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pastorway

And He Himself gave some to be....evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ...
- Ephesians 4:11-12

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Location: The Hill Country of Texas

Pastor - Providence Reformed Baptist Church
Director - TIME in the Word Ministries

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Not Even Named

TIME in the Word - Daily Devotional
Together for Inspiration, Motivation, and Encouragement

Verse of the Day - Ephesians 5:3
But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints;

Daily Scripture Reading - Hebrews 2

Puritan Catechism
Question #42 - Which is the first commandment?

Answer - The first commandment is, "You shall have no other gods before Me." (Exodus 20:3).

Devotional Thoughts
We are commanded to imitate God, to follow Christ, and to walk in the Spirit. This is a tall order but one that God empowers us to obey. By His grace He enables us to live as we should. Simply put, we are expected to live like what we are – redeemed and holy!

In obeying the command to imitate God, we have learned that we are to be holy by emulating God’s holiness. We are to love using Christ’s love as our model. And in bearing the fruit of the Spirit we must walk in good works and bear proper fruit. Otherwise we fall for the Devil's counterfeits. As we will learn today, we must be careful and keep a watch over our lives. We must avoid Satan’s counterfeits, those things which are the enemies of holiness and love.

Avoid These Things

These things which are listed in verse 3 are not even to be named among saints. There is to be no mention, no hint, no accusation, no speculation at all that we are bearing these works of the flesh as the fruit of sin and self indulgence. No one who names the name of Christ should live in such a way - through thoughts, speech, or actions - that would cause anyone inside or outside the church to think that we were living in this kind of sin. We must do whatever is necessary to stay as far from sin as possible.

Too many today like to use the liberty they have been given in Christ to get as close to sin as they possibly can without actually sinning. This is not the point or purpose of our liberty in Christ! When we see where sin is, we flee the other direction. We should want to be holy. Sadly, too many want to be happy! And they have believed the lie that sin and excitement equals happiness. I would submit that we can be no more happy or fulfilled or satisfied or full of lasting joy than when we are obeying God and walking in righteousness.

But back to our verse, what are these heinous acts that are not even to be named among us?

The first is fornication. The term means immorality, any sexual sin, a lack of sexual discipline, or a lack of self-control. The believer should not think, talk, dress, act, or encourage immoral behavior in any way. This is tough. Think about movies and TV. Think about books and magazines. We entertain ourselves with sin and yet these things are not even to be named among us as something that we would partake of or participate with. Why watch what we would not do?

1 Corinthians 5:1-5 and 6:13-20 deal with the issues of immorality in the church. This immorality is a lack of discipline and control in the realm of sexual desires. That lack of control proves a perversion of true love. The desire is for self-fulfillment and gratification no matter the means necessary to fulfill those desires. Counterfeits, though, do not ever produce lasting satisfaction and the evil desire continues to grow and consume. The immorality leads to the impurity mentioned next. Lack of control leads to lack of purity. Love and holiness go hand in hand just as immorality and impurity. True love is never immoral and lust is never pure.

We must at all times then be controlled by the Holy Spirit. This is our only key to effectively fight sexual sin. To be filled with and walking in the Spirit of God means that we will not fulfill the lust of the flesh (Gal. 5:16). Otherwise, if we play with the things that tempt us we will quickly fall into the mire of self indulgence and we will sin against God, our family, and ourselves.

Some think this only refers to acts of sexual perversion, or sex outside of marriage, however, it is high time that we in the church stopped trying to define what sex is and is not in order to sooth guilty consciences. It is not about sex. It is about morality! What is moral and what is immoral? That is where we must draw the line. Married or not, to participate in anything immoral is sinful.

Next we see that uncleanness must not be named among us. This is impurity, anything unclean, rotten, or decayed. It includes sexual corruption. The unhindered and selfish desires corrupt us further. The desires originate in the corruption of our heart and lead to the corruption of our mind and our body.

Once we have repented of our sin and trusted Christ we have learned that we have been given a new nature. However, living in these fallen sinful bodies still provides our flesh with ammunition for temptation. We are to be holy, remember? And yet this is temptation to be unholy, to be unclean, and to soil our garments before God so to speak. He provides for us robes of righteousness and we run through the mud!

Some people play with uncleanness. It is a joke or a game. But these things are not innocent. These things take our minds off of Christ. They violate Philippians 4:8. They draw our flesh into desires that must not be fulfilled! They grasp at our minds and manipulate our emotions. But keep in mind, sin never delivers what it promises. Uncleanness is only deception and sin brings guilt, conviction, and discipline.

Following this we are also told that we are to avoid covetousness. This is greed, self-will, and self-gratification. It is to take instead of give. The focus of any counterfeit is to promise the love and purity but deliver the perverse and unclean. Greed is at the root of impurity. We want for ourselves. We are self-serving. We have no regard for others. We actually use others to get what we want! This is covetousness.

Covetousness destroys friendships, families, and fellowships! Greed, that insatiable desire to always have a little more, will drive us into madness and despair. Why do we covet when God has given us everything we need that pertains to life and godliness? He satisfies us, so why do we think we need to look elsewhere for fulfillment?

These things, fornication, uncleanness, and covetousness, are not to be named, not tolerated, not to be even suspected among us. They are not things to play with or ignore. They are not things that we are beyond falling into! Don’t give anyone an opportunity of any kind to suspect these things of us. And of course we must never allow these things to be tolerated among His elect!

Too often we take a light view of sin. We joke about it. We excuse it. We entertain it until it turns on us and kills us! According to Colossians 3:1-17, we are to put these things to death if they “pop” up in our thoughts before they can ever gain a stronghold in our words or actions. We must never excuse selfish desires. We must instead crucify them. Execute them!

Let us determine that these things will not be named among us. Let us decide that we will deny ourselves, take up our cross daily, and follow Jesus. Let us today deliberately set out to imitate God!

Links for Further Study
(links to study each daily topic in more detail if you have the desire and the time)

The New Nature by Charles Spurgeon
Beware of Covetousness AUDIO - A message from Luke 12:13-21 by Pastor Way

Bible Reading For Further Study

Recommended Songs for Worship

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