Ephesians 5:5

Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.


1. "Filthiness." This term, though referring to acts as much as words, points especially to that obscenity of speech which is so disgusting to the moral sense of man. It is proof of a corrupt heart - for "out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh" - and, more than anything else, makes the tongue "a fire, a world of iniquity," even "set on fire of hell."

2. "Foolish talking." This is the talking that will have many idle words to answer for at the day of judgment (Matthew 12:36). It is more than mere random gossip; it is the talk of fools which is folly and sin; it includes "corrupt speech (Ephesians 4:29). It is aimless, senseless, frivolous talk. Our talk ought to be full of reason and purpose, and bright with happy suggestion.

3. Jesting." The apostle does not condemn the pleasantry which lends such a grace and joy to conversation, but the wit that is allied to lewdness, brimming over in double entendres, and tending to demoralization.


1. They are not so in themselves, for the character of impropriety essentially attaches to each of them.

2. They are not so in the speakers, who incur a still deeper reproach and prepare for themselves a graver judgment.

3. They are not so for the hearers, who, though they may be amused for the moment, are not profited, but rather debased by such conversation.

III. THE RIGHT USE OF THE TONGUE. "Giving of thanks." Christian cheerfulness ought to express itself, not in buffoonery or levity, but in thanksgiving and praise. We have much to be thankful for in our daily lot, and the thought of the indulgent kindness which supplies all our need ought to repress anything like foolish or scurrilous discourse. The language of thankfulness will minister grace to the hearers. - T.C.

For this we know, that no whoremonger nor unclean person.
There are thirteen acts of soul worship; and to give any one of them to anything besides the God of heaven is plain idolatry, and those idolaters that so give it.

1. Esteem. That which we most highly value. we make our god; for estimation is an act of soul worship.

2. Mindfulness. That which we are most mindful of we make our god.

3. Intention. That which we most intend we make our god; for to be most intended is an act of worship due only to the true God; for He being the chief good, must be the last end.

4. Resolution. What we are most resolved for we worship as God.

5. Love. That, which we most love we worship as our god; for love is an act of soul worship. To love and to adore are sometimes both one. Love, whenever it is inordinate, is an idolatrous affection.

6. Trust. That which we most trust we make our god; for confidence and dependence is an act of worship which the Lord calls for as due only to Himself.

7. Fear. If you fear others more than Him, you give that worship to them which is due only to God.

8. Hope. That which we make our hope we worship as God; for hope is an act of worship. Those that make their own righteousness the foundation of their hope, they exalt it into the place of Christ, and honour it as God; and to honour anything as God is evident idolatry.

9. Desire. That which we most desire we worship as our god; for that which is chiefly desired is the chief good in his account who so desires it; and what he counts his chief good, that he makes his god.

10. Delight. That which we most delight and rejoice in, that we worship as God; for transcendent delight is an act of worship due only to God; and this affection, in its height and elevation, is called glorying.

11. Zeal. That for which we are more zealous we worship as our god; for such a zeal is an act of worship due only to God; therefore it is idolatrous to be more zealous for our own things than for the things of God.

12. Gratitude. That to which we are most grateful, that we worship as God; for gratitude is an act of worship.

13. When our care and industry is more for other things than for God. No man can serve two masters.Argument

1. Such idolaters are not in covenant with God. It is the covenant of grace alone which gives right and title to the kingdom. Those that are not in covenant have no title to heaven; and those that have no right nor title to it, shall have no inheritance in it.

2. Such idolaters are not yet born again, are not yet converted; and without the new birth, no inheritance in the kingdom; those only are heirs of this kingdom who are born of God, who are born again. Try whether you be guilty of this soul idolatry or no.And to stir you up to this examination, let me premise these two things, the danger and secrecy of this.

1. The danger. It is a sin will endanger your loss of heaven, make it exceeding difficult, or altogether impossible. If one should tell you of some mischievous person lurking in your house, with an intent to murder you, or set your house on fire, etc. The apostle tells you of something more mischievous; that which is more dangerous, and nearer to you; that which will endanger the loss of an inheritance, of a kingdom.

2. The secrecy of it calls for diligent search. Nothing more common or more concealed.

(D. Clarkson, B. D.)

1. That there is a kingdom of God. This notion implieth, on God's part, His sovereign authority and right to command; and on our part, both duties and privileges.

2. There is no entrance into this kingdom but by coming into the kingdom of Christ.

3. The title or right to the privileges of Christ's kingdom is by way of inheritance. "If a son, then an heir of God through Christ" (Galatians 4:7; and Romans 8:17), "If sons, then heirs, joint heirs. with Christ."

