Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.Ephesians 5:6(NASB)
For three wonderful chapters, Paul has been telling the Ephesians what are the incredible riches of God's grace toward us. He is reminding us of the supernatural position and privileges that are ours, simply by grace - through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
It is because these amazing gifts and graces have so readily been bestowed on unworthy sinners such as us, that Paul starts to exhort us to put on the new man. We are encouraged to live a life that is honouring to the Lord. He urges us to practice unity in the Spirit, holy living in the flesh, and purity of heart, soul, and mind.
Paul makes God's attitude towards immoral practices, fornication, and other sins, crystal clear in this passage, leaving no wiggle-room for carnal-mindedness or fleshly inclinations. "Let no one deceive you with empty words," is his stern warning, "for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience."
The wrath of God is on ALL humanity because of sin, which Paul points out includes, "immorality, impurity, greed, filthiness, silly talk, and coarse jesting." God's condemnation is on all unsaved people who are dead in their sins, at enmity with God, and are "the sons of disobedience," who are blinded by Satan, the god of this world.
As lost sinners who have been saved by grace through faith in Christ and forgiven of our sin, we are now saints of God and children of the light. It should be incumbent upon us to recognise the incredible grace that God has extended to all... who by faith are now His blood-bought children. Before we were saved, we were all sons of disobedience who remained under the wrath of God, but now we are saved by grace, through faith in Christ. ALL sin separates us from God but this particular passage specifically identifies, "immorality, impurity, greed, filthiness, silly talk, and coarse jesting."
However, this is not a passage that teaches that immorality can't be forgiven... for if that were the case, no man could ever be saved... for all have sinned and all have fallen short of the glory, virtue, and perfection of God. Nor is it saying that believers who fall into, "immorality, impurity, greed, filthiness, silly talk, and coarse jesting," will lose their salvation, as some like to suggest.
Paul is saying that since God has bestowed on us the riches of His grace, seated us together with Christ in heavenly places, positioned us in His Christ by faith, and made us one with Himself, we should remember the depth of depravity from which we have all been rescued and live in a manner that honours His name.
Conversely, the eternal security we enjoy in Christ, by no means extends leniency or liberality towards sexual immorality or other unprincipled acts in the life of a Christian. Nor does it unlock the doors of cultural compromises or societal tolerance to believers. We must never forget that although we are in the world, we are not to be part of the world... nor must fallen man's degenerate behaviours influence us. We are not to be squeezed into the world's mould.
Pre-marital, extra-marital, and gay-marital sex, together with every other ungodly or unbiblical practices may be accepted by a community, or embraced by a culture, but they remain an abomination to the Lord. Christians should not be intimidated by the standard of fallen humanity nor desensitised to sin by the world in which we live - for any sin will cause fellowship with our heavenly Father to be broken.
What Paul is reminding all who have been redeemed from the kingdom of Satan, is that those who have not been saved by grace through faith and engage in such evil ways, are the sons of disobedience. They remain under God's eternal condemnation and are bound for the fires of hell.
There are many teachers that will tickle the ears of saved and unsaved men and women alike, in order to forward their ungodly agendas. There are also legalists and some denominations that twist the truth of Scripture to pour condemnation on the heads of others - and keep them entrapped in a system of control.
Let us read the Word of truth for ourselves, know what the Bible teaches, and live godly lives which reject the ways of the world and honour Christ Jesus our Lord. And let no one deceive you with empty words - for because of things like, "immorality, impurity, greed, filthiness, silly talk, and coarse jesting the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience."
Heavenly Father, thank You that I am no longer a son of disobedience but have been saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ my Lord and Saviour. Thank You that I have been bought with a price - the precious blood of Your dearly beloved Son and have been given all I need for life and godliness. I pray that I may honour Your name in thought, word, motive, and deed, and live my life to Your eternal praise and glory. This I ask in Jesus' name, AMEN.
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