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November 26, 2017

Smart & Spirited

What is the purpose of living the Christian Life? How should we then live? Listen or read to find out.

Mike Gerhardt, November 26, 2017, Community, Smart, and Spirited, Ephesians 5:15-21. Paul admonishes the church to be wise by being controlled by the Spirit. The imperatives stand out. The art of walking correctly. Most people do not know how to walk correctly, so says, Lucida Everette. The average person takes between 3,000 and 4,000 steps a day and has been walking since their first birthday but most of us are still doing it incorrectly. Stand upright, use your calves, hamstrings, and quadriceps, shoulders pull back but relaxed, swing your arms, increase your walking speed after warmup and think through the heal toe push off... Do I really need to relearn to walk? When it comes to walking in the Spirit maybe we do need some lessons. Paul uses the Greek verb to walk many times: 4:1 walk worthy of the calling, 4:17 no longer walk as the Gentiles do, 5:2 walk in love as Christ, 5:8 walk in light as children, 5:18 walk carefully. NIV translates the Greek word with live. But the KJV uses walk, as in moving and going somewhere. Therefore, we get bumper stickers like don’t just talk the talk but walk the walk.

Smart not Stupid.  Live wisely. The Greek word translated be careful could be look intensely. Walk with wisdom. Dark vs light, folly vs wisdom. Colossians 4:5 Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity... This action is followed by a mannerism. Redeeming the time is to make the most of each event. For the days could be filled with evil activities. Comprehend or learn what pleases God. Romans 12:1-2. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Spirited no Swizzled. Don’t get drunk on any controlling substances like wine, beer, liquor, moonshine, pot, prescription drugs, illegal or legal drugs, caffeine, nicotine or even LOVE. This list is not exhaustive. Drunkenness or dissipation is being controlled leading to licentious, debauchery (rioting, wild living, wasteful) or excessive living. This present passive verb be filled means to continue being filled by the Spirit. This does not substantiate a onetime additional definitive filling essential for some kind of second stage experience in Christian maturity. Nor is this the sealing, baptism or indwelling of the Holy Spirit that one receives at conversion and regeneration when a person believes and becomes a child of God. The Holy Spirit is the agent of the filling and Jesus is the content of the filling. Each believer has all of the Holy Spirit they need, but does the Spirit have all of the believer? This yielding of one’s life to Jesus is being filled with the Spirit. Indwelling, sealing, and baptism of the Holy Spirit happened at the moment of regeneration. Galatians 5:16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh, 5:22-23 is a list of the fruit of the Spirit, Colossians 3:15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

Genesis 2:7 records that when the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground, He breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and the man became a living being. Ruach is the Hebrew word for breath. 2 Timothy 3:16 theo pneutos God-breathed, in-spired, filled with breath, to breathe upon. John 20:22 Jesus, with the disciples after the resurrection and seven weeks before Pentecost breathed on them and said receive the Holy Spirit. When Nicodemus came to Jesus at night, Jesus told him in John 3:8: The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit. Just as a feather is carried upward by the wind of a fan, so we are carried upward by the Holy Spirit until we fall out of His influence or step out of God’s will and crash to the ground. At least four results of being filled: Special encouragement to one another, speak to one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs; Special praise to the Lord, sing and make music in your hearts to the Lord; Special thanks to God the Son, for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Special submission to one another, out of reverence for Christ.

Singing is good therapy so goes the modern wisdom. Old songs like Singing in The Rain, My Favorite Things, and Whistle while you Work lead us to believe if we just strike up a melody our problems will disappear. Is that why Silas and Paul were singing after being beaten and chained to a subterranean prison cell? Acts 16:25. They only had Jesus. I sure the Jewish believers wanted just the Psalms and the Gentiles wanted choruses. Singing psalms- OT songs sung with stringed instruments; Hymns- praises composed by believers and some NT passages; Spiritual songs- spontaneous songs with derivations on a theme, Gregorian chants, in the Spirit singing. Giving praise is much like giving presents, the giver always benefits. In this one verse, Paul dispelled the worship wars. Submitted not Selfish. Submission Just not American. What to do. Be willing to serve others before yourself, honor those who lead by allowing them to lead, refuse to exalt yourself in every situation, live out the fruit of the Spirit: love, peace, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. How to do it: Out of reverence for Christ. Don't do it for them, do it for Jesus. Things I’ve learned from this passage: I must choose to live wisely- it is not automatic. Time is short, I must use it well and for a good cause. I must be controlled by the Spirit and not be controlled by any other substance. I will benefit by submitting to His control and others with joy, peace, and worship.

The story of the two goats. Zwingli, a Swiss reformer from the 16th century, told a story about an early morning walk at the base of the Swiss Alps. In the distance, he saw two goats on a narrow mountain path. One going up and one coming down. When they came to the narrow impasse, the one below laid down onto the path while the other walked over him. They continued their way. Submit to one another.