Family life, work life and community life in light of Christ

The letter to the church @ Ephesus starts with the Holy Spirit clearly defining salvation in Christ: how God predestined Christ to be crucified and resurrected to forgive our sin and how those He predestines to eternal life receive that forgiveness and the indwelling of His Spirit.

The part we just finished declares that ‘In Christ’ we are spiritually enlightened: that brings us to eternal life and enables us to live and grow ‘In Light of Christ’. Some examples of how we live In Light of Christ as HIS body:

We surrender our lives and let God do a renovation project of our thoughts & actions. We are unified as Christ’s Bond Servants, around the singular message of Scripture that has been the same for 2000 years. We are to have nothing to do with; sexual relations that are not God ordained, all forms of impurity and lust, and foolish talk full of obscenity and degrading humor.

There are various other things: for a full recap listen to all the sermons!

Last week The Holy Spirit gave us specific instruction on dealing with substances and about the central human relationship of biblical marriage. In both cases we get to obey God’s Word as it has been practiced for centuries.

Today the Holy Spirit is going to give us clear guidance as to how we get to deal with relationships that are difficult by nature and can entangle us in sin.

We are called to do these relationships different than the world that does not name Christ as Lord. We get to obey the ‘The Light’ Christ has placed in us, so we can shine that light into our relationships.

Whether it is our relationship with our parents, our co-workers, our children, our boss or our subordinates…what is the overarching focus in how we relate? What is the essential attitude we as Christ’s Body can brings to these relationships? How shall we specifically conduct ourselves? What are our standards as ‘Bond Servants of Christ’?

Here at Midtown, as Christ’s body, we get our attitude, values and standards from the inspired word of God: The Bible. For two thousand years it has guided ‘The Church’ with clear theology and applications that always seeks to emulate our Lord Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 6:1-9

1 Our Children are to obey their parents in light of our Lord. This is the essence of righteousness: 2 ‘honor your father and mother’. It is the first commandment containing a promised blessing: 3 ‘so that you may be established and live long in the chosen Land’.

  • As Christ’s Church we are ‘The Called Out Ones’. We have a different standard
  • We can only raise OUR children. We are fighting against a perverse culture
  • When children obey their parents, things are as they were meant to be: SHALOM
  • There are no conditions on the command to honor our parents (good or bad)
  • The way we honor God is by obeying him
  • The way we honor our parents is by obeying them (there are exceptions)
  • So how does the promise work? Obedience to parents is a foundation we establish faith on
  • As dependent children the focus is on obeying our parents
  • As an independent adult the focus shifts to honoring

4 Likewise, fathers don’t exasperate your children. Instead, gently educate them in Our Lord’s council and guidance.

  • You exasperate your children when you have unreasonable expectations of them
  • Putting too much pressure on them, assuming they know things they don’t
  • When parents are patient & gentle with their children…more SHALOM
  • Our standard is to have a Christ-Like attitude as we teach them Christ’s ways
  • The assumption is that in the body of Christ, children will be taught God’s ways
  • When we do things God’s way our relationships will be rich and loving
  • This can pertain to your ‘Spiritual Children’ as a mentor discipling someone

5 Obey those people who have been placed in authority over you with reverence, honor and sincerity, just as you would obey Christ.

  • How to be a good employee: do what your boss says!
  • What if they are wrong?
  • What makes you think you know enough to understand what they should do?
  • Recognize your place and honor those who God has placed you under
  • Stay in your lane: worry about honoring Christ rather than if your boss is right
  • It is not just obey, obey them like you would Christ

6 Don’t seek attention and accolades from people, but from Christ. Continue intentionally seeking God’s will, 7 enthusiastically serving The Lord, not people. 8 Be assured that everyone who does what is virtuous will be rewarded by our Lord no matter their status.

