Thursday April 19, 2018
Title: Ruth: 3:10-13; Delivered from “the lie”, conclusion.
EPH 4:17 This I say therefore, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind,
EPH 4:18 being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart;
EPH 4:19 and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality, for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness.
EPH 4:20 But you did not learn Christ in this way,
EPH 4:21 if indeed you have heard Him [and I assume you all have] and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus,
EPH 4:22 that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit,
EPH 4:23 and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind,
EPH 4:24 and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.
EPH 4:25 Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth, each one of you, with his neighbor, for we are members of one another.
“laying aside falsehood” is corrected to: “having put away (aorist participle) the (def. article) lie.” “The lie” is the same in ROM 1:25 and 2TH 2:11.
EPH 4:26 Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,
EPH 4:27 and do not give the devil an opportunity.
The devil is a prime promoter of sin leading to discord. He exploits temptation and deceives so that Christian communities are fractured.
Paul writes to the Corinthians that forgiveness of our brethren when they fail keeps Satan from gaining an advantage over us, 2CO 2:10-11.
EPH 4:28 Let him who steals steal no longer; but rather let him labor, performing with his own hands what is good, in order that he may have something to share with him who has need.
If someone was a thief before his conversion, he is to abandon the practice and get a job. Paul does not neglect the most elementary of ethical principles. “You shall not steal” is one of the Ten Commandments.
However, theft was prohibited in all cultures, ancient and new. It is a basic moral behavior not to take what is not your own. The believer is called to far more than not stealing, however, God does not neglect it, and by such, it would include all basic moral behavior as given in the Law of Moses.
Would we conclude that thievery is the only immoral practice that was to be abandoned by the body of Christ?
To this is added the words that we speak.
EPH 4:29 Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, that it may give grace to those who hear.
This does not only refer to vulgarity, but:
But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth.
The Lord made the sobering statement that every careless word that men shall speak, they shall render account on the day of judgment. For the Christian, the first question to that statement should not be, “Is that the judgment seat of Christ of the GWT judgment of the unbeliever?” Rather, we should understand that we should choose our words carefully, thinking with love and grace before we speak. If careless words that hurt, slander, or are unholy are going to be judged by God, then we have no part in them as those who are children of God.
EPH 4:30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
The grieving of the Spirit is surrounded by the context of the harmony, unity, and fellowship of the Christian community.
EPH 4:31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.
EPH 4:32 And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.
We would easily conclude that the Holy Spirit’s desire is to promote the unity of the body.
EPH 4:15 speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ,
EPH 4:16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by that which every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.
The sins surrounding EPH 4:30 all lead to schism, disunity, and discord. To see the body of Christ, unified by the baptism of the Holy Spirit, to be bitter toward one another, lying, stealing, experiencing malice, anger, wrath, clamor, slander, and being unforgiving would be what grieves Him. In the past we have defined the grieving of the Holy Spirit as sin, and though right, may not have been refined enough. The immediate context of Eph 4 links the grieving of the Spirit with sins of strife and disunity.
The grieving of the Holy Spirit is linked with the sins of strife and disunity in the body of Christ. He is grieved to find discord in His body.
This would also include Christian marriages and friendships. Unity is a key aspect of what Christ has made us to be. The gifts of the Spirit are all for the common good. We are to serve one another and consider one another as more important than ourselves. We are to consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds. These things make for the unity of heaven, and by it the world will know that we are the Lord’s disciples since only His love could make it a reality.
EPH 4:12-13 to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith
EPH 4:16 the whole body, being fitted and held together
EPH 4:25 for we are members of one another
We all in unity, one body, members of one another, and being fitted and held together are the phrases that God the Holy Spirit uses to describe the most unique and blessed family in the history of time.
For this reason, there are no lies, deception, pretense, or hypocrisy. There is no bitterness or wrath or anger or clamor or slander or malice. It is all put away and what is put on is kindness, tender-heartedness, and total forgiveness.
MAT 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”
For some people, they would have nothing to talk about if they followed this. To such people, I would recommend that you have the guts to be quiet until God teaches and leads you into the higher speech that is suitable to the child of God. This investment of time and faith will be greatly rewarded.
If any of us cause strife in any God given relationship, we are grieving the Holy Spirit and are assisting the devil in opening up opportunities for him. It does not at all matter that someone has sinned and is guilty of coming up short of their expectation, guilty of causing hurt to another, or hindering progress in your opinion. The whole lot of them may be guilty of something but causing strife will grieve the Spirit and assist the devil’s plans.
So then, without oaths, yes is simply yes and no is simply no. We do not lie. We say what we mean and we do what we say, yes or no.
We represent the truth and so there is no lie in us. Remember, we are not sinless. It doesn't mean that we will never lie again, but that we always seek not to lie, and when we sin in this area, we recover under the grace of God through confession or acknowledgment of the lie to God. The disciple is simply to speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, and not just when he thinks he might get caught, but at all times and in all places.
We conclude our study of speaking the truth by returning to the words of our Lord.
MAT 5:33 "Again, you have heard that the ancients were told, 'You shall not make false vows, but shall fulfill your vows to the Lord.'
MAT 5:34 "But I say to you, make no oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God,
MAT 5:35 or by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.
MAT 5:36 "Nor shall you make an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black.
MAT 5:37 "But let your statement be, 'Yes, yes' or 'No, no'; and anything beyond these is of evil.
Jesus calls the oath evil or of the evil one because it gives occasion or acknowledgment to the lie and Satan is the father of lies. We are a light to the world in all things, even our words. The possibility of a lie should never be entertained.
One may wonder if this implies that a believer can never take an oath of any sort. Certain organizations cannot function unless those in them take oaths stating that they willingly comply with the organization. This is not of the same character that Christ is speaking of. Such oaths are very infrequent whereas the oaths that Christ speaks of are of the everyday variety. It is proper for a foreigner to take an oath to obey the laws of the land he desires to become a citizen of. Likewise, it is proper for a soldier or a politician to take an oath to obey and defend the Constitution. In marriage, since it is a public acknowledgement of legal and spiritual dedication and union, it is proper to profess vows in public. In such cases, one cannot say that he is a Christian and that fact exempts him from these oaths. These organizations function for believers as well as unbelievers. They are akin to signing a contract before taking a job thus committing oneself to the conditions of employment. These are not the things that Christ is speaking of.
Jesus is removing all protection, camouflage, and reason for lying.
Disciples have nothing to hide. Hiding sin and evil is mentally exhausting. The disciple knows that he doesn't need to hide anything from God, and not just because he knows that God sees all, but because he knows who he is in Christ and so his weaknesses and flaws can be fully opened before God and himself and he finds that God will heal these wounds and forgive, refresh, and strengthen him. A man's whole being should be exposed before the Lord, his evil leanings laid bare. Sinful men hate this. They wish to wallow in their darkness rather than expose it to the light and be healed.
JOH 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.
JOH 3:17 "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him.
JOH 3:18 "He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
JOH 3:19 "And this is the judgment, that the light is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their deeds were evil.
JOH 3:20 "For everyone who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.
JOH 3:21 "But he who practices the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God."
The flesh has been crucified at Calvary. That has been brought to the light for all to see, for Christ is the light of the world.
The cross is God's truth about us. It is ultimately the only truth about us.