and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.Ephesians 5:2(NASB)
Just as our letters and email are not divided into chapters and verses, so Paul's epistles show one continuous flow of thought throughout, which the Holy Spirit has seen fit to include in the canon of Scripture for our learning. As with all scripture every verse should be taken in context.. and the factors relating to this verse are connected with holy living, godly behaviour, gracious speech.. and a grateful and forgiving heart. We are exhorted to let no one deceive us with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.
We are called to be imitators of God, and as beloved children to walk in love, in the same way as Christ also loved us and gave Himself up for us. And we are to be like Him in thought, word and deed. And so we are warned to let no one deceive us with vain words encased in unbelief.. for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.
God Himself is the perfect example of holiness, which is personified in Jesus Christ, Who is our divine pattern. As children of God we are set-apart unto Him and called to be holy as Christ is holy. We are exhorted to be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other - just as God in Christ also has forgiven us.
But we are also cautioned against indulging in the lust of the flesh and the pride of life, which too frequently manifest themselves in all types of impurity or greed, filthiness of heart and mind.. silly talk, coarse jesting - bitterness, clamour, wrath and anger, which is not fitting for the saint of God.
As beloved children we are called to be imitators of our heavenly Father and to walk in love, just as Christ also loved us and gave Himself up for us.. as an offering, a sacrifice.. and a sweet smelling aroma to God. We are to be Christlike in our Christian walk and present our bodies as a living sacrifice and a sweet smelling offering which is so acceptable to the Lord.
But the worldly mindset is diametrically opposite from God.. and unbelievers and certain carnal Christians seek to deceive the spiritual man or woman into compromising their faith with empty words, false teachings, twisted doctrine and ungodly behaviours.
As Christians we should not be led astray by the enticing reasoning of the world, which seeks to undermine the truth of God's Word - but the more one allows the mindset of the world to influence our thinking the more that life reflects the worldly philosophy in outward behaviour and the inner thoughts of the mind - all of which conflicts with the gospel truth.
God is not mocked and as Christians we should not be deceived by the empty words and false premises that come from these sons of disobedience. They are dead in their trespasses and are under God's righteous condemnation - but they try to persuade us to compromise our position in Christ, slacken our biblical standards and adopt an ungodly and worldly mindset - may it never be!
We are not be deceived.. for whatever a man sows, that will he also reap. Before we were saved by grace through faith.. we also walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air. We too were subjected to the spirit that is now working in these same sons of disobedience. But now that we have been saved by grace through faith in Christ we are children of the light who are to have no part in ungodly behaviour - for to do so not only dishonours the name of the Lord Jesus but it also shipwrecks our Christian testimony.
Heavenly Father, thank You that although I am in the world I am not of the world and that my citizenship is in heaven. I pray that I will not compromise with the works of evil by slackening my resolve to live godly in Christ Jesus.. but that in all things I may reflect the lovely Lord Jesus with holy living, godly behaviour, gracious speech.. and a grateful and forgiving heart. This I ask in Jesus name, AMEN.