Summary: Do you sometimes live two or more lives, separating your church life from life at home/work/social/etc.? Is your light more asleep or awake? More faint or bright?
THE SUPREME MYSTERY – THE BODY OF CHRIST
ACT II: The Mystery of The Body Unveiled
6. BEING HIS BODY (Eph. 5:1-14)
We have discussed together a lot lately about the analogy of the Church as being The Body of Christ and, for me at least, this has been been insightful and encouraging. Do you know that God’s Word also refers to the Church as Christ’s Bride? Yet, Scripture also makes clear that the metaphorical wedding will not take place until Christ returns. Have you ever considered the implications of this?
In the language and descriptions we use today it would perhaps be more accurate to think of the church of Christ’s legally and emotionally committed fiance, His future bride! We walk and live upon this earth as the future bride of Christ. Like an earthly bride, all of our time and attention during this period of time should be set upon preparing ourselves and others for this very special time. Even to keeping ourselves pure to be presented as such on that great Wedding day!
Think about it. When a woman is engaged and anxiously preparing for her wedding, she no longer has time for much anything else – least of all the frivolous, girlish thoughts and activities that previously accounted for so much of her time and attention! And she most certainly doesn’t have the time or interest to continue “playing the field”! As Vernon McGee says, “She won’t be going out with Tom tonight and with Dick tomorrow night and with Harry the following night. She is engaged, and she has no interest in them anymore.”
So it should be with us. Those who have committed themselves to Christ have no business flirting around with the world – whether it be holding on to old loves or looking for new younger, prettier or more exciting ones! WHAT DOES IT REALLY MEAN TO BE THE BODY OF CHRIST?
I. IMITATE GOD, NOT OTHERS (5:1-7)
A.)IMITATE GOD (vv. 1-2)
The ultimate standard for our imitation or modeling our lives is God and God alone. This theme is resplendent throughout Scripture.
HOW? Is this even possible? Practical? If not, why try only to fail?
1. As dear children.
As true children of God, it ought to be our great passion and endeavor to grow up to be like our Heavenly Father.
Illus: Dad’s haircut. Isaiah’s facial expressions.
Phillips, Craig & Dean: “Let me be like you, because he wants to be like me.”
2. In love, as Christ .
LOVE is the key and the defining element. Not just any “love,” but agape love – the very love of God! A love which is:
The “tangible” example for us of how this is lived out in this world is Christ Himself. And the greatest mark of that example is embodied in SACRIFICE – Loving God absolutely by Loving Others Sacrificially!
3. As an offering and sacrifice.
This phrase is used over 40 times in the Pentateuch (first 5 books of the Bible). It is a metaphor which indicates a self-sacrifice that is pleasing to the Father and accepted by Him as a step toward reconciliation.
Q: How does your life measure up? To what degree do you imitate God in these ways?
Q: Will you play the “Mirror Game” with Jesus?
B.) RESIST WORLDLY INFLUENCE (vv. 3-7)
These words were written to new Christians who were saved and continue to live within a wicked culture. Ephesus at the time was notorious as a “sin city,” were the dominant religion was worship of the sensual & provocative goddess Diana, ritual prostitution was a normal part of life, and all sorts of sexual perversion were not only accepted as valid, but even promoted and upheld as a standard of full living!
1.) Reflect Not A Hint of Wickedness (vv. 3-4b)
Such unholy things are literally NOT even to be discussed or rehashed by or among people whom the Lord Almighty has called to be His holy people. This does not just refer to discussions of one’s own sinful desires, but even conversations about others’ sexual desires and/or sins. Don’t go there, don’t talk about it, don’t hint at it, don’t even think about it!!!
What may be perfectly acceptable, expected or normal in society is NOT always so in Christ! There is much that is done comfortably in the dark, that cannot be done in the light!
Contemporary Examples: The Clinton-Lewinsky affair. SB wardrobe malfunction. Paris Hilton. Anna Nicole Smith’s sordid life details. How many hours have born-again saints of God spent listening to, reading, and talking about the lurid details – all in the name of disgust and/or pointing out sin? And yet, according to these verses, this preoccupation of ours is itself sinful and idolatrous!