As I said last week I want us to hear the antithesis at the beginning of Ephesians 5. God’s children are to imitate God, and especially the pleasing sacrifice lifestyle of God’s Son. That means there are some things that are completely out of place. Here is the first trifecta of bad bets.
But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. (Ephesians 5:3 ESV)
“Sexual immorality” is porneia, a word that covers a lot of lust and lust outlets. That’s part of how these three sins relate: wanting something that isn’t appropriate for holy people to want. Lust for physical/sensual pleasure, desire for what is dirty/corrupt, greed for material things, fretful about and/or restless with what God has not given. Note how much of this concerns hearts more than parts, or at least hearts first.
These are to “not even be named” among Christians, not that we don’t know the words, but they don’t belong. It is not “proper,” it doesn’t fit with the “saints,” the holy ones.
This isn’t just about our witness. Joking about fornication at a prayer breakfast is almost a caricature. It is more than the threat of Google exposing what it knows about you. We have been saved, we are living sacrifices, and that means sex and stuff have a place, in righteousness, not in discontent and dissipation.