Summary: This message is a call to holiness and purity.
“A G-RATED LIFE IN AN R-RATED WORLD” Eph. 5:1-14
INTRO – How do we live a G-rated life in an R-rated world? I’m not going to spend a great deal of time expounding all of the sick, depraved things that are going on in our world. Unless you’ve been living like an ostrich w/ your head stuck in the sand, you know how bad it is:
- Pornography is a multi-billion dollar industry in our country, destroying homes, families, marriages, children, everywhere you look. There are more porn outlets in US than there are McD’s restaurants, not to mention internet.
- Homosexuals are advancing their agenda in every corner of our country, attempting (successfully in some places) to have elementary schools teach materials that tell young children that this lifestyle is OK. “I Have 2 Mommies” “My Daddy’s Roommate” We were enraged when Ellen came out, but now there are homosexual characters on several network shows.
- Network television continues its downward spiral, hitting new lows in recent weeks with shows like “Temptation Island” and “The Shield.”
- Even churches are impacted by all sorts of sexual misconduct with pastors and ministers having affairs, members committing adultery and fornication, children being sexually abused by adults that they thought they could trust. Roman Catholic church has had all sorts problems. Then there was a 1,200 member church in Ohio whose pastor “came out of closet”, disclosed to his church that he was gay, divorced his wife of some 25 years by whom he had fathered 3 children. Church’s response – standing ovation! “We were relieved! Thought he had cancer or some other life-threatening disease.”
It is sickening to think about how “R-rated” our society is! It is even more sickening to see how many people are falling into the traps that Satan is planting all around us. It is tough to live a “G-rated” life, a “God”-rated life. But that is exactly what we are called to do in this passage of Scripture.
Jerry Bridges – The Pursuit of Holiness – “In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson declared that one of the inherent and unalienable rights of men is the ‘pursuit of happiness.’ Professing Christians must be brought to realize that the preeminent desire and demand of G for us is that of the continual pursuit of holiness of life, and the reflection of [God’s] own holiness.”
Albert Edward Day – “We Protestants are an undisciplined people. Therein lies the reason for much of the dearth of spiritual insights and serious lack of moral power.”
Where are those who desire to live lives that are different, that are godly, that are set apart and holy? Scriptures tell us:
- “But just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do.” (1 Pet. 1:15) – What are we doing w/ that verse?
- “For sin shall not be your master, b/c you are not under law but under grace.” (Rom. 6:14) – What are we doing w/ that verse?
- “Make every effort to live at peace with all men and to be holy; w/out holiness, no one will see the Lord.” (Heb. 12:14) – What are we doing w/ that verse?
- “For we know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body of sin might be rendered powerless, that we should no longer be slaves to sin.” (Ro. 6:6) – What are we doing w/ that verse?
- “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature…” (Col. 3:5) – What are we doing w/ that verse?
- “Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather train yourself to be godly.” (1 Tim. 4:7) – What are we doing w/ that verse?
I. THE WAYS OF THE WORLD – v. 3-4
A. Paul enumerates some specific R-rated things that are definitely ways of the world:
i. “Sexual immorality” – porneia – refers to all sexual sin. It is the opposite of enkrateia, which refers to self-control.
ii. “Impurity” – akatharsia – more general term, referring to anything that is unclean and filthy.
1. Jesus used this word in Mt. 23:27 to describe the rottenness of decaying bodies in a tomb.
2. The other 10 times used in NT it is associated w/ sexual sin.
3. Refers to immoral thoughts, passions, ideas, fantasies, and any other type of sexual corruption.
iii. “Greed” – inseparable from impurity. Usually associate greed w/ money. But we must realize that every form of sexual immorality is an expression of the self-will, self-gratification, and self-centeredness of greed.
1. Greed tells us that we must have more than we have right now and that we must do anything it takes to get more, including sacrificing marriages, kids, careers, friends.
iv. “Obscenity, foolish talk, or coarse jesting” – still tied to Paul’s discussion of sexual immorality. One of the Greek words used here is the word from which we get the English word “moron.” What does that tell you about those folks who tell the crude, dirty jokes, or have sexual innuendo-filled conversations?