Therefore be imitators of God as beloved children. Walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave Himself for us as a fragrant offering and a sacrifice to God. And do not let sexual immorality, or any impurity, or greed be named among you, as these are not proper among saints (MEV).
The Ephesians were called to “walk in love.”
So are you.
The question is—whose version of love will you imitate?
It’s interesting that right after calling the Ephesians to walk in love, Paul warned them against sexual immorality. That is, Paul warned them against porneia, a Greek word that covers every kind of deviant sexual act outside of marriage. Incest. Prostitution. Adultery. Homosexuality. You name it. Actually, those acts shouldn’t even “be named among” Christians, let alone characterize how they actually live.
What I find interesting about that is that in today’s society, sexual immorality is almost always justified in the name of love!
Why do boyfriends and girlfriends move in with each other? Because they are “in love.”
Why is she having an affair with a married man? Because they love each other, and he no longer loves his wife.
Why should we redefine marriage? Because all “love” is the same (unless it’s incest, pedophilia, pederasty, or bestiality….but give the culture some time).
Sexual immorality is almost always justified in the name of love. But the world’s definition of “love” is not God’s definition. What the world calls “love,” God calls porneia.
So where should you get your definition of love?
God and Christ.
You are called to “imitate God.”
God is your standard of truth.
He is your standard for right and wrong, virtue and vice, and for love and hate.
With God as our standard, Christians will be counter-cultural. Our standard of truth is different from the world’s, which means it will lead us to different conclusions from the world. That includes different conclusions about love.
Earlier, Paul said the Ephesians “should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk” (4:17). By application, he could have said they should no longer love as the rest of the Gentiles love, either.