A New Attitude
“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God,” Ephesians 5:1. What a beautiful passage of scripture that so inspiring for us to achieve. But there is one word that should cause us to look deeper into the context, therefore. Whenever you see that word in scripture always look at the previous verses to gain understanding of why the word therefore is present.
In this case, as we look at the context, we come to another therefore in 4:25. Therefore (lol) we have to go even further back “you must no long walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds.” Oh wow! He is writing to Gentiles and telling them to not live as Gentiles do. He is informing them that they are no longer citizens of this world but citizens of the Kingdom of God and their actions, their lives, should reflect that citizenship. That former Gentile life is darkened and alienated from God due to ignorance and hardening of their hearts. Here is what that looks like, according to the scripture: calloused, unbridled lusts, greedily practicing every type of sin.
We need to ask ourselves, “is this what our church looks like today? Is this what my life looks like today?” Have we allowed ourselves to succumb to the present day cultural teaching that “life is all about me?” Do I want my way? Am I angered when someone steps into my area of ministry? Do I constantly complain about the issues that are important to me yet never talk to the person or group that can help resolve the issue?
4:20-24, “but that is not the way you learned Christ!- assuming that you have heard about Him and were taught in Him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” Let’s follow up the previous question with this one, “Has my mind been renewed and have I put on the new self or am I still holding on to the old sinful manners in which ‘the Gentiles’ live?” If we desire to live a life where God finds favor on us we must choose to put on the new self that is obedient to the commands of Christ.
4:25-32, “Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.” Let me quick list the rest of this passage: stop stealing, work, stop tearing people down, build others up, do not grieve the Holy Spirit, get rid of bitterness, wrath, anger, clamoring and slander, be kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving...because God in Christ forgave you. One last question for yourself, “Is this the life that I am living?”
In Christ, Randall