Monday, May 11, 2009

Ephesian Sins

One of the exercises in our St. Paul Bible Study from two weeks ago involved listing the sins and faults enumerated by Paul in Ephesians 4:17-5:20. It's an impressive list, and it contains a few surprises -- things that I would only include in certain situations. The list I came up with:

Ignorance, hardness of heart (4:18), callousness, licentiousness, greed, uncleanness (4:19), deceit, lust (4:22), falsehood (4:25), sustained anger (4:26), theft (4:28), evil (non-edifying) talk (4:29), bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, slander, malice (4:31), covetousness (5:3), filthiness, silly talk, levity (5:4), idolatry (5:5), drunkenness, and debauchery (5:18).

The surprising ones (for me) were the silly talk and the levity. They were immediately followed by the admonition to "let no one deceive you with empty words, for it is because of these things that the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience" (5:6). Of all the things that St. Paul says could provoke the wrath of God, he focuses on filthiness, levity, silly talk, and empty words. That's enough to make me scratch my head and say, "Huh?"

I hadn't really thought much about this passage until now, but I can see that it's one that I'm going to have to mull over for a while.

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