  • Who is your Lord and God? Who sets that standards you shoot for?
  • Who is the ONE you get to be focused on pleasing?
  • Do us humans like to have others notice and admire us? Oh yeah!
  • Continuously serving is the means by which we intentionally seek the Lord’s will
  • In Christ’s body we do what is right based on scripture & Christ rewards us!
    • (Disclaimer: That reward may not be until heaven)

9 And those placed in authority must themselves do the same; don’t use that authority to oppress those under you. We act this way because we know who has all authority; He inhabits the heavens, and there is no injustice in Him.

  • As a follower of Christ we are called to a different view of authority & position
  • Matthew 20:25-28: But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you; but whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave; even as the Son of man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
  • Do the same: Intentionally seek God’s will & approval / serve the Lord / do right
  • YOU, Bond Servant of Christ get to not oppress those serving under you
  • WHY? Because you know God! You have surrendered your life to Christ!
  • No one surrenders to Christ unless they believe HE has all authority
  • HE not only inhabits the heavens, HE owns the heavens… HE IS the heavens
  • HIS standards are perfect, HIS justice is perfect & HE will dispense it perfectly


For those in the Body of Christ, all of our relationships are to be lived ‘In Light of Christ’.

In Jesus’ Biblical Church, dependent children obey their parents as a demonstration of their obedience to Christ.

God’s command to Honor our parents is not conditioned on them being honorable. God is the ‘Honorable One’. We honor HIM by obeying & honoring our parents.

In the practice of benevolent headship over their family, fathers are to be focused on instructing their children in the ways of Christ, with His grace and patience.

When God places us under a boss in an organization or community we obey Christ by obeying that boss in the exact way we would obey Christ if HE was our boss.

In our Bible based culture we orient our lives to please an audience of ONE: Christ. We don’t live to please or get attention from people who don’t have biblical values.

Serving Christ’s Body while seeking God’s will gets us doing what He considers virtuous and worthy of earthy or eternal reward.

If God places us in authority over anyone, we are to emulate Christ in the exercise of that authority; balancing grace & truth.

We don’t use our God given authority to participate in the evil oppression of those under us because we know and trust God’s authority, power and justice.


How could you improve your biblical obedience and honoring of your parents?

As a father or mentor what can you stop doing that exasperates your child / protegee?

What are some attitudes and actions you have toward your boss that are not Christ honoring? What needs to change?

How are you guilty of pleasing people rather than pleasing God? What needs to change?

What are intentional ways you can follow Christ’s example in the treatment of any subordinates you have?

Previously in this letter to the church in Ephesus, the apostle Paul has laid out the basics of the Gospel message and in our passage last week we he tells the church that through Christ not only are we saved for eternity but we are also spiritually enlightened now, to live as God would have us live.

Today’s passage takes us from the big picture to the small regarding how Jesus Christ’s body is to live. We will look at the lure of substances and their influence and one of the fundamental relationships in the church community: Marriage.

Last Week: Ephesians 5:15

15 So pay close attention to how you conduct your daily life, don’t live like you’re without divine wisdom, but rather as one who is spiritually enlightened.

  • Live based on the Spiritual Wisdom God Has given through Christ
  • The rest of the letter is specifics of this general idea

Ephesians 5:16-33

16 Make the most of today’s opportunities. This world is corrupt, 17 so don’t ignore what you can clearly perceive The Lord’s will to be.

  • Use the time you have to do God’s will: TODAY!
  • Each ‘Prisoner’ of Christ is should be a tool for God to fight corruption
  • Figure out what HE would have you do and get going at it!

18 For example; don’t use wine to get intoxicated, that habit is a corrupt influence. Instead, make it a habit to be under the influence of God’s Spirit.

  • Not just wine this can be applied to any intoxicating substance
  • The language is clear that the condemnation is on ‘Getting Drunk’
  • You can have too much to drink and then you can habitually get drunk
  • This is about seeking alternate reality, altered state of mind
  • Wine only way then, now: drugs, gambling, pornography, video games
  • Combined problem of inebriation & being under something’s influence
  • Instead of non reality, WE place ourselves under the influence of H.S.

19 Together, passionately sharing sacred songs of honest praise, raising voices and instruments to The Lord. 20 Giving thanks to Our Father God, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, in all circumstances and for all things.

