At the beginning of Ephesians 5 Paul exhorts the believers to imitate God and walk in love. In particular they should follow Christ’s example of love, Christ who was a “fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” So also Paul urges all the brothers to be living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God.
Paul immediately exhorts the Ephesian Christians about what their lives ought not contain. There is a similarity as in his letter to the Romans, who were to be living sacrifices for God and therefore not conformed to this world. But he gets more explicit about worldly ways in Ephesians.
I’m going to take two or three more weeks of exhortations to work through these verses.
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 nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. For 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 Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. (Ephesians 5:3–6 ESV)
Sex and stuff, money and our mouths, there are righteous and unrighteous ways of dealing with it all in the world. But when we want what we don’t have, and sometimes want what God says explicitly is off limits, these are the ways of disobedience (verse 6), the ways of darkness (verse 8), unfruitful (verse 11), and shameful (verse 12). Because we are beloved children, some things must not even be named among us, some things are just out of place. In this “house” there are some things we just don’t do. More to come as we consider some of the specifics.