Monday, April 21, 2014

Monday, April 21, 2014 -by Pamela

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Judges 9-10, Psalm 79, John 11
Today's scripture focus is Ephesians 4:25-32

Ephesians 4:25-32

English Standard Version (ESV)
25 Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. 26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and give no opportunity to the devil. 28 Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. 29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted,forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

I was at a funeral this weekend for a co-worker. Her parting comments in her funeral program echo the final verse of this passage.
Nancy's program said:

and the passage says:
32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted,forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

We are commanded to be kind. Be kind. In our words. In our actions. In our forgiving. We don't know what others are going through. We don't know how large or how heavy their burden is that they carry. People are reluctant to be vulnerable and we tend to hide our struggles and fight our battles alone instead of with each other. When we love like Jesus did we are kind. We treat others well. We don't have to know what people are going through to be kind to others. We are to treat people as Jesus would. We need to act out our faith through our actions

John MacArthur goes beyond that:

Now Paul is reinforcing basically the same truth in Ephesians. Paul is saying in chapters 1 to 3 “Look, this is who you are,” verses 4 to 6, this is how you act. And you can never separate the two. There is always the standard in terms of position and then there always is the activity in terms of behavior and they go together. You cannot say - Well, I am a Christian because once I received Christ...If you are a believer, this is how it is manifest. Peter says it in II Peter chapter 1, he says you have received the new nature. You have received a nature that is beyond corruption. You have received great and precious promises; you have been made a partaker of the divine nature. Now the only way that will ever be verified, the only way that calling and election can ever be made sure, is when you add to that virtue. And when you add virtue to that you begin to see the reality of that. And he talks about virtue and he talks about kindness, and he talks about love, and all of those characteristics of a new creature.
In other words, what Peter is saying is this - You will have the knowledge of your salvation, the assurance of your salvation, not by remembering a past event but by seeing a present virtue.
That's basic.
John says the same thing in I John, you can know that you're a Christian by the thing that's going on in your life now. And this is true. You know, even people who are Christians, when they get living in a sinful situation for any length of time, one of the first things they lose is a sense of security. And they begin to doubt whether they're really saved. Because that comes from the witness of a life and a confirmation of the Holy Spirit within us.
So if you're not living a different life there's a real possibility you're not a different person. New creatures act like new creatures. But watch this, even though this is an absolute, and -even though God says this is how it is, there is still the cooperating element of my will. And even though the Lord is saying if you are a believer, this is how you will live, that doesn't mean it's against my will. That's the beauty of the paradox of the Christian life.
Are we different people because of our faith? Will people around us recognize us as believers? If "this is who we are" then "this is what we do". You can never separate the two.

If you're new in Jesus Christ, it ought to be there. O would to God that these things were true.
Listen, people, if we could be a community in the midst of this world, a community of people who never lie but always speak the truth, a community of people who never get angry so that it's a sinful anger, but always act in love, if we could be a people who never steal but only share, if we could be a people who never speak filthy communication but always minister grace to people who are listening, if we could be those who have no bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, evil speaking, but are characterized by an incessant kindness, tenderheartedness and forgiveness do you think the world might take a note of our message? I think they would. That's the way new men are to act.
Examine yourself whether you are in the faith. Do you speak truth? Do you have control of anger so that it only operates in righteous ways? Do you share? Do you speak graciously? Do you love in kindness, tenderheartedness, and forgiveness? New men live new lives.

Do we?

Tomorrow's scripture focusEphesians 5:1-7
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: Judges 11-12, Psalm 80, John 12


TammyIsBlessed said...

Great excerpts!

TammyIsBlessed said...

I also liked Legge's outline on this passage....
Take off lying - put on truth (v25)
Take off sinful wrath - put on righteous anger (v26-27)
Take off stealing - put on sharing (v28)
Take off doubtful conversation - put on holy edification (v29)
Take off hot heads - put on warm hearts (v30-32)