Jun 14, 2020. Ephesians 5:6-7

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Ephesians 5:6-7 [New King James Version (NKJV)]

6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not be partakers with them.

  • Bad spiritual investment
    • The list Paul gives us from Eph. 4:28-5:5 explains the many ways to do evil and to be evil (lying, stealing, wrath, bitterness, malice, fornication, debauchery, cruelty, mocking, greed…)
    • Chapter 4 speaks of individual sins while Chapter 5 speaks of being habitually identified with a particular sin (being a liar, fornicator, coveter, mocker, idolater…)
    • It is immaterial which path of sin one takes, the results are all the same (ends at the same point: emptiness, useless…)
  • Vanity Fair
    • Emptiness (kenos) is the final destination of the vain, proud, deceitful, cruel, permissive, greedy, lustful, and fool G.K. Chesterton: there are many ways to fall but only one way to stand straight
    • Paul warns that we must not allow anyone to deceive us with empty (vain, worthless, futile) words
      • Words that promise wealth, pleasure, and freedom
      • Words that declare there is no final accountability
      • Words of pride: be your own boss, do your own thing..
    • Emptiness is not a trait, action, or particular sin, but the result of sin
      • I Corinthians 3:12-15 all things not of Christ disappear as if they never were
  • A full discussion on emptiness (much ado about nothing)
    • Philippians 2:7-8 Christ EMPTIED himself out of the privilege of his godhood so he might bring many people to glory (Romans 5)
    • So many strive for power, possessions, and prominence which lead to empty dead end futures that are soon forgotten by everyone
    • Emptiness is not the lot of a faithful believer:
      • 1 Corinthians 15:58 our labor is not in vain (empty) in the Lord
        • Though we do not see immediate results, our labor for the Lord is not useless
        • Galatians 6:9 we must not quit since we will triumph
      • I Thessalonians 3:5 Paul labored so his work will not be in vain
    • Those who labor for self and worldly things will end up with nothing
      • Mark 12 the master destroyed the vine tenders who refused to give him the fruit of his labor (servants returned empty)
      • I Corinthians 15:10 Paul stated that the grace God showed to him was not in vain since he labored more than the rest
      • II Corinthians 6:1-2 those who hear the gospel, but reject it receive grace in vain (falls on deaf ears and hard hearts)
    • Believers who don’t faithfully serve the Lord produce no fruit for him
      • James 1:26 the believer who does not have control over his speech deceives himself and his religion is useless
        • A believer who speaks lies, mocks, wears people down by talking too much, judges, accuses, criticizes, and gossips is useless as a witness for Christ (an embarrassment)
        • Our demeanor, acts, and speech carry testimony
      • James 2:20 faith without fruitful works of charity, grace, love, and comfort are valueless (folly, worthless)
    • A believer can be saved, but useless to others
      • Others are driven away from Christ by a believer who engages in unwholesome speech and who lacks charity
      • Works shout louder than words
  • Conceit is deceit
    • Colossians 2:6-10  Paul warns not to be deceived by empty words
      • Many are cheated out of eternity and rewards through heeding vain philosophies (prosperity gospel, sinless perfectionism, nihilism, fatalism, universalism,  mysticism,…)
      • Only by using the Word of God properly can you discern error and avoid pitfalls (1 Cor. 15:14; 2 Tm. 3:16)
    • Three avenues of deceit
      • Philosophy of men (conventional wisdom) – a utilitarian approach to gain for self all that pleases you (Eccl. 2)
      • Principles of this world (what the world teaches as truth) – what to believe, how to get along, how to conform to society
      • Acts 17:11 lack of investigation by deceived (Romans 10:17)
    • The world follows its gurus to its own destruction (postmodernism)
    • Too many believers follow spiritual celebrity teachers without discernment, evaluation, questioning, or even critiquing with Bible
    • Many will lose reward for follow Dr. X instead of Paul, Peter, and James

Key Verse:

Colossians 2:6-10 [New King James Version (NKJV)]

6 As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, 7 rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.

8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. 9 For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; 10 and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.