Ephesians 4:17-25 (ESV)
Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity.
But that is not the way you learned Christ!—assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.
On Tuesday, we looked briefly about being healthy spiritually as well as physically. This passage follows that same theme, but takes it a bit further. Paul, having spoken about growing up into Christ, now reminds the Church at Ephesus to put away the pagan things of their former lives as gentiles. The goal of the Christian should be to please God. And although we are no longer obligated to the Law per se, the principles are the same. We are now obligated to Christ, and to one another.
We are called to a higher level of love and holiness, one that does not seek its own satisfaction, but rather the satisfaction and glory of God. Part of pleasing God is that we seek the welfare of one another. This is why we are told to not forsake the gathering together of the brethren (going to church). We need each other, and are one family, one body, in Christ.
We should not remain focused on sensuality as do the pagans and as Paul says, the Gentiles do because of the hardness of their hearts. We should be sensitive to the Holy Spirit, look for ways to help one another and ensure that we are doing what we can to live for God and for one another.
May God bring us all closer together. May He calm our fears about illnesses and diseases, and give us His peace. Let us all look out not for ourselves, but seek the welfare of each other.
by Virgil Stripes