Summary: We are the Church which will be presented to Christ without spot or blemish. We have learned that the Holy Spirit indwells every believer, but when we fail in our Christian walk we can grieve the Holy Spirit.
Title: Enemies of the Family
Text: “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:15-16).
Scripture Reading: Ephesians 5:1-6:4
How do Christians walk?
We walk in love, as Christ taught us to walk.
Paul wrote this to the Ephesian church--
“Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.” (Ephesians 5:1-2).
This is a high calling, but it is nevertheless what God expects of His people.
We are to be imitators of God, especially in the matter of forgiveness, and in all aspects of our Christian walk.
We are the Church which will be presented to Christ without spot or blemish.
We have learned that the Holy Spirit indwells every believer, but when we fail in our Christian walk we can grieve the Holy Spirit.
It doesn’t mean that we are no longer children of God, but it does mean that the unsaved world will not see us as children of God.
Always remember, when we fail, He is willing to work with us; He knows how to forgive.
But make no mistake about it—God wants us to continually grow in the fullness of life in Jesus Christ.
This scripture may sound like an appeal for personal Christian living alone, but it also precedes a lengthy passage on family relationships.
Therefore we should apply these truths to the family as well as to our personal lives.
There are things around that can be identified as friends of the family, but we should be aware of the enemies of the family as well.
While it is true that certain television shows and movies and the influence of non-Christian minds can be detrimental to the health of the family, these are not our primary enemies.
We cannot isolate ourselves from the world if we are to have any impact on it.
The real enemies of the family are those that arise out of our own disobedience to the Word of God.
We can name these enemies by looking carefully at our scripture passage.
ENEMY #1 IS PERMISSIVENESS.
The first enemy is described in Ephesians 5:3-12—
But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret.
The first enemy that will destroy the family is a permissive attitude that is popularly expressed as “anything goes.”
Sexual immorality, perversity, and coarse talk ought to be foreign to the people of God.
When respect for the sexuality of the family is lost and no one sets standards for family attitudes toward sex the bond of trust that must hold families together becomes frayed and soon breaks.
Children need to be taught the discipline that comes from obedience to God.
We don’t have to do all the things we want to do.
We can say no so that in the right time and in the right way we can say yes.
Young people should remember that the decisions they make now in their dating relationships will determine to a degree the authority they will have as a parent to council their own children as to how they are to treat their own sexuality.
Parent immorality always undermines parental authority.
The sins described in this passage are common sins in the world today.
If you can get involved in these sins and not be bothered by them, you are not a child of God.
But if you are bothered by sin, you can rise and go to your Father as the prodigal did.
When you as a believer go to God to confess your sins, don’t just bundle them up and hand the bundle to God.
It is not a wholesale affair.
Rather, spell out each sin to God.
For example, if you have a biting tongue and are a gossip who hurts people, tell Him that is your sin.