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Happy Resurrection Sunday! I was undecided on whether to write a standard resurrection message or to continue on with our study in Ephesians. I decided that both fit together nicely.
Living the Resurrected Life
Praise God, Jesus is Alive! How do I know? As the old song says,"You ask me how I know He lives? He lives within my heart." Tomorrow is Easter and we will all enjoy special presentations at our churches and share good fellowship with friends and family. However, we as Christians don't really require a special day to remember our Lord's resurrection because we celebrate the fact that He lives hour by hour, day by day, 24/7 365 days a year.
To review a bit: We remember from Ephesians 1:1-6 that we, as unworthy as we are, have been accepted in the Beloved, and that we have redemption through His Blood (Ephesians 1:7-11). We know that we have been guaranteed an eternal inheritance with Jesus because we were sealed by His Holy Spirit of promise (Ephesians 1:11-14). Ephesians 1:20-23 tells us that God demonstrated His mighty power by raising Jesus from the dead and enthroning Him on the throne of heaven with all the Deity dwelling in Him , with all spiritual powers in heaven, earth or hell being subject to Him.
When we were baptized into Christ, we put on Christ (Galatians 3:37) and are now members of His body (Ephesians 5:30), which is the church that He purchased with His blood (Acts 20:28). He dwells in our hearts by faith. We because a new creation in Him ( II Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 6:15) and we put off the old man and all of his corrupt deeds and were renewed in the spirit of our minds (Ephesians 4:22-23 , Colossians 3:9-10) .
So much for a partial review of the first four chapters, I would like to outline chapter five, which fits nicely with the resurrected life that we share with Jesus.
Ephesians 5:1 Therefore be imitators of God as dear children.
2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.
When we remember the sacrifice of Jesus that purchased our salvation, we have no other recourse than to imitate the life that He lived. Everyday, we we weigh our every word and deed to see that it conforms to His will (Colossians 3:17). II Corinthians 10:5 reminds us to cast down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and to bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
In Ephesians 5:3-7, Paul once again list actions that should be no part of a Christian"s life. In fact if we partake of them we forfeit our inheritance in the kingdom of God. Folks don"t want us to be negative, but if the penalty is so high as to cause me to miss heaven, I should at least know what the negatives are. Wouldn't you agree?
Ephesians 5:8-14 once again reminds us to have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness. That"s where we used to live. We've moved! We now live in the Spirit of the living Christ who dwells in our hearts. We strive daily to find what is acceptable to our Lord as we exercise the fruit of the Spirit in goodness, righteousness and truth. If we find ourselves lacking we are urged to "Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light."
Ephesians 5:15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise,
16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
The words above speak for themselves. How much time do we flitter away on things that do not manifest the fruit of the Spirit? Too much here. How about you? When we walk circumspectly (diligently ,exactly, accurately) we realize that we are representative of the living Christ who lives within. We know what His will is, it has not changed since He walked this earth.
We are still to preach the gospel to every creature on this planet, because we realize that it is not God's will that any should perish . We have the same mission that Jesus claimed in Luke 4:18, to preach the gospel to the poor, heal the broken hearted, preach deliverance to the captive, to see the blind recover their sight (spiritual and spiritual) and to see the bruised regain their liberty.
Ephesians 5:18-21 reminds us to not be taken by the old wine but to walk in the new wine of the Spirit speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and submitting to one another in the fear of God. All of this as we commune with our risen Savior daily.
Ephesians 5: 22-31 likens our relationship with Christ to the marriage relationship of husband and wife. We are members of the body of Christ and Jesus is our head. We are subject to Him in all things. The same with marriage: The wife is to be subject to and respect her husband in all things and the husband is to love and cherish his wife just as Christ loved His church.
Once again, my favorite scripture sums it all nicely.
Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.Have a blessed Resurrection Sunday and take it easy on that Easter ham. It’s fattening, you know.
"Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved."
"It's the minister, Mommy," the child said. Then she said into the phone, "Mommy can't come to the phone right now. She's hitting the bottle.
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Don and Marie Spooner
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