“As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.” Ephesians 4:14
Paul wrote the book of Ephesians to the church at Ephesus. The time he was writing the book, he was sitting in a prison cell in Rome. The reason Ephesians is such a inspirational book is because it is basically the core of what it really means to be a Christian. It talks about growing up in our faith and standing firm regardless of all the problems which seem to be going on in society. In chapter 4, it begins with saying how we need to walk in a worthy manner with humility, gentleness, patience showing tolerance for one another in love. The basis of the message Paul was trying to give to the church at Ephesus was basically grow up! Change your ways and refrain from doing evil.
“So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness. But you did not learn Christ in this way, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old [self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new ]self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.
Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his neighbor, for we are members of one another. Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil [s]an opportunity. He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with [t]one who has need. Let no [u]unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification [v]according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, ]by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.”( Eph 4:17-32)
In the beginning of the first chapter, you see Paul refer to the church at Ephesus as, “Saints, who are faithful in Jesus Christ.” In the context of that it implies that the people at Ephesus were obviously Christians, and faithful ones. Or Christians who needed a little “kick in the pants” to straighten them up? They kept getting carried away by every little thing. Paul is telling them how they need to stop being children and acting on their earthly desires.
“And you were dead ]in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),” Eph. 2:1-4
The actuality is we are all physical beings. We all live in this physical world and therefore we all have physical desires. But the other certainty is, that we all therefore have the capacity within us to become an on fire, sold out Christian servant for the Lord. The sad part is we tend to have this negative mindset. We seem to get trapped by our worldly desires and seem to casually become lukewarm (Rev. 3:16). Maybe we slip away slowly, we are mature at church and when we are around those people we categorized as “religious”. When we’re not though, we seem to be engaging in things unworthy to what God would authorize.
In the world which we live in, a common phrase is how everything is done for the pleasure of it, if it feels good then it’s right, right? We are afraid to talk about very serious topics, such as suicide, depression, drugs, drinking, abuse and sex. All very real things. But instead we don’t talk about such things. We shut it away and pretend like all those things somehow don’t exist. We neglect the fact that maybe someone we hold dear may be struggling with something, something like depression.
This world is oblivious and it’s hard not to get consumed into the nonsense they seem to be calling normal. But regardless of the insignificant activities that go around in this messed up society, it comes down to keeping God as the center of your life. In this day and age it is important to ask yourself as to whether or not you yourself are “In Christ” and if you're not what is it that’s preventing you from remaining “In Christ”?
( Credit to Mr. McCurdy for his sermon on Ephesians, that gave me the idea for the article).
---- Natalie Corbelli