The American Wisdom Series

Pamphlet #5170 KCEphesians10

Instead of going our way "giving thanks to God" for what He has done, we shall be giving way to mourning for what we have not done.

Today we conclude chapter 4 of Ephesians.

Paul has been discussing how to become "perfect", i.e.  mature, Christians.

We do that by "endeavoring", by studying His Word, by putting off the old man, and by building and maintaining unity in faith, for we are all of one body "compacted" together in Jesus Christ.

Paul is now going to give us some specific areas to be "rooted out" and done away with in our lives.

All of the "sins" Paul will be addressing stem from selfishness, which is to be preoccupied with one's own self.

Perhaps you have been in the past, or as a newborn babe still are, caught up in what we call the "woe is me" syndrome.

This is when we ask for forgiveness, but continue throughout the day dwelling upon what great sinners we are.

Our preoccupation with our sins PREVENTS us from sitting at the feet of Christ with eyes to see and ears to hear the purity of truth.

Some years ago I was privileged to read in E.W. Bullinger's magnificent work, "How to Enjoy the Bible", a few paragraphs in the conclusion that had such an impact on my life that I would like to share them now. Perhaps you will be able to see how profound indeed they are.

"HOW TO ENJOY THE BIBLE", pgs. 416, 417
We have written only for those who have "peace with God" (Rom 5:1), and enjoy "the peace of God" (Phil 4:7), and know "the God of peace" (Rom 15:33).

Only such have leisure to be occupied with God.

Only such can "sit at the Lord's feet and hear His Word" (Luke 10:39, R.V.).

All others must be "cumbered about with much serving." They must needs be occupied with themselves: either as sinners taken up with their sins, or as penitents with their repentance, or as believers with their faith, or as saints with their holiness.

Unless and until we know our completeness in Christ (Col. 2:10), and "believe God" when He declares that "He hath made us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light" (Col 1:12), we shall be in such a condition of conscience, and heart, and life as will not leave us any time for occupation with God.

(This next sentence addresses an issue I hear talked about quite often. Think about how profound is the  paragraph which follows.)
Instead of going our way "giving thanks to God" for what He has done, we shall be giving way to mourning for what we have not done. We shall be like David when he "sat in his house" and was occupied with what he would do for the Lord. For, not until we learn what the Lord has done and purposed to do for us, shall we be ready, with David, to go in and sit before the Lord (2 Sam 7:1,18).

In the former case David's thought was, "Who am I"; in the latter he was exclaiming, "Who am I, O Lord God?"

With that perspective having preconditioned our minds, we continue in Ephesians.

Ephes. 4:26
Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:
The word "anger" used here comes from Greek orge which means "justifiable anger" or what we would call righteous indignation.

This form of anger of and by itself is not a sin, but be careful, lest it turn to sin.

Becoming a mature Christian allows us to better handle it.

[27] Neither give place to the devil.
Don't give the "accuser of the brethren" any room.

Being angry opens us up and Satan awaits to enter.

I like how the N.E.B. Bible translates the last two verses:

Eph 4:26,27 (N.E.B.) If you are angry, do not let anger lead you into sin; do not let the sunset find you still nursing it; leave no loop-hole for the devil.
Returning to KJV.
[28] Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.
There is absolutely no reason to steal.

And guess what!

Absolutely no good thing will come of it if you do.

We are to be labourers, working with our hands, the thing which is good (this is where the brain must be used).

For those of you that have ever been in the discussion about the "law" being nailed to the cross, done away with, notice what Paul just said: "Thou Shalt Not Steal".

It is a violation of God's law, the sixth commandment.

So I guess at least one of the ten commandments is still in force, according to Paul.

[29] Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
"No bad language must pass your lips, but only what is good and helpful to the occasion, so that it brings a blessing to those who hear it" N.E.B.

Although "corrupt communication" has a fuller meaning than just bad language, if the shoe fits, wear it!

Also, never pass up an opportunity to plant a little "seed", for if it grows, it will bring the hearers eternal blessings.

[30] And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
Do you recall chapter one when we learned a "mystery", how we were "chosen before the foundation of the world".

Look up the word "sealed" used here in Strong's concordance.

It means you have been privately, or secretly, marked for preservation.

[31] Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
Again, these all stem from selfishness.

No more need be said than has been said, "Get rid of them".

[32] And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.
Admonishment having been concluded, we return to the "positive" side, which is where we need to remain polarized.

And so we go on our way, being kind to one another, tenderhearted, and forgiving, "giving thanks to God" for what He has done.

To study the Bible is the noblest of all pursuits; to understand it, the highest of all goals.
We pray that with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, you accomplish both.

1 Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them {the ancient Israelites} for ensamples, and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

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