are characterized by these sins are lost, are in their sins, and are on the way to hell. They are not in the invisible kingdom at the present time; they will not be in the kingdom when Christ returns to reign; and they will be forever shut out from the everlasting kingdom in heaven. The apostle is not saying these are people who, though they are in the kingdom, will suffer loss at the Judgment Seat of Christ. The subject is salvation, not rewards. They may profess to be Christians, but they prove by their lives that they were never saved. They can be saved, of course, by repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus. But if they are genuinely converted, they will no longer practice these sins.
1john
1 John 1:6 KJV 1900
6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
The apostle is not saying these are people who, though they are in the kingdom, will suffer loss at the Judgment Seat of Christ. The subject is salvation, not rewards. They may profess to be Christians, but they prove by their lives that they were never saved. They can be saved, of course, by repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus. But if they are genuinely converted, they will no longer practice these sins.
Notice that the deity of Christ is implied in the expression, the kingdom of Christ and God. Christ is put on an equal level with God the Father as Ruler in the kingdom.
5:6 Many people of the world adopt an increasingly lenient and tolerant attitude toward sexual immorality.
Ephesians 5:6 KJV 1900
6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.
Because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. The Lord’s attitude toward such sins as fornication and adultery was seen in : twenty-four thousand Israelites were slain because they sinned with the women of Moab.
Christians should not be hoodwinked by such double talk. Because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. The Lord’s attitude toward such sins as fornication and adultery was seen in : twenty-four thousand Israelites were slain because they sinned with the women of Moab. The Lord’s attitude toward homosexuality was displayed when Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed by brimstone and fire from heaven (, ).
The Lord’s attitude toward homosexuality was displayed when Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed by brimstone and fire from heaven (, ).
5:7 Believers are solemnly warned to have no part in such ungodly behavior. To do so is to dishonor the name of Christ, to wreck other lives, to ruin one’s own testimony, and to invite a torrent of retribution.
5:7 Believers are solemnly warned to have no part in such ungodly behavior. To do so is to dishonor the name of Christ, to wreck other lives, to ruin one’s own testimony, and to invite a torrent of retribution.
We have instructions for the Family
Follow Christ
Walk in Love
Be Aware of Vain Words.
a. Love Is to Be Enthroned (5:1–2)
(1) The Exhortation (5:1)
“Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children.”
The new birth places us in a new family where we are God’s beloved children. The family of God is the idea of the family raised to the superlative. The world knows nothing about this kind of bond. The world has lodges and fraternities, but it cannot weld people together in families. The family is God’s idea. Satan hates the family and has designed and put into operation many forces that can destroy the family.
In the family of God we are to be followers of God. The Greek word translated “followers” here can also be translated “imitators.” Just as children in a human family often imitate their parents, so in God’s family we are to imitate God. He is our model. Since God is love, we must imitate Him and express love to those in the family of faith and to the lost world outside.
A friend of mind copastors a large church. Thousands attend its services and participate in its ministries. Every Sunday the aisles are filled with people coming forward for salvation, rededication, and church membership. Years ago I asked him what the secret of success was. He replied, “Our people love God, our people love each other, and our people love the lost.” No wonder people flock to that church.
In writing to the successful church at Ephesus, Paul reminded the Christians there that love is to be enthroned and exhorted them to imitate God.
(2) The Example (5:2)
“Walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.”
Paul generally used the word walk to describe a person’s outward life, the life that other people see. The word depicts progress in the Christian life because the Christian life never stands still. It is a life of movement. As Christians, we are either moving forward or sliding backward. We are becoming more like Christ or we are slipping back into our old ways.
We must keep Calvary before us and make Calvary love the goal toward which we walk. The Lord Jesus is the supreme example of love. At Calvary He expressed His love for us and His love for God.
Jesus said, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (). Paul added, “God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (). The love that took the Son of God from the heights of Heaven and the throne of the universe to that cross of shame and woe, on a skull-shaped hill called Calvary, to die on our behalf is “more than tongue can tell.”
Calvary expressed the Lord’s love for His Father too. There was a burnt-offering aspect to the cross (). In Old Testament times the burnt offering was the highest expression of love for God. Its unique feature was that it was all for God. The burnt offering was one of the three sweet-savor offerings, and there were different grades of burnt offerings ranging from a turtledove to a full-grown bullock. The size of the offering indicated the measure of one’s appreciation and love.
When the offering was a turtledove or a pigeon, the priest helped, thus indicating that while the expression of appreciation and love was acceptable and pleasing to God, it was so feeble that a more mature believer needed to help make it known. When the offering was a bullock, the offerer was still considered unable to comprehend all that Calvary meant. But a full-grown bullock represented a mature, virile appreciation and love for God.
All of the full-grown bullock was burnt on the altar except the skin. The skin was given to the priest. Here again the symbolism is significant. The priest represents the fulltime minister of the gospel, the person whose whole life is given to the ministry. Sacred themes occupy his thoughts daily and continually, while secular matters play a minimum part in his life. Reserving the skin for the priest was God’s Old Testament way of saying that not even the most consecrated believer can fully understand the devotion of Christ to His Father as expressed in offering Himself on the cross; he cannot get beyond the surface. Yet the goal of our lives is still to love as Christ loved.
b. Lust Is to Be Dethroned (5:3–7)
(1) God’s Demands Are Not to Be Underestimated (5:3–5)
(a) The Principle Is Underlined (5:3–4)
i. The Holy Spirit States His Antipathy to Lust (5:3–4a)
a. Immorality in Our Walk (5:3)
“Fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints.”
