Ephesians 5:1-7. (NIV)
1Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children 2and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
3But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. 4Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. 5For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person – such a man is an idolater – has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 6Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. 7Therefore do not be partners with them.
Once again, this is coming out of who God has created and called me to be in Christ. In chapter 1, Paul says that we were chosen before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight (v. 4). Living the truth of who I am means living in righteousness. Sin is not a small matter! Sexual immorality, impurity, and greed are singled out here; the person who pursues these things is an idolater, and has no share in God’s inheritance. This is contrasted in v. 2 with living a life of love: an immoral, impure, or greedy person is not living in love.
God is making it very clear here that salvation is not just about going to Heaven after I die. It’s also about living out the truth of Christ here on Earth. It’s about imitating God – a concept that would sound blasphemous were it not found in the very words of Scripture. We must not only tell people what God has done, we must also show them who he is. Just as children grow to be like their parents in the way they speak and act, so must the children of God grow up to be like our Father.