On Feb 15, 2015, pastor Darin preached from Eph 5:1-21, Walking as Children of Light. This passage is challenging because it contains mostly prohibitions, especially with regard to what we do with our body. When confronted with temptation, some decide to leave the Christian faith so that they can pursue and gratify their sinful desires and pleasure. Regardless of age or station in life, we all are faced with these challenges everyday. So the main idea of the sermon is that God answers the unresolved longings of our soul as we walk in the light through faith in Christ. Four things to see:
1. Sexual immorality must not be name among us.
a. Wrong living: v. 3, Paul refers to Christians as “saints” (holy ones). It is totally inappropriate then for such things as sexual immorality (“porneia”)—anything that is contradictory to God’s desire for the body—to be named among us.
b. Wrong message: Paul warns them in v. 6 not to be deceived by empty words: some said it was okay to engage in such behavior. But that’s a lie: God’s wrath has come because of such things. Dig deeper: are you listening to and conforming to what the culture says about sex, or God’s Word? Read and reflect on Psalm 1.
c. Result: v. 5 – those that live this what will not inherit the kingdom Christ. Dig deeper: Paul is not talking about those who may struggle with an issue, but with those who have a total, consistent and persistent willful disregard for God in these matters and are disinterested in change. Does that describe you? Confess and turn to Christ. Get help.
2. Why is this such a big deal to God?
a. God instituted marriage (Gen 2:24). When you are married you undergo an identity change at the most basic level through sexual union, which is designed to be between one man and woman only in the context of marriage. Dig Deeper: Are you being swayed by what the culture says about sexuality and marriage, or God’s Word?
b. God is the author of sexual pleasure. But if we go against that design, it will destroy us.
c. Verse 5 (covetous/idolatry): What we desire most is what we worship. Dig deeper: What are you coveting that goes outside of God’s intended design. Instead of God, are you worshipping at the altar of sexual idolatry?
d. Verses 7-10: We must not be partakers with those that live this way because we have an identity change from darkness to light. Dig deeper: are you living in way consistent with your identity in Christ, or contrary to it?
3. We must expose the works of darkness (Verse 11). V
a. Verse 12 – it is shameful even to speak of these works. So how are we to expose them?
1) Delight in what pleases God by living in contrast to the darkness.
2) Verse 20: live a life characterized by thanksgiving.
b. v. 14 - ancient hymn speaking of conversion: when you come to Christ you are given new desires, and you begin to show that God’s desires are better than the sinful things that you had previously desired.
4. What do you do if you have failed in these areas?
a. Augustine: “God, you have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless till they find their rest in you.” We must find the freedom enjoy of Christ by turning from our sins and trusting in Christ alone who transforms our desires.
b. Verse 12 – Christ gave Himself: His greatest desire was to do the will of the Father. This meant that He gave up His rights and privileges for us and was willing to offer himself as a sacrifice for our sins. We must let that same mind that was in Christ be in us (Phil 2:5-9)
c. Verse 18 – be filled with the Spirit - temporal things will not fulfill us. God wants us to have a joy that cannot be replicated, a lasting joy that puts melody in our hearts. How? As we let the word of Christ dwell in us richly in the context of community with other believers.
d. 1 Cor 6:9-11 - “and such were some of you…but you were washed…” There is hope and forgiveness. We must come to Jesus who will change us and make the things that used to be our identity “past tense.” We have a new “present tense” identity in Christ where we walk in conformity to God’s Word by grace through faith in Christ.