1 ¶ Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; 2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.
This is a deal breaker for most of us. We are to walk in love. How? As Christ also hath loved us.
John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
Are you ready? Can you walk like you are commanded here?
Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Psalm 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
Are you really committed?
2 Corinthians 2:14 Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. 15 For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: 16 To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things? 17 For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.
When you are around a truly saved person you feel differently than when you are around an unsaved person.
But, back to the verse, we are called to walk in love AS CHRIST ALSO HATH LOVED US.
Do you believe that Christ loves you even when you are wrong? Did He stop loving you when you sinned? When you make a decision based on the best knowledge you have and it turns out to have a bad consequence did Christ stop loving you?
You say, I’m your friend. But, if I don’t behave the way you think I should or the way you think is right, or godly, or Christian, will you still be my friend? If I mess up? Will you still be my friend? Will you stand by me to cheer me on when I am obedient to Christ and to weep and mourn with me when I fall? Will you warn me when I’m about to sink down into that pit ahead of me that I’m digging?
If I’m wrongheaded and stubborn will you make yourself available for God to use you to intervene? Or will you just rattle off a few words to condemn me and then leave me?
How does Christ love you? Isn’t it more than at the Cross? Doesn’t he offer you fellowship every day and especially when you need it? Haven’t you been able to cry out to Him WHEN you were stuck in the quicksand of your sin?
Or does your Christ only talk to you through His word when you’re RIGHT with Him? Do you walk in love as Christ also loved you?
We are often self righteous and afraid to get our hands dirty. We’ll be friends as long as you don’t cause us any trouble or cause us to question what we believe.
Isn’t Christ there for you when you’re in a prison cell? Bankruptcy? Divorce? Illness? Death? Right or wrong? Stubborn or willing to listen? What about you? You say, I’m your friend? Until what?
We can’t lose our salvation. Christ doesn’t cut us off. We’re the ones who cut off fellowship and refuse to talk to our Saviour or to listen to Him. I’m not talking about giving money to someone who is buying drugs? That’s not love. That’s helping someone to sin. I’m not talking about making it easy for you to be wrong. I’m talking about standing by you to help you along or pick you up when you fall. Or to be there when God says, block his way. Keep him from death and destruction.
John 15:15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.
I’m asking you again, “do YOU walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us”? I’ve learned a lot about friendship in the last few months. Call me an acquaintance. Say you like me. Be friendly. But don’t call me a friend unless you’re willing to stick your neck out for me. Christ died for us. Are we even willing to risk a small thing for our friends?
Do you walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us? Christ didn’t commit any of the sins I’m guilty of but He died for them AS IF HE HAD. Remember the Pastor’s sermon about giving up your house and your reputation.
Don’t think you’re like Christ because you faithfully attend church, read your Bible occasionally, and mutter half hearted prayers or even use holy language when you pray or talk. This verse is where the rubber hits the road. The proverb goes, “The proof of the pudding is in the eating”. What kind of a taste does your life leave in God’s mouth?
When I stand before Him, if He says, did you love your friends in me, as I loved you? I’m going to hang my head in shame. I’m great at giving advice and smarmily declaring, “well, I don’t do that” or “I can’t be a part of that” or “you should go to church” or “you just need to read your Bible”. What a hypocrite. How many times has someone I know been in danger and have I said to God, “use me Lord, help my friend, please, Lord?” What can I do to make things right for my friend?
Walk in love as Christ also hath loved us.
3 ¶ But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;
This isn’t the first time that fornication, sexual sin, has been put together in a verse with covetousness. In the history of the world regarding sin around Romans 1:29, Paul gives us the descent of man from God to wicked corruption. Here is Romans 1:29;
Romans 1:29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
Col ossians3:5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:
Now, we know that fornication includes any sexual contact with someone to whom you are not married before God. Notice, I didn’t say the state. I have news for you, the state is not God and the state sanctioning your marriage has nothing to do with God sanctioning it.
But, what is covetousness? Well, to covet is to want something that is not yours;
Deuteronomy 5:21 Neither shalt thou desire thy neighbour’s wife, neither shalt thou covet thy neighbour’s house, his field, or his manservant, or his maidservant, his ox, or his ass, or any thing that is thy neighbour’s.
