FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18
SCRIPTURE: Ephesians 4 part two
AUTHOR: Jeremy Witt
Notice verse 12, and I encourage you to read it in a variety of translations. Do you see that the gifts of those listed in verse 11 are for the building up of the Church.? This is God’s plan for those offices to equip the Church to do the ministry rather than those offices to do it. Verse 13 says “Until we all attain to the unity of the faith” which is sign that the Church must focus on these things until we are with Christ.
This is why we must fulfill our calling. Jesus gave it to us (every Christ-follower) in Matthew 28:18-20 and is known as the Great Commission. We called to share the Gospel, teach it, make disciples, baptize, and reach the people groups. These are our marching orders. Again, let it be said that this is for every Christ-follower, not just those offices mentioned in verse 11. If we will do these things, we will no longer be immature as it says in verse 14, and follow every fad and idea that the world throws out.
Verses 14 and following essentially are given to help us live as God calls us to live. We will be stable and consistent. We will speak the truth in love more and more like Christ. (15) We will be as one body doing our specific roles in the Church. (16)
Verses 17-32 refer to things we should avoid. Don’t live like the Gentiles (culture counter to the Gospel). Don’t think like the Gentile culture. Don’t be hard-headed and unteachable with hard hearts. (18) These people have no shame and live based on their lusts/passions, so don’t be like that. (19) We are told some specific things not to do and told some things to do or “put on.” Throw off the old ways (22) but instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Here is the question that immediately comes to my mind. How? Where do our thoughts live and our attitudes live? It is in our minds and hearts. So how do we change our minds and heart? God’s Word is the key. Read the Word. Memorize the Word. Practice the Word. Pray the Word. Call out to God for help. It will slowly and in some cases immediately change our thoughts and attitudes.
Stop lying (25), stop living in anger (26), control your anger to keep Satan at bay (27), quit stealing and start working (28), watch your language (29), do not do anything to bring sorrow to the Holy Spirit (30), and throw away all your bitterness, rage, foul talk and slander (31).
Verses like these are not popular in our cancel culture today. Avoiding sin, refraining from sin, or denying our flesh is not something that is popular today. I could have said these things before 2020 and it would have true, but in my lifetime, I have never seen our culture so blatantly evil. Evil is not even hiding anymore. It is coming out and being spoken in public places by public officials. Here is the key for us today. If we will live out our faith as we read in Scripture, we will be beacons of lights like a city on a hill for all to see. If we will be what Christ is calling us, our world will take notice. When we do not participate in activities, others will notice, and when we are asked why we are not doing ______________, we can share the hope of Jesus Christ.
“Instead be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” (verse 32)