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Summary: The danger is that we begin to think of the morally abnormal as normal and the things that tend to cause moral carelessness as matters of indifference. Christ-like love banishes the indecent.

Commentary on the Book of Ephesians

By: Tom Lowe Date: 10/27/17

Lesson 21: Do Not Conform to their Sinfulness (Ephesians 5:1-7)

Ephesians 5:1-7 (KJV)

1 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;

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.

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.

Introduction

This passage gives a needed spiritual health warning for Christians in the West, and increasingly in every continent. The media daily bombard our lives with words and images which express all of the things Paul mentions. We can easily be desensitized to the sinful by what has become “normal” in our society. The danger, then, is that we begin to think of the morally abnormal as normal and the things that tend to cause morale carelessness as matters of indifference. Christ-like love banishes the indecent. Smut should be suffocated in the holy atmosphere of our fellowship.

Commentary

1 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;

AS CHRISTIANS OUR GOAL IS TO BE CHRISTLIKE FOR WE ARE HIS CHILDREN.

We have learned that the Holy Spirit indwells every believer and seals every believer, and that we can grieve the Holy Spirit. If we engage in those things mentioned in chapter 4 verse 31{1], it means we will grieve the Holy Spirit—but it does NOT mean that we are no longer children of God. It DOES mean that the unsaved world won’t believe that we are the children of God. We are, however, SEALED BY THE SPIRIT OF GOD UNTIL THE DAY OF REDEMPTION, the day when the Spirit of God will present the church to the Lord Jesus. This goal should lead us to chaste conduct.

Having been born again through faith in Christ, the Christian is therefore one of the “partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4); and since “God is love” it is logical that God’s children will walk in love. When Paul encouraged his readers to “walk in love,” he was not asking them to do something that was foreign to the Christian life; for we have received a new nature that wants to express itself in love. This love is not mere sentiment and feeling. It is love that gives all, that counts no sacrifice too great for the object on which it is fixed. The old nature is basically selfish, and for this reason builds walls and declares war. But the new nature is loving, and therefore builds bridges and proclaims peace.

The believer is to be an imitator of God, especially in the matter of forgiveness. However, this applies to all aspects of the Christian walk. The Gentiles who formerly walked on a very low plane are now lifted to the high level of LOVE. They are now called “dear children” or beloved children. The plane of love to which they are lifted is the love which Christ exhibited when He loved us enough to give Himself as an offering and a sacrifice for us. This is awesome; imagine God speaks of us the same way He spoke of Jesus Christ: “This is my beloved Son” (Matt. 3:17). In fact, the Father loves us the same way He loves His Son (John 17:23{2]). We are born into a loving relationship with the Father that ought to result in our love to Him by the way we live. What more could the Father do to show His love to us? Is it asking too much for us to “walk in love” to please Him?

When Paul talked of IMITATION he was using language which the wise men of Greece could understand. Imitation was a main part in the training of an orator. The teachers of rhetoric declared that the learning of oratory depended on three things—theory, imitation and practice. The main part of their training was the study and the imitation of the masters who had gone before. It is as if Paul said: “If you were to train to be an orator, you would be told to imitate the masters of speech. Since you are training in life, you must imitate the Lord of all good life.”

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.

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