A Higher Standard – Ephesians 5:3-16

by Pastor John Fredericksen

Print This Article

The Today Show has a daily segment called “What’s trending.” By definition, a trend is a general tendency of events or opinions. It can be dangerous if we allow ourselves to be influenced by these fickle trends. In different incidents, over twenty years ago, I had a young professing Christian woman, then a young Christian man tell me, without embarrassment, they were living with someone outside of marriage. Then, only a few years ago, two Christian couples in their 70’s told me the same thing. Regardless of the trends or rational of our day, this is still unacceptable for a Christian.

Paul states: “But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking…but rather giving of thanks” (Ephesians 5:3-4). While any form of immorality is wrong even once, it is far worse to plunge knowingly into a lifestyle of immoral behavior. In verses 4-6, Paul described a range of associated sins among the unsaved and reminded the saints that this is how a lost soul acts. Unless the individual trusts in Christ, they will experience God’s eternal wrath. Paul went on to urge believers to live a higher standard of conduct, saying: “Be not…partakers with them” (vs. 7). He continued by urging them to prove what is “acceptable unto the Lord” (vs.10), and to live like “children of light” (vs. 8) rather than like the children of darkness and destruction. His instructions were, “it is a shame even to speak [approvingly] of those things which are done of them in secret” (vs. 12), and obviously far worse to intentionally practice them. Instead, we who know Christ are to live in such purity that we become a light that points lost souls to the Savior (vss. 13-14). Paul concluded by urging those sinning saints to understand “what the will of the Lord is” (vs. 17), to redeem the time given them, and “walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise” (vs. 15-16).

Our purpose here is not to beat up someone who has temporarily fallen into the temptation of immorality. Instead, it is to caution all to not embrace the ungodly trends of our time or continue to live in sin for even another day. Let’s be careful not to fall into these traps of Satan. Living in sin is not only wrong, it dulls our spiritual senses, ruins our testimony, and numbs us to a relationship with Christ. Instead may we seek to rescue those who are so ensnared.

Free Mail Subscription

Start each day with short, devotional articles taken from the book Daily Transformation by Pastor John Fredericksen. As Pastor Fredericksen writes in the introduction:

"We welcome you, as you journey with us..., to not only learn information, but to benefit from examples of faith and failure, and seek to apply God’s Word to every day life. Together, let’s transition from only studying theories of doctrine, to applying God’s truths in a practical way every day. May God use these studies to help you find daily transformation."