New Defender's Study Bible Notes
5:4 jesting. It seems surprising at first glance that “foolish talking” and “jesting” would be condemned as in the same category of sins as fornication and filthiness. Nevertheless, there are many Biblical warnings against “every idle word” (e.g., Matthew 12:36), and it may be significant that the only Biblical reference to “jesting” is a warning against it. There are also many such Biblical commands as: “Let your speech be alway with grace” (e.g., Colossians 4:6). It seems that the popularity of many Christian speakers today is measured by the amount of humorous anecdotes and witticisms they can inject into their messages, but one never finds this element in the sermons of Christ, the letters of Paul or anywhere in the Bible. Sin and salvation are sober, serious issues.
5:4 convenient. That is, “appropriate” or “fitting.”
5:5 idolater. Another surprising revelation is that “covetousness” is equivalent to “idolatry.” In fact, “Thou shalt not covet” is the last of God’s ten commandments (Exodus 20:17), whereas the first two are commands against idolatry (Exodus 20:3-5). Covetousness, in God’s sight, is equivalent to the worship of the creation more than the Creator (Romans 1:25), the same as the worship of other aspects of nature as personified in various gods and goddesses. The god of money and material things is Mammon, and Jesus stressed that “ye cannot serve God and mammon” (Matthew 6:24).