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Darlene

Ephesians 5:12-14

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This study has been an interesting glance back over my life the past 4 or 5 months. It seems to have been more than a struggle to get this done. Every lull in the study has been a direct result of sustaining hits in life...some hits were disguised, some were blatent and open. I feel a little bad that this study has taken longer than I thought it would and want to apologize for that.

 

Who'd have thought that just doing a little bible study on the net would have brought such difficulties into my life, but by the same token (and even more important) such victories. The victories were all by His hand because I know without a shadow of my doubt that some of these hits would have historically either sent me running or put me over the edge...and then who knowswhat have happened from there.

 

I have learned something this past week. The loss of Ziya caused something deep inside of me to break...something that I thought I had protected and would never be touched and hurt. With the loss of her it was as if a firey arrow made its bullseye on my heart and I just wanted to die. Ziya was the canine version of me. Her personality was my personality, just in dog form. She was my warrior, I trusted her with my back (literally), she was submissive only to me, her heart was very tender and I loved her more than I've ever loved a dog. Just a couple of days prior to this loss, I had put my forehead on hers, nose to nose, looked in her eyes and told her over and over again, "Jesus loves you Ziya, Jesus loves you". Color me crazy if you want, but she got very calm with me and I just held her close and told her that over and over.

 

The 'why God?' went over and over in my mind...trying to make sense of something insensible, something that I couldn't control or change. In absolute panic I told God that He better do something, and do something strong in my heart or I wasn't gonna make it spiritually...it just really rocked my world.

 

Long story short, He put a Christian woman in my life. Someone I had never met before that when I began to pour out all my pain, understood and started talking to me. It wasn't her talking to me, I was too far gone to hear any human words, but it was the Lord speaking through her. The words that she spoke to me somehow touched that firey pain in my heart and I knew it was Him. She told me how I was like a wild horse and had been so all my life. She talked about what beauty there is in being a wild horse but that the Lord needed to do work in me, He needed to train me, and break me spiritually. She told me that God would not break my spirit, but that He was using these circumstances in my life to do that holy work that would allow less of me and more of Him. I don't know how to put into words all the things she said but it made and still makes perfect sense in my heart. Just like in Isaiah 55:8-11 says, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth; It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it." I'm a very creative person and find brilliance in some of my ideas that I present to the Lord, and yet His ways are not my ways...His thoughts are not my thoughts. I don't know how He thinks, I don't know how He works and I have just had to let go and let Him be God and trust Him.

 

So, once again, I've had to make a decision. Am I going to trust Him or not. Am I going to bend to Him when my heart is beyond devestated and tell Him I still want Him more. Somehow, someway, His grace has upheld and supported that desire and mission of my heart because I do want Him more. I certainly have had no answers, I certainly do not have back those animals that I love, but I do have His peace. It's that peace that no human power can give to another...it's that peace that is holy and touches the rawness of my heart.

 

I don't understand why He's allowed these hits in my life, but I choose to trust Him. I told Him yesterday that I have no desire to be a diseased, anorexic Christian walking around saying that I believe in Jesus, so that He better do something powerful and holy in my life, or just take me home. I'm not interested in half measures, and there's no way I'm interested in living a spiritual life sitting on the fence that is slicing me in two with one foot in the world and one foot pointed to Him. It's going to be all or nothing with me so He just needs to do whatever He needs to do cause I'm done. Either do His work in the full and miraculous way only He can do or take me home.

 

I had no intentions of writing all this when I began the Ephesians study today. Oh well, that's ok too.

 

Heavenly Father,

 

I love You, I need You and I want You to be Lord in my life. I will study Your Word, no matter what so that I can learn more about you. Whatever it takes, I want more. May this be pleasing to You.

 

 

12. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.

 

Clarke comments, "For it is a shame even to speak] This no doubt refers to the Eleusinian and Bacchanalian mysteries, which were performed in the night and darkness, and were known to be so impure and abominable, especially the latter, that the Roman senate banished them both from Rome and Italy.