Micah 2:2 And they covet fields, and take them by violence; and houses, and take them away: so they oppress a man and his house, even a man and his heritage.
It also means, in a less offensive way, to want something that you don’t have;
1Corinthians 12:31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.
But, in the church age, in general, it is not good to covet. Here are the precepts of the Law given to Moses that Paul says we, as Christians, are to follow;
Romans 13:7 ¶ Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour. 8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. 9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
Be content with what you have. Our consumer oriented society and all our advertising is no better than a man standing in front of a strip joint and yelling, “step right in, see the girls”.
1 Timothy 6:6 ¶ But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. 9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
Our entertainment media is run on advertising which teaches you from the day you were old enough to understand to want things you don’t have and that getting those things, whether they be material possessions or pretty people, you’ll be happy. Hogwash.
Covetousness is not something that glorifies God. Look at all of the trouble David caused by coveting Uriah’s wife. See all the sins that flowed from that one.
4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.
Here are three forbidden things; filthy talking, foolish talking, and jesting. In the context of these admonitions we would probably think from a common sense point of view that there is nothing wrong with telling a joke that has a point in it. All of the great preachers used jokes. It would seem to me that we’re talking about the kind of joking that insults, ridicules, or belittles other people or groups of people.
This is also an admonition against using filthy language and vulgar language. This seems to be the common sense explanation.
5 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.
We’ll match up the statements in verse three; fornication is matched up with whoremonger or one who frequents prostitutes or someone who is what they call today “a player”, uncleanness with an unclean person, and covetousness with a covetous man, who Paul labels as an idolater.
Also note God regards stubbornness as idolatry:
1Samuel 15:23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.
Now, a covetous person, one who always wants things that are not his, has another problem. He really worships idols, the idols he has set up in his own heart, like the new plasma TV, the new SUV, the new house in the gated community, etc. etc. These are the things he identifies with, not Christ. It always amazes me how Christians can set so much stock in the things they have and want, or want and deliberately don’t have. Yes, you can be an idolater in reverse, by deliberately denying yourself useful things you can afford that would aid you in your serving of Christ for the purpose of making yourself feel spiritual. Then, you have joined that large group of people who have set their own self-righteousness up in their heart as an idol.
I have lost weight because I have accepted that I simply, like most people, eat more food than I need in order to live. I, thanks to the Lord, no longer covet food. I no longer get comfort from stuffing my face. Gluttony is another one of those sins Baptists like to overlook. In fact, we glory in it.
Now some preachers think that the last part of this verse is saying you can’t get into heaven if you practice these sins. They think the “inheritance in the kingdom” is salvation. There’s is a works based religion. You don’t get to heaven by works.
Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Colossians 3:23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; 24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.
The inheritance is a reward. Your salvation is a gift.
Here is another verse that confuses some people.
1Corinthians 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
Galatians 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
Do you have flesh? Are encased in flesh? These are the works of the flesh. Flesh can’t inherit the kingdom of God. The people he’s referring to here are believers. Christians who don’t live right will lose their reward, the inheritance of the kingdom.
1Corinthians 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
If you continue in the works of the flesh you, the saved person, will have no inheritance in the kingdom of God. Your flesh and its works have no inheritance in God’s kingdom.
Luke 19:12 He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. 13 And he called his ten servants (saved people), and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come. 14 But his citizens hated him, (unsaved people) and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us. 15 And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading. 16 Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds. 17 And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities. 18 And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds. 19 And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities. 20 And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin: 21 For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow. 22 And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow: 23 Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury? 24 And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds. 25 (And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.) 26 For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him. 27 But those mine enemies (unsaved people), which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.
The moral of this verse might be, don’t mess with these sins or you will receive nothing in the way of an inheritance when Christ comes back. But remember, there isn’t one of us who hasn’t fooled with some of these sins in our own hearts and the heart is just as important as the outward flesh, as Christ has pointed out.
Proverbs 16:9 A man‘s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.
Proverbs 19:21 There are many devices in a man‘s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.
Matthew 5:28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
There are many Christians who aren’t worth the shot and powder it would take to blow them into Hell but their salvation is assured and their inheritance is something different.
6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.
It’s for these sins that God’s wrath comes down on the unsaved. We, as Christians, don’t have any business being caught up in them. No one can tell you its okay. The children of disobedience are mentioned back in 2:2.
