Ephesians 5:1-14

Paul calls on us to imitate God by how we live. We are to stay away from sexual immorality, impurity, greed, vulgar speech, foolish talk, and coarse jesting. Instead, we are to be children of light by living in love, being thankful, being good, being righteous, and being truthful! We are not to participate in the deeds of darkness, but we are to “expose” them instead (bring them to light). This could be by confrontation, but probably is by living righteous and godly lives. When people see the contrast, the darkness is exposed (13). The hope is that those in darkness will turn to the light, as Paul’s quotation of an early Christian hymn based on Isaiah 60:1 seems to imply (14).

What does verse 5 mean? Paul has several lists like this in his writings, but the ending of Galatians 5:19-21 may help us to understand:

Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, depravity, idolatry, sorcery, hostilities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish rivalries, dissensions, factions, envying, murder, drunkenness, carousing, and similar things. I am warning you, as I had warned you before: Those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God!

Unfortunately, we can still engage in sin even though we are believers. But do we stay there? Do we wallow in it? Do we practice it? Or do we end up fighting against it? Do we repent? Do we try to resist? That is really the key, because it means that the Holy Spirit living inside of us is helping us to understand what we’ve done wrong and encouraging us to change. If we don’t have that drive, that desire, that impetus, then there is a real problem. At that point we would do well to ask ourselves if we truly have
any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.”

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