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SIH’s Think On These Things: Ephesians 5:3-4

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SIH TOTT ICON“Reflections Of His Grace”

“That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in [his] kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.”

The Grace Of Imitation (5:1-14)

Eph 5:1-14 KJV

“Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;  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.  

But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;  Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.  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.  Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. 

Be not ye therefore partakers with them.  For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:  (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)  Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.

And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.  For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.  But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.  Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.”


This devotional, continues to look at the second main division of the book of Ephesians.  Previously, we have looked at “Reflections Of His Grace Revealed” (chaps 1-3).  It that section, Paul revealed to us the gracious works of the Lord in the lives of His chosen people.

In this new section “Reflections Of His Grace Applied” (chaps 4-6) Paul will be explaining to us the practical effects of God’s grace in the lives of His people.

  1. The Grace Of Unity (4:1-6)
  2. The Grace Of Maturity (4:7-16)
  3. The Grace Of Renewal (4:17-32)
  4. The Grace Of Imitation (5:1-14)
  5. The Grace Of Wisdom (5:15-21)
  6. The Grace Of Relationships (5:22-33)
  7. The Grace Of Authority/Submission (6:1-9)
  8. The Grace Of Preparedness (6:10-21)

The next effect of God’s grace we will be looking at is the grace of IMITATION (5:1-14).  The word translated “followers” is a Greek word that carries with it the idea of “to mimic” or “to imitate”.  It is from this word that I got the title for this section of our study.

Keeping all this in mind, lets turn our attention to this is a very basic outline of this section of Scripture:
I.        Imitate Christ (vs 1-2)
II.        Do Not Imitate The Children of Disobedience (3-7)
III.        Imitate Children Of Light (vs 8-10)
IV.        Wake Up and Forsake Darkness (vs 11-14)


(Eph 5:3-4)  But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;   Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.


Paul now lists six sins that will not appear in the life of those who are imitating God…

But fornication,
“fornication” –  the fulfilling sinful desires resulting in unclean actions.


and all uncleanness,
“uncleanness” – impurity, foulness


or covetousness,
“covetousness” – eagerness for personal gain, insatiate desires


let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;

As saints (those who are separated for God’s use) these sins should not be a part of our testimony.  Not even one occurrence of these sins should take place.


These same three sins are found in

Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:  For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:  In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.”  (Colossians 3:5-7)

In the Colossians context, these sins are described as:
1.   the basis of God’s wrath
2.   characteristics of the children of disobedience
3.   sins that are committed by the lost prior to their salvation experience

This helps us to understand more fully why these things should “not be once named among you, as becometh saints”


Paul now narrows our attention to our speech…

Neither filthiness,
“filthiness” – obscenity, any source of shame or disgrace, disfigurement


nor foolish talking,
“foolish talking” – to talk like a moron, verbal stupidity


nor jesting,
“jesting” – to turn a good phrase, to speak insincerely, to hide true motives and thoughts by twisting speech


Please note: “jesting” involves turning speech to veil true thoughts.  It does not describe humorous speech that is innocent.  A Christian is to be transparent and clear in his speech and other forms of communication.  Proverbs 19:1 also speaks on this very issue…

Better [is] the poor that walketh in his integrity, than [he that is] perverse in his lips, and is a fool.” 

In this text, the idea of “perverse lips” means twisted or distorted lips and carries with it the same idea as “jesting”.   It is placed in direct comparison to walking in integrity (transparently, simplistic).

which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.

Speech that embarrasses us, speech that is worthless, and any speech that is turned to obscure the truth  are not proper, nor fitting (to be the speech of saints): but instead use your speech to show your appreciation to the Lord for all He has done for us.

Peter helps us to understand the incredible effect our speech has on the lives of those around us…

My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.   For in many things we offend all.

If any man offend not in word, the same [is] a perfect man, [and] able also to bridle the whole body.  Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body.  Behold also the ships, which though [they be] so great, and [are] driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth.  Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things.

Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!  And the tongue [is] a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.  For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind:  But the tongue can no man tame; [it is] an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. 

Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.  Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.  Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet [water] and bitter?  Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so [can] no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.”  (James 3:1-12)


When we see ourselves following Christ’s example for our lives, we need to recognize it is God’s grace at work.

May we praise and honor Him for enabling us to abstain from:
1.  fornication
2.  all uncleanness
3.  covetousness
4.  filthiness (of speech)
5.  foolish talking
6.  jesting

As we seek to follow His example.

May we all get a clearer picture of our Lord and Savior, and the great grace He has shown to us. Let us be always watchful to keep His great acts of grace on our behalf in the center of our attention… In doing so, may we be motivated to LOVE Him more, APPRECIATE Him more and SERVE Him more! 

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  1. "light and salt" says:

    Another excellent post! This is a detailed study and seems to be “spot on.” I shared it on Twitter…

    Thanks, Rob.

    Steve Pejay

    • Rob Barkman says:

      Thanks for your kind words Steve. Ephesians is such a very rich book that the Lord has blessed is with. Throughout the years I have come to love it and look to it as one of my favorite books. Lord bless you!

      • "light and salt" says:

        I have so many “favorites” in the bible, as most Christians do. And the Apostle Paul is such a great example of teaching and source of encouragement!

        I’ll certainly be looking in on your study again soon. Enjoy the blessings of this day in the Lord, Rob…


  2. mwitasblog says:

    A wonderful exposition Rob, and lovely ending there… “May we praise and honor Him for enabling us to abstain from (all those things)”. Yes, we truly ought to be conscious that it is an incredible blessing to find ourselves walking a life of victory over these carnal lusts.

    • Rob Barkman says:

      How very true… our “natural man” would be wallowing in these things but, by His grace alone, these things do not have to be a part of our lifestyle as Christians! Lord bless you. Thanks for the comments.

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