The Letter to The Ephesians Message Twenty Three
The Lord warned us again through Paul that we can hide the light. There is a bushel, a basket that we put over the light, hiding it – it is the basket of willful sin.
Paul gives us a list of things that we might know what to stay away from – he warned us away to protect us from the chastening hand of God.
Which group do you identify with? We are not to sin against others and we are also commanded not to sin against ourselves, which confuses the testimony for the Lord Jesus Christ in the minds of unbelievers. The common excuse is “I am not hurting anyone – this is my body and I can do what I want, what I feel like doing”! This being the case, God led the Apostle Paul to deal with this argument and remove any excuses –
XI. Prohibitions, Proving, and Praises Ephesians 5:3-21
God gave us this Word that we should –
A. Be Warned of the dangers before us. (Prohibitions) The danger of –
1. Seeking the satisfaction of the flesh –
Ephesians 5:3-6 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;
2. Seeking the attention of others-
Ephesians 5:4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.
3. Seeking to live as an unbeliever –
Ephesians 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.
1 Corinthians 6:18-20 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
If one desires to live a life glorifying the body and pursuing the lust of the flesh instead of living a life glorifying God and serving Him, they have a serious problem and need to cry unto the Lord for salvation!
4. Seeking to be liked by those you are around each day –
Ephesians 5:6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.
People will encourage you to sin by telling you that you are simply doing what is natural for you! They will say that God has made you this way and no one can tell you how you should feel. The excuse always comes back to the beginning – ‘This is God’s fault, not yours’. Remember Adam’s excuse –
Genesis 3:11-12 And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.
God did not excuse Adam then and He does not excuse us now. God has given us this message that we should –
B. Be Wise (Proving) Ephesians 5:7-17 “…be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.”
When we are wise and understanding what the will of the Lord is, we will –
1. Be different –
Ephesians 5:7 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:
2. Be devoted –
Ephesians 5:9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.
3. Be discerning –
Ephesians 5:11-13 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.
4. Be diligent –
Ephesians 5:14-16 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
‘Circumspectly’ – Not looking out for the wrong ways, but keeping our eyes on the right way!
Ephesians 5:17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
Do you understand what we are being told today? We are to make a difference in this world – be light in the darkness. Help people to see that there is hope in this life and that Hope is in God through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. We are to illuminate the world through Him. To accomplish this, we must –
C. Be Submitted (Praise) Ephesians 5:18-21
1. Pursue after His will –
Ephesians 5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
a. Reject the desires of the flesh –
Do not argue with God because of the desires of the heart, as many do –
Deuteronomy 29:19 And it come to pass, when he heareth the words of this curse, that he bless himself in his heart, saying, I shall have peace, though I walk in the imagination of mine heart, to add drunkenness to thirst:
Other people who call themselves Christians are drinking alcohol. I should be able to also –
Hebrews 12:14-15 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;
What men may claim as liberty to consume alcohol will poison and destroy them and others with them because of the rebellion against God.
- Although only in moderation – Be warned about this lie of men by knowing the Word of God! –
Proverbs 20:1 Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.
Proverbs 23:29-35 Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder. Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things. Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast. They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.
Reject the pursuit of evil and –
b. Receive the blessings of being indwelt by the Holy Spirit and the fulness He gives. “…but be filled with the Spirit.”
2. Praise Him for His presence –
Ephesians 5:19,20 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
3. Present ourselves to Him in service to one another –
Ephesians 5:21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.
2 Timothy 2:24-26 And the servant of the Lord (…in the fear of God…) must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, (submitting yourselves one to another…) apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.
Are you being a light to those with whom you come in contact?
Does your life draw them along with you to walk in obedience and service to the Lord or –
Does your life give them the excuse they want to continue to fulfil the lust of the flesh?
Lets all be a help and a blessing to others, living for the Lord to His glory!