4. By the tenor of the Christian doctrine it plainly appeareth that whoredom and all uncleanness excludeth men from this inheritance.It appeareth plainly by these particulars —

1. Because it is contrary to that covenant by which all enter into Christ's kingdom.

2. Because of God's express exclusion. Surely. they are excluded from this inheritance whom God excludes and Christ excludes (1 Corinthians 6:9, 10).

3. From the heinous nature of the sin. It is a sin of great atheism and great infidelity.

4. It is idolatry. Primary idolatry is when Divine honours are given to any creature. But howls whoredom and uncleanness idolatry? Because by it men are addicted to some base thing which they prefer before God. "Lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God" (2 Timothy 3:4, 5). Because they have not that spirit that should fit them and make them meet for heaven.

6. This exclusion is so absolute and peremptory that it admits no exception but that of sincere repentance, which is both a change of heart and life. No other repentance is true but a quitting and leaving these sins before they leave us.Three things are apt to deceive you.

1. Some trouble for these sins while you go on still to commit them.

2. The next thing that will deceive you is some faint resistance or striving against sin, but it groweth upon you.

3. That which will deceive you is a hope to cry God mercy upon your death beds; and so, after an impure life, men hope still to go to heaven.

(T. Manton, D. D.)

Christians, Ephesians, Paul
Assured, Awaiting, Certainty, Christ, Covetous, Desire, Flesh, Fornicator, Gives, Greedy, Heritage, Idolater, Idol-worshipper, Images, Immoral, Impure, Informed, Inheritance, Kingdom, Lewd, Lust, Money-grubber, Passions, Property, Reign, Sexually, Share, Sure, Surety, Unbridled, Unclean, Whoremonger, Worship
1. After general exhortations to love;
3. to flee sexual immorality;
4. and all uncleanness;
7. not to converse with the wicked;
15. to walk carefully;
18. and to be filled with the Spirit;
22. he descends to the particular duties, how wives ought to obey their husbands;
25. and husbands ought to love their wives,
32. even as Christ does his church.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Ephesians 5:5

     2345   Christ, kingdom of
     2377   kingdom of God, entry into
     5413   money, attitudes
     5705   inheritance, spiritual
     5866   gluttony
     5870   greed, condemnation
     6135   coveting, and sin
     6166   flesh, sinful nature
     6188   immorality, sexual
     6201   imperfection, and God's purposes
     8311   morality, and redemption

Ephesians 5:3-5

     5907   miserliness

Ephesians 5:3-7

     8273   holiness, ethical aspects

Ephesians 5:5-6

     1412   foreknowledge
     4938   fate, final destiny
     5790   anger, divine
     6025   sin, and God's character
     6237   sexual sin, nature of
     8718   disobedience

January 1. "Redeeming the Time" (Eph. v. 16).
"Redeeming the time" (Eph. v. 16). Two little words are found in the Greek version here. They are translated "ton kairon" in the revised version, "Buying up for yourselves the opportunity." The two words ton kairon mean, literally, the opportunity. They do not refer to time in general, but to a special point of time, a juncture, a crisis, a moment full of possibilities and quickly passing by, which we must seize and make the best of before it has passed away. It is intimated that there are not
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

June 27. "Be Filled with the Spirit" (Eph. v. 18).
"Be filled with the Spirit" (Eph. v. 18). Some of the effects of being filled with the Spirit are: 1. Holiness of heart and life. This is not the perfection of the human nature, but the holiness of the divine nature dwelling within. 2. Fulness of joy so that the heart is constantly radiant. This does not depend on circumstances, but fills the spirit with holy laughter in the midst of the most trying surroundings. 3. Fulness of wisdom, light and knowledge, causing us to see things as He sees them.
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

April 22. "Christ is the Head" (Eph. v. 23).
"Christ is the head" (Eph. v. 23). Often we want people to pray for us and help us, but always defeat our object when we look too much to them and lean upon them. The true secret of union is for both to look upon God, and in the act of looking past themselves to Him they are unconsciously united. The sailor was right when he saw the little boy fall overboard and waited a minute before he plunged to his rescue. When the distracted mother asked him in agony why he had waited so long, he sensibly replied:
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

Third Sunday in Lent
Text: Ephesians 5, 1-9. 1 Be ye therefore imitators of God, as beloved children; 2 and walk in love, even as Christ also loved you, and gave himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for an odor of a sweet smell. 3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as becometh saints; 4 nor filthiness, nor foolish talking, or jesting, which are not befitting: but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this ye know of a surety, that no fornicator, nor unclean
Martin Luther—Epistle Sermons, Vol. II

