Eph 5:6-10 “Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.”
Don’t take my word for it. That is the admonition that Paul is giving here. Pay heed to what is being said to you, and then see if you find God in it. Men may learn to speak in great, flowing phrases that sound wonderful to our hearing. Men may impress us with their vocabulary, their degrees, and their personality. What we need to pay attention to is whether or not there is any substance to their words. If we examine their words in the light of God’s word and find them empty then we should not go after them regardless of how popular their “movement” might be.
The admonition to not be deceived implies that this is in our ability. Those whom God has not called do not have the discernment to know the difference between vain words and the word of God. Our being deceived by empty speech is an indication that we know better. We know better because we have been taught of God. Failure to look to God and study His word leads to disobedience to God. God punishes the disobedient children, and we are to not participate with them. We are to study to show ourselves approved unto God; workmen that do not need to be ashamed because we allowed ourselves to be deceived.
There was a time when we were darkness. This is not saying simply that we walked in darkness; we were darkness. Praise God, He has shined in our hearts (2Co 4:6)! He has revealed in us the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. We are now light in the Lord. Because of the working of His mighty power in us, we have the ability to not be deceived. When we are deceived, it is because we have become blinded by the idolatries that Paul talks about in verses three through five of this chapter.
We are to walk as children of the light, not the children of disobedience. We are to test, examine, and discern (proving) what is acceptable unto the Lord. As His servants, we are to look to His word and the witness of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. We should never rely on men, no matter how much we might love them or how well-intentioned they might seem. We should not be deceived, but rather bear the fruit of the Spirit.
The fruit of the Spirit is not in flowery speech. The fruit of the Spirit is in goodness and righteousness and truth. There is a cumulative measure to the fruit of the Spirit. Men may say (or do) something that appears good, but is it motivated by righteousness or greed? Men may use flattering words that have great appeal to the ear, but is the truth of God in it? Sometimes men may appear to take action and defend that action with fiery words of what appears to be righteousness indignation. Is there goodness or truth in it? Sometimes you may find someone that speaks words of truth (consider the Serpent in the garden), but is there goodness and righteousness in it? If the speech or action is good and right and true, then the fruit of the Spirit is in it. If we discern the fruit of the Spirit in a matter, then we are not deceived.
May we use the hearing ears and understanding hearts that come from God, and be not deceived with the empty promises of men!