It never ceases to amaze me how some scriptures have been taken out of context or have been abused to uphold some position that they are not really supporting or even suggesting. This scripture today is one of those.
And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart, always and for everything giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father. (Ephesians 5:18-20)
Let’s have a quick look at this and then see what is the really important point in this section of scripture.
God is a God of mercy. He has shown great mercy to all who come to
Him, and in the same way we are expected to be merciful to other.
Mercy is a powerful thing. We see in the scriptures that mercy triumphs over judgement and mercy overlooks many of the faults and failings in ourselves and others. We cannot be children of God without mercy being part of who we are. We receive mercy and we must be merciful for this is the nature of God.
God’s salvation for man through Jesus Christ is available to all
mankind. His salvation is not just for one special group of people but
is available to everyone who calls on the name of Jesus Christ.
And there are two aspects to salvation. First, it is a
destination…when we are saved and have arrived in the kingdom of God.
But secondly, it is a journey. Salvation is a process that is working in
us by the power of God’s grace.
We live in dark times as Christians today. The darkness of sin and evil is possibly the worst it has ever been.
This is to be expected because we are told in the Bible that as the last days come, so too will the activity of Satan increase to try and overwhelm the people of the Lord.
We cannot be complacent. We cannot allow the influence of these things into our lives to pull us back into the world. Instead we need to expose this evil to the light of the truth and awaken ourselves and those around us to see the light of the truth of Jesus Christ.
One of the things we as Christians are called to do is to be obedient to the word of God. Too many people want to seek God on their own terms. They want to have Him come to them according to their own will.
But it doesn’t work that way. If we are to live with God we must come to Him on HIS terms, and that means we must be obedient to His word and His truth.
Do you want to live with Christ in His eternal kingdom? I am sure the answer to this question is “Yes.”
If you want to live with Christ into eternity, then there is one thing that you and I and ALL Christians must learn to do. We must learn what is pleasing to the Lord. This is the focus of this scripture today.
7 Therefore do not associate with them, 8 for once you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), 10 and try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. (Ephesians 5:7-10)
Think about this for a minute. Would you spend time with people who are malcontents and opposed to you in s many ways? I think not. Then why would Christ be any different. God and Jesus Christ want to live together with people who like them and they like in return. Yes they love us, but they want to like us as well and that requires us to change.
The starting point for every Christian when they come to God is repentance.
Repentance was so important in the Christian gospel that John the Baptist, the Apostles and Jesus Christ all began their respective ministries preaching, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
Repentance serves many purposes and it is much more than just saying or feeling sorry. Listen to this podcast to find out what it is, why it is and how to live in repentance.
The Apostle Paul was concerned for the Ephesian church that false teachers would come among them speaking many flowery things, but whose words would be empty of any truth.
6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for it is because of these things that the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. (Ephesians 5:6)
Today it is perhaps even more of a warning than in those early days of the church. Over the two millennia since the church began, there have been many men come into the church bringing deceptive and empty words that have no basis in the truth of the New Covenant. The church unfortunately is filled with these things, and it has emptied the truth of the gospel of it’s power.
So today let us consider how to identify these things and what we can do about them.