The Bible is a very practical Book. In fact, It is the most practical Book on earth. The problem is, many people do not study the Bible objectively in order to discover just how practical Its teachings are. One of the main teachings of the Bible is to “practice what you preach”. In other words, you are to live out what you teach other people to do. Hypocrisy is strongly condemned in the Bible. Saint Paul’s epistle to the church in Ephesus is one of the most practical epistles in the New Testament. With this article I would like to implore all Christians to practice what we preach and give practical reasons for doing it and how to do it. When God commands us to do something in the Bible, He always gives the reasons for doing or not doing something and the benefits of obedience. He does not stop there though; He also explains how to do what He tells us to do. This is why the Bible is such a practical Book, if understood and correctly applied. Ephesians chapter 5 verses 5-18 explain how and why to practice what we preach as Christians. Verses 5-6 give us the motivation for practicing what we preach.
For you know this, that no fornicator, or unclean person, or covetous one (who is an idolater), has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the children of disobedience.
The wrath of God comes upon the children of disobedience. Those who are far from a relationship with God, who live lives in total rebellion to God, are in the same category as those who do not practice what they preach. They are called “children of disobedience” in this passage, instead of being children of God. Their lifestyles are explained here:
- Fornicator (any form of sexual relations outside of marriage; both physical and mental)
- Unclean person (this is a result of sexual immorality, impurity in a spiritual sense)
- covetous (wanting what others have more than what you already have)
- idolater (anything that takes God’s place in your life, anything that you place above your relationship with Him)
Are any of these practices a part of your lifestyle? Do you constantly fall into sexual sin either physically or mentally (pornography would be mentally, also sexual fantasies)? God warns us here not to be deceived with vain words (like you can go to church and at the same time practice these sins and go to heaven), those who live this lifestyle (whether a religious person or pagan) will not inherit the kingdom of God. Their inheritance is the wrath of God. According to your lifestyle, what awaits you; the kingdom of God or the wrath of God?
Therefore do not be partakers with them. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth), proving what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. Therefore he says, “Awake, sleeping ones! And arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light.” (Eph 5:7-14)
Since the wrath of God is coming on the sons of disobedience we need to avoid certain things and embrace others.
- Do not live a lifestyle of disobedience to God. Do not be partakers with those who live this type of lifestyle. They will try to convince you that you can live anyway you want to live and still enter the kingdom of heaven, even though God has already spoken clearly on this subject.
- You once lived this lifestyle but God has changed you. Live as a changed person. The proof of the change is in your new lifestyle. You life in goodness, righteousness (right with God and with man), and truth (the Word of God). By doing this, you know what is acceptable to the Lord and you live it.
- Do not have anything in common with the deeds of darkness (sin) but instead reprove (expose) them by your good lifestyle.
- Do not secretly desire the things of darkness (you would never do it but you fantasize about it).
The benefits are numerous; wisdom, new lifestyle, the kingdom of God, etc.
See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is excess, but be filled with the Spirit, (Eph 5:15-18)
When you obey God’s Word you have the wisdom of God at your disposal. This enables you to redeem your time (we cannot make more of it but we can use what we have wisely), and understand the will of the Lord. God wants us to be filled with the Spirit, live according to the Spirit’s guidance on a moment by moment basis. Do you live this type of lifestyle? What changes do you need to make according to what you have learned from the Word of God? What are you going to do? Let us live as wise people and not as fools. The choice is yours.