  • This is what it looks like when you are constantly ‘In The Spirit’
  • Unity, passion, honesty, collaboration & use of gifts: How the church should be!
  • The more we let the Spirit of God influence our lives the more thankful we get

21 Subordinate yourselves to each other out of devotion to Christ.

  • When you are ‘spiritually enlightened’ this makes sense
  • The next 23 verses are devoted to specific examples of this command
  • WHAT: all must ‘Respectfully Defer’ to each other in The Local Body
  • WHY: Jesus Christ: because of what He’s done for you & done to you
  • HOW: Specific relational attitudes, values, norms and behaviors
  • All of it flows from a relationship with Christ (you need it to live this way)

22 Wives, respect your husband’s headship out of reverence to the Lord. 23 Because the husband is head of the wife as Christ is head of the church, each one the protector of that body. 24 Again, as The Church is subordinate to Christ, so wives are to husbands in all respects.

  • Often translated ‘Submit’. Current societal definition has changed
  • It is not oppression / slavery / dominance (different words)
  • The role God has designed for women in this relationship after the fall
  • Pronounced in Gen. 3 …’Your husband will have dominion over you.’
  • Dominion is ‘Benevolent Headship’
  • Headship is not about equality it is about roles

25 Husbands, generously love you wife like Christ loves the church; sacrificing himself for her holiness, 26 purifying her through the cleansing power of His will. 27 Personally consecrating those He sets apart to holiness, purified and flawless without any kind of blemish.

  • The basis of a husband’s ‘Benevolent Headship’ is Christ
  • What Christ does for each of His ‘Called Out Ones’ (The Church)
  • Sacrifices Himself to make the other Holy
  • Relationally & Personally He makes us pure of sins eternal consequences
  • And He is purifying us and setting us apart as HIS PERFECT POSSESSION
  • Husbands are called to model this goal; the betterment of their wife

28 Likewise husbands are to lavish love upon their own wife like they do their own body. Those who abundantly love their wife truly love themselves. 29 Accordingly, no one detests their own body, instead it is sustained and cherished. 30 Since we are parts of Christ’s body He sustains and cherishes us, The Church.

  • The emphasis is on the priority of the of love from husband to wife, automatic!
  • Loving as naturally as we feed, rest, nurture and protect ourselves as JOB #1

31 As a picture of this relationship a man leaves His Father and Mother and cleaves closely to his wife, the two even become one person. 32 This relates to the profound mystery which I am declaring, that of Christ and The Church.

  • Biblical marriage is a picture of Christ and His Church
  • ‘Leave & Cleave’ is about total commitment
  • God’s ideal for marriage: one man & one woman become one flesh

33 This is important for the whole community: Husbands, love your wives as you love yourselves. Wives, respect your husbands.

  • The entire body is to be united in this view of marriage
  • Supporting it as a high priority cultural value
  • The basic need of every woman is to be loved
  • The basic need of every man is to be respected


Christ’s Enlightened Church cannot afford to ignore God’s revealed will, we are here to check corruption.

There is temptation to seek ‘AlteredStates’…be repentant about your mistakes and don’t let any THING own you.

When we let the Holy Spirit own us we worship communally from the heart, by The Spirit, to The Father in The Name of Christ: ‘Trinitarian Worship’!

When we let The Holy Spirit own us we subordinate ourselves to each other because of what Christ has done for us, expressing our honest adoration.

Biblically married wives are to live the willingly subordinate to their husbands headship, placing themselves under the ‘Spiritual Protection of their husbands as Christ protects His Body.

Biblically married husbands are to practice benevolent headship of their wife. Sacrificially loving their wives as if they were themselves, like Christ loves His Body.

Biblical marriage is a meant to display the two God given roles of a man and a woman complementing each other. It is to be an earthly example of way Christ and His church relate to each other. As Christ’s Bride we get to have Him love us and we respect His benevolent headship.


What has God revealed to you about His will that you are ignoring?

How can you intentionally practice subordinating yourself to others in this church body?

As a married person how do you need to grow in fulfilling your God given marriage role?

