Wednesday, October 26, 2016

OCTOBER 26 "CHRISTIAN LIVING 101"

The heading in most Bibles for Ephesians 4 "Christian Living".  Ephesians 4 & 5 are the basic manuals for Christian etiquette. The antagonist of the Church, ironically enough, is not necessarily the Devil, though he is one, but it is also you and I.  We by nature try to drag the church down to are level, rather than rise up to the standard Christ has set before us. This constant tension between what our flesh craves for and what the Holy Spirit desires. Any Pastor on any given Sunday could preach on this text and have the altars full. "Don't be bitter, don't fight, stop lusting, stop lying, let go of the anger, don't grieve the Holy Spirit" We can so easily be reduced to our base instinct, our base nature. So often we hear Christians say, "oh, they are so lucky I'm a Christian, or I would....." This only confirms that for many of us, as Voltaire, the French philosopher and acclaimed atheist wrote, "scratch the service of a Christian and you will find an infidel". Is our Christian really only surface deep, as Voltaire suggests? Are we just a bunch of shiny, glistening phonies until someone strikes us wrong, then who we really are is going to come out? Paul is not writing to the church at Ephesus on how to conduct themselves as Christians because they are, he is writing to the church at Ephesus on how to conduct themselves as Christians because they are acting and re-acting like a bunch of heathens. Are we thin surfaced Christians or do we have something that runs deep through the corps of our being? Jesus promise was "out of you will streams rivers of living water". The ideal of God is not surface Christianity but rather something that runs deeper to our corps, to our being. Then when someone "slaps us' we turn the other cheek, not because the scripture has told us, but because it has become who we are, it has become our new nature in Christ.