Eph 5:3-5 “But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.”
As the saints of God, there are things that we should do and things that we should refrain from. Being followers of God as dear children (Eph 5:1), we should flee fornication. Fornication can point to illicit sexual activity or it can mean idolatry. Once the Holy Spirit has quickened us, convicted us of our sin, and caused us to desire to follow Jesus, we realize that there are past behaviors that we can no longer walk in. The physical aspect of fornication may be easy for us to see, but what about the spiritual?
If there is anything in our lives that we hold more dear than Christ, then we are still guilty of fornication. We may try to compartmentalize this by attempting to separate our love for Christ from our love for the church. The church is the body of Christ, and we cannot love our Head while ignoring His body. He is deserving of our faithfulness and our adoration. We cannot be apathetic (or sometimes openly hostile) toward God’s people and honestly think we are show fidelity to Him.
Greed is often at the root of our infidelity. We are not content with our circumstances; we want more. Unfortunately, it is not more of Christ that we want. We want more prestige, more power, more honor among men. We fasten our attention on those things we think will elevate us above others. We don’t want to be servants (Mat 20:27), and in this attitude is great uncleanness. This should never be named among us.
We should avoid foolish talk. To say that God waits on the will of man is foolish talk. To try and make God the author of sin is foolish talk. Speaking of how much we love the church but only showing up when we don’t have anything more”important” to do is foolish talk. Looking down on others in self-righteousness is foolish talk (Luk 18:11). Making fun of those to whom God has not yet revealed His truth is inconvenient jesting. As servants of Christ, we should understand that He expects more of us than the mere keeping of the letter of the law (Mat 5:28-45).
No man who sells himself for personal gain or willing engages in uncleanness is pleasing to God. No man who is covetous is pleasing to God. Whether or not we bow to a literal graven image, we are guilty of idolatry if any of these things are true of us. Remember that this is an admonishment to not let this be named among us. If it were not possible for this to happen to us, Paul would not have warned us to avoid it. I don’t think Paul was concerned with our eternal destiny here. We are being warned that to walk in any of these ways will immediately and definitely remove us from our fellowship (not relationship) with God and Christ in His kingdom here. This is why Paul assured us that the notion of continuing in sin so that grace might abound is folly!
May we seek God’s face so that every idol in our lives might be thrown down to the glory of God and our Lord Jesus!