Walk in love

In our message, WALK IN LOVE AND LIGHT (Eph. 5:1-14), we continued to look the Holy Spirit’s call for Christians to follow Christ. The word “imitate” means not only to ‘follow’ but to ‘mimic’ (Eph. 5:1). Children should be like their parents, and since Christians have been born into God’s family, we should desire to be like our heavenly Father (John 1:12-13; 3:7, 15-16; Acts 4:12, etc.). This means “walking in love” because “God is love” (Eph. 4:32; 5:1-2; Col. 3:13; 1 John 4:16-18; Phil. 2:5-11, etc.).

But the loving walk is also the holy walk, so God tells us in this passage at the same time to stay away from the self-centered practices of “fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness” (Eph. 5:3a; Rom. 12:9; James 3:17, etc.). Ephesus with its pagan temple dedicated to the Roman goddess Diana was similar to our society in that sexual immorality ran rampant (Eph. 4:17-19; Rom. 1:18-32, etc.). Our society likewise advances the lie that sexual immorality is loving (e.g. LGBTQ+, etc.) when in reality it is “covetousness” as people greedily try to satisfy uncontrolled appetites by taking things that do not belong to them (Matt 19:4-6; Rom. 6:23a; 1 John 2:16; Rom. 3:10-18, 23; 7:18, etc.). Such sins and all “filthiness… foolish talking, [and] course jesting” are not proper for God’s children but instead we should be reflecting our Lord through thanksgiving (Eph. 5:3-4; 1 Thes. 5:18; Phil. 4:4-7; 2 Cor. 9:15; James 1:17, etc.).

“For this you know… the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience” (Eph. 2:2-3; 5:5-6). We are not to let anyone “deceive [us] with empty words” because since God’s wrath is presently coming on the sons of disobedience (those who have not trusted Christ as their Savior), His own sons and daughters can expect His discipline if we also practice the same things and refuse to turn from them (Col. 3:5-7; James 1:21-25; Gal. 5:16-21; 6:7-8; 1 Cor. 6:9-11; 1 John 1:9; 1 Cor. 3:14-15; Heb. 12:5-11, etc.). “Therefore” we are not to participate in or share in the things they do- [lit. in the Grk ‘stop becoming partakers with them’] (Eph. 5:7; Heb. 12:12-17; 1 Cor. 10:12-14; 1 John 1:9, etc.). Instead, we are to “do” what God’s Word says (Eph. 5:6; Gal. 6:7; 1 Cor. 6:9; Heb. 6:14; 1 John 1:9; James 1:12, etc.).

We “were darkness, but now… are light” (Eph. 5:8; Rom. 6:11; Gal. 2:20). We are to reflect our Father’s light to the world around us (Eph. 5:9; John 12:46; Matt. 5:14, etc.) by following Him and “finding out” what pleases Him (Eph. 5:10). This means also the church has to confront sin within its fellowship so it can be healed corporately to remain the light it is called to be (Eph. 5:11-12; Matt. 5:13-14; 1 Cor. 5:9-13; 11:31-32, etc.). Today, the church as God’s light is to expose darkness, but one day our Lord will come and expose all the motives and thoughts of the heart (Eph. 5:13; Heb. 4:12-13; 10:25; 1 John 2:28, etc.) It is because of this we as Christians should walk in love and light now (Eph. 4:14; 1 John 1:9; 2:28, 1 Cor. 3:13; Heb. 12:28-29, etc.).