ear 3 Day 72
Read - Ephesians 5
Message - Scott Woodburn
In Ephesians the Apostle Paul eloquently outlines the glory of the Gospel stressing that the good news was transformative. Christians are to live in a manner worthy of the great Gospel of Jesus Christ. What does this walk look like? We are to be imitators of God (v1). This isn't to say that we will share in His attributes. Some false teachers claim that we are "little gods". We reject such teaching. When Paul urges us to imitate God we are to consider Christ. Jesus has made God known and if we want to know what God is like then we are to consider Jesus (v2).
Therefore there is no room for sexual immorality, impurity or covetousness in the Christian life. Indeed none of this should even be named among Christians (v3). We live in a day and age of supposed sexual freedom. The world believes that sexual intercourse is just a bit of fun and anything goes. Paul exhorts us to not even talk about sexual immorality. Impurity is not the subject of empty conversation and Christians should be on guard against all kinds of covetousness. Instead of conversation filled with sinful subjects, we are to be thankful in our speech (v4). This is a solemn warning, Paul is sure that anyone who practices sexual immorality, impurity or covetousness has no place or inheritance in the kingdom of God (v5).
As we watch our speech we are also to be mindful that not everyone within the visible church is saved. There are those who will seek to flatter and deceive with empty words (v6). They will try to assure you that their sinful practices are nothing to be concerned about and if possible they will seek to involve you in their deeds. Paul counsels that we are to have nothing to do with such people. We are not to partner with them in their evil works (v7).
Christians have believed the Gospel and the Gospel has brought transformation to the child of God. We were once in darkness but Christ has brought us into His marvellous light (v8). Therefore we are to walk as children of light. We practice that which is good and right and true (v9) and as we attend to the ordinary means of grace (the word, prayer, the sacraments) we are strive to discern what is pleasing to the Lord (v10). Here is the necessity of knowing God's Word and meditating on the law of God - the Word shows us what pleases Almighty God.
We refuse to take part in sinful works, instead we bring such deeds into the light. The light exposes the darkness and makes it visible. As wicked deeds are made visible in the light of Christ's word, we see just how ugly they are. Sin is repugnant and when the Spirit convicts of us of sin, He causes sleepers to wake and rise from their spiritual death (v11-14).
Knowing all of this we should be careful and wise about our Christian walk (v15). This world is not neutral and those around us don't always have our best interests at heart. Therefore we are to wise about how we spend our time (v16). An hour on YouTube is of no benefit compared to hour in the Word. Equally spending time getting drunk with wine only leads you and others astray (v18). Drinking wine is not sin but getting drunk is always sin. Therefore instead of being drunk with beer and spirits, we are to be filled with the Spirit. What does this mean? The Spirit always points to Christ. Always. To be filled with the Spirit is to filled with wonder, joy and awe at Christ and all His works.
As the Spirit fills our souls with the things of God we are led to address one another in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs (v19). The church after the Ascension sang Psalms to one another. Never listen to those who tell you that Psalm singing is boring and dusty. The church have always sung Psalms as did Christ. In addition to Psalms the church sang hymns and other spiritual songs to one another. They didn't argue about organs or praise bands - they were filled with wonder at Christ and sang His praise when they got together.
Finally, the Christian walk is to be an endlessly thankful one (v20). We must never lose sight of what Jesus has done and it must always be a source for thanksgiving to God. Equally the Christian walk is one walked in the local church. As we live and worship with other Christians we are to submit to one another our of reverence for Christ (v21). Therefore we do not abuse fellow Christians or domineer over them or treat them with contempt. We love and honour each other and put other's needs above our own.
Brothers and sisters, these verses are challenging and hard but please take heart. The mighty Spirit works in our hearts and we have been blessed by the ordinary means of grace. The Lord is making us more and more like Christ. Stay alert in this harlot world and be imitators of God.
Q70 What is the seventh commandment? The seventh commandment is, Thou shalt not commit adultery.