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Once Darkness, now Light in the LORD
*Imperatives are not blank and bland statements.
Published April 1st, 2014
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2014-03-30 16:31:19
2014-04-03 15:44:32
*Imperatives are not blank and bland statements. They are argued for, and flow from doctrine! You cannot divorce the imperatives from the explanations and reasons given to do them! Otherwise, it becomes law keeping for law keepings' sake. 1. A life of "thanksgiving" - not worldliness - is what should mark a Christian. (v.4c) Paul commends a life of "thanksgiving", rather than all the sins listed in vv.3-4b. "Thanksgiving", in fact, is what keeps us from sexual immorality, impurity, or licentiousness. The root of the sins listed (vv.3-5) is unthankfulness! When we fail to be thankful for the blessings that Christ has purchased in our lives, and aren't reminding ourselves daily of the reality that we are "saints" in Christ Jesus - sin creeps in. Unthankfulness is why we belittle others (foolish/vulgar talk), desire other people's things (covetousness), and engage in inappropriate sexual behavior (sexual immorality). Why? Unthankfulness shows that we're not resting in what God has for us - so we grasp for other things; put others down to make ourselves feel good. Aren't happy sexually? Thankfulness means that you're happy and content with the situation God has you in - and thus aren't grasping for more and more. In Paul's mind, these kind of sins should never even be mentioned about you. When people think of you, this list shouldn't ever come to mind. Ground: Those who practice such sins will not inherit the KINGDOM of Christ and God The kingdom of God is not (fitting for) the sexually immoral, impure, and licentious. That kind of person won't inherit the Kingdom. And if you are living and breathing and can hear my voice - you fall into (at least) one if not all of these categories. And if we're honest, at the very least our hearts have committed these sins. Thankfully, these are the very people Jesus came to save (Mark 2:13-17). If you are a sinner - Good news: Jesus' mission was to save you (not the righteous). You are the perfect candidate to receive the atoning, death abolishing, new-life producing DEATH of Jesus Christ. Once we identify ourself with this list we can look to the one on the cross who set this list aside - "nailing it to the cross" (Colossians 2:13-15). Notice also, you "inherit" - you don't earn this kingdom. This Kingdom is a gift. Don't think that you can earn your way in! (Ephesians 2:8-10). Summary of what Paul is saying : Paul is addressing Christians and saying: "don't crawl back into the coffin. Don't put the chains of sin back on. You were saved from that. You are a "new creation". You are a "saint". Become who you are. Blossom into the flower that God made you to be. Additionally, from a cultural perspective, don't get wrapped up in the lies of the world (vv.6-7). Culture does not set the standard for external behavior. Our position as "saints" (v.3b) doesn't allow for that. For example, it is not fitting (i.e. it is "out of place") for a priest to attend a brothel; or a police officer to engage in civil violence for fun (Pastors uphold Truth and police officers Justice). In the same way, it is not fitting for a Christian to live unlike a saint. Christians are to uphold and live by the reality of their new identity. Culture cannot set the standard by which "new men" live, because ultimately their practices are what is bringing God's wrath. "Sons of disobedience" (cf. Ephesians 2:2). "sons of disobedience" (of whom their Father is the Devil) walk in ways that accord with a dead lifestyle. Saints have been set free from that way of living and have a new Father, for they have been adopted (Ephesians 1:5). Thus, they are to live in accordance with their new blood bought identity. 2. You were darkness, but now you are light (vv.7-14) *To Paul, the very essence ("you are") of believers IS Light. "You are light". That is the Christian identity. (Colossians 1:13-14). Theology gives reason for the imperatives. Or, imperatives flow from indicatives. The reality of the cross, informs the decisions and lifestyle choices we make. This is not bland "do this, don't do this" (that's Pharisee-ism). This is radically embracing the God-centered transformation that has happened in your life!! ** Paul is in essence saying : "Don't be partakers of these kinds of people (vv.3-5). Why? That's not who you ARE". You are a saint. Become who you ARE in Christ. (INF). - The practical, immediate implication: Walk as children of light (Ac): ((True children of light will produce a certain kind of fruit: good, right, and true (pointers, markers) -- Christians should see if they are producing this kind of fruit, or if they are living contrary to what is "good and right and true")) (Mn) discern what is pleasing to the LORD Take no part in unfruitful works but rather expose them (i.e. "works of darkness") GROUND of v.11: When things are brought out to the light, it becomes visible - which I take to mean that the works are exposed for what they really are: "works of darkness". v.14b could be talking about believers (in the form of a hymn, perhaps) who have fallen into sin. Believers are not to speak of others' sins, but expose them! Thus, this verse is an inference to everything said in vv.8c-14a However, 14b could be talking about a non-believer too, and thus this verse would be talking about conversion. In other words, when an unbeliever is brought to the light, his deeds are exposed for what they are (Eph.2:1-4) ("deadness"). It is only when these deeds are exposed that a non-believer can see and (desire) the light of Christ and be saved! (O'Brien's view) How the BIG arcs relate: 1. vv.3-7 --> Don't partake in the lifestyle of sinners, rather let there be thanksgiving. Why? you are a saint, and a) you won't inherit the KoG if you live like a sinner because b) God's wrath is on those who practice such things. 2. v.8 --> ultimate and more fundamental reason why NOT to partake in the lifestyle of sinners: You ARE light in the Lord. 3. vv.8c-14b --> The implication flowing from v.8: Walk as children of light.
