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Feb 12, 2023

Reverence for the Dance

Reverence for the Dance

Passage: Ephesians 5:1-6

Speaker: Patrick Lafferty

Series: Song & Dance - The Gospel Melody that Moves in Ephesians

Keywords: love, kingdom, holy, inheritance, proper

The dancing that captivates your attention is marked by a certain quality within those who dance, subtle and customary as it may appear. Related to the elegance with which they move is a respect–call it reverence–for the dance itself, for those they dance with, and also for those who look on with admiration. There is no dance without a built-in reverence in the dancers. If the life in the gospel is like a dance to the tune of the gospel, then that dance will bear the characteristics of reverence. We’ll consider that reverence by hearing Paul speak of its opposite expressions, and then ask how we might both avoid irreverence in the dance and recover our sense of its sacredness in the wake of our missteps.

PREPARATION: Psalm 96:1-2, 7, 9-10
LEADER: Oh sing to the Lord a new song;
sing to the Lord, all the earth!

ALL: Sing to the Lord, bless his name;
tell of his salvation from day to day.

LEADER: Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength!

ALL: Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
bring an offering, and come into his courts!

LEADER: Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness; tremble before him, all the earth!

ALL: Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns!
Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved;
he will judge the peoples with equity.”

ALL: Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Your name.
Your Kingdom come. Your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, For ever and ever. Amen.


  • Job 2:10 / Proverbs 8:5
  • Psalm 37:3
  • Psalm 76:10
  • Psalm 112:9 / Matthew 6:19-34
  • Ecclesiastes 5:13 / Luke 16:25
  • Matthew 5:32 
  • Matthew 15:18 / Luke 6:45
  • Mark 1:15 / Matthew 16:28
  • Mark 7:21-25
  • Romans 1:21-23
  • Romans 8:3-4
  • 1 Corinthians 5:10
  • Galatians 5:19-21
  • Ephesians 1:14-18
  • Ephesians 2:2-3
  • Colossians 3:8
  • 1 John 2:8-9


  1. Quick–don’t think (ha!). Define “sacred” or “holy.” What does it mean? Tease out the various strands of meaning. Now, what is your first reaction to even hearing or discussing those words? Why?
  2. Which is more a curse upon our culture: sexual immorality or idolatry as in greed of material things? Play both sides. Make a case for both. Have a debate. Of all the things Paul might focus his warnings, why do you think he selects those?
  3. How does the gospel of grace make this “unholy trinity” indeed “out of place”?
  4. How would you characterize your attention to gratitude? That is, how prominent is the practice of it in your life? Why might Paul contrast gratitude with the “unholy trinity” of immorality, impurity, and idolatry?


  • any religion that does not tell you what to do with your . . .pots and pans [and private parts] cannot be interesting. Stanley Hauerwas
  • Sex as a god is a tyrant, a monster. Kurt Armstrong
  • Our need as human beings. . . does not lie simply in the accumulation of personal profit but instead lies in awakening to joy, to justice, and to love. . . . We do not make ourselves; we cannot live only for ourselves. Tim Shriver & Tara Isabella Burton
  • It is not really a small thing when in small things we resist self. . . . It is vanity then to seek after, and to trust in, the riches that shall perish. It is vanity, too, to covet honors, and to lift up ourselves on high. It is vanity to follow the desires of the flesh and be led by them, for this shall bring misery at the last. It is vanity to desire a long life, and to have little care for a good life. It is vanity to take thought only for the life which now is, and not to look forward to the things which shall be hereafter. It is vanity to love that which quickly passes away, and not to hasten where eternal joy abides. Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ
  • Those who have no master are slaves to themselves. Charles Spurgeon

  • (his
    purported final words from the pulpit)
  • . . .we must look at the Body of Christ as a whole and ask: are the needs of African healthcare or similar moral obligations that are not immediately apparent to us exerting the appropriate centrifugal forces in our lives? For those who are engrossed in far-flung causes, are we honoring the centripetal forces of natural bonds or are we letting an abstract love for “the world” overpower the calling to help our neighbor on the road next to us? Do we live our lives on the highway that insulates us from people in need, or are we asking God to show us which road to Jericho we ought to walk on? Dr. Matthew Loftus
  • Christ warns against serving both God and Mammon because there is perhaps nothing else under the sun that is so apt to displace God as the ordering principle of our loves. The ways in which wealth tempts us to idolatry are manifold, and constantly shifting and disorienting us with each fresh evolution or revolution of economic structures. That which can look like generosity in one setting can be revealed as a tool of oppression in another. Brad Littlejohn
  • Thanksgiving is almost a synonym for the Christian life. Peter O’Brien