Summary: WE NEED TO FIGURE OUT EXACTLY WHAT PLEASES GOD
EPH 5:1Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children 2and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. 3But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. 4Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. 5For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a man is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 6Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. 7Therefore do not be partners with them.
How hard is it to be an imitator of God? Yet, that is exactly what we are instructed to do! Our text tells us some of the things that we need to rid our lives of...vs3-4. And it also tells us that if you don’t eliminate these things, you have no inheritance in the Kingdom. Then it warns about being decieved by empty words...what are "empty words?" Turn to JER 29:8 Yes, this is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: "Do not let the prophets and diviners among you deceive you. Do not listen to the dreams you encourage them to have. 9 They are prophesying lies to you in my name. I have not sent them," declares the LORD.
You see, God knew that some Christians would be decieved...and so did Jesus! MAT 24:4Jesus answered: "Watch out that no one deceives you. Even Paul warns the early Christians....COL 2:8See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. We have to have the truth and live the truth...there is no other way for man to be saved. 2 THESS 2:10.......... They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie 12and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness. It is imperative that we know the truth..and live it!
A lot of Christians today only want to hear what they like....you know, the stuff that they can feel good about. Churches everywhere are holding back on the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth! 2 TIM 4:3For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. Some churches even allow sin to creep in to the sanctuary...and into their leaders lives. Ignoring the truth of God’s Word by refusing to preach it is dangerous!
See, some will even quit going to a church where the Pastor makes them feel "uncomfortable"...but is it the Pastor or God’s Word that makes them feel that way? Some will even go from church to church to find one that THEY are in agreement with...instead of realizing that THEY need to be in agreement with God’s Word.
Even our praise and worship focus has been shifted from singing praises to God to "make me feel good" at that moment. We sing a song "The Heart of Worship" that reminds us that it is not about us, but all about You, Jesus! We are to offer our praises unto God, not to make our flesh "feel" better. ISA 29:13 The Lord says: "These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Lord, help us all for losing our focus of the Cross!
And what does God call people like this? Vs 6 of our original text...He says they are dis-obedient. Dis-obedience leads to death..and also God’s wrath! So we are told NOT to be partners with them....if you go to a church where the whole truth is not preached, you are being dis-obedient to God! Those are His words, not mine! I want to read on...EPH 5:8For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9(for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10and find out what pleases the Lord.
You are now "in the light"....ignorance of the law is no excuse....and you see what the fruit of the light is. Paul says you are in the light..so live like it! Goodness, righteousness, and...what? TRUTH! Don’t close your eyes to the truth. Don’t think that you can do whatever your flesh wants and you will still be OK with God. You are only decieving yourself if you think that and the truth is not in you. Vs 10 says find out what pleases the Lord. So I thought I’d do a study to see just what does please the Lord. First, we see a list of things that DOESN’T please the Lord...VS 11Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, 14for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: "Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you." 15Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. 19Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, 20always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 21Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Here are some things that please God: