Saturday, May 3, 2008

For Sunday May 4 - A New Mind for a New Kingdom

Ephesians 4:17-24
"How do I really move forward?" That's one of the big questions most of us wrestle with at various times in our lives. We want to get out of certain ruts, habits, addictions, but we fall back in. We try and try, but end up in those ruts all over again. "At least they only affect me" we say to ourselves. Or we hope they only impact us personally. Well, yes, there might be those in our families who have to deal with our crud. But that's it. Right? Oops. No, that isn't all. The whole point of Paul's "out with the old, in with the new" section of the letter to the believers in Ephesus is this: Believers are the Body of Christ, and are tied together as a Body. There is a unity; there must be a unity. And if one little cell in that Body is sick or messed up, then there's trouble in the Body. And we don't want to be the Corpse of Jesus, but the living Body of Jesus in the world. After all, there's a Kingdom to build and a corpse can't do that very well.
So in Ephesians 4, Paul tries to tackle this idea of how we move forward, getting away from that stuff in our old lives that pulls us back, holds us down, ties us up.
In writing to Gentiles who had come to a knowledge of Christ's new Kingdom and the Truth of God, Paul tries to direct them along a path away from the old worthless crud of their previous life, and onto a new path within the Kingdom. That wasn't easy, considering all the baggage they brought along from GentileVille. But if they want to live, if they want to be a part of a new Kingdom, if the world is really going to know about God's power at all, they have to get a new mind and move on a different path with Christ. Now the challenge is ours. - Curtis