In this sermon, Pastor Neil talks about our blind spots– those failings in ourselves that we do not see– and gives advice on how to deal with them. Here are some excerpts:

Blind Spots

I’ve got them. You’ve got them. All God’s children have got them. We’ve got blind spots in our relationships with the people closest to us. Blind spots in our relationships with each other; in our relationships with the people in our community who don’t share our faith in Jesus Christ. Blind spots in the way we relate to or communicate with others. Maybe we have blind spots in our relationships with God, too…

What Paul writes to the Ephesians about how to live together as followers of the Lord Jesus is elementary – it is basic and foundational – and essential for us to understand and apply in the nitty-gritty of our everyday relationships and responsibilities. So I want to look with you at these practical principles Paul says we need to work into our lives, so we can eliminate our blind spots; so we can eliminate any inconsistency between who we are and how we live as God’s “dearly loved children” (5:1) in this world…

PRINCIPLE #1; BE DONE WITH FALSEHOOD AND SPEAK TRUTH TO ONE ANOTHER

The first principle is stated in verse 25, where Paul says: “Therefore” – in view of what Jesus has done for you and what you have learned in Him – “each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor.” The principle is: Be done with falsehood and speak truth to one another…

There are many different forms of falsehood, different forms of lying, of course, from little“white lies” to out-and-out “whoppers,” from blatant contradictions of known facts to carefully crafted nuances meant to deceive and mislead. The falsehood Paul says we are to“put off” like an old, tattered and stained jacket…

PRINCIPLE #2: DON’T LET ANGER GAIN A FOOTHOLD IN YOUR LIFE.

The second principle is in verses 26 and 27, where Paul says: “In your anger do not sin.” That’s a quote from Psalm 4:4. Literally, what Paul says is: “Be angry, but do not sin.” It’sokay to be angry, at least in certain circumstances. So go ahead and be angry, if anger iscalled for, but do not let your anger lead you into sin. Then Paul says: “Do not let the sun godown while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.”

The Message puts it this way: “Don’t use your anger as fuel for revenge” (4:26). The New Living Translation says: “Don’t sin by letting anger gain control over you” (4:26).

The problem with anger is that it is too often rooted in selfishness. We get angry when things don’t go the way we want them to go, when we don’t get what we want, or when we are not treated the way we want to be treated.

Our Compassionate God Knows Our Blind Spots

There are more principles for us to examine here. But for today, I will close with this: When you think about how God sees you, remember that while He sees your blind spots and He knows all your sins and shortcomings, He looks at you through the lens of His redeeming love. He is, as the Bible reminds us again and again, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in love. If you trust in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord, your sins – all of them – are forgiven and your guilt – all of it – is washed away. You are a dearly loved child of God (Ephesians 5:2).

Live like it. Live like it this week. In the power of the Holy Spirit, live like it as long as your heart keeps beating. To the glory of God.

March 11, 2018

Ephesians 4:17-5:2

Dr. Neil Smith

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