Jun 7, 2020. Ephesians 5:3-5

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THE IDOLATRY OF SIN.  EPHESIANS 5:3-5. 7 JUN. 2020. AM. #23.

Ephesians 5:3-5 [New King James Version (NKJV)]

3 But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; 4 neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.

  • Many faces of idolatry
    • We think of idolatry as worshipping false gods and idols
    • Anything or anyone replacing God in your life is an idol
    • Chapter 4 deals with sins to avoid while ch. 5 list sins that  are so prevalent in one’s life they identify who person is
    • FORNICATOR (porneo from which comes pornography) = practicing sexual immorality
    • UNCLEANNESS (akatharsis = not clean) refers to filthy
      • Can mean physically polluted (Matthew 23:27 = tomb)
      • Metaphorical impurity (immorality, crudeness, vileness, perversion, corruption, depravity…)
    • COVETOUSNESS (pleonexia = Eng., pleonasm => to seek plenty, to be excessive or obsessed with gaining more)
      • Brood over obtaining what you do not have
      • Sensual, greedy, craving, longing, lust
      • The object of greed may be sexual, power, possessions, fame, money…
      • When asked how much money was enough, he said just a little bit more
    • FILTHINESS = debauchery, lewdness, sexually permissive and obsessed, morally corrupt (Mark 7:21, 2 eats away within)
    • FOOLISH TALKING (morolegia = Eng., moronic dialogue)
      • Inappropriate speech (crude, base, cruel, crass)
      • Speech that lacks understanding and sensitivity
    • COARSE JESTING OR JOKING = flippant, frivolous, buffoonery, inappropriate humor, crude taunting
  • That which is befitting of a saint
    • Paul calls being identified as a fornicator, impure, greedy, frivolous, or a mocker an IDOLATEROR
    • Idolatry is putting anything ahead of God
    • 3 levels of idolatrous rebellion in this list:
      • Prideful self-exaltation
      • Lustful self-indulgence
      • Cruel mockery, ridicule, and persecution
    • These things are not befitting a saint
      • FITTING (propei = Eng., proper) = what is suitable, becoming, or appropriate
      • Believers are to project a godly image that comes from a godly mindset and motivation
    • Whatever dominates a person’s life and desires is what he is and if what controls him is not spiritual life in Christ, he is an idol worshipper (1 Corinthians 6:9-20)
  • Cut out of the inheritance
    • Paul places THANKSGIVING (eucharistia) in opposition to the idols he mentioned (instead, be grateful)
      • We would expect him to use purity, holiness, cleanness, or spiritual as the right response
      • The word means “good grace”
    • Paul is emphasizing that those who seek more than what God has given them and who seek different things than his order or provision are ungrateful to him
      • Even though God made Adam and Eve in his image and gave them paradise, they sought more
      • Those who reject how God has made them and what he has provided are ungrateful and reject God
    • A heart not full of praise to God is seeking meaning elsewhere and therefore, is not of God
    • One who is identified with fornication, greed, impurity, cruelty, mockery, and folly can’t inherit the kingdom of God
      • To identify with sin is not to identify with Christ
      • 1 John 5 those who identify with Christ are not identify with sin
    • Even though believers still commit sin (1 John 1) they are not identified by sin (a liar, cheat, womanizer, brawler…)
    • Salvation is via faith and ongoing sin shows one is unsaved

Key Verse:

I  Corinthians 6:9-20 [New King James Version (NKJV)]

9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. 12 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. 13 Foods for the stomach and the stomach for foods, but God will destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 And God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power. 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not! 16 Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For “the two,” He says, “shall become one flesh.” 17 But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him. 18 Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.