So last week Jacob did this verse; and I gotta step on his toes a bit because of 5:1 demands that I do.
So according to 4:32 what are we to do?
Be kind, tenderhearted.
And how is that kindness to be the best/most manifest?
In forgiving one another.
Ok so being kind is best shown in forgiving. But what tenderhearted mean?
Soft-hearted, as opposed to hard-hearted.
Which as we know from last week’s lesson hard-heartedness is caused by what (4:18)?
Ignorance of Christ; because they have not learned of Him.
The eyes of their heart aren’t enlightened (1:18).
Its almost as if Paul is extending his metaphor of “enlightened eyes” here. So our eyes are enlightened/opened making them sensitive/vulnerable/tender. As if before they were literally hard-hearted like brink not soft or vulnerable/unable to feel anything.
Which is a re-enactment of what?
God forgiving us in Christ.
IE God’s forgiveness to us who are in Christ was an act of kindness. So, in 2:7 we established that God saved us to be kind to us forever; and that He delights to be kind to us. Given that God’s greatest kindness to us is forgiveness what does that say about God?
That God delights to forgive us; He wants to forgive us. In a likewise urge that we have to sin God has the urge to forgive and is quick, abounding, and delights to forgive His children.
So, before we move to 5:1, how much did God forgive us in Christ?
So 5:1, how are we to imitate God?
Being kind, tenderhearted, by manifesting forgiveness to one another.
Why are we imitators of God?
Because we are loved/beloved children.
And why is us being loved to be the motivating factor for us?
Because otherwise it’d be legalism.
We’d be kind and forgiving without any real emotion or affection or love to the other person without part 2 of verse 1.
Therefore, it is necessary for us to be beloved children and THEN be imitators of God because God acts out of love.
If we didn’t know the love of God we couldn’t love as God loves.
It’d be impossible to love to the standard He’s commanding without God Himself.
Jump over to Romans 5:8-9
What\’s Paul saying here?
That God freely chose to give up/sacrifice His treasured precious of His one and only Son for His enemy. The point here, for our purposes, is that we were undeserving of that love and that sacrifice was costly. Our love should be likewise.
So here’s God’s love: So out of love, God, in His tenderheartedness, chose to be kind to us and forgive us, US: the dead in our sins, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of air as sons of disobedience, children of wrath, BY Christ’s brutal sacrifice that was pleasing to Him.
With that said let\’s move to 5:2
What\’s it mean to “walk in love”?
to love continually
And by what standard are we to love continually?
By the standard Christ set by His life
And how did He set that standard?
By His giving Himself up, or deliver Himself, as a sacrifice.
What does it mean that Jesus “gave Himself us” for us?
He took no claim to Himself, all He was He gave away to us for God. He Himself, His essence and being were delivered to us of His own choosing as a sacrifice to God.
Given this, what does “fragrant offering” meaning?
He, His sacrifice was pleasing to God.
I’ve always found it interesting that Christ is to say to us “well done my good and faithful servant” at our arrive into His heavenly kingdom. He doesn’t say, ‘you did many good works well done’ but He congratulates you-because like Him-you are to give yourself/sacrifice yourself in your love for His honor.
Why? Why is God pleased to crush His own Son under His own hand?
Because it was God manifesting His love and kindness to us. He sacrificed His one and only son to love us. That is the standard of love for us.
So that said, what does it cost anything to love someone?
Do y’all find it easy to forgive? Why why not?
For me, it\’s not easy because I don’t want to let go of my own pride in thinking I know how best to handle this situation, I know best how to make them pay for what they did to me.
So given all of this, given that it\’s not easy to forgive someone, that it’ll cost me something of myself, why should I forgive someone when they wrong me?
“as Christ loved us” Christ loved us, loved me, with a perfect sacrifice. What am I but mere dust to demand a more, higher price be paid for them to earn my forgiveness? Christ might have already paid for their sin. That could be my future brother or sister and I want them to be that so I am a channel of Christ’s love to them right now. And even if they don’t become my brother then God will be swift in dealing with them justly with eternal punishment.
