Ephesians 5:3-14

We were once darkness, but now we are light in the Lord. We must live (walk) as children of light (Ephesians 5:8). We must have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness (5:11). We must be distinctive and different, like stars shining in a dark sky…. Even those of us who were saved as children and never really had a "dark" time where our behavior was really destructive and full of sin, we were darkness too. That's why we shouldn't look down on people who do struggle with the darkness. Instead we should be light to them and shine the light of Jesus. This will make us stand out. Some of us don't like to stand out, but in order to be light, we must. 

What are specific areas where Christians must be different from our culture? In regard to our actions, there must not be a hint of sexual immorality or impurity or greed (5:3).... Sexual immorality and impurity cover any kind of sin that involves sex. That includes everything from premarital sax to adultery to homosexuality to pornography. Now, many people believe that it is good to live together before marriage to test compatibility, but we are told there should be no hint of that. Attitudes about pornography are also becoming loose. Many people of the newer generations think viewing pornography is ok and normal. The problem with that is that viewing pornography often leads to viewing people differently. It objectifies sex and the people involved. It affects how we treat each other. We are told not to have a hint of that in our lives. We are told to stand out. Why is greed included in this list? Because all three words share a process of sin that involves an appetite. They lead us to think that if we could have more of it, we would be happy. 

In regard to our conversation, there must be no obscenity or foolish talk or coarse jokes (5:4).... We are told to not join in the crude words and jokes that are rampant in the world. We should stand out because we use more wholesome and pure language that encourages and shines the light of Christ. 

You can be sure of this: no such person has any inheritance in the Kingdom of God (5:5).... This doesn't mean that if you have ever committed any of the sins mentioned here that you can't be saved. Rather, it means that if these sins define a pattern in your life, you are likely still in the darkness. 

Let no one deceive you with empty words (5:6).... There are denominations and churches that have tried to widen the path and the gate to Heaven by saying these things are ok. They are wrong to do this. Only God can define the path and gate to salvation and Heaven. He has not widened it. There is no evidence of it widening in the Bible. The path is narrow and the gate is small. We can't let people convince us of anything that contradicts what we see in God's Word.