Focus: Eph 4:17-32
After we accept Jesus, Ephesians 4 shows us that free agency is still active - so we can sin even after we are justified! Notice that Paul says that we should "choose" not to follow our old lives. The passage tells us that it is our sinful nature that continues to want to pull us back into old habits. This is a great passage that shows the reality of conversion to Christ. If we do not feed this conversion, that new person "potential" that was created by our conversion can be lost because our "our" actions not God's. We need to understand that our conversion to Christ is only the beginning of our new journey, not the destination or end of one! To give people the unequivocal perspective that they have no further concern for loss after they choose Jesus is in my opinion half-hearted and crippling. We need to prepare new converts for the reality of living in an evil, carnal world while being a member of Christ's body. We have the responsibility of acting on our faith so that we draw closer to God. We need to let new converts know that nothing can separate us from our future hope "except" our own free agency. We continue to sin after we are justified even though the penalty of sin has been separated from us due to justification! So if we are not actively allowing ourselves to be sanctified by the Spirit of God who dwells within us, we give a foothold to the devil (Paul's words v27). So even though it is in our power, Satan STILL had the ability to draw us to himself IF AND ONLY IF we allow it. Sanctification is the cyclical process of repentance and grace that draws us closer and closer to God UNDER the power of the Holy Spirit. Until we are glorified (perfected for all eternity), we can choose evil. This should not frighten us because as long as our sin is unintentional, we are covered by grace. If we choose evil intentionally, we become the Son of Perdition, neither forgiven in this world or the next. This is Paul's point in this passage today. He says that we should "choose" to care for one another. Follow Jesus with the Spirit that He sent to us to guide us until He comes again. Do not become complacent, diligently follow God and the Spirit of Truth will guide us home! Let's prepare ourselves for the journey by seeking Jesus "every" day! Only we can stand in the way of our own destiny. Paul would agree. Amen!