7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them. 8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: 9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
We were all unsaved at one time. Now, we are supposed to be different.
10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.
1Thessalonians 5:21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
Test all things. See what the Lord finds acceptable. Use the Book as your guide. Is it good or is it not?
11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
Point a light at the works of those people who walk in darkness. Reprove them. Expose them. Make it clear to other Christians what the Bible has shown you that is not acceptable.
12 For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.
Many of our sins, ones that we have in our thought life each and every day, I can’t even speak about in front of women and young people. It would be hard to even talk to a room full of guys about our testimony and what we struggle with in private.
13 But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.
When these wicked things are exposed we shine that light on them, the light that comes from the Bible.
14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.
We were dead and Christ called us to live by being born again and Christ gives us light. He has called those who are spiritually dead to get up, to arise from the dead, and Christ will give us light.
15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,
Be careful, walk carefully, know what you’re doing, being wary, not as fools, but acting wise.
16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
Matthew 6:34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
Evil can also be defined by the Bible as being disaster, trouble, and calamity, as well as malicious.
Genesis 37:33 And he knew it, and said, It is my son’s coat; an evil beast hath devoured him; Joseph is without doubt rent in pieces.
Isaiah 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.
Isaiah 47:11 Therefore shall evil come upon thee; thou shalt not know from whence it riseth: and mischief shall fall upon thee; thou shalt not be able to put it off: and desolation shall come upon thee suddenly, which thou shalt not know.
Remember, context usually determines meaning and the first time a word is used usually determines the meaning for the majority of times it is used. Evil can be sinful iniquity and it can be malice and trouble.
The first mention of evil in the Bible has to do with it being in opposition to good in the tree that Adam was forbidden to eat from. To know what is good is to know what is evil because evil is in contraposition to good. What is good then?
Mark 10:17 ¶ And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? 18 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.
Anything that is not of God is not good. Its real simple to ask yourself if something is not of God. A few minutes in prayer and in the Bible can usually, I say, usually, clear that up for you.
But here, the days are evil, filled with trouble and potential disaster. Be wise. Be circumspect.
17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
This makes it clear that you can know what the will of the Lord is. Here are some verses that show what God’s will for you is.
1Thessalonians 4:3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:
1Thessalonians 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
How do you find out God’s will by proving or testing a situation?
Romans 12:1 ¶ I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
First, you present your body as a living sacrifice, don’t line up with the world, and have your mind renewed by God, and then you can test to see what is His will.
18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
The excess is in the wine. The Japanese proverb goes man take drink, drink take drink, and then drink take man.
Proverbs 23:31 Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. 32 At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder. 33 Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things. 34 Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast. 35 They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.
Instead of those spirits, be filled by the Holy Spirit.
19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
Now, here’s one of the most perplexing things in fundamentalism. The Bible, right here, defines what it means to be filled by the Spirit and yet, you’ll hear preachers say that being filled by the Spirit means faithfully attending church or knocking on doors and handing out tracts and totally ignore WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS.
Why do you think that is?
Here is what being filled by the Spirit looks like. You talk to yourself in psalms, singing hymns which praise God, and spiritual songs which we might call gospel songs, singing in your heart. Now, we’ve been told what God’s will is with regard to always being thankful and abstaining from fornication and here we have what it means to be filled with God’s Spirit. It’s not rocket science. What’s the problem? We don’t like what it says? It doesn’t suit our own agenda? What’s going on in American fundamentalism?
Here is the fruit of the Spirit, as a reminder, to include into this mix.
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
So, Christian, we have God’s will for our lives, what it means to be filled with the Spirit, and what the fruit of the Spirit being present in you is. Now, how hard is that? I hear these preachers on websites like sermonaudio.com and Fundamental Baptist Sermons.com twisting these simple Scriptures into something right out of the Koran. Beware.
20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
Here we have a thankful heart again, always giving thanks FOR ALL THINGS. That’s ALL THINGS.
Job 2:10 But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.
Lamentations 3:38 Out of the mouth of the most High proceedeth not evil and good?
Romans 5:3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
Truthfully, we have all been blessed by God very much in spite of our best efforts to prevent those blessings. Living in a fallen world, with a body in a fallen state, in an environment that contains a million things designed for and bent on our destruction we sit here hearing and seeing, we will eat at dinnertime, and we will probably ride home safely. And although, at any given moment any one of us can drop dead and enter into glory, for the most part we have a reasonable expectation of seeing the sun come up tomorrow. Either way, we win. God is merciful.