The expression translated “not be once named” can be rendered “not be even named.” In other words, such sins are unthinkable for a child of God.
In Paul linked uncleanness with dishonoring the body through carnal sin. In Paul’s day, as in ours, sexual promiscuity was taken for granted. Everybody indulged in it; it was an acceptable lifestyle. Many of Paul’s heathen converts had been brought up in a permissive atmosphere where it was common for a man to keep a mistress, frequent houses of ill repute, gratify his lusts in casual liaisons, or accept a partner without bothering with the formality of marriage. These practices were considered natural, not immoral. Yet the Holy Spirit says that such behavior must not even be mentioned in Christian circles. They are the antithesis of genuine Christianity. Moreover, covetousness itself—the root sin from which sexual sins are often the fruit—must be banished from our accepted moral code.
Our society may be tolerant of these sins. Governments may pass laws legitimizing behavior that a generation ago would have brought a prison sentence. The Holy Spirit, however, will not tolerate such immorality. The conduct of a Christian is controlled not by a heathen society, but by the Holy Spirit.
b. Impurity in Our Talk (5:4a)
“Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient [befitting].”
Just as offensive to the Holy Spirit and just as destructive of spiritual life as immorality in our walk is impurity in our talk.
“Filthiness” comes from the word aischrotēs, which signifies something shameful or obscene. A Christian should not tell dirty jokes or talk about things that make other people blush. In our day, open talk about intimate matters is acceptable. Nothing is sacred. The language of the gutter is freely used in books and broadcasts. Vulgar talk that would have been considered pornography a generation ago is now hard to avoid. The tendency is for us Christians to lower our standards also. The world is always trying to pour us into its mold, but the Holy Spirit brings us back to the gold standard of Christlike behavior; He takes us away from the worthless paper currency of the world’s immoral ways.
“Foolish talking” is silly talk. The original Greek is rendered “buffoonery” in the lexicons. “Clowning” would be the more modern word. The trouble with flippant talk is that it degenerates into worse talk. After a serious meeting we often allow Satan to snatch away the seed by foolish talking. Often when a person is facing eternal issues, someone will inject a flippant word and the moment of decision disappears. Flippancy in conversation can become a habit with some people and it is almost impossible to have a serious conversation with them. They turn everything into a joke or a pun.
“Jesting” is ribaldry. This word is used in classical writings to describe cultured insolence. Although some people think it is clever to make cutting remarks, the Holy Spirit expresses His personal antipathy to such ego-building, hurtful words. They are not to be used by God’s people.
ii. The Holy Spirit States His Antidote to Lust (5:4b)
“But rather giving of thanks.”
Since we have to talk about something, let us elevate our conversation to a higher plane. Let us use our tongues to express gratitude to God for all that He has done for us and use our conversational skills to encourage others to think seriously about spiritual things.
(b) The Penalty Is Underlined (5:5)
“No whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.”
Paul bluntly wrote that a person who is guilty of non-Christian practices cannot expect to have any share in the kingdom of God. These practices prove that he is not in the kingdom of God; they betray the presence of an unregenerated heart. Jesus told Nicodemus, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” ().
A cheap form of Christianity is in circulation today. It is not really Christianity at all, just a popular counterfeit. People make professions of faith that entail no repentance, no genuine conversion, no regeneration by the Holy Spirit, and no dynamic new life in Christ. Such people can be deceived into thinking that they are Christians, but they see no need—and feel no impulse from an indwelling Holy Spirit—to give up sinful practices or resist them. It is “business as usual,” the same old dirty business as before. Such people are as lost as they were before they went through the meaningless motions of professing to believe, being baptized, and joining local churches. Their penalty is devastating. Hell awaits them. Their lives reveal that their professions of faith were only lies.
Let us make sure we understand that lust is to be dethroned. God’s demands are not to be underestimated.
(2) God’s Demands Are Not to Be Undermined (5:6–7)
(a) We Are to Recognize Deception (5:6)
“Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.”
Paul challenged the notion that people can be saved and still habitually commit the gross and grievous sins he was denouncing. He contradicted the notion that the penalty for such sins in the lives of Christians is simply exclusion from the coming millennial kingdom. There may indeed be millennial loss for negligent Christians, but people who indulge in the vices Paul was describing are not Christians.
“Let no man deceive you,” says the Holy Spirit. Those whose teaching undermines God’s absolutes in the realm of personal morality are speaking vain words. The word translated “vain” in literally means “hollow, empty.” Teaching that lacks substance and divine authority is deceptive.
We know that people who practice immorality are not Christians because the Holy Spirit calls them “children of disobedience.” The expression is also used in to describe lost people.
In Paul wrote that the wrath of God is to be poured out on the ungodly. God’s parental discipline will assuredly visit His own children who fall into moral sin, as David discovered. But His wrath is reserved for the unsaved who sin habitually. God will not pour out His wrath on those whom He has saved from wrath ().
(b) We Are to Repudiate Deception (5:7)
“Be not ye therefore partakers with them.”
No true child of God can compromise when tempted to take part in immoral behavior. God demands that we make a clean break with the ungodly lifestyle of our unregenerate days. Such a deliberate break with our past sins is proof that we not only profess Christianity, but we also possess Christ.
7. A Convicting Dist
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