By Randy Keene
Pastor, First Baptist Church, Minor Hill
Focal Passage: Ephesians 5:8-21
When we come to Christ, not only do we become part of the body of Christ but now we have an obligation to strengthen each other.
As I repeatedly said, Christians were not meant to go this journey alone. Ephesians 5:8 compares darkness and light, “darkness” describes the character of the life of the unconverted as void of truth and virtue in intellectual matters and moral matters (see I John 1:5-7). It is that very darkness in which Christ has delivered sinners such as you and I.
Fruit of the light of Christ that now dwells in us and is shown through us speaks of that which is produced by walking in the light, namely moral excellence of the heart, righteous behavior and truthfulness (honesty and integrity). Trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord carries the idea of testing or proving to learn what is clear and convincing in the sight of God — behavior that really honors God and not dishonors God. I have told business owners and others many times that if they will just honor God He will honor them, a never-ending truth.
Paul gives plain and direct instruction to his readers: Christians are to be faithful in their living in righteousness and purity trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. The evil works and ways of Satan is something we should have nothing to do with, other than exposing it. I’ve always reminded my kids that we are to shun even the appearance of evil.
In verse 13 Paul reminds us that it is “light” that exposes and expels evil. “Wake up” is an expression I use often when it comes to what is happening in our America that I love so dearly. The moral choices that people are making is alarming to me. In 2011 I took a class on Christian ethics through the R. G. Lee program offered then by Union University.
My adjunct professor, Bob Mcllwain, introduced me to Scott B. Rae’s book Moral Choices. He writes in the introduction, “One of the principle reasons for being moral is that it is central to most concepts of human fulfillment.” Friends, it is definitely central to walking in Christ. Amen?
We must live in submission to the Holy Spirit. If we don’t strengthen our walk with Christ, how in the world are we going to be of any help to the people who struggle around us? Strengthening one another is all part of the plan.
Being under control of the Holy Spirit will allow you to express joy and gratitude and they will be contagious to those around you.