Talk to me about why “sexual immorality” and all impurity or covetousness is improper among the saints.
IE how are those things in opposition to God and His love?
It is proper for us to walk in love. If we walked in anything else, let alone the exact opposite of love, it\’s improper for us because we don’t live to our calling nor honor Christ’s sacrifice. IE it\’s not a sacrifice but merely taking from them.
Leave “foolish talk” alone, for now, we’ll circle back to that.
Define “crude joking” for me.
Rude, unbecoming, sarcastic, untruthful, ugly jokes.
Why is that un-loving?
It tears ppl down, not builds them up.
What does Paul tell us to replace this with?
Why? Why replace crude joking with thanksgiving?
I think Paul may be continuing his repentance theme from last week in 4:28. Crude joking suggests hatefulness or ingratitude toward that someone/thing. But Paul is reminding us that that thing is from God and is, therefore, a gift from Him.
So how are we to be thankful/cultivate gratitude toward God?
By being grateful/appreciative for what God has done/did do for me.
What would you say to an ungrateful Christian in light of this passage? How would you choose to exhort them to thanksgiving?
We, Christians, must remain continually on our face before God. This causes and fuels our gratitude to God.
Why do these ppl not have an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God?
Because they have earthly treasures and pleasures but not heavenly treasures and pleasures.
They are not self-controlled, uncleaned from their sin, and are greedy for other’s stuff.
Now, do y’all have any thoughts on the phrase “the kingdom of Christ and God”?
I ask because this is the only place in the whole bible this phrase comes up and I think Paul is trying to tell us something here but I couldn’t pick up on it.
Give me some synonyms for “empty”.
The original greek suggests vain or aimless, perhaps even void.
Tell me how someone is deceived by “empty words”? How are they deceived via vanity?
Turn to 1 Corinthians 15:14
Read 1 Cor. 15:12-19
The word “vain” in verse 14 is the same as “empty” in Ephesians 5. Given this, I ask once more, how are we deceived by empty words?
By false doctrine.
And how do we know false doctrine?
By knowing true doctrine. Or the truth. But I repeat myself.
And how do we know that?
By knowing our bibles through and through.
Now, change gears a hot minute and jump down to verse 1 Corinthians 15:58.
Read 1 Cor. 15:54-58
As some of you well know I’ve felt discouraged lately and here is perhaps the sweetest verse for such a trail from God.
The opposite of vanity is what?
Purpose, fulfillment, complete.
All of this, the study, the research, the reading, prayer, meditation, the frustration, the struggle, the weekly meeting all of it is absolutely worth it according to this verse. Look back at this verse, what is the “work of the Lord”?
Salvation now and later. Salvation now in that we are being delivered from sin and later in the final deliverance from sin. All of which is from God, by God, for God. The victory is given by God; we must ask and receive it from Him.
Flip back to Eph 5.
5:6b. “for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.”
So because of sexual immorality and impurity and covetousness and idolatry the wrath of God comes down on the unrepentant.
literally “don’t be jointed together with them”. So who are we to be jointed with?
The saints of course (4:16).
How are we not to be partners with them?
We are to be partners with our fellow saints in building up the body of Christ. Therefore, we cannot use those that are not of Christ to build up the body of Christ. For what fellowship does darkness have with light.
“Walk as children of light” literally you could translate that as ‘live as children of the enlightenment of chapter 1’.
Why does our enlightenment produce that which is good right and true?
Good because we now know and live a true morality
right because we are made right with God and true because we live according to God’s revelation/word which is the truth.
Often I think we fall into the trap of thinking that “theology” is just a branch of philosophy with little or no real consequences on the world. But Theology, is properly done, is something like a mixture of history, metaphysics, and biology that affects everything around us and is every bit of real-life because it is the truth.
Literally “learn what is pleasing”.
I know I’ve asked this question before but I\’m going to again with a slight twist to it:
What is your goal in life?