21 ¶ Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.
Here’s the end of one thought and the beginning of the next. We are to submit ourselves to each other, not to exercise our will over each other but each of us, man and woman, submitting to each other as Christians. If there be any strong willed individual in the assembly who feels a need to dominate others, and there is always one or two in every group, then they are out of God’s will.
22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
Notice the common thought in these verses;
Colossians 3:18 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.
Titus 2:5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
1Peter 3:1 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;
1Peter 3:5 For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:
This is not a call for women to submit to men, as in Islam, but for wives to submit to their OWN husbands. My wife isn’t to submit to someone else’s husband. This notion that women should shuffle their feet and never look a man in the eye and act like a mouse around all men is bunk.
And women, if you aren’t submitting yourself to your husband, AS UNTO THE LORD, you are out of God’s will. If a man won’t lead your home, he will wreck it. You have a lot to say about that. A Godly marriage takes two cooperative people.
23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
Here is the operational structure of a Christian marriage. I say operational because it says nothing of value but organization under God only. Because between man and woman in Christ there is no difference before God as we know by Galatians 3:28. But, the structure of the family begins with the husband being the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church in heaven and he is the savior of His body on earth.
If your husband is not your head, your leader, then I guarantee you he’s not happy. We make jokes about it but a marriage where the wife is calling the shots and running her husband is a farce by God’s standards.
24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
Does any woman here have trouble with the English in this verse? This is about a truly Christian marriage with a Christian husband and wife.
These first admonitions are given to wives as women get the first instruction. See that God delivered His curse first to Eve in Genesis 3 after cursing Satan but before Adam and 1 Peter 3.
Unfortunately, Christian men often aren’t trained to lead a wife, they are trained to by petty tyrants and dictators, selfish spoiled children who marry a copy of their mothers or they try to force their wife into being a copy of their mother. A strong willed wife and mother who is not truly in subjection to her husband is not capable of raising a son who is fit to lead a wife into anything other than misery and divorce or an early death.
To the young women, Paul would say, submit to your own husband in every thing and to the young men, I would suggest, don’t marry your mother.
25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
Doesn’t Christ give us everything we need? Doesn’t He meet all of our needs? Did he not give his life for us ? Show me Christian husbands who love their wives sacrificially as Christ loved the church and gave himself for it and continues to give himself. Notice that wives were called to submit but husbands are called to love their wives. You young men need to fix this in your head before you start thinking about getting married.
You girls should be looking for this attitude before you consider saying, “yes”. Beware of petty tyrants in waiting, of kitchen table dictators, and emotional and physical abusers waiting for someone to practice on under the guise of a Christian husband.
If you are thinking of getting a Christian wife so you can have a convenient pack animal, baby maker, sex partner, and in all other cases a substitute mother, you need to grow up in the Lord. In fact, to both young men and women, other people were not put on this earth for the purpose of your entertainment or convenience. Think about it.
Woman was made to be a worthy helper for man. In every country where this Book is honored women have the highest standard of living and expectations compared to the parts of the world where the Bible is not honored.
26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
He gave His life for the church that He might sanctify it and cleanse it. By what agency? His word. The Bible must be in the center of every marriage. It is the only worthy marriage manual.
Sanctify is defined here;
Exodus 29:33 And they shall eat those things wherewith the atonement was made, to consecrate and to sanctify them: but a stranger shall not eat thereof, because they are holy.
Exodus 29:37 Seven days thou shalt make an atonement for the altar, and sanctify it; and it shall be an altar most holy: whatsoever toucheth the altar shall be holy.
Exodus 30:29 And thou shalt sanctify them, that they may be most holy: whatsoever toucheth them shall be holy.
Leviticus 20:7 Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the LORD your God.
Holy is something set apart, its different. God is Holy. Here, in the first usage, a piece of dirt is holy.
Exodus 3:5 And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.
God uses His word to sanctify us.
John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
This is the way Christ’s bride is supposed to stay clean, by washing with the word.
John 15:3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
There is a great deal of word study that could be done about the words “spot” and “blemish” but it would just darken the waters here so we’ll move on and accept the obvious.
