Thursday, October 08, 2020

2020.10.08 Hopewell @Home ▫ Ephesians 5:3–7

 Read Ephesians 5:3–7

Questions from the Scripture text: What three kinds of sin does Ephesians 5:3 mention? What should they not even do with such sins? Why? What other three things are not fitting (Ephesians 5:4)? What is, then, fitting? Who knows the truth in Ephesians 5:5? What four types of people does verse 5 mention? What do none of these types have none of? What does he command them not to let happen in Ephesians 5:6? What will people speak in order to defend the idea that Christians can be these types of people? Why shouldn’t the Ephesians listen to these empty words, according to the second half of verse 6? What should the Ephesian believers do with such people (Ephesians 5:7)?

Perhaps you have heard (or even spoken) such speech among believers as might hint at the enjoyability of sin, or the kind of talking that might cause one’s ears to perk up in curiosity about sin. Love doesn’t do that, says Ephesians 5:3. Rather, love speaks in a way that is fitting for saints.

Yes, our conversations should be different enough from unbelievers’ conversations that upon hearing us they would say (whether out of irritation, admiration, or otherwise), “they’re so holy.” That’s what it means to not even let those things in Ephesians 5:3-4 be named. That’s not “fitting for saints.”

When was the last time you heard a conversation in which each was encouraging the other to speak thankfully toward God? Well, that’s exactly what saintly speech sounds like according to the end of verse 4.

Why? Because that’s what heaven’s speech sounds like! You can see some samples in Revelation chapters 4–5. Those are the people (from every tribe, tongue, and nation) with whom believers are to be “partakers” (Ephesians 5:7) in the “inheritance of the kingdom of Christ and God” (Ephesians 5:5). 

Still, the pull of the flesh is strong, and it makes us vulnerable to being “deceived with empty words” (Ephesians 5:6). When preachers realize that churchgoers still love their sin—or that the world hates to be told about its sin—they are tempted to speak empty words that soften the blow for “fornicators, unclean persons, or the covetous.” 

Don’t get sucked into such talk! Those are empty words that deceive even believers. Rather, think about the world with whom you are partakers: not the fleshly world of foolishness and filthiness, but the heavenly world of wisdom and delighting in God and His holiness!

Whenever we gather with one another in the church, our conversations should be like a visit to that heavenly world—mutual reinforcement in holiness, confidently hoping in our sure inheritance, and stirring one another up to give thanks to God in a virtuous cycle of building one another up in Him!

What are some things that you are thankful for? With whom do you plan to give that thanksgiving today? This Lord’s Day? What are some foolish and unhelpful conversations that you sometimes slide into at home or at church? How will you go about reversing them or avoiding them? Whom do you know who talks in a way that softens the blow for the wicked? Avoid them!

Suggested songs: ARP197 “Christian Unity” or TPH400 “Gracious Spirit, Dwell with Me”

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