Summary: If you have ever wanted to know what it looked like to live a resurrected life Paul gives the pattern here. God not only redeems and restores our relationship with Him but also with others. Live this pattern to powerfully display Jesus.
Intro: Tomorrow is Memorial Day. We will celebrate those that have served in the United States Military because their service and many their sacrifice purchased the freedom to stand or sit or sing or speak today. There are many ways we could come up with to honor their memory, service and sacrifice. I believe that the best way to honor them is to fully view and fully follow what Paul is telling the Ephesians today.
Paul is giving a practical way for the Ephesians to stand out in the “whatever feels good” do it culture of Ephesus. Everything Paul has said so far is based on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Because he sacrificed His Holy life and paid for our freedom from sin we can live this pattern of pure and powerful relationships. I have heard someone foolishly say that Jesus didn’t come to fix our relationships with others. He only came to reconcile us to God. That ignores what Jesus said in the Great Commandment. Love God and love your Neighbor.
Paul is saying since you have received Christ here is a pattern for the resurrection life of Jesus lived out in you. Since you have been born again this is how you walk as a child of God. Since, you have been crucified with Jesus rise up and walk like a follower of Jesus.
You have already agreed to have your thinking changed as the Spirit reveals truth. Since you have confessed Jesus as Lord and say that you love Him now live like you do. So what is Paul encouraging us to do?
Paul’s letter to Titus tells us the general overview in Titus 2:11-14 “For the grace of God has appeared with salvation for all people, 12 instructing us to deny godlessness and worldly lusts and to live in a sensible, righteous, and godly way in the present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. 14 He gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for Himself a people for His own possession, eager to do good works.”
I. Honest words
Truth is the ultimate in unselfishness. If we tell the truth we have the best interest of the one we share it with. Even if the initial result is pain in the end it will bring healing. We even tell the truth if it doesn’t make us look the best. I have said before the truth will set you free but it will hurt you first. Lies lock you behind a prison of selfishness and the more you lie the larger the bars get.
When we put on Jesus we are to forever put away the selfish practice of lying. Every form of dishonesty is to be forever crucified with Jesus. Shading the truth, failure to keep a promise, betrayal of confidence, etc. . .
The book, The Day that America Told the Truth, states (p. 45) that 91percent of us lie regularly (cited by Alistair Begg, “Cedarville Torch, Fall, 1994, p. 15). “Of the people interviewed, 92 percent said the main reason for their lying was to save face, and 98 percent said the reason they told lies was so as not to offend people”
4:15 tells us that speaking the truth in love creates an atmosphere for growth in Jesus.
Lies are of the devil they steal, kill and destroy.
II. Honest feelings
The devil is always near to uncontrolled emotions. If you want to know whether you will sin with your anger you must ask what is the source of it? Does the anger come from someone wounding you personally? Does it come from your apparent rights being ignored or better yet run over? How do we deal with anger in such a way that we do not sin?
A) Understand the source of your anger
1) It comes from self
Anger is one letter short of danger! If you do not deal with and direct your anger biblically you will be in danger of opening a door for the devil.
2) It flows from the Spirit
Correct anger is anger directed at injustice, deep sin, the abuse of a child, ignoring the poor, anything that is inherently evil and against God’s character. God hates sin! Not only does he hate sin but he as the ultimate righteous judge, judges and condemns sin. How can we being like God filled with the Spirit laugh at sin? How can we see the choices people make and the shows and programs of the world that promote sin and not hate sin? God doesn’t hate the person. He hates the decisions and actions that lead to division, destruction and delusion. If we have Spirit led anger we can’t laugh at adultery, slander, divorce, abuse, injustice, unbelief. Anything that leads people further from God He hates.