Ephesians 5:1-6 “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people…For of this you can be sure: immoral, impure or greedy person-such a man is an idolater-has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient.”
I have had a few incidences lately that have left me pondering the discernment of some who claim Christ as their Savior. It is not a new thought for me, however. I know there are many who believe that as long as we “confess Jesus Christ as Lord” that we can live any way we please and God will accept us. I wonder in light of the majority of Scripture how one can believe this? How, I wonder in light of the passage above, for instance, can one believe that all you have to do is say you believe in Jesus Christ and that’s it? 1 John 2:3-6 says, “We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, ‘I know him,’ but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him…This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.”
James says it this way, “What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead…Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that-and shudder. You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did….” (James 2:14, 17-22) Again in verse 26 James says, “As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.”
Peter said it this way, “Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do, for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy.’” (1Peter 1:13-16)
Jesus said it this way in John15, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful…Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers: such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned…This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” (John 15:1-8)
The Scriptures are flooding me. Paul instructed the church at Corinth in the following way, “I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people-not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat…” (1 Corinthians 5:9-11)
These are some hard passages; tough to digest, I know. But nonetheless, it is God’s Word. God’s love is challenging to us. We are confused about what true love is and what it means to believe and to love God and our neighbor, if we think that love only “feels good”. Many times, doing the loving thing, doing the righteous thing, doing the godly thing, is tough. Disciplining our children for their own good, is tough. Telling the truth in love when we know it will hurt and possibly even cause pain, is tough. Picking up our cross and following Jesus, is tough.
This probably won’t be a popular post. But I cannot sit by and listen and watch those in influential positions of our society or those not so influential positions promoting ungodly principles as godly; Christian men promoting unchristian lifestyles as acceptable-godly lifestyles. I would be party to the deception-the lie, if I said nothing. In my primary text for this post, Ephesians 5:5-6, Paul says, “For of this you can be sure: immoral, impure or greedy person-such a man is an idolater-has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient.” Whose report will you believe, God’s or man’s?
If so inclined, please visit: recent blog posts at www.celebratingmen.blogspot.com: Due Diligence (3/22/12) & How To Address Your Woman With Weight Issues (3/21/12)