New International Version (NIV)
1 Follow Godís example, therefore, as dearly loved
children 2 and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for Godís holy people. 4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. 5 For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy personósuch a person is an idolateróhas any
inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. [ a] 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things Godís wrath comes on those who are disobedient. 7 Therefore do not be partners with them. 8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord. 11 Have nothing
to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visibleóand everything that is illuminated becomes a light. 14 This is why it is said:
15 Be very careful, then, how you liveónot as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lordís will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit,
Paul starts this chapter with an instruction of being imitators of God as a result of being his dearly loved children. That's something he points out to show what we owe to God in accordance to his love that proves grace to all men that believe. Be imitators; be in his likeness as children created in his own image, we owe him the part of imitation not just acting like him cause we could gladly fail on that but taking up his nature in spirit and truth.
To add on to imitation, we ought to live a life of love just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us. As a result of being created in this image of God, if we truly acknowledge that word image; the next instruction and its not just an instruction but a life that we adopt as a result of the image is; love. Paul cautions us to live a life of love just as Christ loved us. That kind beats my understanding. That kind of love is one unknown to humanity; we can not try to give it if we have no idea what it even means to love as Christ loved us though many times we do.
To love as Christ loved us is far more than what we comprehend; its love described leaving alone what we do and practice to try and give shape to "love" as a word. Love is not a four letterd word or actions done in favour of one though it involves actions at times. To love like Christ loved us and gave himself for us is to love with sacrifice. Christ did a sacrifice for us without a condition or any sort of payment .
He did that on terms of love not self.he had nothing to gain to himself, it wasn't a return action that he expected something a little worth his sacrifice,NO!...it was selfless love. To get the view of what it means to love, paul gives us the definition in 1corinthians 13.
From the above, paul paints a picture of what the father desires. What he see and recognizes and in verses 3,4,5. he gives a view of what is not right in the fathers eyes. He distinguishes between what is required of us to do and what remains at the cross. Those verses arise the aspect of love. If Christ loved us so much and gave himself up for us by sacrifice to take our old self and therefore replace it with the love of the father how much more are we to live as those that have received that love? Many times or sometimes, these words remain closed out on us. They only make sweet bible stories but not life. The love of the father exempts us from what paul describes in verses of 3,4,5. For we cant escape that if we know not that love. What paul describes in those verses is something not recognised by the father. A sacrifice he does not desire apart from one from his son alone. I think there we see the great division. One of the love of the father to us who acts according to his love and one that is still foreign to that love. That nature that his son never dwells.
At the close of verse 5. 5 For of
this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy
personósuch a person is an idolateróhas any
inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. "
Paul gives his closing remarks, a statement that cuts off all supplies of the old man bringing them to death alone in us. He says that by that nature of the old, there is absolutely not acceptance from God. No nature without the rule of Christ gets access to the father apart from his own. I won't spend much time on this since its crystal clear.
Paul warns chriarians against any sort of heart deception and there is only one that deceives the heart, the father of lies himself; the devil. He tells us of his traits and plans to deceive us in to his own understanding apart form God's. He may not appear physically but yah! He does show up anyways. His ways lead us In to God's wrath because he possess something that is not of God. If we are born of the spirit and described as Childen of the most high, we should be sensitive to the devil. So Paul's caution to us is not to be partners or to say yorked with him in any way.
8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth)
In the beginning, God having created the heavens and the earth, the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep and the spirit of the Lord was hovering over the waters and God said; let there be light. God saw the light was good and separated the light from the darkness.
The first bit of Genesis 1 describes a state of being that was in existance. Darkness did exist but until light was spoken in to being, then there was separation between the two. God loved the fact that light was there but never appreciated the fact that darkness was in exiatance. He had a desire to illuminate the darkness and there he spoke light into being. Therefore paul again in Ephesians, describes our state of being before we came to meet light; we were filled with darkness, one which was over the surface of the deep. So having received that light, paul caustions us and instructs us not commands us but in respect of what we are, he tells us to live as Children of the light due to that which our father has made us. The result of this light "the fruit" consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth. Therefore, what the light bears, is evident or seen in these three" truth, goodness and righteousness" this is God's nature described.
As we live as Children of the light, we discover what the Lord desires simply because we live as he lives in us. By that, he leads us as his light shines.
This light that God spoken in to existance in the hearts of men, is one that separates that which is not of God and that which is his. Its the light that a believer walks, its light that exposes all that outside of Christ and in its place is in the Children of God. Those that have been called according to his purpose and will. Those are the true children of God. They walk in this light and it shines in them and leads many to him. Its the light of the wisdom of God in his children. It drives all foolishness away from them and fills them up with wisdom not to do tremendous things acknowledged by people but wisdom to act according to God's will without any self approval of humanity. To walk in this light is to desire and will as the Lord desires you to do. Its not a self motivated aspect or a man's approval in community; but something God does in his Children. For we can't have the light unless the Lord himself acts on us to have it. We can never attain any bit of him by our selves cause our very own nature can not even contain him. The lord receives what he only gives to us not what we give him; for what we give to him is wickdnes and dead.
Lastly to mention, Paul cautions us not to be drunk on wine that leads to debauchery " excessive indulgence in sensual pleasures" instead be filled with the spirit". In his statement, he mentions a threat and gives its results but the most amazing thing he does is to tell us of the truth that won't waste us away. Paul mentions that we shouldn't be drunk on wine. The use of wine here is to represent something outside the campus of Christ. Something outside God's vision and will for his Children and there paul mentions it strongly and says; "do not be drunk on wine" to mention this, paul must have seen the repercussions of wine to the human nature and he says what the wine leads to; debauchery; the word debauchery means " excessive indulgence in sensual pleasures" pleasures that are drawn from a human paspective, one of self. If we very well know, God is not about self. Its not for self that he gave his son as a sacrifice but it was for love and selflessness. God does not dwell in self and therefore he desires nothing of self deisres and pleasures. Just to mention, selfish pleasures are drawn from the natural man and they are never meant to please God. Just as the word says, they are of self, not God. So paul caustions us not to be drunk of sin, "wine" cause it leads us to into pleasures or ways that are separate from God. These ways remain only to their creator and not God. Inother wards: they have no glory to give to God. All glory goes back to them but he says something quite clearly, BE FILLED WITH THE HOlY SPIRIT. Being filled with the holy spirit, there we have access to the father but anything other than that, we loose connection to him. In this verse he gives us the two natures that exist in our life and tells us that the nature filled with the spirit has access to the father and the one with out has no reach to the father. It only glories its self in other wards, it only gives birth to something dead and not seen by God. So which nature are you? What is that your giving unto God.
From that portion of Scripture, we are urged as christians not to be drunk of what God does not see hence doesn't recognise but by that which he desires and glories in.
Therefore children of God, I urge you to be drunk of the spirit than just wine.