Ok, now, what is your goal eternally?
To please God.
The answers to those question should in no way be different. Paul had one goal in life: Please God.
Everything else was secondary to that and served the purpose of that #1 goal.
We’re wise to follow his lead on this.
So how are we to learn what is pleasing to God?
It\’s rather simple really you live according to your new nature to love God with all your heart, soul and mind and after that, you will know what is pleasing to God for you will desire to honor Him in what you do.
Plus, the point-blank guideline of “everyone who is sexually immoral… has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ” is also pretty obvious.
Talk to me about exposing the unfruitful works of darkness yet not taking part in them. How does one do that?
Reprove those unfruitful works; for the unbeliever, it means convicting them of their sinful state. IE showing there wrongdoing and also showing them the correct standard which is?
Christ and His perfect work.
We’ll cover this when we get to verse 18
By what means are we to expose them?
So its’ no longer hidden in lies or shadows but is now open and in accordance with reality.
And here we have a very fun historical artifact. Here is one of the first hymns sung by the early church that comes from several different passages in Isaiah. Why does Paul choose to quote this here?
Its an illustration of what he’s teaching and the gospel. ‘Awake from your darkened sleep and let your eyes be enlightened to the risen Christ’ is essentially what he’s saying.
So remind me, what\’s the standard according to we’re supposed to walk?
Love and Christ loved 5:2
So, how should we exam how we walk?
We should make sure that we not only love outwardly but inwardly in our hearts as well.
Explain this one to me, how are the “evil days” the motivating factor in using my time wisely?
Because I don’t have many days or chances to waste. I am given today and that is all. I am given the test to follow God or fall away; I best not waste my the little time I have on that which is evil and only serves to destroy my relationship with God.
I exist in some “off-brand” internet circles and perhaps you’ve heard the phrase “black pilled”. IE these folk will just take their foot off the gas and just like “whatever happens next just, happen” they’ve given up because of the evil days. Interestingly enough Paul here is teaching the exact opposite: that the evil days are the fuel of the Christian to keep going, and to not despair but to have hope in these hard days all the more. The reason being, in brief, is that we are to be grateful that we have any time left to honor God with at all; especially given all the sins we committed against Him and our neighbor. God has graced us with another day; let us use it for all that its worth.
What\’s the opposite of foolishness?
Knowing the will of God. Why is that?
Knowing God’s will is the wisest thing you can do and the best use of your time. God is sovereign over all and as given everything that we need for salvation it is, therefore, wisest to follow the good Lord in His loving, kind, gracious, perfect will no matter where it may lead you; for it is there that you are the safest you could be.
Did anyone else see a connection between verse 10 and 17?
Because I think they are the same. That which is pleasing to the Lord is the will of the Lord. And that which is the will of the Lord is pleasing to Him. See what I’m getting at?
So how do we know the will?
We know what is pleasing to Him.
How do we know that?
We learn what is good, right and true in His eyes.
Do y’all think Paul is teaching doctrine or practical wisdom here?
I’ll tell you doctrine. Heres why: the Greeks at this time would have drunk sex parties where they’re put on repetitive dance music and try to get themselves into, what we’d call, a higher state of consciousness in order to get closer to their gods. Here Paul is teaching them that they need not do such things, shameful things as he called them in 5:12, but to instead but full of the Holy Spirit. What does that mean?
IE walk in all facets of life in accord to the will of God/according to the word.
So there are 4 things that Paul says we are to enjoy the filling of the Holy Spirit by. what are they?
Fellowship with one another “addressing one another”
Enjoying the word “psalms”
Enjoying sound doctrine “hymns”
Songs from Holy Spirit directed to God in personal worship of God “making melody to the Lord with your heart”
What does it mean then to have your heart in worship?
I think Paul here wraps us this first half of the chapter well right here. We are to be imitators of God as beloved children and do that by giving thanks always for everything to God while we submit/honor/love/serve one another for Christ.