Thursday, June 4, 2009

Love and Light

Followers (disciples) of Christ should generally exhibit two characteristics: Love and Light.

Christians are to walk (an action verb) in love. Ephesians 5:8 (KJV) says that Christians are to walk as children of light. Christians should be imitating Jesus. Christians should be striving to emulate Jesus. Ephesians 5:1 (KJV) says, "Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children." Just as a loving son tries to be like his dad, we who are born-again Christians should strive to be like YHWH, our Heavenly Father.

Ephesians 5:2 (KJV) gives us an exhortation concerning love when it says, "And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour." We are to be a sweet-smelling savor to God, through our thoughts, words and actions. "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." (Ephesians 2:10, NIV) We who are regenerated Christians are responsible to continually practice divine love in our lives. Christ has a sacrificial love; He gave His life for the Elect. He offered Himself, unconditionally, on the cross, for our sins. Those of us who are the redeemed are, out of love and gratitude and obedience, to offer ourselves as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God. "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship." (Romans 12:1, NIV)

We who are of the Elect are to remain or continue in His love. We are to abide in His love. "As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love." (John 15:9-10, KJV) It's not an option; it's a command.

Ephesians 5 exhorts the Christian concerning darkness:

"But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light." (Ephesians 5:3-8, KJV)

As Christians, we are to guard against immorality. "But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints." (Ephesians 5:3, KJV)

"Fornication" refers to any kind of illicit sex; any kind of sexual immorality. "Uncleanness" generally refers to moral uncleanness. Jesus pointed out that God doesn't just look at our outward actions, but He also judges our thoughts, as well. For example, "adultery," in God's eyes, not only includes sex with anyone other than your husband or wife, but also includes lustful thoughts. "But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." (Matthew 5:28)

It also says we are to guard against covetousness. "Covetousness" is an unholy desire for more wealth or possessions. Commercial advertising is based on covetousness (creating a desire in you to want something that you do not currently have).

We are to guard against the sins of the tongue:

"Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks." (Ephesians 5:4, KJV)

Those of you who are Christians should use only clean and wholesome speech. "Filthiness" is obscenity. Obscenity includes any words which are indecent, impure or lewd, or that present what is offensive to a chaste or pure mind. "Foolish talking" is empty, silly talk. "Jesting" is joking about sin. How often do we forward "humorous" e-mails that contain cursing, derogatory remarks, bigotry or even blasphemy?

"Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell." (James 3:5-6, NIV)

We who are born-again Christians should quit acting like a lost Gentile ("Gentile," unless you are a Messianic Jew), and start acting like a saved Gentile.

"Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children 2and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

3But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people. 4Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. 5For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a man is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 6Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient. 7Therefore do not be partners with them.

8For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9(for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10and find out what pleases the Lord. 11Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, 14for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said:
"Wake up, O sleeper,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you."

15Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is."

(Ephesians 5:1-17, NIV)

1 comment:

satire and theology said...

'Followers (disciples) of Christ should generally exhibit two characteristics: Love and Light.'

We are to show the love of Christ and within the light and truth of Christ we also demonstrate the justice of God.