What is this series about?
Through this series we will be studying the book of Ephesians and learning about our position in Christ, our life in the world, and our attitude toward the enemy.
Scripture Reference: Ephesians 5:1-7
- You’re no longer a sinner
Scripture Reference: Ephesians 5:8-14
- So don’t live like one
Scripture Reference: Ephesians 5:15-20
- By being filled with the spirit
Questions to Ponder
- What is the difference between being a sinner and being a Christian who sins?
- How does one rid themselves of impurity?
- What does it mean to be filled with the Spirit?
Let the Gospel Do its Work
By Ben Kirksey
Right now there are things in our lives that are competing with our affection for and trust in God. Some are obvious and we know about them. Others not so much. But for us to walk in the way that God has intended we need to root out these things and deal with them directly with the gospel.
Last week I introduced a few phrases that were shared with me and have proven immensely helpful in applying the gospel to my heart. I think they’re worth unpacking a little more in response to the message.
You are no longer a sinner.
This has to do with our perspective. Yes, we still sin, but a shift has happened. The shift is from a fight we cannot win to a battle we will not lose.
Believing that is an act of faith, especially when there are things – sometimes serious, crippling things – that many of us battle on a daily basis.
So how do we get from a place of simple agreement to a place of truly believing? Meditate on God’s graciousness:
- God is gracious…He has completely accepted me in Jesus
- God is gracious…He has adopted me as His son/daughter
- God is gracious…I don’t have to earn His love
Let these truths of the gospel confirm in your heart that you are no longer a sinner.
So don’t live like one.
This has to do with our pursuit. Paul makes it clear that there is nothing about our lives, public or private, that we can withhold from God.
But we do it so easily — sometimes intentionally, sometimes inadvertently we look to something else to give us the significance, security, hope or happiness that we all need and only God can give.
What are you looking to fill that only God can fill? Are you wrapping up your identity in the success of an upcoming client pitch or sales call? Do you need to practice sexual restraint? Are you justifying a secret addiction because it gives you pleasure?
These things will always disappoint; putting anything in a place only God can fill is ultimately self-destructive.
So how do we get to a place of truly being satisfied by God? Meditate on God’s glorious nature:
- God is glorious…I don’t have to look elsewhere to fill my heart with gladness
- God is glorious…I don’t have to look elsewhere for pleasure or ecstasy
- God is glorious…I don’t have to have something else give me meaning or purpose or worth
Let this truth of the gospel convince your heart that God will fill the void you are trying to fill with other things.
By being filled with the Spirit
Being filled with the Spirit is a daily practice. Prayer, scripture, worship, teaching, community — these are all means of grace, conduits through which God renews and restores us.
When we engage in these, things will come to mind that you know you are withholding from God. Because God loves you, He points them out.
So remember that God is gracious — you don’t have to prove yourself. Because you can be completely exposed to Him and still be completely loved, you have the freedom to deal with your darkest issues.
And remember that God is glorious — you don’t have to look to this thing to be satisfied. It might be hard to believe at first, but He by His very nature and presence will fill your heart with a deeper, richer satisfaction than you can possibly imagine.
The gospel will go to work in our hearts if we let it. I encourage us all to do that this week.