1. Motivate How do you feel when you wear a brand-new suit or outfit? special if you dress good you feel like you’ll do good hope people notice you feel sharper than usual confident you enjoy getting the compliments Transition


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1. Motivate
How do you feel when you wear a brand-new suit or outfit?

  • special

  • if you dress good you feel like you’ll do good

  • hope people notice

  • you feel sharper than usual

  • confident

  • you enjoy getting the compliments

2. Transition
Our outfit can change our attitude towards the way we look at the day

  • Today we see how Paul applies that “new suit” feeling to your spiritual life.

  • Specifically we look at walking in Christ’s love rather than impurity.

3. Bible Study
3.1 Conduct of Purity
Listen for what is improper for believers.
Ephesians 5:1-4 (NIV) 1  Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children 2  and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. 3  But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people. 4  Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.
What behaviors did Paul describe as unbecoming to those who are God’s children?

  • sexual immorality

  • impurity

  • greed

  • obscenity

  • foolish talk

  • coarse joking

Why do we minimize certain sins and give greater attention to others such as sexual sin?

  • sexual sins are more sensational

  • appeal to prurient interests

  • we are voyeuristic over sexual sins but are bored (relatively speaking) when it comes to things like theft or robbery

  • our entertainment industry glorifies lustful activity

  • sins of meanness or anger or gluttony are distasteful, repel us

What does it mean to “walk in love” or “live a life of love”?

  • does not have much to do with a mushy, romantic way of behavior

  • has more to do with living and doing for others in kindness

  • we are to do acts of kindness with no expectation or need for reciprocity

  • this is the meaning of the Greek word “agape” which Paul used for “love”

Why would “living a life of love” result in sexual purity? Why isn’t sexual immorality the same as love?

  • love is the attitude you have in doing kind things for people with no expected or required reciprocity

  • immorality pursues pleasure primarily for self

  • true love will do what is best for the other person – often at cost to self

  • sensuality sees people as sexual objects – using people for self-gratification

  • “living a life of love” sees people having great physical and spiritual value

  • it seeks to give them what they need rather than what we can get out of them

According to the passage, what kinds of words and tones of speech will we avoid if we walk and talk in love?

  • obscenity

  • foolish talk

  • coarse joking, crudeness

  • dirty jokes

  • “bathroom humor”
  • profanity – taking God’s name in vain

  • rudeness

  • sexual innuendos, double entendre

How can we avoid these kinds of conversations so pervasive in our society?

  • when possible, walk away

  • don’t hang out with folks who talk this way

  • let it be known that you do not appreciate that kind of conversation in your presence

  • in some cases, you can appeal to sexual harassment rules for the workplace

Why did Paul make a big deal out of speech? Why is thanksgiving an effective antidote to vulgarity’s poison?

  • thanksgiving focuses on God’s goodness, not on human foibles

  • it changes our mindset, our perspective

  • James talked about what is on the inside (heart and mind) will spill out

Paul said we are as God’s “dearly loved children.” Why and how do children imitate their parents?

  • speech and gestures are there for children to learn by imitation

  • parents actions and attitudes are apparent for children to copy

  • children will mimic what they see … even to walking and standing

  • when there is a loving and happy relationship, children may also want to follow in their footsteps

Recall how someone you admired and respected (not even necessarily a parent) resulted in your acquiring their attitudes, actions, mannerisms, speech …

How do we gain that kind of attitude towards God?

  • read His Word to find out what He has to say

  • get to know His likes and dislikes

  • meditate/carefully consider how much He loves you and how He has demonstrated it
  • Note verse 10 … make a conscious effort to find out what pleases Him

How can walking in love be a measure of purity?

  • agape love will not act selfishly

  • it will not talk or act in ways that would dishonor God

  • it will not act in such a way as to gratify self at the expense of others

3.2 Consequences of Impurity

Listen for who inherits God’s Kingdom.
Ephesians 5:5-6 (NIV) 5  For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person--such a man is an idolater--has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 6  Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient.
From what further practices does Paul say should Christians abstain? What kind of people should believers avoid?

  • immorality

  • impurity

  • greed

  • idol worship

  • disobedient

What reasons does Paul give that we should avoid such folk?

What kinds of “empty words” bombard us today?

  • advertisements

  • sensual entertainment

  • “vote for me and I’ll take care of you”

  • health and wealth “gospel”

  • “you’ll be both shocked and outraged when you see this next news”

  • “wait till you see what this star/actress was seen doing”

  • try it, you’ll like it … you deserve it … you need it

In being confronted with these attitudes, we have a choice whether to listen or not

  • choose God’s Truth … not the fake “truth” the world presents

3.3 The Call to Purity
Listen for a contrast of light and dark.
Ephesians 5:7-10 (NIV) 7  Therefore do not be partners with them. 8  For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9  (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10  and find out what pleases the Lord.
What are some things light accomplishes?

  • “chases away” darkness

  • exposes what cannot be seen in the dark

  • promotes understanding

  • enables us to see where we are going

  • can protect us from dangers

List the contrasting fruits of light versus the fruits of darkness noted in verse 3.

Fruits of Light

Fruits of Darkness (vs. 3)

  • goodness

  • righteousness

  • truth

  • sexual immorality

  • impurity

  • greed

Why is it not possible to have all six qualities in our lives at the same time?

  • they are opposites

  • they are what we call mutually exclusive

  • having fruits of light will exclude fruits of darkness

  • and vice versa

How might there be a third column or category of how a person acts or thinks? How could a person be good, righteous, truthful without “light”?

  • someone who is a legalist … does all the right things, but doesn’t have Jesus as Savior

  • may act good and do right things (live morally), but does not hold to God’s Truth

  • someone who is self-righteous – thinks he/she is good enough without God

Some topics are better left unsaid, un-described. How can we expose fruitless works of darkness without saying a word?

  • quietly walking away when dirty stories/jokes are being told

  • when our reading material is obviously in the open for others to see and is in contrast to other people’s

  • politely declining invitations to entertainment you know is unacceptable for a believer, “Sorry, it’s not my style.”

  • counter such invitations with something you know is more acceptable, maybe even uplifting

 You can make a positive statement without preaching or getting on your soapbox.

4. Application
4.1 Pray

  • Someone you know may be living an impure life

  • You may feel powerless to help, but you can trust God to work

  • Pray each day that this person will repent and seek forgiveness from the Lord

4.2 Begin a conversation

4.3 Mentor a younger person

  • Be sensitive to ways in which you have input into the lives of your children and grandchildren

  • You can sometimes have more of an influence than you realize by modeling and making wise observations (without preaching or putting young people down)


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