1 Peter 1:18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
Here is how men are to love and take care of their wives, as they would regard their own flesh. It is an unhealthy and corrupt Christian that treats his wife like an expendable piece of furniture, a slave, or a pack animal. I’ve seen it and SO HAVE YOU, so don’t deny it. The fact that women have accepted that kind of treatment from a weak man, notwithstanding.
29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
No man who is not insane mutilates or damages his own body either through harmful habits or sins like gluttony. Anyone who does not do everything within his power to stay healthy and take care of his body we would think as perhaps not balanced. Here is how we are to treat our wives, as the Lord loves His church.
30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
1Corinthians 12:27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
Colossians 1:24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body‘s sake, which is the church:
Isn’t it interesting that blood isn’t mentioned in the description of Adam and Eve.
Genesis 2:23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
In the secular movie, City of Angels, an angel who becomes human tastes his own blood when he falls down, something he has never known before.
1Corinthians 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
Leviticus 17:11 starts with For the life of the flesh is in the blood:
OUR blood and flesh have been corrupted. It was Christ’s blood that was shed for us.
Acts 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
Colossians 1:14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
Hebrews 9:12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
Hebrews 13:12 Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.
Revelation 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
Genesis 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
There are no specific ceremonies laid out for a wedding in the Old Testament of the Bible. There was a party that lasted several days and then the father simply brought his daughter to his son in law’s tent and there you go.
When you unite in the flesh with another person you have committed the act of marriage no matter what your intentions. There are fundamentalists pastors preaching from the pulpit the Roman Catholic doctrine that if you have a wedding ceremony then, no matter what happens, you are married to that person until they die, who, in their own lives, have been serial adulterers and have never confessed that sin. Oh, they’ll say they were immoral or messed around before they were saved but they never admit that they had committed adultery several times..
If you then unite in the flesh with another person that first person is no longer married to you and you have committed adultery.
By this reasoning, I would say that the person who has committed adultery against you has released you from any obligation you have toward him. You are no longer married to him or her. The state, once again, has nothing to do with it, and your willingness to forgive “for the sake of the children” notwithstanding.
Fornication is grounds for divorce because the fornicator has already divorced their spouse by their behavior.
Hosea 2:2 Plead with your mother, plead: for she is not my wife, neither am I her husband: let her therefore put away her whoredoms out of her sight, and her adulteries from between her breasts;
Deuteronomy 24:1 ¶ When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house. 2 And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man’s wife. 3 And if the latter husband hate her, and write her a bill of divorcement, and giveth it in her hand, and sendeth her out of his house; or if the latter husband die, which took her to be his wife; 4 Her former husband, which sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before the LORD: and thou shalt not cause the land to sin, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.
Now, look at this comparison when Jesus defines these verses;
Matthew 19: 3 ¶ The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? 4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, 5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? 6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. 7 They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? 8 He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. 9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.
There is the Roman Catholic doctrine that when you have a wedding ceremony you are bound to that person for the rest of your life no matter what. If you had a husband you always have that one husband. But;
John 4:18 For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly.
Now, so this isn’t taken too far, two homosexuals cannot unite in the act of marriage that God instituted when he made us. That is simply perversion and a consequence of a race of people denying God. Read Romans 1:16 to 2:3 for the devolution of man sexually.
There is another perversion mentioned when a man unites with a prostitute.
1 Corinthians 6: 15 Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. 16 What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. 17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. 18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. 19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
Here is where Paul ties everything together for sure and says that the relationship between a man and his wife is meant to reflect the relationship between Christ and the church. There are a lot of things to think about in this. Men aren’t to think of themselves as a god and therefore worthy of worship and women aren’t to create a husband in their head and expect the real one to be the one they invented or be disappointed. These are things we as Christians do to Christ.
The nature of the relationship was laid out for us in the preceding verses. It is a sacrificial one of gentle leadership by example on the one side and of submission and willingness to follow in everything on the other. But, this goes against our flesh so we do have a problem with it. Oh, yeah, there is the other error where you don’t follow this but say you do. It’s like the sociopath who lies constantly and insists they aren’t lying. That’s what we Christians do. God says do things a certain way and we choose to twist that way around to suit our flesh and then we say we are doing it God’s way.
God knows us.
33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.
