“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.
- 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)
In our previous devotionals, 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
In yesterday’s devotional, Paul looked in detail at the men who habitually commit the first three sins on our listing (fornication, uncleanness, and covetousness)
In today’s devotional Paul looks at the end of those who commit the final three sins (filthiness, foolish talking and jesting)…
(Ephesians 5:6-7) 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.
Let no man deceive you with vain words:
Here we are reminded of the need to not allow worthless, selfish words (“vain words”) of others lead us astray.
We can be led astray in two different ways:
1. We can believe the vain speech of others and be led astray from Christ and His truths
2. We can allow those who speak vainly to influence us, causing us to follow their example and to begin using vain speech. In doing so, we are no longer imitating Christ, but are now following the fallen world.
What are the “vain words” of which Paul is speaking? They are the vain words that are described in verse 4. They include speech involving “filthiness”, “foolish talking”, and “jesting”.
Folks, it is imperative that we recognize when this speech is taking place and to turn from it. If we see it in our life we are to forsake it. If we see it in the life of others, turn away from them and do not follow their example.
Paul now explains to us the end of those who are deceived by these vain words…
for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.
Those who are misled by vain speech are facing the hot anger (wrath) of God. It is this same anger that is face by all children who are disobedient.
The word translated “disobedient” here is a very interesting word that means “to be unpersuaded”. This brings to mind two different ideas for us:
1. They are unbelievers – they are in a condition of unbelief, not being persuaded to trust in Christ.
2. They are imitating the lost world and not Christ – they are stubbornly rebellious against the Lord and His desires for their lives. They purposefully have chosen to oppose Christ and His work.
Both of these emphasize for us the lost condition of these men. Those who habitually, as a lifestyle, use vain words are displaying their lost condition before both God and man. They are not to be considered as one of the children of God.
Be not ye therefore partakers with them.
Paul now warns the members of the church at Ephesus to not participate in the ungodly lifestyle of vain speakers.
If we stop and think about it, from these two verses we could come to a misunderstanding that those who are saved can lose their salvation if they are “deceived by vain words”. The reasoning would go something like this…
1. Paul is writing to believers
2. Paul warns believers to not be misled by, nor partake of vain words
3. Paul says that if they do such things it is proof they are lost
4. Therefore, Paul is warning believers to not lose their salvation through vain words.
But this is not Paul’s message. Paul is warning the members of the Ephesus church to forsake vain words because, if they are overcome it is proof they WERE NEVER SAVED TO START WITH. By falling back into the lifestyle of the wicked, it is proof that true salvation has never taken place in the inner man. This same basic theme is found throughout the Bible. In 2 Peter 2:20-22, we find it clearly explained…
“For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known [it], to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog [is] turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.” (2 Peter 2:20-22)
When a person receives God’s Word and mentally ascents to it, but then turns from it and goes back to their old lifestyle, it is proof they were never saved to start with. According to the 2 Peter text, the dog goes back to the vomit because it is still a dog; likewise, the sow goes back to the mire because the sow is still a sow. The cause of their return is that no lasting change had taken place in the dog’s or sow’s nature.
As we all seek to imitate Christ let us be on guard against any vain speech that would cause us to turn back and begin living our old lifestyle once again. If this takes place, without conviction and the chastening of the Lord following our departure, it is a proof positive that we were never genuinely saved.
May we all be on guard against such Satanic devices that war against our souls…
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!
SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org
SIH Text Blog: https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/
SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/
SIH Email: firstname.lastname@example.org