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Ephesians 5




SCRIPTURE: Ephesians 5

This chapter continues the application that Paul started in verse 4.  There is much in this chapter.  There is more about how we are to live.  When you get to verse 22 and following, there is much about how we are to be married.  Never doubt that the marriage of two Christ followers should be a picture of the Gospel at work.

But I have decided to focus on verse 18 and a couple of verses following.  The Scripture speaks here of being filled with the Holy Spirit.  I think this deserves some of our attention.

When we are saved, at the moment we are saved, the Holy Spirit comes to take up residence in us.  Because there is no dissection of the Spirit, when we receive Him at salvation, we receive all of Him.  

But life and its challenges have a way of causing us to ignore the Holy Spirit in our lives or pushing Him down into the dusty recesses of our hearts.  When we do that, we are not prone to listen to His voice or follow His leading.  We just go off and do whatever it is that we want to do.

So the Bible says we need to be filled with the Holy Spirit.  If you look at this word fill in the original language of the New Testament, you would discover that it literally means to keep on filling.  In other words, being filled with the Holy Spirit needs to be a continuous process in the lives of all Christ followers.

The great evangelist Billy Graham explains this constant filling this way.  He speaks of a lake on the property where he lives.  That lake is spring fed and because it is the water in the lake is always clear and fresh.  He speaks of that spring as continually filling that lake.

That really is a great illustration for us.  As we are constantly filled with the Holy Spirit, He pushes out all of the residue of life, the junk that clutters things up, and the bad stuff that shouldn’t be there.  He replaces that with life that is clear and fresh.

Verses 19-21 give us some unmistakable evidences of being filled with the Holy Spirit.  We have a song in our heart.  We give thanks for all things at all times.  And we submit ourselves to others out of respect for Jesus.

So, the question has to be how can we continually be filled with the Holy Spirit.  One way is we just need to ask Him to fill us.  Yes, it is as simple as that.  Another way is to stay in the Word of God.  The Spirit of God is always in the Word of the God.  Therefore, the more of the Word we have in us, the more His Spirit will be in us.  A third way is to be careful what you allow into your life.  At the end of the day, what you let in will be what comes out.  Every time. 

Posted by Joe Ligon with 0 Comments

Ephesians 4





SCRIPTURE: Ephesians 4

As is the case with a lot of the books/letters that Paul wrote, Ephesians has a section of theology and then a section of application.  The application begins in chapter four.  It is marked by the word “therefore” in verse 1.  It is as though Paul is saying to us, “Based upon what I just taught you, here is what you need to do.”  

Don’t be too legalistic about this.  As Paul writes application for us, he often throws in a little theology.  And it is not uncommon to find a little application in his theological sections.  Nevertheless, the focus on the rest of Ephesians really is how should we live in light of what we have been taught.

For example, we are to live in a way that is worthy of our salvation.  This simply means when we are saved, our lives should change.  Indeed, when we are saved, our lives will change.  In verses 2-3, Paul says our saved lives should be characterized by things like humility, gentleness, patience, love, and unity.

This unity thing is such an uncommon thing Paul stops his application and reminds us of some important theology.  Think about this.  We humans are prone to disunity not unity.  We are prone to finding things that separate us not connect us.  We want to choose up teams instead of all of us being on one team.  We want there to be winners and losers.  

Instead Paul points to the unity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  In fact, look at how many times the word “one” is repeated in verses 4-6.  

All of this means disunity is a very disruptive thing.  Our disunity always dishonors God.  The divisions that separate us give the enemy an easy target for his fiery darts.  Even the smallest of problems in the local church can ulcerate and become gaping wounds that hurt God and destroy our witness in the surrounding community/communities.

If you will skip down to verse 11 you will read where God gives different people different spiritual abilities/gifts.  The purpose of these gifts is those with them are supposed to equip or prepare others for the work of the ministry.  Verse 13 says that is supposed to happen until we all attain to the unity of the faith.  There’s that unity thing again.  

So what is the big deal about this unity thing?  In John 17:20 Jesus said our unity was proof of His identity to an unbelieving world.  That’s pretty powerful and it is most important.  Unity is in such limited supply among us humans that when we actually see it, it is always bigger than itself.  Unity in the church points to the reality of Jesus.

We are blessed to have a lot of unity on all three of our campuses.  But we must never take it for granted.  We must guard it.  We must promote it.  We must be willing to submit when necessary to maintain it.  We must stay in the Word of God which will produce it.

Posted by Joe Ligon with 0 Comments

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