 

How the discovery of these depths of Satan was made, and the whole proceedings in that case, may be seen in Livy, Hist. lib. xxxix. cap. 8-19, where the reader will see the force of what the apostle says here: It is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret; the abominations being of the most stupendous kind, and of the deepest dye."

 

Henry writes, "One reason given is, For it is a shame even to speak of those things, &c., v. 12. They are so filthy and abominable that it is a shame to mention them, except in a way of reproof, much more must it be a shame to have any fellowship with them. The things which are done of them in secret. The apostle seems to speak here of the Gentile idolaters, and of their horrid mysteries, which abounded with detestable wickedness, and which none were permitted to divulge upon pain of death. Observe, A good man is ashamed to speak that which many wicked people are not ashamed to act; but, as far as their wickedness appears, it should be reproved by good men."

 

Calvin shares, "Which are done by them in secret. This shews the advantage of reproving the ungodly. If they do but escape the eyes of men, there is no crime, however shocking to be mentioned, which they will not perpetrate. To use a common proverb, “Night has no shame.” What is the reason of this? Sunk in the darkness of ignorance, they neither see their own baseness, nor think that it is seen by God and by angels. But let the torch of God’s word be brought forward, and their eyes are opened. Then they begin to blush and be ashamed. By their advices and reproofs the saints enlighten blind unbelievers, and drag forth from their concealment to the light of day those who were sunk in ignorance.

 

When unbelievers keep the doors of their houses shut, and withdraw from the view of men, it is a shame even to speak of the baseness and wickedness with which they rush into all manner of licentiousness. Would they thus lay aside all shame, and give loose reins to their passions, if darkness did not give them courage, — if they did not entertain the hope that what is hidden will pass unpunished? But do you, by reproving them, bring forward the light, that they may be ashamed of their own baseness. Such shame, arising from an acknowledgment of baseness, is the first step to repentance.

 

“If there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all; and thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so, falling down on his face, he worships God” (1 Corinthians 14:24,25.)

 

It may be thought that the word is used here in an unusual acceptation. Erasmus, by substituting another word for reprove, has destroyed the whole meaning; for Paul’s object is to shew that it will not be without advantage if the works of unbelievers are reproved."

 

13. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.

 

Clarke comments, "But all things that are reproved] Dr. Macknight paraphrases this verse as follows: "Now all these reprovable actions, elegcomena, which are practised in celebrating these mysteries, are made manifest as sinful by the Gospel; and, seeing every thing which discovers the true nature of actions is light, the Gospel, which discovers the evil nature of the actions performed in these mysteries, is light." The apostle speaks against these mysteries as he speaks against fornication, uncleanness, and covetousness; but by no means either borrows expression or similitude from them to illustrate Divine truths; for, as it would be a shame even to speak of those things, surely it would be an abomination to allude to them in the illustration of the doctrines of the Gospel."

 

Henry writes, "There follows another reason for such reproof: But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light, v. 13. The meaning of this passage may be this: "All those unfruitful works of darkness which you are called upon to reprove are laid open, and made to appear in their proper colours to the sinners themselves, by the light of doctrine or of God's word in your mouths, as faithful reprovers, or by that instructive light which is diffused by the holiness of your lives and by your exemplary walk." Observe, The light of God's word, and the exemplification of it in a Christian conversation, are proper means to convince sinners of their sin and wickedness. It follows, For whatsoever doth make manifest is light; that is, it is the light that discovers what was concealed before in darkness; and accordingly it becomes those who are children of light, who are light in the Lord, to discover to others their sins, and to endeavour to convince them of the evil and danger of them, thus shining as lights in the world."

