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Ephesians 5:1-14 - Homiletics

The walk suitable to the children of light: no fellowship with sins of the flesh.

The fearful prevalence of sensual vice at Ephesus naturally led the apostle to dwell on it emphatically as one of the worst rags of the old man, a rag to be wholly and forever cast away. But, indeed, there are few heathen communities where sensual vice does not flourish when men have it in their power to indulge in it. It is singular how universal sin is in connection with the irregular and disorderly indulgence of the bodily appetites. It would seem as if God made this a special matter of probation, for when these appetites get the upper hand, they lead into terrible excesses, and, by bringing disease on both mind and body, avenge the sin to which they have impelled. First, they tempt men to sin, and then, as if in heartless mockery, they scourge them for having sinned. We find here—

I. SINS OF THE FLESH DENOUNCED , with a corresponding sin of the spirit—covetousness ( Ephesians 5:3 , Ephesians 5:4 ).


1. NO such person has any inheritance in the kingdom of God ( Ephesians 5:5 ).

2. The wrath of God cometh—is present and visible—for such things on very evil men (Sodom and Gomorrah, Canaanites, etc.) ( Ephesians 5:6 ).

3. They belong to the world of darkness, and Christians are children of light ( Ephesians 5:8 ).

4. Christians, as living in the Spirit, should bring forth the fruit of the Spirit ( Ephesians 5:9 ).

5. They should ascertain and follow only what is pleasing to Christ ( Ephesians 5:10 ).


1. They are so evil that it is a sin even to speak of them ( Ephesians 5:12 ).

2. The true character of such sins is seen by light let in on them ( Ephesians 5:13 ).

3. The light has a tendency to transform ( Ephesians 5:13 ), and by letting in the light that shows the odiousness of the sin you may be the means of changing the sinner; while you reprove you may also improve him.

4. It is for this purpose the Church has got the light—when the light is brought to her, her Lord calls on her to awake and shine ( Ephesians 5:15 ). Such precepts and considerations have a wider bearing than Ephesus and its groves. Sins of the flesh flourish even in Christian lands. Young men! lay these things to heart; fear God and keep his commandments, and be not misled by any of the sophistry to which you listen; for they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh, with the affections and lusts.

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