Empowerment > Expectation

25 So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body. 26 And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 for anger gives a foothold to the devil.

28 If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need. 29 Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.

30 And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.

31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. 32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

SO WHAT?

Here, Paul gets into specifics about what it means to live out our new identity.  As we read these specifics today, we must be cautious that we don't turn this into a check-list of "do's and don'ts."  Paul is not writing these specifics to give us a standard to measure up to.  This list does not confirm or deny whether or not we are "becoming like Christ." Rather, Paul is clarifying what Jesus has put into his followers, so that they may live it out.  Paul's writing is about empowerment, not expectation.  Jesus has empowered us to be new people, but we don't become new people through our behavior.  Rather, these specifics are all applications of his reminder in verse 30: "Remember, he has identified you as his own." 

PRAY

  • Ask Jesus to specifically reveal how you can reflect Him better in this world.
  • hank God for identifying you as his own.
  • Take action on who God says you are: Ask God to create an opportunity for you to reflect these characteristics today.