In this sermon, Pastor Neil continues with the second of a 2-part series on blind spots– those failings in ourselves that we do not see– and gives life principles for the cure. Here are some excerpts:

…What a blessing it would be to see ourselves as others see us, because sometimes, while we have a certain view of ourselves, others see us in a much different way. Rightly or wrongly, we tend to judge ourselves on the basis of our motives or intentions (or what we want to believe our motives or intentions to be), while we judge others – and other people tend to judge us – on the basis of our actual words and actions.

We all have blind spots. It would be a gift from God that could potentially revolutionize our relationships if we could see ourselves as others see us. Even more, if we could see ourselves as God Himself sees us. Because He sees things (and us) as they (and we) really are.

Last time we talked about the first two rules or principles Paul articulates starting in verses 25 of Ephesians 4. They are:

  1. Be done with falsehood of every kind and speak truth to one another (4:25)…
  2. Be careful not to let anger gain a foothold in your life (4:26-27)…

PRINCIPLE #3: STOP STEALING AND START GIVING

One problem in the church today – not just ours, but in the Christian church around the world– is that too many believers have more of a consumer mentality than a servant mindset or a Great Commission focus. Too many church members seem interested only in what the church can do for them, not in what they can give or do in the work and mission of the church.

I’m not talking about giving money. Not just about money, anyway. I’m talking about investing your time and energy and love, as well as your money, to strengthen and build up the body of Christ, to extend the reach and influence of the gospel…

PRINCIPLE #4: WATCH WHAT YOU SAY

The fourth rule is found in verses 29 and 30, where Paul says: “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”

PRINCIPLE #5: MALICE TOWARD NONE, AND KINDNESS TOWARD ALL

There is one more rule in this passage for us to work into our lives. It is found in verses 31and 32: “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. (Instead) Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving – showing grace to one another, just as in Christ God forgave – showed grace to you.”…

PRINCIPLE #6: IMITATE GOD

What it all comes down to is what Paul says in verses 1 and 2 of chapter 5. This is the unifying principle that ties it all together: In all your relationships, in all your labors, imitate your Heavenly Father. Imitate God…

Listen to Eugene Peterson’s paraphrase of these verses in The Message: “Watch what Goddoes, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with Him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of Himself to us. Love like that.”…

March 25, 2018

Ephesians 4:17-5:2

Dr. Neil Smith

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