Here is the summation of the whole matter.
1 ¶ Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.
This goes against our entire youth culture which for many decades has been based on rebellion and disobedience. Now, I would say that common sense dictates that you obey your parents IN THE LORD. I think, and I may be wrong, but I think this precludes you getting a drink of alcohol or a cigarette for your parent or helping them rob a bank. I don’t think the Holy Spirit is ordering you to do wrong. I don’t think that the Holy Spirit ever tells you to obey by doing wrong. In fact, as Dr. Bob Jones, Sr. said, you can’t do right by doing wrong.
But, the main point here is obeying your parents. Both testaments proclaim this fundamental rule. Obey your parents. Does this require further explanation? Anyone who tells you not to obey your parents in the Lord is wrong, whether it be a rock star or a teacher.
2 Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;)
Exodus 20:12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
Deuteronomy 5:16 Honour thy father and thy mother, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
See the promise located in each of these verses?
You’ll honor your father and mother all of their lives but as children you are to obey them.
3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.
This commandment is applied to a Christian in the 21st century as well as a 10th century BC Jew. This is a promise. Quality and quality are covered here.
4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
Yes, fathers can provoke and do provoke children to wrath. I’ve read a study that said that its not a liberal parent or an extremely strict parent that harms a child but an inconsistent parent. Kids don’t like to be confused. Children can be raised by a parent who they can never read. Imagine a parent you can never please, whose mood changes with the hour. Imagine never knowing what the rules are or what is expected of you.
You are to raise your children in the Lord’s nurture and admonition. Read the Bible every day with your child and pray WITH your child every day. If you don’t have family devotions and teach them how to pray and if you don’t read the Bible every day and pray every day with your child who are you to complain when a child goes wrong.
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
I’ve heard this verse twisted by both liberals and fundamentalists but the plain reading is the plain reading. A child needs consistent, Godly, Biblical raising with love, patience, and clarity. Now, there are a lot of things that can be said about this Ephesian’s verse. Here’s a companion.
Col ossians3:21 Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.
Do not provoke your children to either wrath or anger. Look at your child when its born. Imagine what kind of person you want that child to be. Then YOU be that person. Hypocritical, “do as I say, not as I do” parents, are the worst kind. It is indecent and intellectually dishonest to expect your child to be a better person than you are willing to manifest to them by your example.
How does the Lord treat you? Are you called stupid every time you mess up? Are you constantly belittled for your age, smarts, looks, coordination, etc. etc. We often treat our children like they were born perfect and everything they do wrong is a sign of rebellion. That is not true. A child is a work in progress and you are given the job by God to train up that child in the way he should go.
5 Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; 6 Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; 7 With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: 8 Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.
This is literally about slaves and masters but we can relate this in part to employers and employees today. But, remember, it is literally about slaves and masters. In Rome, often technically trained doctors and engineers could be slaves, not just field hands like we think of when we think of slavery. There were people from all levels of vocation who were slaves. Slavery wasn’t a racial issue as it became in this country. It wasn’t so much a wicked institution as it was here although, as in employment here, there were many abuses. In our country, white employees in the North were often treated far worse than black slaves in the South.
In the 1800’s the “Napoleon of Africa”, Samori Touray, who defeated both the French and the British, and founded the short lived Tourelay Empire, had sold himself into slavery at the age of 12 to an Arab merchant in order to elevate himself and to get an education.
1Timothy 6:1 Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed.
Titus 2:9 Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again; 10 Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.
Here’s where we modern Christians are called to be obedient to our employers, remembering that we actually work for Christ. This is something we often have to remind ourselves about. But, be careful about taking this too far in that regard. Remember always the literal first, that this is not about a modern relationship with an employer because you are voluntarily offering your services to an employer based on a certain agreement and expectation of pay and benefits. It is a contract between two equals although the employer may feel superior because of his power and the employee may feel superior because of the law backing him up.
But, these verses provide principles by which we can have an influence for Christ on our employer. Think carefully before you backtalk your boss or try to pull a fast one. You actually work for Christ. He IS your master. Do for your boss as you would for Christ.
9 And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him.
And a word for employers. To forbear means to not to do something.
Colossians 4:1 Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven.
Again, literally, to employers or managers, you do not OWN your employees, as here, but you need to regard these principles in order to treat each employee in a way that is Christ honoring.
