God is light, and as we experience His work of dramatic transformation, we will find ourselves shining as lights in a world that loves darkness. The Bible knows nothing of a saved person who has a lifelong lifestyle of struggle with sin. God’s effective grace ensures you will grow more like Christ over time. These verses continue to describe what Light looks like.
In these verses, Paul gives a pretty specific description of the
lifestyle of darkness. The passage is not assuming that Christians are
still living in the darkness described – rather, the Holy Spirit gives
us a reminder of what we are not to go back to. It’s not worth going
back! Our delight, as people transformed by His grace, is to live to
In this passage, we find a unique command to be like God, a call to non-emotive love, and the ultimate example of both.
When we are owned by Jesus Christ, we no longer desire to communicate sinfully. The church ought to be known as the most ethical family in the community. Last week we learned how this plays out in two areas - speaking truth and addressing anger. Biblical anger can become unbiblical over time. Things in the body of Christ can disappoint you, but they need to be addressed. We are all fellow saints.
This passage describes the spiritual “body language” of the church. The Holy Spirit through Paul’s pen gets laser-specific about what things the new nature does and should not do. These are instructions for how we behave within the local church. If they are not lived out, we grieve the Holy Spirit and hinder His ability to work among us.
"Who am I? What am I here for? Where am I going? What should I do?" These are the questions that shape our personality and character. The unbelieving mind is always answering these questions with selfish, sinful, and worldly thinking. This old self is what we are able to lay aside once we are saved. Christ completely transforms us so we can mirror His character and tell others how he changed our lives.
This week we begin looking at the four characteristics of our new lifestyle, in direct contrast to the characteristics of the unsaved we studied last week. When we have been saved, we think and live differently.
In the next section of Ephesians 4, Paul continues his focus on individual Christian responsibility. He does this by contrasting the lifestyle of a Christian with two unsaved lifestyles - the Gentiles and the Jews. As dispossessed citizens of Heaven, we will no longer live in our old lifestyle. The worthy walk of Christians in our culture will be radically obvious and distinct.
The 1999 U.S. women’s soccer team changed the face of women’s sports worldwide because they were well-trained and passionate about working toward their goal as a team. If we are functioning well as a church, we also will influence the world – for Christ.
In these verses, Paul’s focus changes to individual responsibility within the body. Each member is specifically gifted by God, and each part works together toward a glorious goal. God designed the team and empowers it to have divine influence.
Paul’s plea for unity in verse 3 is based on 7 doctrinal truths which form the Profound Source of our Worthy Walk. Doctrine is the foundation of righteous living, and spiritual oneness is the foundation of an effective church family. We must be in agreement on doctrine of Christ, then agree on the character and conduct our worthy walk. Understanding and pursuing spiritual maturity maintains our unity.
As the glorious church of a glorious Savior, we have a glorious opportunity to live His character in our culture. When unbelievers observe our interaction, they should be amazed at the love we display (John 13:35). Maturing saints will be able to maintain the unity produced by the Spirit in a way that pleases the Lord.
This passage is important to understand because it forms the foundation for the rest of the book. The focus comes in verse three: “being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” We will find that a truly unified church requires spiritual growth and maturity.
Speaker: Pastor Kent Hobi
Theme: The enjoyment of unseen spiritual realities prepares our hearts for unified daily living in God’s glorious church. This week, we finish up the doctrinal teaching portion of Ephesians. Paul’s main point can be summarized in 1 sentence: God desires to take every soul on the globe, from various cultures and backgrounds, and blend them into one family in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. This pinnacle passage takes the form of a prayer, preparing us for the practical instructions to come in chapters 4-6. Last week we discussed God’s Enablement and Indwelling. Remember that these four aspects flow into one another as a natural Spirit-given progression. If we’re governed by the Spirit, Christ will feel at home in our hearts. As Christ is at home in our hearts, we will know the infinite measure of love God has given to us in His Son Jesus Christ. As we know that love, we will know increasing maturity over time.
Theme: The enjoyment of unseen spiritual realities prepares our hearts for unified daily living in God’s glorious church. The last part of Ephesians 3 is what Peter O’Brien calls “the highest peak in the book,” from which we gaze back on all Christ has given to us and forward to all He asks us to do. This passage is a prayer that actually began in verse 1 with the phrase “For this reason.” Paul’s mind drifted to the spiritual resources we have been given, but now he returns to prayer.
This morning we will see what happens when we replace what is "fitting" for what God commands
Theme: We have adequate, divine resources to fulfill Christ’s mission in a way that honors Him. Paul continues discussing the resources available to Christians in service of the “mystery.” What was not formerly understood by everyone is now revealed: God offers the Gospel to all the world. Paul’s focus shifts back to his person for these verses – but he is also describing you! All members of the new, unified Christian family have a responsibility to carry out the mission.
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