Finding Truth in a Confused World: Affirming Biblical Morality
Read Ephesians 5:1-14
“But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as it is proper among saints.”
Are we imitators of God or imitators of the world?
We are dominated by political ideology and division. The schism between the political parties has led to a rift between people defined by political ideology. Are we a Democrat or a Republican? Are we right or left? Are we supporters of the Alt-Right or supporters of Antifa? Are we conservative, or are we liberal? So how do we navigate through these divergent viewpoints dividing our country and forcing us into one camp or the other?
To answer that question, we must ask ourselves who do we follow and why? The real issue is not what politics we embrace but what identity do we affirm. In an age of political and moral confusion, we must not look at people’s political loyalties; instead, we must go back to scripture and evaluate all people, leaders, teachers, and those we follow by their morality.
In Ephesians 5, Paul contrasts two individuals those who imitate God and those who imitate the world. Concerning the morality of the world, Paul points to three characteristics. First, people who embrace the world promote immorality. The person who rejects Christ embraces sexual indulgence and sexual sin. The word “impurity” refers to unrestrained sexual behavior. Throughout our society, sexual perversion and sexual self-indulgence are embraced, promoted, and normalized. What would have been regarded as soft porn 50 years ago is now mainstream and part of our entertainment. It is celebrated as “freedom, lifestyle, and entertainment.”
Second Paul refers to greed which speaks of any insatiable desire to have more, ranging from sexual immorality to wealth and possessions. It is the opposite of contentment. We are a culture that is no longer content. No matter what we have, we want more. We are driven by the unquenchable longing to obtain more money, power, recognition, pleasure, etc.
Third, we are to look at the individual’s speech. Instead of speaking what is fitting and praiseworthy and honoring to God, the individual is coarse, vulgar, and foolish. The person’s language is brash, blunt, critical, and harsh rather than gracious, kind, and uplifting.
In contrast to these characteristics is the person who is an imitator of God. Instead of walking in sensuality, they walk in righteousness and are governed by the truth of God’s Word. (vs. 9). Instead of pursuing their ravenous cravings for more, this individual is driven by the desire to do God’s will (vs. 17). Instead of being coarse and bitter, they give thanks and edify others with what they say (19-21).
In our need for discernment today, we need to examine the lives of the people we follow and ask ourselves what they are promoting with their words and actions. Are the people we admire, the books we read, the influencers we listen to promoting what is right and morally pure, or are they promoting immorality and sin? Or are we listening to those who promote what is true, godly, and righteous? Who we listen to is who we will become. Are you listening to the people who have the right moral compass?