Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A Second Helping: Ephesians 4:25-27

Here are some additional notes on from my sermon preparation on Ephesians 4:25-27. The sermon can found here.

1. The connections between Zechariah 8 and Ephesians 4 are intriguing. Zechariah 8 envisions a new restored Israel where God dwells in "truth and righteousness." (8:8) The Hebrew word for truth is used six times in Zechariah with five of those times coming between 8:1-19. The use of truth in Zechariah 8 along with the its use Ephesians 4:15, 21, 25 makes one commentator say, "It is difficult to resist the conclusion that the brief citation of Zech. 8.16 in Eph. 4.25 is but the tip of the iceberg in terms of the role Zech. 8 plays in the thought of the author of Ephesians."  The Old Testament community that is promised in Zechariah 8 has become reality in Ephesians 4.

2. We have all heard the phrase "little white lies." Satan loves to seduce us into believing that our sins are not as great as they actually are. Is lying really a problem. Listen to the Apostle John,  "...all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death." (Revelation 21:8) If lying is a habit, Hell will be your habitation.

3. St. Chrysostom: "There is nothing, no nothing, so productive of enmity [hatred] as deceit and guile."

4. Should we be worried if we get angry often? Is it really a big deal if we have a sharp temper?  Listen to John Calvin, "Be assured, then, that we are, as it were, banished from the school of Christ and his church when we stir up hostility and conflict among men." (Sermon on "Blessed are the Peacemakers")

5. We lie because we want to look better than we are or to get something we want. We get angry because we have lost sight of God's sovereignty over our situation.  Both of these show a lack of trust in God to provide what we need and to vindicate us when we are harmed.

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Let the saints be joyful in glory, let them sing aloud on their beds, let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two edged sword in their hand, to execute vengeance on the nations, and punishments on the peoples; to bind the kings with chains and their nobles with fetters of iron. Psalm 149:5-8