​​​​ I​​ start right into Paul’s exhortations on how we should conduct our lives.

Notice that what Paul​​ referred to​​ was not according to some kind of ‘Sinless Perfection’ – such as it was with the early Methodist Movement​​ (Wesley), far​​ from it.


Ephesians 2:1-3, NASB Net Version,


«1​​ And you were dead in your trespasses and​​ sins,​​ 


2​​ in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.​​ 


3​​ Among them we too all​​ formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.”​​ 


Paul reminding the believers in Christ how it was when they lived as unsaved ones….’walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air (Satan!!), of the spirit that is​​ now working​​ in the sons of disobedience’. ​​ (Editor’s emphasize).


As unsaved and thus unbelieving persons we were lost, and we were DEAD IN OUR SINS. We had been going on with things that were fueled and instigated by Satan, whom Paul called ‘The Prince of the​​ power of the​​ air’. If you are still walking in this sphere of unbelief and of lustful sins etcetera, then you are​​ entirely a lost soul, and have no salvation. You are thus under God’s wrath, says Eph. 2:3. This is real, and it is serious.


As Paul goes on teaching his Gospel Doctrine, he let us know how we should avoid living​​ like those mentioned in verse 2;​​ and notice also how he included himself as one who once was lost in sin, verse 3,​​ ‘we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh.​​ ​​ And he pointed back to Adam’s falling in sin (which we all inherited), ‘..and were​​ by nature​​ children of wrath, even as the rest’.


Therefore, when Paul touched in on morale and ethics, he went about with strong exhortation, even by strict warnings, that we as believers should keep a clean path in life. We are to be enemies of sin, even if we cannot manage​​ to live in ‘Sinless Perfection’.


So, from here on I shall go through all of Paul’s warnings and teachings regarding this.​​ It has to be based on his two epistles to the Church, Ephesians and Colossians. The so-called ‘Prison Epistles’.


Starting with Eph. 4:17-32, which is a strong passage telling​​ believers how things are to be handled and practiced, NASB,


17​​ So​​ this​​ I​​ say, and​​ affirm​​ together​​ with the​​ Lord, that you​​ walk​​ no​​ longer​​ just​​ as the​​ Gentiles​​ also​​ walk, in the​​ futility​​ of their​​ mind,​​ 

18​​ being​​ darkened​​ in their​​ understanding,​​ excluded​​ from the​​ life​​ of​​ God​​ because​​ of the​​ ignorance​​ that is in them,​​ because​​ of the​​ hardness​​ of their​​ heart;​​ 

19​​ and they, having​​ become​​ callous, have​​ given​​ themselves​​ over​​ to​​ sensuality​​ for the​​ practice​​ of​​ every​​ kind​​ of​​ impurity​​ with​​ greediness.​​ 

20​​ But you did not​​ learn​​ Christ​​ in​​ this​​ way,​​ 

21​​ if​​ indeed​​ you have​​ heard​​ Him and have been​​ taught​​ in Him,​​ just​​ as​​ truth​​ is in​​ Jesus,​​ 

22​​ that, in​​ reference​​ to your​​ former​​ manner​​ of​​ life, you​​ lay​​ aside​​ the​​ old​​ self, which is being​​ corrupted​​ in​​ accordance​​ with the​​ lusts​​ of​​ deceit,​​ 

23​​ and that you be​​ renewed​​ in the​​ spirit​​ of your​​ mind,​​ 

24​​ and​​ put​​ on the​​ new​​ self, which in the likeness of​​ God​​ has been​​ created​​ in​​ righteousness​​ and​​ holiness​​ of the​​ truth.​​ 

25​​ Therefore,​​ laying​​ aside​​ falsehood,​​ SPEAK​​ TRUTH​​ EACH​​ ONE​​ of you WITH HIS​​ NEIGHBOR, for we are​​ members​​ of​​ one​​ another.​​ 

26​​ BE​​ ANGRY, AND yet DO NOT​​ SIN; do not let the​​ sun​​ go​​ down​​ on your​​ anger,​​ 

27​​ and do not​​ give​​ the​​ devil​​ an​​ opportunity.​​ 

28​​ He who​​ steals​​ must​​ steal​​ no​​ longer; but​​ rather​​ he must​​ labor,​​ performing​​ with his​​ own​​ hands​​ what​​ is​​ good,​​ so​​ that he will​​ have​​ something to​​ share​​ with​​ one​​ who​​ has​​ need.​​ 

