As you may have noticed over the last few weeks, we’ve been looking at Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus as our focus scripture in worship at my church.
I won’t be posting my entire sermon this week, simply because I didn’t have the opportunity to write it out completely. So instead I will just share some reflections on what I’ve been experiencing and noticing over the last 6 weeks as we focused on this book.
I don’t think I need to tell anyone that what Paul writes here applies to all of us. Paul, in his letter to the church, tells us the importance of knowing who we are in Christ. He says over and over again that we need to know the salvation offered to us in him. He also reminds us how fragile a relationship this can be if we give in to the temptations of the world around us, if we let the evil of the world get to us.
Chapter 6 carries the final instructions that really drive home his message.
Paul reminds us that the Christian life is a war. He reminds us it is not ourselves we are doing battle with, but rather with the evil in the world; ruler, authorities, the devil himself, and I would add to that list the battles we now face today, the greed of business and governments around the world.
So we need to prepare for the battle. We need to seek to protect ourselves from the attacks we will face when we stand up for what we learn from the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ which means standing up to those opposing forces.
Our world is increasingly secularized, pushing God out of all corners. In the church, we know God reigns, and we know He reigns beyond our walls. This world is God’s creation, He is still the ruler of it all, but it seems as though the world has forgotten this. The world claims it can handle things itself. The world has shown it is wrong.
The #occupy movements, the people standing up for the basic human rights in Libya, Egypt, Syria and beyond show us that the world is not as it should be.
There are people suffering. There are people losing their lives. All because we have forgotten how to love our neighbour.
So let us pick up our shield of faith, a faith grounded in our Lord Jesus Christ which no enemy can break. Let us pick up our sword, the Word of God, to speak the truth into the hearts of those who preach lies to the masses.
Let us show the world that Jesus Christ died for our sins so we may know the love of God for us and for our neighbours. Let’s show the world what it means when we say these things. Let’s show the world what it can look like when we let God show us the way.