 

Calvin writes, "But when all things are reproved. As the participle, (φανερούμενον,) which is translated, that which doth make manifest, is in the middle voice, it admits either of a passive or active signification. It may be either rendered, that which is made manifest, or that which doth make manifest. If the passive signification, which is followed by the ancient translator, be preferred, the word light will denote, as formerly, that which gives light, and the meaning will be, that evil works, which had been concealed, will stand out to public view, when they have been made manifest by the word of God: If the participle be taken actively, there will still be two ways of expounding it: 1. Whatever manifests is light; 2. That which manifests anything or all things, is light; taking the singular as put for the plural number. There is no difficulty, as Erasmus dreaded, about the article; for the apostles are not in the habit of adhering very strictly to rule about placing every article, and even among elegant writers this mode of using it would be allowable. The context appears to me to shew clearly that this is Paul’s meaning. He had exhorted them to reprove the evil works of unbelievers, and thus to drag them out of darkness; and he now adds, that what he enjoins upon them is the proper business of light — to make manifest It is Light, he says, which makes all things manifest; and hence it followed that they were unworthy of the name, if they did not bring to light what was involved in darkness."

 

I think where error occurs with people stepping out with 'fire and brimstone' preaching is that it is done in the flesh, and not by the leading and fulfillment of His Spirit...therefore the words really do return empty and people are not convicted.

 

14. Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.

 

Clarke comments, "Wherefore he saith] It is a matter of doubt and controversy whence this saying is derived. Some think it taken from Isa. xxvi. 19: Thy dead men shall live; with my dead body shall they arise; Awake and sing, ye that dwell in the dust, &c. Others think that it is taken from Isa. lx. 1- 3: Arise, shine; for thy light is come, &c. But these passages neither give the words nor the meaning of the apostle. Epiphanius supposed them to be taken from an ancient prophecy of Elijah, long since lost: Syncellus and Euthalius think they were taken from an apocryphal work attributed to Jeremiah the prophet: others, that they made part of a hymn then used in the Christian Church; for that there were, in the apostle's time, hymns and spiritual songs, as well as psalms, we learn from himself, in ver. 19, and from Col. iii. 16. The hymn is supposed to have begun thus:-egeirai o kaqeudwn, kai anasta ek twn nekrwn, epifausei soi o cristov.

 

Awake, O thou who sleepest, And from the dead arise thou, And Christ shall shine upon thee. See Rosenmuller, Wolf, and others. But it seems more natural to understand the words he saith as referring to the light, i.e. the Gospel, mentioned ver. 13. And the dio legei should be translated, Wherefore IT saith, Awake thou, &c. that is: This is the general, the strong, commanding voice of the Gospel in every part-Receive instruction; leave thy sins, which are leading thee to perdition; believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and he will enlighten and save thee.

 

As a man asleep neither knows nor does any thing that can be called good or useful, so the Gentiles and all others, while without the knowledge of Christianity, had not only no proper knowledge of vice and virtue, but they had no correct notion of the true God.

 

As the dead can perform no function of life, so the Gentiles and the unconverted were incapable of performing any thing worthy either of life or being. But though they were asleep- in a state of complete spiritual torpor, yet they might be awoke by the voice of the Gospel; and though dead to all goodness, and to every function of the spiritual life, yet, as their animal life was whole in them, and perception and reason were still left, they were capable of hearing the Gospel, and under that influence which always accompanies it when faithfully preached, they could discern its excellency, and find it to be the power of God to their salvation. And they are addressed by the apostle as possessing this capacity; and, on their using it properly, have the promise that Christ shall enlighten them."

