Jesus Christ said, “It is written, My house shall be called a house of prayer.”

Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation — Ephesians 5:4 (Part 1)

A series of homilies on Ephesians 5 & 6

A homily is “a short talk on a religious or moral topic; a usually short sermon; a lecture or discourse on or of a biblical theme.”

I am sharing a verse-by-verse series of short messages on Ephesians 5 & 6 (as well as other passages of Scripture) specifically targeted at reviving families and encouraging and exhorting husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, and children to do what God has commanded them to do, for if the church is to be revived and the country is to be awakened, the family must be revived first.

Ephesians 5:1-4: “Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; 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. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.”


In verses 1 & 2, we saw how we should be imitators of God, and that part of imitating God is loving others in a self-sacrificial way as Jesus Christ loved us. In the 3rd verse, Paul begins to tell us some things that we should not be doing as followers of Christ. Today, we are focusing on verse 4.

D.L. Moody said, “A man ought to live so that everybody knows he is a Christian… and most of all, his family ought to know.”

In Ephesians 5:4, Paul gives us more instruction as to how we should carry ourselves as followers, or imitators, of God.

Dr. John Walvoord and Dr. Roy Zuck’s Commentary summarizes this verse very well by saying “Improprieties in speech—obscenity in the Greek means “shameless talk and conduct”, foolish talk means in Greek “stupid words” and coarse jesting means in Greek “vulgar, frivolous wit”. These are out of place for Jesus’ followers, because such vices often harm, whereas thanksgiving is appreciation for God and others and is helpful. Paul was not intimating that humor itself is sin, but that it is wrong when it is used to destroy or tear down others.”

Now let’s break this down further.

First, we should not be engaged is filthiness. The word filthiness is defined as “obscenity.” Adam Clarke’s commentary expands this to mean “any thing base or vile in words or acts.” Just as the government regulates the television and radio airwaves to make sure that anything obscene is not played on a channel or at a time when children are likely to hear it or see it, we ought to regulate our lives so nothing that is obscene or vulgar comes out of our mouths or is demonstrated by our actions.