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Ephesians 5:3-7: Let There Be No Impurity

Ephesians 5:3-7
[3] But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. [4] Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. [5] For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. [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 become partners with them;

Those of us who belong to Christ are to be different than those who do not.  We are to behave differently.  And this becomes difficult because we live in a culture where all around us people are engaging in behaviors that are tempting for us to participate in.  In these verses we look at today the Apostle Paul is giving us a list of behaviors that we are to avoid.

Now, as we look at the list of things that we are to avoid, remember to keep things in proper context. First of all, we are all sinners. And all of us are going to find that in some way or another we have done the things that we are to avoid. That may be the hardest things to admit. Usually we read a list of sins in Scripture looking for the loophole. We want to say, “I am righteous because I haven’t done that particular sin.” But, an honest evaluation will show us just how sinful we are.

The fact is that, according to these verses, we are to avoid all impurity. All sexual immorality. All impurity. All covetousness. Anyone think that you have avoided ALL of those?

Matthew 5:27-28
[27] “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ [28] But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

Oops. Sadly, we have all given in to this sin at one level or another. How about covetousness? Maybe we aren’t coveting a different spouse, but how about coveting someone else’s life? “You know, it’s not fair.  I am going through all these struggles, and that Christian over there has it all together.” Have you ever said anything like that? That’s covetousness.

It’s interesting that in these verses in our text in Ephesians 5, it says, “but instead let there be thanksgiving.” If you are focused on being thankful for what God has given, (Your spouse, your possessions, your life, etc.) you will be able to avoid covetousness and other impurities.

Paul raises concerns about the purity of believers. It is important stuff. But, in our efforts to be pure we need to be careful that we find our strength by drawing close to God and allowing him to make us pure. As we are imitating God, and walking in his love, we can find victory over the impurities that would seek to distort the beautiful image of Christ in us.