11396197078970 1396197078966 Notes 2014-03-30 16:31:19 2014-04-03 15:44:32 *Imperatives are not blank and bland statements. They are argued for, and flow from doctrine! You cannot divorce the imperatives from the explanations and reasons given to do them! Otherwise, it becomes law keeping for law keepings' sake. 1. A life of "thanksgiving" - not worldliness - is what should mark a Christian. (v.4c) Paul commends a life of "thanksgiving", rather than all the sins listed in vv.3-4b. "Thanksgiving", in fact, is what keeps us from sexual immorality, impurity, or licentiousness. The root of the sins listed (vv.3-5) is unthankfulness! When we fail to be thankful for the blessings that Christ has purchased in our lives, and aren't reminding ourselves daily of the reality that we are "saints" in Christ Jesus - sin creeps in. Unthankfulness is why we belittle others (foolish/vulgar talk), desire other people's things (covetousness), and engage in inappropriate sexual behavior (sexual immorality). Why? Unthankfulness shows that we're not resting in what God has for us - so we grasp for other things; put others down to make ourselves feel good. Aren't happy sexually? Thankfulness means that you're happy and content with the situation God has you in - and thus aren't grasping for more and more. In Paul's mind, these kind of sins should never even be mentioned about you. When people think of you, this list shouldn't ever come to mind. Ground: Those who practice such sins will not inherit the KINGDOM of Christ and God The kingdom of God is not (fitting for) the sexually immoral, impure, and licentious. That kind of person won't inherit the Kingdom. And if you are living and breathing and can hear my voice - you fall into (at least) one if not all of these categories. And if we're honest, at the very least our hearts have committed these sins. Thankfully, these are the very people Jesus came to save (Mark 2:13-17). If you are a sinner - Good news: Jesus' mission was to save you (not the righteous). You are the perfect candidate to receive the atoning, death abolishing, new-life producing DEATH of Jesus Christ. Once we identify ourself with this list we can look to the one on the cross who set this list aside - "nailing it to the cross" (Colossians 2:13-15). Notice also, you "inherit" - you don't earn this kingdom. This Kingdom is a gift. Don't think that you can earn your way in! (Ephesians 2:8-10). Summary of what Paul is saying : Paul is addressing Christians and saying: "don't crawl back into the coffin. Don't put the chains of sin back on. You were saved from that. You are a "new creation". You are a "saint". Become who you are. Blossom into the flower that God made you to be. Additionally, from a cultural perspective, don't get wrapped up in the lies of the world (vv.6-7). Culture does not set the standard for external behavior. Our position as "saints" (v.3b) doesn't allow for that. For example, it is not fitting (i.e. it is "out of place") for a priest to attend a brothel; or a police officer to engage in civil violence for fun (Pastors uphold Truth and police officers Justice). In the same way, it is not fitting for a Christian to live unlike a saint. Christians are to uphold and live by the reality of their new identity. Culture cannot set the standard by which "new men" live, because ultimately their practices are what is bringing God's wrath. "Sons of disobedience" (cf. Ephesians 2:2). "sons of disobedience" (of whom their Father is the Devil) walk in ways that accord with a dead lifestyle. Saints have been set free from that way of living and have a new Father, for they have been adopted (Ephesians 1:5). Thus, they are to live in accordance with their new blood bought identity. 2. You were darkness, but now you are light (vv.7-14) *To Paul, the very essence ("you are") of believers IS Light. "You are light". That is the Christian identity. (Colossians 1:13-14). Theology gives reason for the imperatives. Or, imperatives flow from indicatives. The reality of the cross, informs the decisions and lifestyle choices we make. This is not bland "do this, don't do this" (that's Pharisee-ism). This is radically embracing the God-centered transformation that has happened in your life!! ** Paul is in essence saying : "Don't be partakers of these kinds of people (vv.3-5). Why? That's not who you ARE". You are a saint. Become who you ARE in Christ. (INF). - The practical, immediate implication: Walk as children of light (Ac): ((True children of light will produce a certain kind of fruit: good, right, and true (pointers, markers) -- Christians should see if they are producing this kind of fruit, or if they are living contrary to what is "good and right and true")) (Mn) discern what is pleasing to the LORD Take no part in unfruitful works but rather expose them (i.e. "works of darkness") GROUND of v.11: When things are brought out to the light, it becomes visible - which I take to mean that the works are exposed for what they really are: "works of darkness". v.14b could be talking about believers (in the form of a hymn, perhaps) who have fallen into sin. Believers are not to speak of others' sins, but expose them! Thus, this verse is an inference to everything said in vv.8c-14a However, 14b could be talking about a non-believer too, and thus this verse would be talking about conversion. In other words, when an unbeliever is brought to the light, his deeds are exposed for what they are (Eph.2:1-4) ("deadness"). It is only when these deeds are exposed that a non-believer can see and (desire) the light of Christ and be saved! (O'Brien's view) How the BIG arcs relate: 1. vv.3-7 --> Don't partake in the lifestyle of sinners, rather let there be thanksgiving. Why? you are a saint, and a) you won't inherit the KoG if you live like a sinner because b) God's wrath is on those who practice such things. 2. v.8 --> ultimate and more fundamental reason why NOT to partake in the lifestyle of sinners: You ARE light in the Lord. 3. vv.8c-14b --> The implication flowing from v.8: Walk as children of light. notes
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