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Thomas F. Fischer, M.Div., M.S.A., Editor


Eleventh Sunday After Pentecost
Series B

Option #1: "A Christian's Matching Colors"
Ephesians 4:17-24
Rev. Wayne Dobratz, B.S., M.Div.

Introduction: Some of us have friends who are color blind. Sometimes they wear clothes that just don’t go together. A wife or friend has to help them with color selection. Paul does something like that in today’s text. He tells the Christians in Ephesus that some things just don’t go together now that they are Christians. He talks to them about: A CHRISTIAN’S MATCHING COLORS:

1) What to take off--vv17-19; 22; Ps. 115:4-8; Rom 1:21-23; 2 Cor 4:4

2) What to put on--vv20, 23-24; Ps. 51:10; Ezek 18:31; Matt 22:1-14; Rom 6:4, 12:2

Barnes Notes on the New Testament re: v.24:

And true holiness--margin, as in Greek, "holiness of truth"--standing in contrast with "lusts of deceit" (Greek), in Eph 4:22. "Holiness" properly refers to purity toward God, and "righteousness" to integrity toward people. The general idea is that the renovated man is made an upright and a pious man; and that, therefore, he should avoid the vices which are practiced by the pagan, and which the apostle proceeds to specify. This phrase also proves that when man was created he was a holy being.

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THE MESSAGE FOR CHILDREN

Visual: clothes that clash

This has probably happened to you. You get up late for school. You’re tired and you don’t want to go. But your mom says you have to go. You’re barely awake as you get dressed. You know that some clothes don’t go together well, but you’re so tired you don’t even notice. Mom had to go to work, so you get on the bus dressed like this (clashing clothes). When you get to school, they laugh at you. And you have to wear these clothes the rest of the day.

In one of the Bible readings for today, Paul is talking to people who weren’t Christians when they were children. He reminds them of how they used to live. They prayed to gods that didn’t exist, they didn’t understand the true God, and they did some pretty awful things because they didn’t know the real God. He tells them to TAKE OFF that kind of life the way you would TAKE OFF these clothes that clash.

Then he told them to put on the right clothes with colors that go together. It’s like this: when you say you believe in Jesus, you follow Jesus, you do what Jesus asks you to do. People can see that you belong to Jesus because what you do matches what you say. It’s just like wearing clothes that match. Paul said: we are to "put on the new person (self--NIV), created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness" (Eph 4:24 NIV).

 

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Option #2: "Godly Fashion(s)"
Ephesians 4:17-24
Rev. Kelly Bedard, B.A., M.Div.
 
Point: God puts on a new you on us!
 
Problem: We have difficulty putting off the old you: perverse and dark minds; alienated/ignorant/hard hearts; shamelessness; impurity; lust; deceit.
 
Promise: Because God stripped Jesus of His divine self, the Holy Spirit gifts us with His mind and self, empowering right and holy living which attracts other to Him.
 
1. ...unregenerate minds are [not] empty...they are [simply] filled with things that lead to nothing. (Vaughan)
 
2. Fundamentally, the ignorance and lack of understanding of humans is a heart problem. It is shown not only in a foolish denial of God, but also in their moral failures (licentiousness, uncleanness, greediness). (David Guzik)
 

 

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This page was revised on: Monday, November 13, 2006 03:19:20 PM