Now this I affirm and insist on in the Lord: you must no longer live as the Gentiles live, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of their ignorance and hardness of heart. They have lost all sensitivity and have abandoned themselves to licentiousness, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. That is not the way you learned Christ! Ephesians 4: 17-20 NRSV
Paul moves from begging to insisting the the church at Ephesus stop acting like they used to. They have learned about Christ so they need to act like it.
Would someone visiting your church today be able to say that your church is acting like Christ-like? Or is there very little difference between your church and one of the local community organizations or clubs? What kinds of differences should we be seeing, exactly?
Paul tells the church that those on the outside live in the futility of their minds. I imagine that
this would be like living thinking you know the answers to life in the superiority of your own mind and minds just as brilliant as yours. Because of this self-importance, Paul says these folks are alienated from God and their hearts are hardened. He goes on to talk about lack of sensitivity, licentiousness, greed, and impurity that results. These folks are simply acting apart from God, in the dark as it were.
But, Paul says, you in the church know better! You have been taught about Christ and should stop living in your own minds.
In fact, Paul insists on it.
God, you have given us the opportunity to learn Christ. Help us to act like it. In Christ's name. Amen.
Question for the day: What kind of behavior have you shown lately - Christ-like or futile?
Copyright 2009 Amelia G. Sims