10 ¶ Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
In order to stand against the wiles of the devil and to be strong in the Lord and in the power of HIS might (not your own power) you have to PUT ON the whole armour of God.
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
We know, if we believe the Bible, that our true enemies are spiritual beings who rule this earth in opposition to God. Do you have any idea of what’s over your head?
Isaiah 24:21 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the LORD shall punish the host of the high ones that are on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth.
2Corinthians 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
1 Corinthians 8:5 For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,)
Romans 8: 38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
2 Corinthians 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 6 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
AGAIN, it is emphasized that we are to put on the whole armour of God in order to stand against something, this time the evil day.
14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
Isaiah 59:17 For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloke.
1Thessalonians 5:8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.
This is not about the imputed righteousness that is given to you by Christ. This is about you doing right.
Romans 4:20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; 21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. 22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. 23 Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; 24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;
Notice that this is also a condition for overcoming the world. Here’s the definition
1John 5:4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
1John 5:5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?
Revelation 2:7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
Revelation 2:11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.
Revelation 2:17 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.
Revelation 2:26 And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:
Revelation 3:5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.
Revelation 3:12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.
Revelation 3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
Revelation 21:7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
Believing in the God who raised Jesus from the dead and believing that Jesus is God in the flesh are conditions for having Christ’s righteousness imputed or credited to us by faith and for overcoming the world.
15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
Romans 10:15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
Psalm 3:3 But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.
Psalm 5:12 For thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield.
Psalm 28:7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.
Psalm 33:20 Our soul waiteth for the LORD: he is our help and our shield.
Psalm 84:9 Behold, O God our shield, and look upon the face of thine anointed.
Psalm 84:11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.
Proverbs 30:5 Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Go back to Isaiah 59:7 for the helmet again mentioned. Notice these regarding the sword.
Revelation 1:16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.
Revelation 2:12 And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges;
Revelation 2:16 Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.
Revelation 19:15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
Revelation 19:21 And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.
Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Two things to note in this verse. The Bible is the only offensive weapons you possess. With the wrong Bible you have nothing but a butterknife, if not a plastic, picnic knife. Again, there are no greaves mentioned, which are shinguards. Your warfare against Satan takes place mostly on your knees.
18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
1Thessalonians 5:17 Pray without ceasing.
The Holy Spirit helps us at times, praying for us when we don’t know how to pray. Some of the most important prayers you can make are “God help me” and “Oh God”, when disaster is at hand.
Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
1Timothy 2:8 I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.
Pray for each other and our brothers and sisters around the world. There is an urgent need for prayer for Christians for each other from Burma to Africa to Detroit. We all need to pray for each other constantly. How often do you pray for other Christians, here, and in desperate places elsewhere?
19 ¶ And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,
We also need prayer that we may open our mouths boldly to make the mystery of the gospel known to all people.
20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
We are all ambassadors for Christ in a hostile land.
Proverbs 13:17 A wicked messenger falleth into mischief: but a faithful ambassador is health.
21 But that ye also may know my affairs, and how I do, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, shall make known to you all things:
Tychicus is mentioned in other places. He was pretty important to Paul.
Acts 20:4 And there accompanied him into Asia Sopater of Berea; and of the Thessalonians, Aristarchus and Secundus; and Gaius of Derbe, and Timotheus; and of Asia, Tychicus and Trophimus.
Colossians 4:7 All my state shall Tychicus declare unto you, who is a beloved brother, and a faithful minister and fellowservant in the Lord:
Col ossians 4:18 The salutation by the hand of me Paul. Remember my bonds. Grace be with you. Amen. Written from Rome to Colossians by Tychicus and Onesimus.
2Timothy 4:12 And Tychicus have I sent to Ephesus.
Titus 3:12 When I shall send Artemas unto thee, or Tychicus, be diligent to come unto me to Nicopolis: for I have determined there to winter.
22 Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that ye might know our affairs, and that he might comfort your hearts.
Apparently, they were concerned about Paul’s situation and condition.
23 Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
24 Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen. To the Ephesians written from Rome, by Tychicus.
Tychicus was what is called an amanuensis which is a French word from a Latin word meaning “manual laborer”, referring historically to someone who writes down the words dictated to them by another. He wrote down what Paul said, according to the traditional subscription, the little note in the older King James Bibles.