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BE YE NOT THEREFORE PARTAKERS WITH THEM
Intro: In our last study, we considered verses 1-2. In those verses we were told to be followers of God, as dear children. That means that we are to imitate God just as a child imitates a parent. We are to love as He loves; walk as He walks; talk as He talks; live as He lives; we are to mimic the Father in all things. That is a hard command to follow, but it is what we are to strive for in our day to day lives.
In the verses we will consider today, we are also given a command. In verse 7, the command is Be ye not therefore partakers with them. Just as we are to imitate the Lord in every possible way, we are to avoid imitating the actions, attitudes, and ways of the world. This passage will speak to us about what we should not be doing as we live in this world.
Its easy to fall into the same rut in which the world runs. Its east yo go with the flow and do as the unconverted world around us does. It is easy to adopt the attitude of Ambrose of Milan when he said, When in Rome, do as the Romans do.
Many Christians do just that. We adopt the ways of the world. We adopt their fashions, their speech, their standards, their entertainment, and nearly everything else they do. All the while, the Lord tells us that we are to be different from them in every way.
Here is what the Lord said about this: Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 2 Cor. 6:17.
If we are going to emulate anyone, let it be the Lord. If we are looking for an example to follow. Let us look no farther than the Lord God Almighty.
With that in mind, lets spend some time in these verses today. I want to preach around the command Be Ye Not Therefore Partakers With Them. Notice the challenges laid out in this text.
I. V. 3-4 THERE ARE ACTIONS WE MUST AVOID
In these two verses, at least six sins are named. These sins are to be avoided by the people of God. These sins marked the world in that day, and they still mark the world in our day. Sin and sinners never change, they merely continue down the path of depravity. They do as they are led by the spirits of the world, the flesh and the devil.
Ephesians 2:1-3 says this, And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
The world does what it does, because it knows no other way, and because it is incapable of changing itself even if it wanted to, which it doesnt. By the way, notice that the love of God is selfless, v. 2, while the love of the world is selfish, and self-centered. The sins mentioned here prove that. I would remind you that true love is marked by what it gives and not what it gains.
Lets consider the sins mentioned here in these verses.
Fornication - This word refers to all type of sexual sin. It includes sex before marriage, adultery, homosexuality, lesbianism, sexual lust, pornography, etc. Sexuality immorality should not be a part of the life of a saint of God. We are sexual beings, and we all face temptations in this area of life. We must be careful that the temptations are not allowed to become a reality.
Uncleanness - This word speaks of corruption and rottenness. It refers to to impure motives and living. It speaks of moral corruption. It is an impure lifestyle that dishonors God, disregards His Word and disrespects His commandments.
Covetousness - This word refers to greed and lust. It is a desire to possess that which belongs to another. Verse 5 clearly says that the covetous man is an idolator. That means that the person who covets and lusts after things they do not possess is guilty of following after other gods. The object of their desire, whether it is a person or a thing, is elevated to the status of worship as they seek it with all their being.
Filthiness - This word speaks of obscenity, crudeness; that which is base and shameful. It speaks of those things that are dirty in nature. Listen to conversations, watch television, view a movie, and you will often see filthiness in action. Noting appears to be sacred anymore. Gods name is taken in vain. Sexual innuendo and thinly veiled references matters that would have embarrassed previous generations abound. Vulgarities that would have been considered pornographic a generation ago are used freely in our day. Dirty jokes, loose talk, sexual euphemisms abound. We have lost the ability to blush.
I go to churches and hear the way church people talk, and it sometimes embarrasses me. There is no difference between us and the world, and that dishonors God. We should dictate the standard and not allow the world to press us into its mold, Rom. 12:2. We should be like a thermostat that regulates the temperature around us rather than a thermometer that merely records the temperature.
