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The unsearchable riches of Christ

The unsearchable riches of Christ, Pt 61

Retreating from sin

Scripture: Ephesians 5:3-20

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In the first two verses of this chapter we were called upon to seek to resemble God as much as in us lay. In the verses 3 to 20, we are called upon to retreat from impurity and uncleanness. There is always the negative as well as the positive aspects of holiness.
We will divide these verses up into a number of sections. We will commence with verses 3-4 and consider
Behaviour that becometh chastity.
How contrary to the ways and will of the world ought the Christian to be. That being so we must find ourselves ever battling against the ways of the world. The Christian life is a battle fought out in an alien environment. A sense of peace and well-being can only be enjoyed as we withdraw from the company and influence of this world. As a farmer would leave his labours in the field and seek the shelter of his home in a time of storm so it is with the child of God amidst the storms of sin that rage all around us. “And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.” Isaiah 32:2.  “For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy.” Psalms 61:3.
Paul specifically deals with that which must be abhorred.

He names seven sins. “Fornication, uncleanness, covetousness, filthiness, foolish talking, jesting.” Six is the number of the world in Holy Scripture and there is a comprehending of the desires of the world this list. It encompasses the full gamut of wickedness, 1 John 2:16.
1. Fornication. This sin headed the list. This is refers to unchaste behaviour between two unmarried persons. This was common amongst the heathen nations and in Corinth in particular and counted no sin. It is a common thing today and shows us to what we have been reduced in this land. There was a danger to those just delivered from heathendom that they might not hold the right view of this wickedness.
2. Uncleanness. This refers to immorality generally. It may be committed by evil thoughts, Matt 5:28, 2 Peter 2:14. By evil speech. “But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.” Colossians 3:8.
3. Covetousness. Some may find it strange that such a sin is listed here. We view this as a minor matter. But as a flickering match is to a forest fire so is covetousness to raging greed and immorality.  2 Tim 3:3; Titus 1:7; 1 Pet 5:2; Eph 4:19. David — 2 Sam 11:1-2.
Having condemned gross practices, Paul now turns the sins of speech. It is not just sinful deeds but sinful words that are forbidden.


The Unsearchable Riches of Christ, Pt 60

Imitating God, Pt4

Ephesians 5:1-2. 

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Our life takes on the fragrance of the cross when we walk in love.  What a contrast to the stench that sin emits! “For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me. My wounds stink and are corrupt because of my foolishness,” Psa 38:4-5. “From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.” Isa 1:6. Such is man by nature. He is unwashed and foul in his sins. But grace changes him. He is washed and anointed with the grace of the Lord Jesus and takes on the perfume of the Saviour, Psalm 45:6-8. It is pictured in the following incident, John 12:3. This was the fragrance of love. How wonderfully that fragrance spreads.

1. It filled the house. Family, friends, neighbours should detect it.

2. It has filled the world. “Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her,” Mark 14:9.

3. It has reached heaven. The actions of love are pleasing to God. “But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God,” Philippians 4:18.