Rooted in Spirit-Filled Living Preached by: Matthew S. Black Text: Ephesians 5:8-21 Series: Rooted in Christ Date: July 15, 2012, 10:30am Living Hope Bible Church of Roselle, IL Introduction: Open your Bibles to Ephesians 5. We are continuing our series: “Rooted in Christ”. The title of the message is: “Rooted in Spirit-Filled Living”. DIESEL Illustration: What would happen if you pull into a gas station and fill your car up with diesel? I even saw a gas station that had kerosene. That could have some devastating effects on a car! In order to benefit from the diesel you have to have a diesel engine. In the same way – there is only one way to live the Christian life – in the power of the Spirit. The arm of the flesh will fail you. Paul says in another place, “Walk in the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16). It is that very truth that Paul is giving in this passage. He says later in Ephesians 5:18 (ESV), “…do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit”. Today, you and I need to be filled with the Holy Spirit. What does that look like? Paul paints it for us in Ephesians 5:8-21. We learn that… · The Spirit brings CONVERSION (vs. 8-10). · The Spirit brings SEPARATION (vs. 11-12). · The Spirit brings ILLUMINATION (vs. 13-14). · The Spirit brings WISDOM (vs. 15-20). · The Spirit brings SUBMISSION (vs. 21). Ephesians 5:8–21 (ESV), “for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), 10 and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. 13 But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, 14 for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” “15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, 20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.” I. The Spirit brings CONVERSION (vs. 8-10). Ephesians 5:8–10 (ESV), “for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light…” You have a new nature. There has been a conversion. Now WALK! Walk as a child of the light. Illumination of the Temple Illustration Ephesians 5:8 tells us that we are light in darkness. “During the Feast of Tabernacles there was a great ceremony called the "Illumination of the Temple," which involved the ritual lighting of four golden oil-fed lamps in the Court of Women. These lamps were huge menorahs/candelabras (seventy-five feet high) lighted in the Temple at night to remind the people of the pillar of fire that had guided Israel in their wilderness journey. All night long the light shone their brilliance; it is said, illuminating the entire city. During this ceremony the priests and Levite's would use their own worn out clothing for wicks. Some believed that the light represented God's Shekinah glory that once filled the temple. In celebration and anticipation, the holiest of Israel's men danced and sang psalms of joy and praise, before the Lord. This festival was a reminder that God had promised to send a light, the true Light, to a sin-darkened world. Imagine that you are in ancient Jerusalem during the Feast of Tabernacles. Visualize seeing these massive menorahs giving a tremendous amount of light. Now imagine the impact of the words said by Jesus in the Temple courtyard when he announced, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life" (John 8:12). Mitch and Zhava Galser, The Fall Feasts of Israel (Moody Bible Institute: Chicago, 1987). The light that Jesus promises is not the light of the pillar of fire – that pillar just represented the true fire – the Shekinah glory – the very presence of God. If we follow Jesus, He promises that we will have the light of life. This is exactly what Paul was saying in Ephesians 5:8. Matthew 5:14-16, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” New nature, behavior, and Master A. In conversion we have a new Nature vs. 8 Ephesians 5:8 (ESV), “for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.” The premise of “Walking as children of light” is the fact that darkness has been turned to light. Darkness is referring to the unregenerate state. We were at one time lost, unregenerate, darkness! But now you are light; now you are saved! It’s a radical nature change! Metaphor of Creation Paul is using the metaphor of creation, calling light out of the darkness, to illustrate the miracle of regeneration. He says in Ephesians 5:8, “at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord”. There’s been a fundamental change in nature. Think of the Genesis account. Man’s fallen nature is akin to the earth that was “without form and void” with “darkness covering the face of the deep”. But what did God say? “Let there be light!” (Gen. 1:1-3). · Paul refers to this very thing in 2 Corinthians 4:6 (ESV), “God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” When God created man he formed him in his own image and after his own likeness. In man’s fall into sin, the moral image of God in man became corrupted and distorted. Our mind which had been illumined by divine truth became spiritually blind. Without Christ We ARE Darkness Sinners are described here as “darkness”. You may be here without Christ. It is not that you are in darkness. Your problem is really yourself. The Scripture says that without Christ you and I are darkness. What we find from Ephesians 5:8 is that we have found the enemy, and your own greatest enemy is not outside of you, but within! Your main problem is not that you in and among dark and sinful influences. It is not your sinful environment that keeps you from coming to Christ. It is not your friends or your family or the movies you watch. Without Christ we can do NOTHING. We need Him to