Read Ephesians 5:3-7 (ESV)
But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not become partners with them.
Why should Christians flee from sin if we are already forgiven for it?
It’s likely that you’ve heard someone justify their sin by saying something like “It’s ok. I have grace. I can walk in freedom.” AKA “I can do whatever I want.” Chances are, you’ve even said the same thing to yourself once or twice when you have been tempted by sin. But friends, this is just not true. It’s not ok to do whatever you want. Obedience to Christ matters.
At the time Paul was writing this, there were false Christians who were saying the same thing. They were abusing the grace of God. Romans 6:1-2 says, “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?”
In today’s passage, Paul says that those who claim to be believers but still live in sin have “no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God” (v. 5). How can that be? Christians cannot lose their salvation after all. And Christians still sin. Certainly, we don't immediately become perfect once we accept Christ. But if we really are Christians, our actions should prove our faith. Our obedience is the “fruit” or evidence that we really have been saved. Those of us who have been saved should experience the conviction of the Holy Spirit to correct us when we sin so that we do a 180 and repent!
Paul specifically mentions sexual immorality and covetousness as sins that have no place in our new life in Christ. He also mentions filthy and crude speech. Even many non-Christians notice when Christians talk dirty because it seems out of place. Sadly, this hinders or even destroys an opportunity for sharing our faith. If we act worldly just like everyone else, we won’t seem to have a lot to offer those who are searching for an out of this world hope.
Don’t be deceived when people tell you it’s ok to dabble in darkness. We do not need to be legalistic and of course, we won’t be perfect. But we should not deliberately, willfully, and persistently sin. Friends, our lifestyle should reflect our faith. Don’t believe the empty words that tell you otherwise.
Jesus, please help me to walk in contentment, purity, and holiness. I want to be set apart for You and obedient to Your Word. Amen.
~ Pastor Nat Crawford
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