As an unmarried person how can you support and defend Biblical Marriage in this church body?

Spiritual Illumination!

I believe ‘Light’ is one of God’s favorite and most powerful ways to describe HIS essence. The Biblical Jesus Christ uses ‘Light Examples’ about 35 times (based on translation) to describe God. In the New Testament ‘Light’ is used to describe God or His influence more than 80 times! 

When scripture speaks of God’s light it is not natural light, it is ‘supernatural light’. There are supernatural connotations attached to the way Jesus, Paul and other New testament writers used ‘Light’. It was understood to mean ‘Spiritual Illumination’ & ‘Divine Enlightenment’. 

In this section of the letter to the Church in Ephesus, the Holy Spirit uses ‘Light’ in this way SIX times, drawing a stark contrast to what is not God’s light, spiritual darkness, which is described as willful rebellion, unrepentance and sin lifestyles.

Light is universally valued, desired and considered good. About the only time that light is not embraced is when it exposes things we don’t want to see. What makes us want to hide from the light? SIN! Part of God ‘Enlightening’ our thinking enables us to admit to our sin and renounce it. This is broadly know as repentance. Repentance is an incredible gift from God! Don’t underestimate the role it plays in salvation and the subsequent life of a disciple.

Ephesians 5:1-15

1 Since we are His prized offspring, let’s keep on imitating God, 2 grounding our lives in generous love just as Christ loved us; laying down His life as a fragrant sacrificial offering to God on our behalf.

  • Our (Christ’s Church) motivation is based on revealed spiritual reality (Gospel)
  • God made us His eternal kids by dying to forgive us
  • He made the offering that we could not; the offering that was good enough
  • We follow His ways by laying down our lives
  • The foundation of our lives is the sacrifice Christ made for us: Generous Love
  • This is the ‘Big Picture’ of how we live (We need big picture & specific lifestyle)

3 In light of this, allow no place in your community for the following: sexual relations that are not God ordained, all forms of impurity and lust, and 4 foolish talk full of obscenity and degrading humor. It is not proper for those who have been made holy to live in such ways. Instead live from a grateful heart. 

  • So because of this overarching spiritual reality there are specific ‘Don’ts’
  • We are to have a culture that calls these things what they are: SIN 
  • We are to call them wrong but also to forgive those who repent of them
  • Because we have been forgiven we live from the reality of ‘Gratefulness’
  • We are not to tolerate a ‘little bit’ or change our standards to reflect the world
  • 3 categories ‘Sin Lifestyle’ not to be confused w/ ‘acts of sin repented for’ 
  • #1 The only sexual relations God ordains are within Biblical Marriage
  • #2 We, Christ’s Spirit Indwelt Church, define impurity & lust based on scripture
  • #3 Vulgar foolishness & degradation are also defined by scripture as ‘Anti-Christ’
  • If Christ makes you holy; then you surrender how you live to HIM
  • We must never, ever forget how much we’ve been forgiven, thankful for grace!

5 It is surely known amongst us that those who habitually fornicate, embrace impurity and defraud others as a lifestyle will not enjoy the privileges of Christ and of God’s Kingdom. Such people make these things their gods.

  • From the beginning of ‘The Church’ certain things been agreed upon
  • Have you studied the early church? What were their standards?
  • Why in the world should ours be ANY different? Because we know better? HA!
  • The language here clearly speaks of habitual, unrepentant lifestyles of sin
  • Individuals Christ makes fit for His Kingdom He releases from the power of sin 
  • God says: If you embrace and make sin a lifestyle, that is your god, not Christ

6 So don’t be fooled by false doctrine! It is clear that non-repentance of these things invokes the judgement of God upon those who are willfully disobedient. 7 Therefore do not partner in anything with such people.