Twentieth Sunday after Trinity the Careful Walk of the Christian.
Text: Ephesians 5, 15-21. 15 Look therefore carefully how ye walk [See then that ye walk circumspectly], not as unwise, but as wise; 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17 Wherefore be ye not foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And be not drunken with wine, wherein is riot, but be filled with the Spirit; 19 speaking one to another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; 20 giving thanks always for all things
Martin Luther—Epistle Sermons, Vol. III

God's Imitators
Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children'--Eph. v. 1. The Revised Version gives a more literal and more energetic rendering of this verse by reading, 'Be ye, therefore, imitators of God, as beloved children.' It is the only place in the Bible where that bold word 'imitate' is applied to the Christian relation to God. But, though the expression is unique, the idea underlies the whole teaching of the New Testament on the subject of Christian character and conduct. To be like God, and
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture Ephesians, Peter,John

Pleasing Christ
'Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.'--Eph. v. 10. These words are closely connected with those which precede them in the 8th verse--'Walk as children of light.' They further explain the mode by which that commandment is to be fulfilled. They who, as children of light, mindful of their obligations and penetrated by its brightness, seek to conform their active life to the light to which they belong, are to do so by making experiment of, or investigating and determining, what is 'acceptable
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture Ephesians, Peter,John

Unfruitful Works of Darkness
'And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.'--Eph. v. 11. We have seen in a former sermon that 'the fruit,' or outcome, 'of the Light' is a comprehensive perfection, consisting in all sorts and degrees of goodness and righteousness and truth. Therefore, the commandment, 'Walk as children of the light,' sums up all Christian morality. Is there need, then, for any additional precept? Yes; for Christian people do not live in an empty world. If there were
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture Ephesians, Peter,John

Sleepers at Noonday
'Wherefore He saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light,'--Eph. v. 14. This is the close of a short digression about 'light.' The 'wherefore' at the beginning of my text seems to refer to the whole of the verses that deal with that subject. It is as if the Apostle had said, 'I have been telling you about light and its blessed effects. Now I tell you how you may win it for yours. The condition on which it is to be received by men is that they awake
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture Ephesians, Peter,John

What Children of Light Should Be
'Walk as children of light.'--Eph. v. 8. It was our Lord who coined this great name for His disciples. Paul's use of it is probably a reminiscence of the Master's, and so is a hint of the existence of the same teachings as we now find in the existing Gospels, long before their day. Jesus Christ said, 'Believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light'; and Paul gives substantially the same account of the way by which a man becomes a Son of the Light when he says, in the words preceding
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture Ephesians, Peter,John

The Fruit of the Light
'The fruit of the light is in all goodness and righteousness and truth.'--Eph. v. 9 (R.V.). This is one of the cases in which the Revised Version has done service by giving currency to an unmistakably accurate and improved reading. That which stands in our Authorised Version, 'the fruit of the Spirit' seems to have been a correction made by some one who took offence at the violent metaphor, as he conceived it, that 'light' should bear 'fruit' and desired to tinker the text so as to bring it into
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture Ephesians, Peter,John

Paul's Reasons for Temperance
'And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. 12. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. 13. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. 14. Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. 15. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, 16. Redeeming the time, because the days
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture Ephesians, Peter,John

Redeeming the Time
'See, then, that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.'--Eph. v. 15, 16. Some of us have, in all probability, very little more 'time' to 'redeem.' Some of us have, in all probability, the prospect of many years yet to live. For both classes my text presents the best motto for another year. The most frivolous among us, I suppose, have some thoughts when we step across the conventional boundary that seems to separate the unbroken sequence
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture Ephesians, Peter,John

On Marriage.
TEXT: EPH. v. 22-31. IN completing lately the annual round of our Christian holy-days, I expressed to you the wish that the holy emotions which our hearts experience at such seasons might not pass away with them; but that the impressions then made might accompany us during the other half of the year, so that without any extraordinary festival incitement we might constantly retain a more lively sense of communion with the Redeemer, and a fuller enjoyment of what the eternal Father has done through
Friedrich Schleiermacher—Selected Sermons of Schleiermacher

