Archive for the ‘Ephesians’ Category


Under Gods Command

Forgiving Others

Matthew 6:14 – For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Why? Those who are unwilling to forgive have not become one with Christ who was willing to forgive even those who crucified him Luke 23:34 – Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”And they divided up his clothes by casting lots. We are also denying our common ground as sinners in need of God’s forgiveness. God’s forgiveness of sin is not the direct result of our forgiving others, but it is based on our realizing what forgiveness means. We cannot live as Children of Light walking around with sin and hate towards others.

Ephesians 4:28-32 – He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands that he may have something to share with those in need. Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.  

We can grieve the Holy Spirit by the way we live. Paul warns us against unwholesome language, bitterness, improper use of anger, brawling, slander, and bad attitudes toward others. Instead of acting that way, we should be forgiving, just as God has forgiven us. Are you grieving or pleasing God with your attitudes and actions? Act in love toward your brothers and sisters in Christ, just as God acted in love by sending his Son to die for our sins.

Lets Bring it Home: Is there anything that you are holding against someone right now. A friend, Mother or Father, Husband or Wife, Son or Daughter, co-worker or anybody else that you can think of? Now ask yourself this. What is God holding against me right now that He will not let go because I won’t let it go?   Is it really worth to burn in hell over for the rest of your life?Sp


Under Gods Command
Ephesians 4:17-24 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more. You, however, did not come to know Christ that way. Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

People should be able to see a difference between Christians and not-Christians because of the way Christians live. We are to live as children of light (5:8). Paul told the Ephesians to leave behind the old life of sin, since they were followers of Christ. Living the Christian life is a process. Although we have a new nature, we don’t automatically think all good thoughts and express all right attitudes when we become new people in Christ. But if we keep listening to God, we will be changing all the time.

Lets Bring it Home: As you look back over last year, do you see a process of change for the better in your thoughts, attitudes, and actions? Although change may be slow, it comes as you trust God to change you.


Under Gods Command

Ephesians 4:17 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 

Living “in the futility of their thinking” refers to the natural tendency of human beings to think their way away from God.  Intellectual pride, rationalizations, and excuses all keep people from God.  Don’t be surprised if people can’t grasp the gospel.  The gospel will seem foolish to those who forsake faith and rely on their own understanding.

Lets bring it home: Are we surprised when people can’t grasp the gospel?  Did we grasp the gospel right away, or were we one of these people at one time?   Just remember that being a Christian is a process, but first you have to get your foot in the door to begin the training.

 


Under Gods Command

Ephesians 4:14-16: Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.  Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. 

 Christ is the truth (John 14:6), and the Holy Spirit who guides the church is the Spirit of truth (John 16:13).  Satan, by contrast, is the father of lies (John 8:44).  As followers of Christ, we must be committed to the truth.  This means both that our words should be honest and that our actions should reflect Christ’s integrity.  Speaking the truth in love is not always easy, convenient, or pleasant, but it is necessary if the church is going to Christ’s work in the world.

In describing the mature Christian, Paul says that one of the marks is “speaking the truth in love.” This sounds so simple, but it seems so hard for us to do. Some of us are fairly good at speaking the truth, but we forget to be loving, but we don’t have it in us to level with others if the truth is painful. The instruction here is to do both: Speak the truth, but do it in a loving manner. Think of the trouble we would spare ourselves if we followed this practice, especially in the church!

Some Christians fear that any mistake will destroy their witness for the Lord.  They see their own weaknesses, and they know that many non-Christians seem to have stronger character than they do.  How can we grow up into Christ?  The answer is that Christ forms us into a body-into a group for individuals who are united in their purpose and in their love for one another and for the Lord.  If an individual stumbles, the rest of the group is there to pick him or her and help him or her walk with God again.  If an individual sins, he or she can find restoration through the church (Galatians 6:1) even as the rest of the body continues to witness to God’s truth.

Lets bring it home: When you have a problem with another believer, don’t go to someone else with it. Go directly to that person, and speak the truth in love.  Remember, when one Christian is out of order, it reflects the entire Christian Community which is the body of Christ.  As part of Christ’s body, do you reflect part of Christ’s character and carry out your special role in his work?

 

 

 

 


Under Gods Command

Forgiving Others

Matthew 6:14 – For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. 

Why?  Those who are unwilling to forgive have not become one with Christ who was willing to forgive even those who crucified him Luke 23:34 – Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.  We are also denying our common ground as sinners in need of God’s forgiveness.  God’s forgiveness of sin is not the direct result of our forgiving others, but it is based on our realizing what forgiveness means. We cannot live as Children of Light walking around with sin and hate towards others.

Ephesians 4:28-32 – He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands that he may have something to share with those in need.  Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.  And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.  Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.  Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.    

We can grieve the Holy Spirit by the way we live.  Paul warns us against unwholesome language, bitterness, improper use of anger, brawling, slander, and bad attitudes toward others.  Instead of acting that way, we should be forgiving, just as God has forgiven us.  Are you grieving or pleasing God with your attitudes and actions? Act in love toward your brothers and sisters in Christ, just as God acted in love by sending his Son to die for our sins.

Lets Bring it Home:  Is there anything that you are holding against someone right now.  A friend, Mother or Father, Husband or Wife, co-worker or anybody else that you can think of? Now ask yourself this.  What is God holding against me right now that He will not let go because I won’t let it go?   Is it really worth to burn in hell over it for the rest of your life?

 

 


Under Gods Command

Ephesians 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Those who are not “flesh and blood” are demons over whom Satan has control. They are not mere fantasies-they are very real. We face a powerful army whose goal is to defeat Christ’s church. And they try every device to turn us away from him and back to sin. Although we are assured victory, we must engage in the struggle until Christ returns, because Satan is constantly battling against all who are on the Lord’s side. We need supernatural power to defeat Satan, and God has provided this by giving us his Holy Spirit within us and his armor surrounding us. If you feel discouraged, remember Jesus’ words to Peter. “On this rock I will build my church and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. (Mathew 16:18)

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.