  • What is doctrine: Specific statements of theological truth
  • What is false doctrine? Statements based on inaccurate bible interpretations
  • Examples pertaining to our text:
  • Doctrine that claims certain things are not really sin
  • Doctrine that claims Christ has a different definition of sin VS the O.T.
  • Doctrine that redefines certain sins based on current societal views 
  • Doctrine that claims God gives forgiveness without repentance
  • Doctrine that claims God will not judge us, He tolerates all sin 
  • We must deal with God as He is revealed in Scripture

8 Once we all existed in spiritual darkness but now we are spiritually enlightened because of our Lord. 9 A life that flows from spiritual illumination yields virtue, integrity and truth 10 that comes from discerning what the Lord values. 

  • We should always remain humble because we start without spiritual light
  • ‘Spiritually Enlightenment’ happens by the power & will of GOD / CHRIST 
  • HE is the source of our spiritual enlightenment, the life HE creates honors HIM
  • Post Illumination: our lives display fruit that looks like God’s character 
  • With HIS LIGHT we are now able to clearly see what really matters to God

11 Therefore don’t participate in the poisonous acts of spiritual darkness, 12 instead expose the unspeakable things that are done in secret. 13 Everything that is exposed to divine light is revealed for what it is.

  • Because we have been given ‘The Light’, & know it’s good, we rebuke darkness
  • Our goal & standard in the body of Christ is to have nothing to do with The Dark
  • Don’t partake of evil AND take an active role in working to bring evil to light
  • Expose evil to the light of God’s truth as a way of life!
  • Ultimately all evil will be exposed for what it is, by God’s divine illumination.

14 Truly; God’s illumination clarifies all things. Scripture says: ‘when you are enlightened by Christ you are resurrected from spiritual death’. 15 So pay close attention to how you conduct your daily life, don’t live like you’re without divine wisdom, but rather as one who is spiritually enlightened.

  • ‘Truly’ conveys intense emphasis on the statement that follows it…
  • Jesus used a similar phrase almost 80 time in the Gospels: “Truly I say to you…
  • We need God to enable us to see things for what they truly are: Illumination!
  • We only see Christ clearly when God gives us spiritual insight 
  • If we have this ‘Enlightenment’, this Spiritual insight, then we should live like it
  • The Spiritual reality God has enabled us to see will make us examine our living
  • We must use the gift we have been given, to the Glory of God!


Part of the call to salvation in Christ is the call to imitate Him. The love that defined Christ sacrificial death on our behalf must also define the way we live as His Kids!

In light of The Gospel, there are things we are to have absolutely nothing to do with in our church body. At the same time our culture must clearly reflect the humble gratitude we share for what Christ has given us.

The standards and values of Christ’s Body were established based on The Old Testament and Christ’s teachings early on in the Apostolic Church, and have remained know since. We are warned by God about false doctrines because we can all be deceived if our guard is down.

We are to separate ourselves from evil conduct and the people who make sin their god and lifestyle. At the same time we are to be graceful and sympathetic for them because we all have come out of spiritual darkness.

The only thing that brought us out of spiritual darkness was God enlightening our minds to surrender to Christ. And by that divine illumination we are to live, imitating God’s character, heart and actions.

In the Biblical Body of Christ we intentionally uphold the God given standards in His Word, relying on the spiritual enlightenment that comes only from being resurrected by Christ to live God’s way.


Why are you a true imitator of The Biblical Christ? What does that look like?

When have you justified mixing darkness with light in your life and why?

Why would you say you have been spiritually enlightened? What evidence can you offer from your lifestyle?

Why do you think smart, honest, well meaning people in churches get deceived by false doctrines?

Last Words…

The all powerful God of the universe, the God revealed in The Bible, came to dwell amongst His creation to illuminate and enlighten our thinking as to who He really is: The essence of love, grace, mercy and forgiveness.

It is the illumination of divine enlightenment that causes us to surrender our lives to The Biblical Christ as His disciples. It is that same spiritual illumination that enables us to discern how we are to live based on the example of the Biblical Christ Jesus.

Spiritual Maturity Is Living God’s Way!

So what does this Spiritual maturity look like? 

