“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)
“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.
- The Grace Of Unity (4:1-6)
- The Grace Of Maturity (4:7-16)
- The Grace Of Renewal (4:17-32)
- The Grace Of Imitation (5:1-14)
- The Grace Of Wisdom (5:15-21)
- The Grace Of Relationships (5:22-33)
- The Grace Of Authority/Submission (6:1-9)
- 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 5:5) 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.
In our previous devotional, Paul listed six sins that will not appear in the life of those who are imitating God…
1. “fornication” – the fulfilling sinful desires resulting in unclean actions.
2. “uncleanness” – impurity, foulness
3. “covetousness” – eagerness for personal gain, insatiate desires
4. “filthiness” – obscenity, any source of shame or disgrace, disfigurement
5. “foolish talking” – to talk like a moron, verbal stupidity
6. “jesting” – to turn a good phrase, to speak insincerely, to hide true motives and thoughts by twisting speech
Paul now investigates the end of those who habitually commit these sins.
In tomorrow’s devotional, he will look at men who commit the final three on our listing (filthiness, foolish talking and jesting). But for this morning, Paul looks in detail at the men who habitually commit the first three sins on our listing (fornication, uncleanness, and covetousness)…
For this ye know,
If we perceive the true nature of God’s holiness and sin’s results, we will have no doubts that sin is incompatible with those who are emulating Christ…
that no whoremonger,
“whoremonger” – one who sells or profits from fornication (the fulfillment of mankind’s sinful desires)
This person is one who is guilty of habitual profiting from the sinful, fleshly desires of men who pay to have their desires fulfilled. It normally speaks of prostitutes who profit from the fulfillment of men’s sexual desires, but it is not limited to the sexual desires.
Anyone who profits from fulfilling fleshly desires (fornication) can be said to be a “whoremonger”.
For example, if a false teacher would receive offerings given to their idolatrous god they could be considered a “whoremonger”. Why is this? They would be profiting from man’s sinful desire to worship falsely (false worship is a type of fornication – 1 Cor 10:6-8, Exo 32:6-8) and, therefore, would be a “whoremonger” in the general sense.
From what do we receive our earthly gain, endeavors that are lawful in His sight or the appeasement of men’s base, sinful desires?
nor unclean person,
“unclean” – a person whose lifestyle is impure and fouled in the sight of God
Does our life exhibit spiritual purity or the filthiness of this sinful world?
nor covetous man, who is an idolater,
“covetous” describes a man whose lifestyle is to be in a constant state of want, never been fulfilled nor content. This man is also described as an “idolater”. When anyone dedicates their life for gain worldly, is worshipping the world and its offerings not the Lord.
If we live for wealth, wealth becomes our God; if we live for fame, fame becomes our God; if we live for power, power becomes our God etc. etc.; and we become idolaters.
What is the main goal of our life, to please the Lord or to gain the world’s offerings?
hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
The possession of any of these lifestyles is proof positive we are not followers of Christ and, therefore, are not a part of His family nor share in His eternal inheritance awaiting His children.
“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are [these]; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told [you] in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:19-21)
Please note three basic areas that are included in defining a person’s lifestyle…
1. The sources of our livelihood
2. The godliness of our actions
3. The goals of our lives
How important these are for all of us to consider… not only do they constitute how others see us, but they also clearly declare our standing before the Lord.
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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