Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Ephesians 5:5-7

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;

It would be easy to lift these verses from the context of the Scriptures and conclude that if Christians engaged in the listed activities they would lose their salvation. Instead the point is that if we are indeed members of the kingdom of God we will no longer engage in the activities of disobedience. We are no longer a part of them, so we shouldn’t partner with them. Such people do not share the inheritance of the kingdom, no matter how the sin is spun. Jesus said the same thing in John 3:3, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God."

It can alternatively be easy to pat yourself on the back if you read these verses. After all, you may not be in illicit sexual sin or spend time craving your neighbor’s possession. But beware of seemingly small sins that fall into these categories. Do you think longingly about someone who is not your spouse? Do you escape into movies and books seeking to fill a romantic longing in your heart? Do you want the latest gadget, a newer car, a bigger house, better clothes, and a nicer body? Or are you satisfied and grateful for the blessings God has bestowed upon you? You may not have a small shrine in the corner of your living room, but if things of this earth pull your eyes from the things of God then you are nonetheless an idolater.

As John Piper put it, “So you can see how thanksgiving is the alternative to a life driven by cravings for what you don't have (whether sex or money). Thanksgiving says, in God I have all that is good for me, and I will not be driven to dishonor the worth of his name just to get a few sexual sensations or a few new toys… The root problem about being driven by the domination of earthly desires is that it dethrones God... Covetousness says that God is not adequate as a satisfying treasure, I must have money or I must have sex -- God will not suffice!”

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2

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