First of all, remember that all who believe in God and Jesus Christ are called “saints”. The Greek word means, “holy, set apart”. Saints set themselves apart from worldly godless ways. Paul’s letters are addressed to saints, “the saints who are in Ephesus” “saints … who are in Philippi” … So all true believers are “saints” in God’s eyes, and therefore inspired writers like Paul had this in mind when sending encouraging letters to them.
Note what Paul says “is proper among saints” (5:3). He writes, “But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness, nor foolish talk, no crude joking” (verses 3,4). Something which is “named” is something which is talked about and discussed; yet we are often confronted with fleshly things if we watch much that is on television! Paul’s punch line is, “you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous, that is an idolater, has no inheritance in the kingdom of God” (verse 5).
The things people idolize the focus of their thinking or admiration. It can be something owned (e.g. the latest electronic gadget), or want to own, and that thing takes centre stage in our thinking, pushing godly thoughts into the background or even swamping them completely.
Our minds work in devious ways so that we avoid being honest with ourselves thereby to prevent ourselves from feeling uncomfortable or guilty about something. We can do that as we read Paul’s letters, glossing over his points. Finally notice verse 6, “Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience”. How close is that wrath today?
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