29​​ Let​​ no​​ *​​ unwholesome​​ word​​ proceed​​ from your​​ mouth, but​​ only​​ such​​ a word as is​​ good​​ for​​ edification​​ according to the​​ need​​ of the moment,​​ so​​ that it will​​ give​​ grace​​ to​​ those​​ who​​ hear.​​ 

30​​ Do not​​ grieve​​ the​​ Holy​​ Spirit​​ of​​ God, by​​ whom​​ you were​​ sealed​​ for the​​ day​​ of​​ redemption.​​ 

31​​ Let​​ all​​ bitterness​​ and​​ wrath​​ and​​ anger​​ and​​ clamor​​ and​​ slander​​ be​​ put​​ away​​ from you,​​ along​​ with​​ all​​ malice.​​ 

32​​ Be​​ kind​​ to​​ one​​ another,​​ tender-hearted,​​ forgiving​​ each​​ other,​​ just​​ as​​ God​​ in​​ Christ​​ also​​ has​​ forgiven​​ you.​​ 

This long passage, seen as an exhortation, is a continuation of Eph. 2:1-3 which I already commented on.


But in this latter passage, Paul found it right to go​​ more into details, to be sure everybody would comprehend this. Not just as a repetition.


Ephesians 5:3-12​​ has more of the same, with a nuance to it, NASB,​​ 


«3​​ But​​ immorality​​ or​​ any​​ impurity​​ or​​ greed​​ must not​​ even​​ be​​ named​​ among​​ you,​​ as is​​ proper​​ among​​ saints;​​ 

4​​ and there must be no​​ filthiness​​ and​​ silly​​ talk,​​ or​​ coarse​​ jesting,​​ which​​ are not​​ fitting, but​​ rather​​ giving​​ of​​ thanks.​​ 

5​​ For​​ this​​ you​​ know​​ with​​ certainty, that​​ no​​ *​​ immoral​​ or​​ impure​​ person​​ or​​ covetous​​ man,​​ who​​ is an​​ idolater,​​ has​​ an​​ inheritance​​ in the​​ kingdom​​ of​​ Christ​​ and​​ God.​​ 

6​​ Let​​ no​​ one​​ deceive​​ you with​​ empty​​ words, for​​ because​​ of​​ these​​ things​​ the​​ wrath​​ of​​ God​​ comes​​ upon the​​ sons​​ of​​ disobedience.​​ 

7​​ Therefore​​ do not be​​ partakers​​ with them;​​ 

8​​ for you were​​ formerly​​ darkness, but​​ now​​ you are​​ Light​​ in the​​ Lord;​​ walk​​ as​​ children​​ of​​ Light​​ 

9​​ (for the​​ fruit​​ of the​​ Light​​ consists in​​ all​​ goodness​​ and​​ righteousness​​ and​​ truth​​ ),​​ 

10​​ trying​​ to​​ learn​​ what​​ is​​ pleasing​​ to the​​ Lord.​​ 

11​​ Do not​​ participate​​ in the​​ unfruitful​​ deeds​​ of​​ darkness, but​​ instead​​ even​​ expose​​ them;​​ 

12​​ for it is​​ disgraceful​​ even​​ to​​ speak​​ of the things which are​​ done​​ by them in​​ secret.”​​  ​​ ​​​​ (Editor’s emphasize)


Col. 2:18-23​​ is an exhortation for us to stay away from false teachings/philosophies…of which, in modern times, there are many. Cults and sects has come along over the centuries since Paul wrote his warnings,

«18​​ Let​​ no​​ one​​ keep​​ defrauding​​ you of your​​ prize​​ by​​ delighting​​ in​​ self-abasement​​ and the​​ worship​​ of the​​ angels,​​ taking​​ his​​ stand​​ on visions he has​​ seen,​​ inflated​​ without​​ cause​​ by his​​ fleshly​​ mind,​​ 

19​​ and not​​ holding​​ fast​​ to the​​ head, from​​ whom​​ the​​ entire​​ body, being​​ supplied​​ and​​ held​​ together​​ by the​​ joints​​ and​​ ligaments,​​ grows​​ with a​​ growth​​ which is from​​ God.​​ 