Most children today reach school with a vocabulary that would make a sailor blush. Why? Because its everywhere, and most parents dont have enough spiritual discernment to protect their children from the vile, pornographic world in which we live. Parents allow their children to watch what they want to, and even the parents themselves are so selfish that they watch what they want, with no regard to what their children see. If you are that of parent, you should not punish your child when they drop the F-bomb, or when they come out with crude humor. You should find someone to whip you, because its your fault! They learned it from you! We need a return to godly standards in the home. Society is not going to change. We cant trust the Federal Government or the FCC to set proper standards of decency for us and our families. We have to do that ourselves. Its our responsibility to be the gatekeeper of our homes. We will answer for how well we protect our children.
Foolish Talking - The Greek word is morologia, and it means moronic words. It speaks of silly speech. It actually refers to talk that we associate with someone who is mentally deficient. It speaks to us about the use of obscenities and crude words in our day to day speech. There is never an excuse for a Christian to curse.
Here are a couple of reasons why this kind of speech should not be a part of our lives.
Cursing, crude, off-color speech reveals that you lack the adequate vocabulary necessary to express yourself in a decent manner.
When we use words that were crude, off-color and obscene, we dishonor the Lord.
It makes you look like a moron when you do!
Jesting - This word refers to speech that falls into the same realm as foolish talking, but this word carries the idea of turning. So, it speaks of the kind of wit, or talk, that takes something that is said or done, no matter how innocent it is, and turns it into something obscene and suggestive. It refers to those who twist everything into something dirty, or into some kind of sexual innuendo. This kind of dirty speech always comes from a dirty heart. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh, Luke 6:45.
We are to avoid all those things. That fact is, some of these are often found in the lives of Gods children. We need to seek Him, and His help, so that these things are permanently eradicated from our lives. They have no place in the life of a saved individual. Verse 3 says that they should not be once named among you.
I. There Are Actions We Must Avoid
II. V. 4b THERE IS AN ATTITUDE WE MUST ADOPT
Rather than engaging in those activities and attitudes that characterize the world, the Bible offers us a favorable alternative. Instead of being crude, rude and vile in a speech and actions, the Bible says, rather be ye thankful.
This phrase suggests that every thing we say, and everything we do, must be governed by Whos we are, and by who we are. There was a time in our lives when we were no different from the world around us. We were lost like them. We lived like them. We acted like them. We talked like them. We did so because we were them.
When Jesus saved us by His grace, He transformed us, by His power, through the new birth, into a new creature, 2 Cor. 5:17; 1 Pet. 1:23. When the Lord saved us, He delivered us from the bondage of the old life. Now, we do not have to live like the world lives. We do not have to act, talk, walk, or be like them in any way. We have the capacity, through Christ, to live new lives that glorify and honor God.
For that change, and for the salvation He has so freely given to us, we should be grateful to Him. The word thanks carries the idea of being thankful. So, instead of engaging in sins that demean others, destroy ourselves, and dishonor God, we should possess a heart that overflows with praise the Lord for all that He has done for us through grace.
Here is what the Lord desires from us.
By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name, Heb. 13:15.
Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, Eph. 5:20.
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you, 1 Thes. 5:18.
So, instead of running to do the same things the lost world does, we who are saved must learn to adopt an attitude of praise and thankfulness for all the Lord has done for us. This implies that He will be the centerpiece of all our thoughts, desires, and motives. When He is, we will be thankful. When He isnt, we will walk in sin!
I. There Are Actions We Must Avoid
II. There Is An Attitude We Must Adopt
III. V. 3-6 THERE ARE ARGUMENTS WE MUST ACKNOWLEDGE
Rather than just telling us what we should not do, the Lord here tells us why we should not do the things He here forbids. He offers us several good reasons why we should, and must avoid these sins.
V. 3 These Sins Are Unbecoming To The Saints - The word becometh means to be suitable to, or proper. In other words, these sins should not be found among believers because that type of lifestyle is not suited to, nor proper for the people of God. It does not fit with the new life we have been given when we stoop to live in sin. These sins fit well with a lost person, but they do not fit well with a child of God.
V. 4 These Sins Are Not Convenient - The word convenient literally means not equal to our standing. When we practice these, or other, sins, we are living below our high calling in Jesus Christ. We are better than that! We have been delivered from darkness, death, depravity and deception. We have no business engaging in any activity that throws doubt on our profession of faith, or that reflects negatively on the Lord Jesus Christ, or on the Heavenly Father, Phil. 1:27.
V. 5 These Sins Reveal A Wicked Heart - This verse makes it clear that anyone who practices a lifestyle characterized by these sins is not saved, no matter what they profess. No one can know Jesus Christ as Savior and continue to live a of unrepentant sin. When we do so, we prove that we have never been converted, Gal. 5:19-21; 1 John 3:6-10.
V. 6 These Sins Bring Wrath Of God - Some may use vain words and tell you that it is OK for believer to do these things. The Bible says that those who tell you such things are practicing deception. That is, they are lying to you, and trying to lead you down the wrong path of life. It is these very sins that call for the wrath of God to be poured out on the lost. When believers fall for the deception of sins and give themselves to the same sins, we can expect to be chastened for our sins as well. Thank God, nonie of these sins can send a child of God to Hell. But, these sins can, and will bring the chastisement of God into our lives, Heb. 12:5-12; Rev. 3:19.
The whole point here is that God expects His people to live a certain way. He has reasons for what He demands, and there are consequences for those who disobey. If we want the blessings of God to be on our lives, then we must live holy, clean lives to His glory. If we dont, we will certainly face His chastisement.
I. There Are Actions We Must Avoid
II. There Is An Attitude We Must Adopt
III. There Are Arguments We Must Acknowledge
IV. V. 7 THERE IS AN AUTHORITY WE MUST ACCEPT
This passage closes with a clear command from the Lord. We are commanded not to partake of their sins. The world has one pattern of living, we who know the Lord have another. We are not to live like them on any level. We have to live among them, and that is goo, because we have also been commanded to reach them with the Gospel, Mark. 16:15. While we might have to live among them, we do not have to live like them.
The Lord has called His children to live life on a higher plain. We are to be like Him, not them.
Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children, Eph. 5:1.
He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked, 1 John 2:6.
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing, John 15:4–5.
There are two paths through this world. Jesus said it this way: Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it, Matt. 7:13–14.
There is a wide path that is accessed through a wide gate. Nearly everyone walks this road. In contrast, there is a narrow road that is accessed through a narrow gate. Very few, especially in our day, can be found on this road.
One enters the wide road when he or she is born into this world. Nothing needs to be changed for a person to walk this path for the whole of their life. By contrast, the narrow path is entered through faith in the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, John 14:6; Acts 4:12; 1 John 5:12. When this gate is entered, the one who walks the narrow path is forever changed by the power of God. That person is made a new creature, 2 Cor. 5:17. That person experiences the new birth, John 3:3, 7. A person that never before existed is created at the moment of conversion. That person is different from everyone else in the world who does not know the Lord.
When a person is saved, they are subject to the commands and dictates of God Almighty. He tells us how to live. He tells us what we can and cannot do. It is His voice we must obey and not the siren song of the world around us. When He says to avoid these sins and adopt a life of holiness, we are to obey without question.
Conc: We have a strange way of examining our own lives. We tend to look at ourselves in the best possible light. We always give ourselves the benefit of the doubt, always. We look at own heart and we tend to say that everything is well. However, the book of Jeremiah is clear when it says, The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? Jer. 17:9. The idea there is that we really cant even judge ourselves properly.
The next verse in Jeremiah says, I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings, Jer. 17:10. We may not know ourselves as we should, and we may not be able to accurately determine where we stand with the Lord, but He knows where we are . He knows what we are.
So, how are we to know for sure where we stand? We know exactly where we stand when we place our lives alongside the Bible. It is the plumb line, and it always tells the truth about us and about God.
If the Word of God has revealed your condition today, dont shrug it off and go on you way. Come to God and do what He is calling you to do.
Come to HIm in repentance of your sins.
Come to Him for salvation of the soul.
Come to Him to thank Him for Who He is, what He has done for you, and for all He has given you in Jesus Christ.
Come to Him and let HIm put your life where it needs to be!