give the increase! We Cannot Change on Our Own Christ said, “No one can come to me, except the Father which has sent me draw him” (John 6:44). There is a fundamental problem of inability. Jeremiah, the prophet of old said, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). Sinners are blinded by their own sinful heart, the very nature that informs their will. Most don’t even seek a change. Certainly they do not look to Jesus. Paul says in Romans 3:10-12 (ESV), (Quoting Psalm 14) – “None is righteous, no, not one; 11 no one understands; no one seeks for God. 12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” Man without Christ loves sin, and cannot change his own nature. · Jesus said, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (John 3:8). · Job 14:4, Job asks, “Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one.” · Jeremiah 13:23, “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.” · Sinners themselves keep themselves from seeing Christ. 1 Corinthians 2:14, “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly [IRRATIONAL NONSENSE] to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.” Benjamin Keach Quote: On the Shoulders of Christ Paul says without Christ we are “darkness”. Paul here is describing their nature—their hardened heart. As Benjamin Keach said, “Lost sinners cannot go home to God in and of themselves, but must be carried to God on the shoulders of Christ.” Quote of Benjamin Keach-- http://www.the-highway.com/articleFeb06.html As verse 14 says, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” The term “darkness” is referring to the unregenerate state. Those who are in the natural, unregenerate state, in the flesh, “cannot please God”. And actually the old nature, the Scripture says is “hostile to God”. As Paul says, “in my flesh I can do no good thing”. Man can do nothing to help himself independent of God. Well, how can we be saved? John 6:65, “no one can come to Me unless it is granted him by the Father”. We must be carried on the shoulders of Christ! · John 14:6 (ESV) Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” · He says in the Old Testament in Isaiah 45:22 (ESV), “Look unto me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.” · He says, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). You Must Be Born Again! · John 3:3 (ESV), “unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” · We hear the promise in Deuteronomy 30:6 (ESV), “The LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.” He’ll take out your cold, dead heart of stone and give you a tender, living heart of flesh (Eze. 36:26). · Won’t you cry out with David: Psalm 51:10 (ESV), “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” Now Are You Light Before salvation, we were living in the realm of darkness where the god of this world, Satan, had blinded our eyes. But look at our present light. Christ has “delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son” (Colossians 1:13). We are now “light in the Lord”. We now have the power to say NO to sin and YES to God. You have the power to follow God. You have the power as he says in verse 1, to “be imitators of God as dear children”. · Galatians 5:16 (ESV), “walk in the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” Keep in step with the Spirit. · He says, “I will never leave you nor forsake you!” (Hebrews 13:5). · You now have the nature to do what is right. You can say with Paul, “I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me”. Whatever His will is you have the power to do it! In conversion we are given a new nature. And out of that new nature, we have a new behavior… B. In conversion we have a new Behavior vs. 9 Ephesians 5:8b-9 (ESV), “Walk as children of light. 9 (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true)”. Where ever there is a true nature change (LIGHT) there is always FRUIT that is attached to the tree! Where ever there is the root of something, there will be fruit! God says you cannot separate salvation from godly living. James says, “faith without works is dead”. Turn to 1 John 3. Throughout the Bible we find that the fruit of faith is a godly life. Godly living does not save us – rather it is the evidence that we are saved. Motion does not make a car a car. It is simply a car doing what a car does. Jesus says, “You will recognize [true and false converts] by their fruits”. “A good tree does not bring forth corrupt fruit, neither does a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit” (Matthew 7). No One Who Practices Sinful Living is Born Again 1 John 3:4-10, “Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. 5 You know that he appeared to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. 6 No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. 7 Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. 8 Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. 9 No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. 