Once Darkness, Now Light
— Ephesians 5:1–14 (pt8) — Andrew Fountain: Feb 3, 2013
(link to my own translation from the Greek text)
- First where we are up to:
- Earlier in the series I talked about being “united with Christ”
- If we fully grasp this then it will have a big impact on us
- What have we to fear—we are secure
- Illustration of the large ship that went down
- Ephesians falls into two halves
- Part one (chs 1–3) explains the truth, tells us what reality is about
- Part two (chs 4–6) tells us how we should live by this truth
- Summarising part 1 is a prayer for us to know
- the power of the Spirit in our inner person
- the love of Christ which is “beyond knowledge”
- the destiny of being the very dwelling place of God
- God created Adam and Eve
- He gave them laws
- They broke them
- He created the nation of Israel
- He gave them the 10 Commandments
- They broke them
- Why? —were they not good laws?
- to put off according to your previous way of life, the old man
which is being corrupted according to deceitful desires
- to be renewed in the spirit of your minds
- and to put on the new man
created according to God in righteousness and true holiness.
- Who is “The New Man” that we are to put on?
- So who is “The Old Man” ?
- Notice corruption (decay, death) vs new creation
- Notice where the the new creation is: spirit of our minds: our inner being, not yet our bodies
- So if Adam and his descendents were given a law
- culminating in the 10 commandments
- moral laws that applied to all mankind, the whole creation
- What about the new mankind—is it the same for us?
- Yes and no
- God’s idea of right and wrong has not changed
- But here is the difference
- Adam was created in the image of God, bearing in some ways God’s likeness
- But he rebelled and defaced that image
- He was created from dust
- As the new creation we carry God’s DNA in a living way
- We are created in the Spirit, not dust
- This new nature will naturally live like its parent
You can chose
- If you have the new life in Christ, you can live like this!
- Learn Christ!
- Put on the new man!
- Your DNA is to show the love of Jesus
- Now we come to the next passage
- No mention of the 7th commandment (You shall not commit adultery) up till now
- How does Jesus expand on this commandment?
- Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.
- And walk in love, just as Christ loved us
and gave himself up for us, an offering and sacrifice to God for a fragrant aroma.
- But sexual immorality and all impurity or greed
must not even be named among you, as is fitting for holy ones.
- Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor sarcastic ridicule-giving, which are out of place,
but instead let there be thanksgiving.
- For you may be sure of this, that
everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is greedy (that is, an idolater),
has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.
- Let no one deceive you with empty words,
for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.
- It seems very strong.
- Is this salvation by works?
1 Corinthians 6:9–11
- Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! The sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, practicing homosexuals, 10thieves, the greedy, drunkards, the verbally abusive, and swindlers will not inherit the kingdom of God.
- Some of you once lived this way. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ9 and by the Spirit of our God.
- 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!
- So put to death whatever in your nature belongs to the earth: sexual immorality, impurity, shameful passion, evil desire, and greed which is idolatry.
- Because of these things the wrath of God is coming on the sons of disobedience.
- This is very helpful because it shows how these sins are within all of us, and have to be dealt with.
- This is not about falling into sin, but chosing to stay in it
- He does not say “avoid these things and you will be saved”
- Instead it is “These things are signs of the old, not the new”
- It is ultimately about Who you are not what you do
- But what you do does reveal who you are!
- So the command is to let who you are now override who you were
- Why sexual sins?
- Because they are poison to the new life of love
- I take a cholesterol tablet every day as a precaution
- I have to avoid grapefruit
- They are not the nastiest of foods, not the most unpleasant
- But they will totally prevent the cholesterol tablet working
- They have a particular ability to pull us back into the old humanity
- It’s not so much that they are the most sinful, but they are the most dangerous to our new lives.
- The reason why it is phrased like this: “will not inherit” is because it centers on our participation in the New Creation
- Only those who are participating now will participate in the future
- To have no inheritance means you are not one of the children
- You are showing no signs of belonging to that future kingdom
- Therefore do not become fellow sharers with them;
- for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.
Walk as children of light
- for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true,
- and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord.
- Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.
- For the things done in secret by them are shameful even to mention.
- But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible,
- for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,
“Awake, O sleeper,
and arise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”
- What if you are sinning in this way now?
- Jesus said, go and sin no more
- John said “the person who says they are without sin is a liar”
- The point is not to be discouraged
Updated on 2015-07-07 by Andrew Fountain