Ephesians 4:29-32 – “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, so that it will give grace to those who hear. 30 Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” NASB
Ephesians 5:1 – “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; 2 and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.” NASB
Yesterday we talked about this in a measure. Today I want us to move further in this consideration of the mindset of the victim vs. Christian. I truly believe that one of the reasons that we fall into that trap is that we fail to understand Grace. Sometimes it seems as though we think Grace is simply God being gracious to us.
I think the schoolmaster, The Law that brought us to Grace has become a problem in that in The Law or any Law says if you behave, I am satisfied. Grace does not issue that edict but demands more. The Law simply deals with my behavior but Grace deals with my heart. I can look the part, act the part, and appear to be Christian but inside be full of filth. Grace deals with my heart and regardless of how I look on the outside, it is working on the inside or the Heart!
Grace is not focused on behavior but the Church per se is. We fulfill the scripture that ‘man looks on the outward’ to a tee! Grace deals with our want to and begins the process of change there at the seat of the problem and the core of our being. Then, when the heart is changed the behavior follows naturally. Sadly, behavior is too often nothing more than a ‘mask’ that professors of Christianity wear and hide who they really are from the world, but you cannot hide from God!
Notice Paul says, “The Grace has come to you….” In other words, it has invaded who you are. Now it is up to us to cooperate with the Spirit of God and allow change to be affected in our lives on the inside. Grace did not just bring us deliverance from the world of sin it brings us Salvation that takes place every day of our lives. It brings us daily wholeness!
The Grace of God makes us spiritually healthy and whole. There is a truth that I will not get into here but sometimes we are sick in our bodies because we are sick in our heads and hearts. I have heard medical doctors claim that upwards of 90% of all diseases are psychosomatic. I do not know that I would go that far but I do know that our attitudes can affect our health. Please do not assume that I am saying if you were right spiritually you would not battle any physical ailment. I did not and do not say that! I lost my wife due to cancer and do not believe any of her disease was psychosomatic or because of a sickness of her heart. She was devoted to God and had a pure heart filled with love! It was diabolical evil that attacked her.
Paul tells us that there are some things that we must do as believers. There are some things that we do not just pray about but take ownership of and act on. We are to put away – malice, bitterness, and evil speaking. That is pretty radical, but the Holy Spirit emphasized the put away which in Greek means ‘make a decisive choice.’ It is like saying, ‘Do it man! Make it happen! Don’t pray about it! Don’t say I will try! JUST DO IT!’
I want us to look at what we are to Put Away, but time and space will not permit adequate examination so I will pause here.
God bless you as you go through your day!