Ephesians 5:1, 2  "Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; 2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour."

Chapter 5 continues with the subject of putting off the old man and putting on the new man.  Paul encourages the disciples to be followers of God.  Now we may ask ourselves how can we be followers of God?  We have not seen God.  How can we follow someone we have not seen?  While we have not seen God, we have the description of Christ's life here on earth in the flesh.  Christ is God manifest in the flesh:

    1.  1 Tim 3:16 "And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

     2.  Col. 2:8 "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. 9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily."

    3.  Col. 1:13 "Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: 15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:"

Philip spoke to the Lord in John 14:8 "Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us. 9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?"  Thus Jesus is the manifestation of God in the flesh.  What we know of God and the life and character of God we know because Jesus showed it to us and we have the record of this in the New Testament.  Thus, Christ is the example of everything that is good and perfect.  We are to follow the example of Christ.  For example, if we want to know how we are to forgive, then we are to forgive as God forgave us for Christ's sake.  If we want to know how we are to be kind, then we look at the example of Christ's kindness. 

"Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children"  The term, "dear children," means "well-beloved children."  Now we know that God loves all the elect the same in connection with the covenant of redemption.  However, those who are his disciples and members of the Lord's church are referred to as "dear children."  They are well-beloved as followers of Him.  As dear children we are to walk in love.  "Walk" refers to the type of life that we live.  We are to live our lives in love.  Love should be the very theme of our lives.  Whatsoever we do, we should do it out of a motivation of love. 

Christ is again, our example in our walk of love.  It is he who "loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour."  The love of Christ is both giving and sacrificial.  First, he gave himself for us.  John 15:13 "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."  Christ gave himself for us.  What amazing love is manifest by Christ: Romans 5:7 "For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. 8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."  Likewise, we are to give unselfishly and not based on the merit of the recipient. 

Second, the love of Christ was sacrificial.  Christ gave his very life for us.  He suffered the agony of the death of the cross and God's wrathful vengeance against our sins.  He did it because he loved us.  Likewise, our love is to be sacrificial.  We should not ask, "How much will it cost me if I do this?"  We should be willing to lay down our lives for our friends and give up our own goods for the benefit of others. 

Ephesians 5:3-7  "But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; 4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. 7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them."

There are things that many are guilty of before coming to the church kingdom of heaven that are to be put away (put off the old man).  While we may have walked in these things in the past of our lives, yet, now as disciples of the Lord, they are not to be a part of our lives any longer. 

Fornication comes from the Greek word, porneia, and includes harlotry, adultery, incest, and sexual intercourse before marriage.  Fornication appears 36 times in the scriptures and is spoken against in all places it is found.  The child of God in the church should avoid fornication.

Uncleanness comes from the Greek word, akatharsia, and means physical or moral impurity.  This would include such things as homosexual activity, bestiality, and pornography. 

Covetousness comes from the Greek word, pleonexia, and means fraud, extortion, and greed. 

We are told that fornication, uncleanness, and covetousness are not to be once named among us as becometh saints.  Thus, we are not to dabble in it or just do it occasionally, but we are to put these things completely away from us.  It is unbecoming of saints to be practicing these things.

Filthiness comes from the Greek word, aischrotes, and means obscenity.  Thus we are forbidden to be obscene in action or speech as the disciples of the Lord.

Foolish talking comes from the Greek word, morologia, and means silly talk or buffoonery.  According to Webster's Dictionary a buffoon is someone who plays the fool or clowns around.  When we gather together to worship, it is not convenient (proper) to be clowning around.  While we may tease our friends and family and clown around with them in a light hearted manner, yet when it comes to the worship and service of God these things are to be put away.

Jesting comes from the Greek word, eutrapelia, and means a word or deed designed to evoke laughter; to speak frivolously or jokingly.  When it comes to the worship and service of God, jesting is not convenient (proper) and should be avoided.

"For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God."  The word, inheritance, comes from the Greek word, kleronomia, and means possession.  A person who engages himself as a whoremonger, or unclean person, or covetous man has no possession in the kingdom of Christ and of God.  We may have gotten our names on the church roll, yet we do not have any possession in the church kingdom on earth when we engage in such activities. 

"Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience."  God is not mocked, whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.  God is a God of wrath and he takes vengeance against such activities as described above.  The world before the flood was destroyed because of such things; Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because of such things; several times in the Old Testament we see God wrathful judgment against Israel because of such activities.   

"Be not ye therefore partakers with them."  2 Cor. 6:17 "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you."  Also, Rev. 18:4 "And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues."  These are serious matters for the disciples of the Lord and we should put away these things from our lives. 

Ephesians 5:8-13   "For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: 9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) 10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. 11 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."

"For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord."  In the morning of time when God created light by saying, "Let there be light, and there was light."  God made a distinction between light and darkness as he called the light, day; and the darkness he called night.  Darkness is the absence of light.  In John chapter 1 the light defined spiritual light for us: 4 "In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.  The life in Christ is eternal life and this life is equate to light. 

We are children of light because we were born of the Spirit of God.  When we were born of the Spirit, we came spiritually into possession of eternal life.  John 1:9 "That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world."  We have eternal life because we were "lighted" by the Lord.  Being children of light with eternal life makes us possessors of spiritual life and capable of bearing the fruit of the Spirit.  As children of light we now can manifest love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance.  We now have the love of God written in our hearts and minds and fear God.  We can receive the things of the Spirit of God.

Before we were born of the Spirit we were only capable of doing the works of the flesh which are enumerated for us in Gal. 5:19

"Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God."  The thing about the enumerated works of the flesh is that they are all sinful.  That is why Peter said of the unregenerate: 2 Pet. 2:14 "Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin."  Before we were born of the Spirit of God, we were darkness and did the works of darkness.  Now, however, we are children of light and should walk as children of light.

"(For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)"  In contrast to the works of the flesh, the fruit of the Spirit bears no sin, but is altogether good, and altogether right, and altogether truth.  When we put on the new man and walk after the Spirit then we do that which is pleasing in the sight of God and is a sweet-smelling savor in his sight.

"Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord."  When we walk as children of light following the leadership of the Spirit of God and according to the word of God, then we prove to ourselves what is acceptable unto the Lord. 

"And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them."  Amos asks in Amos 3:3, "Can two walk together, except they be agreed?"  We have fellowship when two walk together.  We are not to walk together with the unfruitful works of darkness nor with those who walk therein.  If we commit fornication, uncleanness, covetousness, filthiness, foolish talking, jesting, which are not convenient and such like, then we are having fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness. 

Even if we do not do these things, yet if we continue to walk with those who do, then we are giving our consent to their actions that they are okay.  Rather, we are to reprove these actions and those who commit those things among God's people.

"For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret."  In the eyes of God, those things are so vile that to speak of them in detail brings shame.  There are some things that are so vile that we are not to graphical speak of them.  Notice that those things are done in secret.  If they were not sinful, then why are they done in secret?  They are done in secret because they are sinful. 

"But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light."  The Lord said in John 3:19 "And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. 21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God."  The light of truth makes manifest and reproves the evil deeds of men. 

As an addendum, we are not to form secret societies, or have part in secret societies, because as the scriptures teach, "it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret."