DID PAUL WRITE THIS FOR LAST WEEK?? The lack of unity in this country has been made painfully clear these last couple of weeks. Each of the passages in this chapter presents the only viable path forward for this country:
ALL IN: It's easy to sort of embody Christ's attributes in our daily lives, but that's not at all what we've been called to. We're told to 'be completely humble, gentle & patient' (v2) and to 'make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit' (v3).
KEEP BUILDING & BEING BUILT: We're to equip and be equipped for works of service, building one another up in Christ (v12). Doing this will bring unity in the faith (v13).
GROW UP: Stop acting like children who waffle back and forth on every issue (v14). Instead, speak the truth in love, which builds up the whole body in love (v15-16).
STOP LIVING LIKE A SINFUL PAGAN: Verse 19 describes so many people today: "Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed." Paul is blunt in the next verse: that is not the way of life you learned. We need to stop dangling our toes in this water.
STOP TALKING LIKE A SINFUL PAGAN: Maybe your not really living like a sinful pagan, but your mouth is likely telling a different story. Paul tells us not to let any unwholesome talk come out of our mouths (v29). Instead of tearing people down (their ideas, politics, race, etc), make sure your words build others up.
GET RID OF THE GREED: It's pretty easy for us to thump the looters we saw last week on the head with v28: Steal no longer, instead work on something useful. Certainly those looters need to hear these words, but so do the rest of us. You may not be running out of Target with arms full of stolen merchandise, but what is it that your stealing from others?
Can you imagine how different this country would be if Ephesians 4 was adopted by all people as their guiding rule for life? We could eliminate a substantial portion of our legal codes. Although this is not likely to happen anytime soon, implementing Ephesians 4 needs to begin immediately in your life as a redeemed Christian.
AAA Prayer Tips:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: One God and Father of all, who is over all, and through all and in all (v6).
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Be made new in the attitude of your minds and be like God in true righteousness and holiness (24).
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: