“Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people. Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes—these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God. You can be sure that no immoral, impure, or greedy person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God. For a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world.”
The Ephesians lived in the Roman empire but was historically Grecian. Both were a very sexually stimulated societies, much like our’s is today. Often women and even children were viewed as objects that could be shared with other pleasure seekers and it was into this historical context that Paul spoke. Though we now have laws against just lewdness, his word here is no less pertinant to our society!
Paul starts with immorality. Paul, being Hebrew, views morality from an Old Testament viewpoint. Since the Bible teaches that sexual activity should be enjoyed within the context of one man & woman, who are committed to each other in marriage for life, it is from this context that Paul writes. He says that no such immoratilty should be found among Christian believers, including impurity and greed. Remember, in the Ephesian society temple prostitutes, both male and female, were a thing. General prostitution and even providing children for sexual pleasure were acceptable forms of income as well, so Paul is speaking into all of these things as he pens this letter. Paul’s attitude: “such sins have no place among God’s people”! Then Paul includes things that were the “accepted norm” of the day-“obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes”. We call this “locker room talk” & “dirty jokes” and our society is full of such talk as well! Notice that Paul never condemns immoral people. He doesn’t blast the society that he lives in. He simply stands with the Bible in his expectations of people who are Christ following believers, and so should we! Remember Jesus similarly spoke into His pious and self-righteous society, equalting lust with the sin of adultry (Matt 5:28), rendering all of us, pious and pagan alike, “guilty”!
THERE’S A SOLUTION THOUGH! He says instead, “let there be thankfulness to God”! Thankfulness to God? Yes, for who and what we have! I believe we’re to be grateful for the person God has provided for each of us and to find your sexual satisfactions there (Prov 5:19). He’s also saying to find the satisfaction for mankind’s deepest desires-a relationship with God- in Christ! Humans were made to worship God. We need God! We hunger and thirst for Him! Often though, people try to satisfy this deepest human need with sex or money or substances such as drugs, alcohol & even food!
Paul admonishes the believers here not to get caught in the traps of immorality and greed, as the Kingdom of God is not composed of such who make this their lifestyle. ALL of us should be constantly guard against these sins and not consider ourselves to be above committing them, because that’s exactly when we will!
(I Cor 10:12)
God extends His loving grace to ALL of us, so it’s NEVER TOO EARLY OR TOO LATE to live a life of purity!
Think about it!