The Beatitudes give us some good examples:

  • Spiritual Dependance on God. 
  • Sensitivity to sin it’s results. 
  • Humility before God & others. 
  • Consistent pursuit of God’s ways. 
  • Giving mercy to others as a lifestyle.
  • An uncorrupted view of our world.
  • Intentionally working for unity
  • Being willing to take heat for following Christianity
  • Standing up to hate and lies as one who belongs to Christ 

These are standards of growth as a disciple of Christ… but how do we get there?

The Ephesian Church, like Midtown Church has people who are at various stages and places in their discipleship to Christ. So we all need guidance and help.

In this passage God gives us all SIX things to do Christ’s way NOT the World’s way. The motivation comes from recognising How God has treated us and we are to ‘Pay it Forward’ by growing spiritually as we obediently follow the biblical Christ Jesus.

Last Week V15 & 16:

Instead let us establish our lives on the truth of generous love, growing in every way according to our head; Christ; He fits his whole body together in unity, each part supporting the whole in a unique way so that the whole body develops spiritually from generous love. 

  • The truth of God’s generous love in Christ is our example (The Gospel)
  • This Gospel unites us in oneness AND in interdependent individuality (gifts)
  • We are commanded to mature together in Christ’s Ways

Because of this we have to be SET APART… In The World but not of The World

In this passage God gives us six things to do Christ’s way Not the world’s way.

Ephesians 4:17-32

17 Consequently, for this same purpose I make this declaration and solemn appeal to you in Christ’s name: Stop living like those who don’t care about God. 18 Their thinking is totally wrong about God, their entire mentality is shrouded in darkness, alienating them from the eternal life that God gives.

  • This same purpose is: maturation of the body that occurs when members grow
  • The way that happens is to follow Christ NOT the world (one or the other)
  • You can’t do both at the same time (The Myth of the 3rd Kingdom)
  • Here is where you don’t want to be: thinking wrongly about God / Christ 
  • When you don’t see God rightly EVERTYHING is affected (no illumination)
  • That darkness keeps you estranged from ‘Real Life’ / Eternal Life

Their hardened hearts keep them willful ignorant of God. 19 They live without having to account for how they are owned by their sexual desires; habitually practicing all kinds of excessive, impure acts.

  • It is a self perpetuating cycle: Hardness & pride keep you in the darkness
  • When God is not your creator, and you are not accountable to Him: No Rules!
  • If you are the standard of what is right or wrong you will be a slave to lust
  • This speaks specifically of sexual things that are impure (God Has standards)

20 This is the opposite of discipleship in Christ! 21 If you live out what He teaches then you know He is the truth. 22 His teaching regarding your prior lifestyle is that it must be put away, with the corrupting and deluding influences of persistent lust. 

  • Christ’s Ways are NOT the world’s ways… no matter what you might feel
  • Biblical discipleship to Christ cannot be practiced while living ‘just like everyone’
  • What are the real teachings of Christ? DO YOU REALLY KNOW?
  • What this Scripture says is that if you learn them and live them you will find out
  • His teaching on spiritual transformation is clear: God makes you different!
  • We must each address the influences that corrupt…the things that led to sin
  • But it is not just behavior modification; 
  • God, by His Spirit and your surrender, changes your thinking and acting

23 Instead, surrender your state of mind to be renovated by God’s Spirit, 24 creating excellent character in the depths of your being that resembles His: righteousness and holiness emanating from pure truth. 

  • Rather than allow the world to drive how you think, let the Holy Spirit drive
  • God is not meant to be your ‘Co-pilot’! Jesus take the wheel…and keep it!
  • The only way to live following Christ is to have God ‘re-do’ your character
  • This happens in obedience: ‘If you love me you will obey my commands’ ~ JC
  • Maturity results from God doing a renovation of your mentality & character
  • What does God doing a renovation of your thinking & character look like?

25 To this end, put away false spirituality, and declare divine truth together with your neighbors as part of the same body. 