10 By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.” What an impossible command: holy living! From this passage, I want you to see the impossible command: to “walk as children of light” (verse 8b). We who were so long used to walking in darkness are now supposed to walk that shines with the pure light of God. · 1 John 2:6 (ESV), “whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.” · 1 Peter 1:15 (ESV), “as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct”. · Matthew 5:48 (ESV), “You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” God has imprinted His likeness in the heart of every true believer and re-created our inner being into the “new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:24). In that transformation, God put within our nature the capacity to desire true righteousness and holiness As a bird loves to fly like the mother and father bird that birthed him, so a Christian loves to imitate His Heavenly Father. A true child of God finds it pure joy and pleasure to imitate God. Why? Because he has been given the capacity to imitate God. It is now his nature. Illustration: A Christian is designed to live for Christ. A fish is designed to swim. Birds are designed to fly. Worms are designed to crawl. Christians were designed to live in conformity to Jesus Christ. When you take the bird out of the sky and swim the bird, you kill the bird. When you take the dog off the leash and drop him from the sky, you kill the dog. When you take the fish out of the water and walk the fish, you kill the fish. So the first humans, Adam and Eve, when they departed from the design of their maker, they destroyed themselves (and all after them). Christians, through the new birth, are redeemed and redesigned with a new nature that soars above the sinful world in the righteousness of Christ. · And so as dear children, we WANT to imitate God. As new born babies, we desire the “sincere milk of the word”. We sincerely want it, and we sincerely hold to it. · We say with David: Psalm 119:97, “O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day”. So do what Paul says in Ephesians 5:8b-9 (ESV), “Walk as children of light. 9 (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true)”. You talk talks and your walk walks, but your walk walks louder than your talk talks. Talk is cheap! If you are born again, live as a born again person! Transition: Not only do we have a new nature, and new behavior… C. In conversion we have a new Master vs. 10 Ephesians 5:10 (ESV), “and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord.” What does Paul mean when he says true children of light discern what is acceptable or pleasing to the Lord? The word proving means to put on trial, to examine, or to try by fire.Zodhiates, S. (2000, c1992, c1993). The complete word study dictionary : New Testament (electronic ed.) (G1381). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers. In the Greek translation of the Old Testament (the Septuagint), we find the same word in Proverbs 17:3, “The [re]fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD tries the hearts.” We ought to examine everything in life to see if it is pleasing to the Lord! Application: Is your life demonstrating that you have a changed heart? Many situations come to us throughout the day, and our choices demonstrate whether or not we are children of light. Has Christ, the light of the world come into union with your heart and soul? If so, walk as a son or daughter of light. WITHOUT WAX In the ancient world, dishonest pottery dealers filled cracks in their inferior products with wax before glazing and painting them, making worthless pots difficult to distinguish from expensive ones. The only way to avoid being defrauded was to hold the pot to the sun, making the wax-filled cracks obvious. Dealers marked their fine pottery that could withstand 'sun testing' as sine cera—'without wax.' John MacArthur. The MacArthur Study Bible, electronic ed. (Nashville: Word Pulishing, 1997), comment on Philippians 1:10. · Those who know Christ “walk as children of light” (verse 8). They are always discerning and desiring “what is pleasing to the Lord” (verse 10). Those who are truly regenerated will want nothing else than to please the Lord with their life. · 2 Corinthians 5:9 (ESV), “we make it our aim to please him.” · 1 Corinthians 10:31 (ESV), “whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” The word “glory” means “to give the right opinion of”. We need to give the right opinion of God as His ambassadors and representatives in ALL that we do. Every moment we have a choice to make to please God or please our selves. Can you say in your heart of hearts that you have no other ambition than to please the Lord? II. The Spirit brings SEPARATION (vs. 11-12). Ephesians 5:11–12 (ESV), “11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret.” A. Avoid the works of darkness –unfruitful, verse 11a, “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness,” Christians are to live lives that are separated from the world. As David says often in the Psalms, “I am a pilgrim and a stranger on this earth”. This world is not my home, I’m just a passin’ through! Benedict Arnold Some of you recognize the name Benedict Arnold. He was a hero on the American side in the revolutionary war until he became a traitor and switched to the British side. We cannot be a traitor to the cause of Christ. We must not have part with the ENEMY! Attitude toward an Ungodly World What should our attitude be toward an ungodly world? This passage tells us that we’ve been transformed. We used to be part of the darkness. We used to participate. Now we are light, and we are commanded to “walk as children of light”. Some become isolationists. We cannot do that as Christians. We are called to reach the world, not to cut ourselves off from it entirely. We are to see to day that we are called to INFLUENCE the world and to transform it from the inside out! In order to affect change in this world, we must first protect our life from evil. How effective can a general be if he is cohorting with the enemy? We cannot compromise in our Christian walk. We must maintain holiness and discipline in our life if we are going to be effective. GOD WILL NOT USE A DIRTY VESSEL. Paul says, “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (verse 11). B. Expose the works of darkness, verse 11b, “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.” COMPROMISE WITH SIN is a COMPROMISE OF YOUR POWER IN CHRIST to affect the world! Are you affecting the world, or is the world affecting you? Illustration: How do we have influence on a godless world? Why, it is so simple a child can understand it—they sing about it. This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine. This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine. Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine! Hide it under a bushel, no! I’m gonna let it shine. Hide it under a bushel, no! I’m gonna let it shine. Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine! Matthew 5:16 (ESV), “let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Everything ought to be different: · What you watch on TV · How you drive · What spouse you are looking for · How you treat your spouse · Your language · Your thought life We should shine and expose the works of darkness. C. Silence the works of darkness, verse 12, “For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret.” Don’t even speak of them! III. The Spirit brings ILLUMINATION (vs. 13-14). Ephesians 5:13-14 (ESV), “But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, 14 for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” A. Sinners become arrested when they see their sin visible! (vs. 13) Ephesians 5:13 (ESV), “But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible…” Suddenly when a sinner is drawn to Christ, his sins become visible, and almost unbearable. Spurgeon said, for the one converted, “Sin is like a nest of vipers slithering upon you that you despise and want to take off of you!” The light exposes. This is a sure sign of the conviction of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said the Spirit came to convict of “sin, righteousness, and the judgement to come”. B. To see our sin we must see Christ (vs. 14) Ephesians 5:14 (ESV), “for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” The phrase for everything that becomes visible is light is a part of verse 14 in the best Greek manuscripts, and is better translated, “for it is light that makes everything visible” (niv ). Light is that which makes things manifest, that which shows them to be as they actually are. When sin is revealed, it loses its “hiddenness” and is seen for the ugliness it is. MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1986). Ephesians. MacArthur New Testament Commentary (213). Chicago: Moody Press. What changed Saul of Tarsus? He saw the Lord! What changed Isaiah? “Mine eyes have seen the King the Lord of hosts”. We need to see Jesus. Wake up! You sleepy head! Wake up and Christ will shine on you! Ancient Hymn This was actually a quotation of Isaiah 60:1-2 likely paraphrased for a hymn of the ancient Church. The idea is to IV. The Spirit brings WISDOM (vs. 15-20). Ephesians 5:15-20 (ESV), “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, 20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ”. A. Be wise about your walk Ephesians 5:15 (ESV), “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise.” KJV: “Walk circumspectly”. What does that mean? Field illustration I’ve never lived on a farm. But I’ve visited them. And I can tell you, when you are on a farm you want to walk carefully and circumspectly. B. Be wise about your time Ephesians 5:16 (ESV), “making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is”. 1. Our time is not our own. It is a stewardship from God. Therefore we are called not to use our time for our own comfort, but to please God with it. Application: We are called not just in getting things done, but in getting the right things done. I say this because there are many lost people who know that time is precious. Steven Covey is a lost Mormon who has a time management system. I’m not talking about that kind of time management. What Paul is saying is “Redeem the time for Jesus Christ and His Kingdom”. The lost person lives for himself. He may organize his time well so he has plenty of time for self. But we are not called to serve self, but God alone. You see organizing is not enough. To redeem the time is not just organizing, but we must prioritizing for God’s kingdom. Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. The goal is to be satisfied in Him every moment and use every moment to please Him. Paul says in Colossians 3:1-2, “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth 3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” That means getting done what God wants done and what glorifies Him most, no matter what I feel like. The Scottish preacher Alexander MacLaren (1826–1910) put it this way: No unwelcome tasks become any the less unwelcome by putting them off till tomorrow. It is only when they are behind us and done, that we begin to find that there is a sweetness to be tasted afterwards, and that the remembrance of unwelcome duties unhesitatingly done is welcome and pleasant. Accomplished, they are full of blessing, and there is a smile on their faces as they leave us. Undone, they stand threatening and disturbing our tranquility, and hindering our communion with God. If there be lying before you any bit of work from which you shrink, go straight up to it, and do it at once. The only way to get rid of it is to do it. Alexander MacLaren. Record of Christian Work (Moody: East Northfield, Mass, 1910), 338. 