The Light of God
Preached for the Chelsea National Schools.] Ephesians v. 13. All things which are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever is made manifest is light. This is a noble text, a royal text; one of those texts which forbid us to clip and cramp Scripture to suit any narrow notions of our own; which open before us boundless vistas of God's love, of human knowledge, of the future of mankind. There are many such texts, many more than we fancy; but this is one which is especially valuable
Charles Kingsley—Sermons for the Times

Against Foolish Talking and Jesting.
"Nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient."-- Ephes. v.4. Moral and political aphorisms are seldom couched in such terms that they should be taken as they sound precisely, or according to the widest extent of signification; but do commonly need exposition, and admit exception: otherwise frequently they would not only clash with reason and experience, but interfere, thwart, and supplant one another. The best masters of such wisdom are wont to interdict things, apt by unseasonable
Isaac Barrow—Sermons on Evil-Speaking, by Isaac Barrow

Sensual and Spiritual Excitement.
Preached August 4, 1850. SENSUAL AND SPIRITUAL EXCITEMENT. "Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit."--Ephesians v. 17, 18. There is evidently a connection between the different branches of this sentence--for ideas cannot be properly contrasted which have not some connection--but what that connection is, is not at first sight clear. It almost appears like a profane and irreverent juxtaposition
Frederick W. Robertson—Sermons Preached at Brighton

Members of Christ
"For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones."--Ephesians 5:30. YESTERDAY, when I had the painful task of speaking at the funeral of our dear friend, Mr. William Olney, I took the text which I am going to take again now. I am using it again because I did not then really preach from it at all, but simply reminded you of a favorite expression of his, which I heard from his lips many times in prayer. He very frequently spoke of our being one with Christ in "living, loving, lasting
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 38: 1892

Living, Loving, Lasting Union
With new portraits of Pastor C. H. Spurgeon and Mr. William Olney "For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones--Ephesians 5:30. BEFORE the funeral, at Norwood Cemetery, of the late Mr. William Olney, senior deacon of the church at the metropolitan Tabernacle, a service was held in the Tabernacle. The building was crowded with sympathizing friends, who came to testify the affection they bore to the beloved deacon who had been so suddenly called from their midst. The senior Pastor
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 38: 1892

Wary Walking.
(Twentieth Sunday after Trinity.) EPHESIANS v. 15. "See then that ye walk circumspectly." Some people tell us that salvation is the easiest thing in the world. We have only to feel that we believe in Jesus Christ, and all is done. Now neither Jesus Christ Himself, nor the Apostles whom He sent to teach, tell us anything of the kind. On the contrary, our Saviour, whilst He dwells on the fulness and freedom of salvation, offered to all without money, and without price, tells us that many are called,
H. J. Wilmot-Buxton—The Life of Duty, a Year's Plain Sermons, v. 2

Tenth Day. Love to the Brethren.
"And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us."--Eph. v. 2. "Jesus," says a writer, "came from heaven on the wings of love." It was the element in which he moved and walked. He sought to baptize the world afresh with it. When we find Him teaching us by love to vanquish an enemy, we need not wonder at the tenderness of His appeals to the brethren to "love one another." Like a fond father impressing his children, how the Divine Teacher lingers over the lesson, "This is My commandment!" If
John R. Macduff—The Mind of Jesus

"For to be Carnally Minded is Death; but to be Spiritually Minded is Life and Peace. "
Rom. viii. 6.--"For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace." It is true, this time is short, and so short that scarce can similitudes or comparisons be had to shadow it out unto us. It is a dream, a moment, a vapour, a flood, a flower, and whatsoever can be more fading or perishing; and therefore it is not in itself very considerable, yet in another respect it is of all things the most precious, and worthy of the deepest attention and most serious consideration;
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

"If So be that the Spirit of God Dwell in You. Now if any Man have not the Spirit of Christ, He is None of His. "
Rom. viii. 9.--"If so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." There is a great marriage spoken of, Eph. v. that hath a great mystery in it, which the apostle propoundeth as the sample and archetype of all marriages or rather as the substance, of which all conjunctions and relations among the creatures are but the shadows. It is that marriage between Christ and his church, for which, it would appear, this world was builded, to be
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

"The Truth. " Some Generals Proposed.
That what we are to speak to for the clearing and improving this noble piece of truth, that Christ is the Truth, may be the more clearly understood and edifying, we shall first take notice of some generals, and then show particularly how or in what respects Christ is called the Truth; and finally speak to some cases wherein we are to make use of Christ as the Truth. As to the first. There are four general things here to be noticed. 1. This supposeth what our case by nature is, and what we are all
John Brown (of Wamphray)—Christ The Way, The Truth, and The Life

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