  • Start by getting Jesus & HIS Gospel right based on the Scriptures (OT & NT)
  • The only way to follow Christ is to do it His way: Scripture is the ‘Guidebook’
  • Quit mixing other junk with your Christianity, let’s unify around Scripture!
  • Declaring Divine Truth Together: A basic thing Jesus Christ’s Church does
  • God wants us to do it together, ‘Body-Unity’ proves Christ’s Deity (JN 17)
  • Francis Schaeffer called this ‘The Ultimate Apologetic’ A United Church Body 

26 When you become angry do not sin and allow the day to end while you remain indignant. 27 Don’t give a place or opportunity to the devil.

  • Next important thing in your doing things God: Resolve your anger now!
  • I says it is OK to be angry, that is not sin. Christ was clearly described as angry
  • The command is to not sin from your holding on to that anger
  • We’re to keep short accounts; resolving conflict we have with other body parts
  • We are to release what we are unable to resolve
  • And we are to repent of where we have sinned in our anger

28 The one who steals must stop stealing, instead he should work hard with his own hands, producing something he can share with others who have need. 

  • Next up: Self Responsibility / Honestly doing your part, with what you have
  • Stealing encompasses taking from others in all ways: emotion / time / things
  • Christ followers are not to just make enough to live on but also extra to share
  • The concept of a disciple is called to produce ‘Bread to Share’: spiritual food

29 Refrain from all impurity when you speak, say only what is spiritually encouraging to those who need to hear it.

  • Next: Corrupt Communication
  • This is about saying less (say only what is uplifting should limit our talking)
  • And seeking to communicate spiritual hope, grace and love to encourage
  • How do you know who needs spiritual encouragement? 

30 Don’t work against the influence of God’s Spirit, who has personally sealed you as His and will one day fully redeem you. 

  • Don’t frustrate, vex, sidestep, work against God’s ‘Sanctification Process’
  • God has placed HIS Spirit in you, eternally spiritually regenerating you!
  • By His amazing grace He marks you as His possession
  • He ‘Seals’ your eternity with HIM! The Indwelling H.S. is the down payment!

And when you believed in Christ, you were marked with His seal, the promised Holy Spirit. The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance He promised and that He has purchased us to be His own people. Eph. 1:13b-14a

31 Intentionally remove these from your life: harshness, rage, hate, discord, and defamation which all partner with evil. 

  • The language speaks of persistent focus on doing somethings
  • People who don’t care about God treat others with caustic disgust, & nastiness
  • People who don’t care about God display extreme emotion to get their way
  • People who don’t care about God hate openly, take pride in it 
  • People who don’t care about God intentionally seek to divide
  • People who don’t care about God consistently slander those who oppose them
  • All of these ‘attitudes’ or ‘lifestyles’ are entryways for the devil to come destroy 

32 Instead, grow in the giving of grace to each other, practice merciful forgiveness to one another, the way God in Christ forgave you.

  • The opposite of all the things listed is how God has treated YOU!
  • Our motivation and example is Christ and His sacrificial death to give us life!
  • Motivation, example and empowerment all come from God 


If you belong to Christ you should grow up in Christ and you cannot do that without actually following the ways and words of the Biblical Christ! You must be set apart!

There is God’s way and there is the ‘World’s’ way…there is no 3rd choice! Scripture is the guidebook to God’s way.

The Biblical Jesus Christ taught that those who answer His call abandon their previous life and are ‘Born Again’; that means being transformed by God in your thinking and character to be like Christ.

6 things to do God’s way rather than the world’s way:

  • Learn the Biblical Christ & His Biblical Gospel and declare it w/ other Saints
  • Release, Resolve and Repent of anger daily
  • Do your part to provide & share excess material & spiritual things for The Body
  • Communicate based on God’s standards and use what you say to bless
  • Do what you can to participate in God’s sanctification process (discipleship)
  • Grow in graceful, merciful forgiveness: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness & Self Control


How much energy and intention do you put into trying to be sure you think correctly about God? 

What specifically can you do to more fully cooperate with The Holy Spirit’s renovation of your mind and character? 

How well do you recognize the corrupting influences of the world around you and intentionally work to rid yourself of those influences?

Which of these six things we are called to do God’s way are the biggest challenges for you? Have you specifically asked God to show you how to do things more His way?