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Walk in Love Part 2

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell
The Truth Network Radio
January 25, 2023 10:00 am

Walk in Love Part 2

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell

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January 25, 2023 10:00 am

Christ has given us a beautiful picture of sacrificial love. Today's message highlights the clear contrast between pure true love modeled after Christ and sin which is disordered love. Ephesians 5:1-7.


Welcome to Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, Pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. Christ has given us a beautiful picture of sacrificial love. Today's message, titled Walk in Love, highlights the clear contrast between pure, true love modeled after Christ and sin, which is disordered love. Let's dig into Ephesians 5, 1 through 7 with Pastor Rich today. We're about to listen to part two of Walk in Love, first preached on November 5th, 2017. Now, number three, as far as walking in love, let's look at the beauty of love in verses three and four. But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you as is improper among saints.

Let there be no filthiness or foolish talk or crude joking which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. The way he approaches this, the way the apostle approaches this, is in contrast. The context in which the Ephesian church was, remember it was in Ephesus, and what was going on in Ephesus? Ephesus domiciled the temple of Diana, and she was a goddess of fertility. So sexual orgies were associated with worship, and that permeated the culture of Ephesus.

And as you can see, people are being converted, and they're being drawn to Christ by the grace of God, and they're coming into the church, and this is why Paul, it was necessary for Paul to say things like this. Because what's going on is that their love, what they consider to be love, is essentially greed. It's essentially covetousness. It's essentially feeding the flesh, what most people considered love.

It was merely an emotion, and it was a natural emotion, and I need to have that appetite gratified. And that's how they perceived love. Is that how you perceived love this morning? Is that what you think of when you hear the word love? Love and sexual pleasure were fused together, and sexual activity was viewed principally as a personal pleasure. That's all it was, and there was no godly understanding of it. And what it means is, what was true then is what's become so true in our culture today, and that is that individual desires were the seat of authority and definition. We see that happening today, don't we?

Same thing back there. See, there's nothing new under the sun. Mankind will always be mankind.

This is why God had to come and rescue us. But where the individual desire is the seat of authority and definition, that means that whatever I love, it's mine. I want it. I'm going to go for it.

I'm going to give it everything I can. It's greed. It's self-centered indulgence.

It's the pursuit of immediate gratification. That's why the word that he uses in here, porneia, sexual immorality and all impurity, porneia and impurity, all forms of sexuality and practice outside of God's design and character. God created this. He is a god of love, and he created us, male and female, and he created us as sexual beings, but he did so to be practiced within loving boundaries, in the context of love, where you're investing yourself in each other, not simply seeking self-indulgence and self-gratification. And so all forms of sexuality and practice outside of God's design and prescription, beyond his loving boundaries, all of those, they are incongruous with one who is a beloved child of God.

Now, we could name a lot of them right now, couldn't we? And there might be some things that you're struggling with, the practices of sexuality. Are they within the loving boundaries that God has designed?

If not, you are sabotaging your own walk of faith. I want you to think about that, because not only is he simply talking about what we practice, but look what he does. Look what he does in verse four. Let there be no filthiness or foolish talk or crude joking which are out of place. What is he saying here? We have to understand that he is saying these things in the context of practicing our sexuality as God has designed it. He says, what's going on here? Crude joking, that's obscenities. What did we say last week? The mouth is what?

The exhaust system of the heart. So when obscenities and crude joking are coming out, what is that reflecting? It's reflecting what's really going on in here. You see what he's tackling here?

It's not just about what you practice outwardly. He's tackling what's going on in here. What's feeding your imagination? You need to answer that question. What's feeding your imagination?

Is it the beauty and the purpose of God, or is it false counterfeits of the world and the flesh and the adversary of your soul? What is feeding that foolish talk? It's the idea of speaking in the mood of the moment. I would equate that with, like, locker room talk.

You know, the man who would become our president was caught red-handed doing that 11 to 12 years ago now, right? There's no excuse for that. But he's not alone in that. And all of you men inside right now, you're saying, amen, I know. What's going on in here, guys?

