“Follow God’s example, therefore as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But AMONG YOU there must not be even a hing of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure, or greedy person–such a person is an idolater–has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.” (Ephesians 5:1-5 NIV)
In every letter Paul writes to the churches, he encourages those who belong to God to live like God would have them to live–using God as an example for living on a daily basis. Notice–he is writing to the churches–explaining how Christians (or rather Believers) should live for he knows that those outside of the Body of Christ will not heed his advice. If they did listen, they would be included in the Body.
This very simple understanding is key for all Believers–God inspired men to write what He said in order to perfect the lives of those who would believe. If people choose not to believe the Bible is God’s inspired Word, that is their prerogative and they can be assured that they don’t have to believe, but the consequences and the judgment shall be the same for all–Believers and unbelievers. For God is not a respecter of persons–when judgment comes–it rains upon all, saved and sinner alike.
Even though most of us want to see everyone we know saved, it is not our job to try to make people believe. If they are not convinced by The Word, and we are not living examples of The Word, then we will be held accountable for what we do, not what they do.
It is absolutely pointless to debate The Word with an unbeliever. Although many may say they don’t believe God, deep down they know there is force more superior to themselves that holds all power in His hands, they simply choose to be arbitrary about it. And those who profess to believe in science alone–they say so because they do not understand the role of science. Science attempts to explain the existence of things or how they work. God created all that exists and determined how all things would work before man could even coin the term, “science.” This is not to say there is no value in what scientists do because there is great value in what they do. However, until they create all that God created from nothing--they are not gods, but instruments in the hand of God–when they heed Him–led to discovery and invention, not creation.
The directions Paul gives are clear–for Believers–we should not indulge in sexual immorality (and we know all that is referenced for we know our Father); we should not indulge in obscene behavior or conversation; we should not indulge in unwholesome joking (don’t pretend you don’t know what he’s talking about); and greed should never be part of our lives. For if we indulge in these things and do not repent–turning completely away from them–we will not enter into the promised eternity–living in heaven with Christ Jesus.
Are these instructions for you or someone else? The Believer–who is in relationship with God, understands God’s Word and the role of Jesus Christ coming down from heaven–knows the truth. And when we know truth, we should live truth and encourage others to do likewise.
(More to come)