Summary: As Christians we are still in the world, we participate in culture, business, almost everything – however, we are of a different substance, our treasure is elsewhere our citizenship is in another land. Everything HAS changed!
Dakota Community Church
February 27, 2011
End of the World 2
1 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.
So far we have covered:
1. Dead in transgression and sin
Ephesians 2:1, 5 - As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins…
…made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions…
2. Conformed to the pattern of this world
Ephesians 2:2 - …2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world…
Paul is advocating a balance between two important Christian directives.
1. The gospels infiltration of every culture of men. – It takes up residence
I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. 15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.
What does that mean?
We are in the world, we participate in culture, business, everything – however, we are of a different substance, our treasure is elsewhere our citizenship is in another land.
2. The gospels criticism and correction of every culture of men. - It transforms
The gospel does not only infiltrate and make itself at home.
The very nature of the gospel results in its transformation of any culture it enters.
The BALANCE is CRUCIAL because of the dire results of going too far in either direction.
If the church capitulates to the culture in the extreme the very message and it’s eternally significant purpose is lost. The gospel is not preached – in its place is a syrupy spirituality that soothes the consciences of people on their way to hell.
14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 15 What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.”
17 “Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.”
That my friends is a pretty strong admonition to non-conformity and acting upon it is going to send the message that as believers we are not okay with business as usual in the secular market.
Now consider this:
9 I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world.
We have passages in the New Testament which suggest participating in and supporting societies and governments and others that call for confrontation and conflict of same.
Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, 12 so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.
I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.
Be good citizens; get along with everyone as much as possible for the sake of evangelism.
6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. 7 Therefore do not be partners with them.
8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord. 11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.