To Be an Imitator of God, Here is What Not to Do, Part 4 — Ephesians 5:5 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation #7)

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A series of homilies on Ephesians 5 & 6

A homily is “a short talk on a religious or moral topic; a usually short sermon; a lecture or discourse on or of a biblical theme.”

I am sharing a verse-by-verse series of short messages on Ephesians 5 & 6 (as well as other passages of Scripture) specifically targeted at reviving families and encouraging and exhorting husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, and children to do what God has commanded them to do, for if the church is to be revived and the country is to be awakened, the family must be revived first.

Ephesians 5:1-5:

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.

——-

Charles Spurgeon said, “Let no Christian parents fall into the delusion that Sunday School is intended to ease them of their personal duties. The first and most natural condition of things is for Christian parents to train up their own children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”

One of my psychology and counseling professors at Texas Wesleyan University repeated over and over again, “It is your job as parents to make children lovable.”

As we continue our focus on living the Christian life in the context of the home and family from the Word of God, and as we look at positioning ourselves so that we can be revived by God, we come to a very severe warning in this letter from Paul. He has already told us that we are to be imitators of God and told us how to do that. He has also told us some things we should refrain from doing if we are to live as imitators of God.

This verse is a continuation of what not to do, and if we keep on doing these things, it is evidence that we have never been born again and will miss the kingdom of God and go to hell. Now, he tells us that if we do certain things, we will be in danger of missing out on the Kingdom of God. He tells us this with forcefulness and certitude, saying, “For this ye know.” Paul wants to convince us of the great danger that we are in if we persist in the activities he is about to name. He prefaces these words with a statement meaning, “be assured of this, be certain of this.” So, take these words seriously.

Paul then draws on some of the same categories of sin he used in verse 3. He says, “no whoremonger… hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.” We’re just going to deal with this one word today. The word “whoremonger” is translated from the Greek word “pornos” which includes all sexual sin. So, Paul is saying that no fornicator, no adulterer, no homosexual, no lesbian, no child molester, no rapist has any inheritance in the kingdom of God.

According to the Theological DIctionary of the New Testament, the word “whoremonger” encompasses: a harlot for hire, a male prostitute, incest, sodomy, unlawful marriage, fornicating husbands, unfaithful wives, and cohabitation outside of marriage.

Now, if you did these things before you were saved, God has forgiven you, cleansed you of your sin, and set you free. But, Paul is writing to saved people here. He is saying that if we are engaged in this type of behavior, we are not a part of the kingdom of God. And, sadly and unfortunately, there is a lot of this behavior going on in Christian circles.

You might be asking, ‘If I committed adultery one time, does that mean I lose my salvation?’ No, a person cannot lose their salvation. What Paul is dealing with is the matter of someone who says they are saved yet lives in a manner that belies such a testimony. He is saying that a lifestyle of sexual sin is incompatible with the lifestyle of a true believer in Christ. In other words, you cannot repeatedly engage in sexual sin and also be a child of God and take part in the inheritance of the saints.

Ray Stedman provides the following helpful explanation of this matter: He says, “A Christian can do these things [commit sexual sin]. The record is all too clear in this regard. Even in the Scriptures we have the account of David who, after years as a believer, as a man after God’s own heart, fell into the sin of adultery and took another man’s wife. We have other accounts of it in Scripture, and there are plenty of modern examples. How often the Christian world is startled and shocked by some prominent pastor or Christian leader who succumbs in this area and stumbles and falls into sexual immorality. We know this can happen. But the point the apostle is making is that no professed Christian can do this repeatedly, certainly not defiantly or shamelessly, and really be a Christian. The true Christian, if he does fall into this kind of folly, will abhor himself and loathe his sin and will repent and turn back and forsake it. The man who defends it, and who justifies and excuses this kind of activity, or even glories in it (as some do as a mark of their personal liberty or freedom), in the light of this statement by the Apostle Paul, IS NOT a Christian despite all his profession, and he never has been a Christian.”

So, we must examine ourselves today. Are we doing these things that Paul has named (or even things that he has not named that we know are wrong)? If the answer is yes, then we must consider if we are truly saved. If the Holy Spirit is working in us, we will feel remorse over our sins, we will admit that what we are doing is wrong, and we will be moved to confess and repent of those sins. If this is not happening, then we need to accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

Let’s pray.

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