20​​ If​​ you have​​ died​​ with​​ Christ​​ to the​​ elementary​​ principles​​ of the​​ world,​​ why, as​​ if​​ you were​​ living​​ in the​​ world, do you​​ submit​​ yourself to​​ decrees, such as,​​ 

21​​ "Do not​​ handle, do not​​ taste, do not​​ touch!"​​ 

22​​ (which​​ all​​ refer to things destined to​​ perish​​ with​​ use​​ )-in​​ accordance​​ with the​​ commandments​​ and​​ teachings​​ of​​ men?​​ 

23​​ These​​ are​​ matters​​ which​​ have, to be​​ sure, the​​ appearance​​ of​​ wisdom​​ in​​ self-made​​ religion​​ and​​ self-abasement​​ and​​ severe​​ treatment​​ of the​​ body, but are of​​ no​​ *​​ value​​ against​​ fleshly​​ indulgence.

Col. 3:5-14​​ is much the same as we found in Ephesians.​​ ​​ 


«5​​ Therefore​​ consider​​ the​​ members​​ of your​​ earthly​​ body as​​ dead​​ to​​ immorality,​​ impurity,​​ passion,​​ evil​​ desire, and​​ greed,​​ which​​ amounts​​ to​​ idolatry.​​ 

6​​ For it is​​ because​​ of​​ these​​ things​​ that the​​ wrath​​ of​​ God​​ will​​ come​​ upon the​​ sons​​ of​​ disobedience,​​ 

7​​ and in them you​​ also​​ once​​ walked,​​ when​​ you were​​ living​​ in them.​​ 

8​​ But​​ now​​ you​​ also,​​ put​​ them​​ all​​ aside:​​ anger,​​ wrath,​​ malice,​​ slander, and​​ abusive​​ speech​​ from your​​ mouth.​​ 

9​​ Do not​​ lie​​ to​​ one​​ another, since you​​ laid​​ aside​​ the​​ old​​ self​​ with its evil​​ practices,​​ 

10​​ and have​​ put​​ on the​​ new​​ self​​ who is being​​ renewed​​ to a​​ true​​ knowledge​​ according​​ to the​​ image​​ of the One who​​ created​​ him-​​ 

11​​ a renewal in​​ which​​ there​​ is​​ no​​ distinction between​​ Greek​​ and​​ Jew,​​ circumcised​​ and​​ uncircumcised,​​ barbarian,​​ Scythian,​​ slave​​ and​​ freeman, but​​ Christ​​ is​​ all, and in​​ all.​​ 

12​​ So, as those who have been​​ chosen​​ of​​ God,​​ holy​​ and​​ beloved,​​ put​​ on a​​ heart​​ of​​ compassion,​​ kindness,​​ humility,​​ gentleness​​ and​​ patience;​​ 

13​​ bearing​​ with​​ one​​ another, and​​ forgiving​​ each​​ other,​​ whoever​​ *​​ has​​ a​​ complaint​​ against​​ anyone;​​ just​​ as the​​ Lord​​ forgave​​ you,​​ so​​ also​​ should you.​​ 

14​​ Beyond​​ all​​ these​​ things​​ put on​​ love,​​ which​​ is the​​ perfect​​ bond​​ of​​ unity.


Paul could not have expressed himself better. He hits the ‘Bulls Eye’ straight on. And we better take heed to his exhortation.

Yes – I am fully aware of the Biblical fact that Jesus Christ abolished the Law of Moses on the cross, - and revealed this to Paul in 63 CE as he sat in jail.


And even if the Law and the ordinances are gone, the believer’s morale and ethics are not.


Thus we find all these instructions from Paul, so to​​ stay out of trouble​​ which comes from a sinful lifestyle.


In Ephesians and Colossians, we find Christ’s given norm regarding morale and ethics in Church. We must see to it, that we are obedient to this word of God through our apostle Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles.


Eph. 4:30, 31​​ once again, NASB,


30​​ Do not​​ grieve​​ the​​ Holy​​ Spirit​​ of​​ God, by​​ whom​​ you were​​ sealed​​ for the​​ day​​ of​​ redemption.​​ 

31​​ Let​​ all​​ bitterness​​ and​​ wrath​​ and​​ anger​​ and​​ clamor​​ and​​ slander​​ be​​ put​​ away​​ from you,​​ along​​ with​​ all​​ malice.​​














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