Ephesians 5:1-21 Ways to Show Our New Thinking

Sermon on Ephesians 5:1-21 from Westminster Church in Evansville, Indiana. Here are the notes I used.

Ephesians 5:1–21

[1] Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. [2] And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

This is a response to the last verse of chapter 4: Ephesians 4:32

[32] Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. (ESV)

Again, just like last week, this stuff isn’t a law, but a response to what God has already done. This list is here because we do better when we have a guide instead of just trying to figure stuff out.

It’s like bending your elbows when you give someone CPR. You might know you are supposed to give chest compressions, but in the training they tell you not to bend your elbows. You need that weight and those shoulder/back muscles to do it because your little arms will wear out too fast. I don’t want you to figure that out for yourself!  That’s why this stuff is in here. We can gain wisdom from it and grow in the Lord from these insights. This is our head-start on living a life that is pleasing to God.

[3] But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. [4] Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.

Again, this isn’t a law saying that we should talk about it. We should be so blameless in this that nobody can talk about us doing it! We all have to be examples of this because we are all affecting the world’s perception of Christ.

  • Filthiness – ranges according to the culture, and we need to be sensitive to that.
  • Crude jokes
  • Covetousness – “greedy desire to have more”
  • Impurity – Out of control living, reckless, amoral, wasteful

Amish people have a reputation in the world.

Galatians 6:7–8

[7] Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. [8] For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. (ESV)

Then back to Ephesians

[5] For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. [6] Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.

Note the difference here between people that own this sin as a lifestyle and people that stumble into sin and fall.

[7] Therefore do not become partners with them; [8] for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light [9] (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), [10] and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord.

We have to be completely deliberate with these things. Holiness will not be executed on accident or by passively doing whatever.

“No man knows how bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good. A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means. This is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is. After all, you find out the strength of the German army by fighting against it, not by giving in. You find out the strength of a wind by trying to walk against it, not by lying down. A man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later. That is why bad people, in one sense, know very little about badness — they have lived a sheltered life by always giving in. We never find out the strength of the evil impulse inside us until we try to fight it: and Christ, because He was the only man who never yielded to temptation, is also the only man who knows to the full what temptation means — the only complete realist. – CS Lewis

Ephesians 5:11-14

[11] Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. [12] For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. [13] But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, [14] for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,

“Awake, O sleeper,

and arise from the dead,

and Christ will shine on you.”

Darkness is not exposed by our elaborate and excellent definition of darkness. Darkness is exposed by light!

[15] Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, [16] making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.

[17] Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

[18] And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, [19] addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, [20] giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, [21] submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. (ESV)


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