This week is our last week in our New Clothes series. I have enjoyed delving deeper into this part of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. His words have challenged our actions and our attitudes. In this last sermon, we are going to be exploring a familiar description of avoidable actions (sexual immorality, impurity and greed). Yet Paul’s language is strong.
(Ephesians 5:3 NIV) But among you there must not be even a hint of . . .
No trace should be present in the lives of a Christian. Then in verse 4, Paul clarifies this admonition. In this verse, we see a rare dynamic. Paul uses three words that are used nowhere else in Scripture.
(Ephesians 5:4 NIV) Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place
The three words are obscenity (some translate filthiness), foolish talk (we get the word moron from this Greek word) and course (or vulgar) joking. While it may seem obvious that obscenity does not belong in the life of a Christian, how many of us are guilty of laughing at a vulgar joke? Paul raising the standard in this verse. Not only are we to refrain from sexual immorality, our new clothes involve a rejection of anything impure.
Paul describes our role as a holy people, set apart. We will explore Peter’s understanding of this dynamic on Sunday. I have to admit, this is a challenging text. In a culture where obscenity is the norm, our new clothes may look out of place.
Join us on Sunday as we finish this mini series about shedding the old and putting on the new. Ephesians 5:1-3.