Friday, 7 October 2016
Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Ephesians 5:6
The negatives which were set forth in the previous verses, to include those mentioned towards the end of Chapter 4, are being addressed here. Paul warns the Ephesians by saying, “Let no one deceive you with empty words.” The word “empty” gives the thought of that which is void or worthless. There is no substance behind what is spoken. In other words, the warning is that some will come forward to say that those things which have been warned against are actually ok to engage in.
As people come to Christ, there is almost inevitably a conflict which arises between their old walk and the new walk which they have chosen. Very few are immune to the tempting enticements which pull the old man back to the old ways. There are those who have been friends for years that don’t understand the new direction which has been taken, and they work to bring their “wayward” friend back into the fold of carnal life. They will use words which are intended to convince the young and immature believer that it is ok to indulge in those things. But such arguments are “empty words.” There is no true substance behind them.
Rather, it is “because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.” Paul wrote of the wrath of God in Romans 1, explaining what brings it about. The things he mentions here in Ephesians are a part of that process. It is because of participating in these things that the world is judged. And this judgment follows two distinct lines. The first is judgment in this world through diseases, conflicts which lead to physical harm or death, and the like. The second judgment is that of being cast for all eternity away from the presence of God. The Lake of Fire is the ultimate end for all “the sons of disobedience.”
As an apostle, Paul is showing that these vain arguments are exactly that. They are empty and without any substance behind them. The warnings of Scripture, to include the apostolic warnings (which are now recorded in the Bible), are given to direct us away from that which is harmful, and which brings about the wrath of God, and toward that which is pleasing to Him.
Life application: To ignore the warnings of Scripture can only lead to a sad end. There will be trials and pains in this life, and there will be either judgment and condemnation for non-believers, or a loss of rewards for believers. Stand firm on the word, and do not be deceived by vain words which are contrary to the word of God.
Lord God, Your word is often dismissed as a book of heavy handed rules which limit our freedom and which are given to steal our joy. But this is the last thing which is found there. Instead of the bondage of disobedience leading to punishment and death, there is the freedom of living free from that which brings pain and condemnation. The rules in a society are given for the good of the people. How much more then is Your word given for the benefit of Your children! Thank You for the marvelous protections and safeties which Your word gives us. Amen.