Suzanne's Second Estate

A web log of my thoughts, activities, life....

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Work In Progress

Tonight my friend Josh gave a message on Ephesians 4:17-24:

So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.

You, however, did not come to know Christ that way. Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

There's a tension in this passage. As new believers, the Ephesians were called to live differently than before. Before was marked by futility of thinking, darkened understanding, ignorance, hardness of heart and lack of sensitivity to God. Yuck.

In contrast, the new self was to be like God and marked by righteousness and holiness.

As Josh pointed out, there is a tension between the two. As redeemed children of God, we are new people called to live in righteousness. But the old nature is constantly popping up, trying to take control. Paul stated it well: "Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it" (Rom. 7:20). Despite this pull toward fleshly living, the same power that raised Jesus from the dead is available to us, and can help us overcome sin.

One point I found especially helpful, was the idea that one sin does not equal bad fruit. Nor does one victory equal good fruit. Josh said: "Persistent Christ-like actions produce good fruit." Sometimes I sin and feel like I just blew up the whole fruit stand. But the truth is, inner transformation is taking place when I daily seek to surrender my will to Christ's. And that kind of transformation is the source of good fruit.

There absolutely should be a difference in the way a Christian lives his life. However, sanctification is taking place. And despite the "not yets" and flaws in my walk, it is possible to walk in victory. Thanks for that reminder, Josh.


At 11:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

blow up the fruit stand...LOL...i love that lone.
thanks for the encouragement, suz. i blew up the fruit stand today, but it's nice to be reminded that through the power of the Holy Spirit living in us, we can walk in the light, as He is in the light!


Post a Comment

<< Home