March 21st, 2007
If you don’t know why you’re here, who made you, or what you’re supposed to be doing, then you may be susceptible to being tossed round by the wind. You might be grabbing hold of the latest philosophy which happens to blow your way, only to toss it out and adopt another one, and then yet another. But if you choose to follow Jesus wholeheartedly, then as Paul said, “We will no longer be children, tossed back and forth and carried about by every wind of opinion, by con-men, and by cunning and deceptive schemes.”
Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians — Chapter 4
4:1 As a prisoner in the Lord, I urge you to live in a way which is worthy of the mission to which you have been called, 4:2 with appropriate humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with each other in love. 4:3 Do all that you can to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4:4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your mission. 4:5 There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 4:6 and one God and Father of all, who is over all, and through all, and in all. 4:7 Grace has been allocated to each of us as a gift from Christ. 4:8 It is said, “When he ascended on high, he imprisoned slavery, and gave people gifts.” 4:9 What does “He ascended” mean if it does not mean he also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? 4:10 The one who descended is the same one who ascended far above all the heavens, so that he could fill all things.
4:11 He gave some apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some shepherds and teachers, 4:12 to train the believers for the work of serving, for building up of the body of Christ, 4:13 until we are united in the faith and in knowing the Son of God, fully mature, and completely Christ-like. 4:14 We will no longer be children, tossed back and forth and carried about by every wind of opinion, by con-men, and by cunning and deceptive schemes. 4:15 Speaking truth in love, in every respect we will grow in Christ, who is the head. 4:16 His whole body fits together and is held together by every supporting ligament, and the work of each individual part causes the body to grow and build itself up in love.
4:17 I say this on the Lord’s authority: You must stop living purposeless lives like other Gentiles. 4:18 Their minds are filled with darkness and they are disconnected from the life of God because of their ignorance and stubbornness. 4:19 They have stopped caring and abandoned themselves to immorality, greedily indulging in all types of impurity. 4:20 That is not the way you learned from Christ. 4:21 You have heard about him, and been taught by him that the truth is in Jesus 4:22 and that you should put away your old self from your old way of life, corrupted by its deceptive cravings, 4:23 and that you should be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 4:24 and put on your new self, created to be like God in righteousness and true holiness.
4:25 So get rid of dishonesty. Each of you should be truthful with your neighbour, because we are parts of the same body. 4:26 “Be angry, and do not sin.” Do not let the sun set while you are still angry, 4:27 and do not give the devil an opportunity. 4:28 The thief should stop stealing and start working. Do something worthwhile with your own hands, so that you can have something to give to needy people. 4:29 Do not let any evil talk come out of your mouth. Say things which are helpful consistent with the needs of the hearers, so that it will benefit them. 4:30 Do not disappoint the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 4:31 Get rid of all bitterness, acrimony, anger, shouting and slander, and any type of evil. 4:32 Be kind to each other and compassionate, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ forgave you.
Entry Filed under: Hope