What's feeding your imagination? Women, too. Proverbs 29, 11, a fool vents all his feelings. That's exactly what's going on. And this is what Paul is saying, let's not be about this. These are counterfeits. These are self-destructive counterfeits of what God designed to be a beautiful thing. So when the Bible calls us to walk in love, it's not calling us to keep feeling the feeding, the indulgences of the flesh and my own personal pleasure. But it's to walk as Christ walked, to invest myself in another, to walk in love. He does an interesting, I think the apostle does an interesting play on sounds here, because when he says in verse four, he says, crude joking. That's the word eutropelia, crude joking. And he says, but instead, let there be thanksgiving. That's eucharistia. He said, instead of eutropelia, he said, let there be eucharistia. You see how that flows poetically in the Greek.

He's making a contrast here. In other words, as dear children of God, loving as Christ loved, move from that self-serving indulgence to champion what is true and good and beautiful. Know what the beauty of love is. Listen, the songs that we sang this morning, the mercy tree, for example, take that. Let that be a meditation of yours.

That is utterly beautiful. The gospel of grace and the love of God is there. And with that, we should be singing and making melody in our hearts to the Lord. Let stuff like that feed our imaginations and our attitudes.

An attitude is just a habit of thought. So he says, instead, let there be thanksgiving, what God has designed and prescribed for our good and pleasure. Let us be judicious and careful and worthwhile about what feeds our imagination, the good, the true, the beautiful things of God and his design and his character and his purpose. And when I say to champion what is true and good and beautiful, champion means to practice it, first of all.

To practice it. That all of my sexual practices are inside of God's loving boundaries. Folks, I challenge you here this morning. Some of you are struggling with some things. And I'm not going to, I don't want to single out any one particular sin, but listen to me.

The statistics are incredibly high of how many men struggle with pornography. Men, if that's feeding your imagination, you are sabotaging your faith and even your life and all relationships in your life. It is a path of self-destruction. Now, I could place in front of you testimonies of men who have been rescued from that because they have learned to love God and all that is true and good and beautiful.

And thank God that by his grace they have been able to abandon that chain. If you are here this morning and you are struggling with that, let me give you an invitation right now. The sermon's not over yet, but let me give you an invitation. Say, Rich, I'm struggling with that and I need somebody to walk with me to overcome that, to get finally free from that chain. I will walk with you, and listen to this please, listen. There will be no judgment.

No judgment. I will walk with you in the grace of God and we will walk together to champion the true, the good, and the beautiful. I have seen it work in lives profoundly by the grace of God. And if you come to me and ask for someone to walk with you, I will gladly or I will find another who has and they will walk with you or I will walk with you to overcome this chain, this self-destructive chain of this sin that is so prevalent. Listen to me, even among Christians today.

Don't fool yourself, men. And it's not something you can say, well, I can just get over it on my own. That's pride. That's pride.

And you've already failed. So I give you that invitation this morning. We need to champion what is true and good and beautiful. And in my interactions with others, is your disposition in your interaction with others just on a general basis? Is it more what you can do for me?

Or when you interact with others, do you approach them on the basis of how can I invest myself in you? How can I walk with you in a God-ward direction? I challenge you this morning, folks, to let the Spirit of God and the grace of God reorder our thoughts in these things. To champion what is true and good and beautiful is not only to practice what it is, but to promote it, to celebrate it, to encourage it. We should not in any way be celebrating that which is contrary to God's design and His character and purpose.

Not in any way. And in what we do, we should be pointing to Him because this, what is true and good and beautiful is from Him. He's the author of it. And to the degree that I depart from Him, I enter into darkness and destruction and despair.

There's nothing beautiful about that. We're so glad you've joined us for Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, Pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. You can hear this message and others anytime by visiting our website, You can also check out Pastor Rich's book, Seven Words That Can Change Your Life, where he unpacks from God's Word the very purpose for which you were designed. Seven Words That Can Change Your Life is available wherever books are sold. As always, tune in to Delight in Grace weekdays at 10 a.m.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-25 10:26:26 / 2023-01-25 10:31:20 / 5

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