As Christians we need to be careful of those who use the name of God. It is an obligation on our part to test them to determine if they are from God or not. In Ephesians 5:6, Paul explains how some people are deceivers. There are those among us who are not saved but profess to be. They are the proverbial wolves in sheep’s clothing. They know they are not saved and are there to mislead Christians into following a path away from God.
Ephesians 5:6 “Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.”
We as Christians are to understand that these people are among us. Paul phrases it in verse 6 as “men who deceive you with vain words.” What does this mean? To deceive is to mislead or cheat someone. A deceiver intentionally misleads people into believing something that is not true; in this case, they lead people away from the Will of God. They are liars. They are frauds. I looked up the original Greek word for “vain” and it is the word kenos, which means empty and fruitless words. These are words which may sound good to the ear, but do not yield the fruits of the Spirit.
Matthew 7:16 “Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?”
These empty and vain words are rooted in sin. Notice who it says that God will visit His wrath upon for these actions: the children of disobedience. The base upon which vain teachings are founded upon is disobedience to God. There are those who will simply refuse the Lord and have an apathetic view of religion in general. There are others, however, who are actively trying to harm the work of the Lord. These are people who go beyond simply ignoring Christ. They decide to rebel against Christ, and to harm the work of the Lord. This disobedient act of the sinner yields the vain words which they mislead Christians with.
Paul tells us in verse 7 to not join up with these people. They are rebels against God, and God will visit His anger upon them.
Ephesians 5:7 “Be not ye therefore partakers with them.”
How does a Christian tell a fraud from the real thing? First and foremost is to get in God’s Word, study it and know it. Don’t rely upon the preacher to spoon feed you. Take time daily to study God’s Word and develop a personal relationship with the Lord. The more you get to know God, the more a fraud will stand out as the fraud that they are.
2 Timothy 2:15 “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”