2. Our time is perfectly measured. Everyone gets 24 hours in a day. Busy people are not given a special button they can push to get 28 hours. If you find out where that button is, please inform me. Unfortunately, no such button exists. Therefore, a wise person knows we have very little time in this life, and our time must be invested wisely. He remembers the words of Job who said, “Now my days are swifter than a [running currier]… 26 They are passed away as the swift ships: as the eagle that hasteth to the prey” (Job 9:25-26). Time is a precious commodity that is quickly passing away. 3. Time is a non-renewable resource. In other words, you live in this moment once, and once it passes away, it is gone forever. Use it wisely. Here are some ideas. Redeem your time from the mundane. We spend many hours in getting ready for the day, driving to and from work, down time at work, break time, or doing mundane tasks around the house. Many of the things we do are automatic functions that require no thinking. How can you redeem that time? a. If you are driving, turn off your radio. Instead, get an interesting audio book—it could be theological, historical, scientific, whatever. Expand your heart and mind. You can also use an mp3 player in your car for this. b. Use the mundane time for praying for people. Use the book Operation World. Each day a different country is listed with its needs. Learn about the countries of the world so that you can have more compassion in prayer and pray for c. Meditate on a passage of Scripture. Learn a verse during your morning devotions, and bring your mind back to it during the mundane time. Instead of surfing the web, checking out Facebook, watching TV, etc, do something fun with your family. Read a missionary biography together. Husbands, we have a tendency to think that time spent at home is a waste of time. We would never say it, but most men are goal oriented. We like to see big projects accomplished. Most of the time there are no great mountains to scale at home. I have cheated my family out of time so that I can get more projects done at work. What I’ve realized is that God will bless me with efficient use of my time if I put priorities first. We’ve got to spend quality time with our family. As I said time is a non-renewable resource. Use it wisely. Application: Let me make an application for parents and children. Be careful of time wasters for our children such as video games and films (even though they are good films). As parents we are stewards of our children’s time as well. Instead, spend time with your children. Memorize Bible verses together. Play a family game together. Have a family night at home. It doesn’t have to cost anything. Time with your family is a non-renewable resource. Finally, we come to another important principle: 4. We are to live every moment of time to the fullest. Paul says in Colossians 3:23, “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men”. We need to redeem the time. We must from the heart and for the Lord fix our fierce concentration and focus on the task at hand. We won’t get any rewards in heaven for day dreaming. Day dreaming is a waste of time. We must put all our effort to doing the will of God in the task at hand. Young Jonathan Edwards made a series of resolutions one year early on in his life. One of those resolutions reads this way: Resolved: Never to lose one moment of time, but to improve it in the most profitable way I possibly can. Jonathan Edwards. Works, Volume 1 (Converse: New York, 1829), 68. The missionary-martyr Jim Eliott said in his college days at Wheaton College not far from here: Wherever you are, be all there. Live to the hilt any situation you believe to be the will of God. Jim Eliott in Kenneth Boa’s book Conformed to His Image: Biblical and Practical Approaches to Spiritual Formation (Zondervan: Grand Rapids, 2001), 269. C. Be wise about your heart. Ephesians 5:18 (ESV), “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit”. Don’t be controlled by alcohol. CAR Illustration: My son will got an electric race track for his birthday. The cars have to be precisely on the electric track or the car will not go forward. Galatians 5:16, “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” As Christians we must never knowingly live in any kind of sin. We must not allow it in any degree. We abstain even from the “appearance of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:22). This will weaken our walk with Christ and weaken our testimony with those we want God to save. D. Be wise about your talk Ephesians 5:18-20 (ESV), “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, 20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ”. Thankfulness, praise and singing are a sign of Spirit-filling. Colossians 3:16 (ESV) 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. · The Spirit brings CONVERSION (vs. 8-10). · The Spirit brings SEPARATION (vs. 11-12). · The Spirit brings ILLUMINATION (vs. 13-14). · The Spirit brings WISDOM (vs. 15-20). V. The Spirit brings SUBMISSION (vs. 21). Ephesians 5:21 (ESV), “submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.” · Children submitted to parents · Wife Submitted to Husband · Husband submitted to Christ · All people submitted to authority · Christians submitted to Elders · All of us submitted to Christ · All of us submitted to one another because of Christ · Christ Submitted to God · God submitted to no one. Let’s all be submitted to one another. Government – the powers that be are ordained by God. Conclusion: My beloved 1998 Dark Green Ford Taurus. Trans went out.