 

Henry writes, "The apostle further urges this duty from the example of God or Christ: Wherefore he saith, &c. (v. 14); as if he had said, "In doing this, you will copy after the great God, who has set himself to awaken sinners from their sleep, and to raise them from the death of sin, that they might receive light from Christ." He saith. The Lord is constantly saying in his word what is more particularly expressed in Isa. lx. 1. Or, Christ, by his ministers, who preach the everlasting gospel, is continually calling upon sinners to this effect: Awake, thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead. The same thing in the main is designed by these different expressions; and they serve to remind us of the great stupidity and the wretched security of sinners, how insensible they are of their danger, and how unapt they naturally are to spiritual motions, sensations, and actions. When God calls upon them to awake, and to arise, his meaning is that they would break off their sins by repentance, and enter on a course of holy obedience, and he encourages them to essay and do their utmost that way, by that gracious promise, And Christ shall give thee light; or Christ shall enlighten thee, or shall shine upon thee. "He shall bring thee into a state of knowledge, holiness, and comfort, assisting thee with his grace, and refreshing thy mind with joy and peace here and rewarding thee with eternal glory at length." Observe, When we are endeavouring to convince sinners, and to reform them from their sins, we are imitating God and Christ in that which is their great design throughout the gospel. Some indeed understand this as a call to sinners and to saints: to sinners to repent and turn; to saints to stir up themselves to their duty. The former must arise from their spiritual death; and the latter must awake from their spiritual deadness."

 

Calvin states, "Wherefore he saith. Interpreters are at great pains to discover the passage of Scripture which Paul appears to quote, and which is nowhere to be found. I shall state my opinion. He first exhibits Christ as speaking by his ministers; for this is the ordinary message which is every day delivered by preachers of the gospel. What other object do they propose than to raise the dead to life?

 

“The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that hear shall live”

(John 5:25.)

 

Let us now attend to the context. “Unbelievers,” Paul had said, “must be reproved, that, being brought forth to the light, they may begin to acknowledge their wickedness.” He therefore represents Christ as uttering a voice which is constantly heard in the preaching of the gospel,

 

Arise, thou that sleepest. The allusion, I have no doubt, is to the prophecies which relate to Christ’s kingdom; such as that of Isaiah,

 

“Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of Jehovah

is risen upon thee” (Isaiah 60:1.)

 

Let us therefore endeavor, as far as lies in our power, to rouse the sleeping and dead, that we may bring them to the light of Christ.

 

And Christ shall give thee light. This does not mean that, when we have risen from death to life, his light begins to shine upon us, as if our performances came before his grace. All that is intended is to show that, when Christ enlightens us, we rise from death to life, — and thus to confirm the former statement, that unbelievers must be recovered from their blindness, in order to be saved. Instead of ἐπιφαύσει, he shall give light, some copies read ἐφάψεται, he shall touch; but this reading is an evident blunder, and may be dismissed without any argument."

 

Holy Father,

 

Continue to open all our eyes spiritually so that we might see. Heal our spiritual ears that we might hear Your call in our life. Heal our crippled spiritual lives that we might walk victorious in Your presence, surrounded by Your holy glory.

 

Hear the cries of Your people Lord, and by Your Spirit, birth into their hearts Your ways, Your thoughts, for they are holy.

 

Bless my trip to Miami for Easter Father...keep Your holy hand of protection over the car as the girls and I drive to visit my boys and my family. Let the time together be blessed abundantly by You and may our return home on Monday be safe.

 

I love You Lord, I'm desperate for Your fulness in my life and thank You for putting that seed of desire into my heart.

 

In Jesus Name,

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As a man asleep neither knows nor does any thing that can be called good or useful, so the Gentiles and all others, while without the knowledge of Christianity, had not only no proper knowledge of vice and virtue, but they had no correct notion of the true God.

As the dead can perform no function of life, so the Gentiles and the unconverted were incapable of performing any thing worthy either of life or being. But though they were asleep- in a state of complete spiritual torpor, yet they might be awoke by the voice of the Gospel; and though dead to all goodness, and to every function of the spiritual life, yet, as their animal life was whole in them, and perception and reason were still left, they were capable of hearing the Gospel, and under that influence which always accompanies it when faithfully preached, they could discern its excellency, and find it to be the power of God to their salvation. And they are addressed by the apostle as possessing this capacity; and, on their using it properly, have the promise that Christ shall enlighten them."


Interesting. The Christian perspective certainly does NOT fit within the other world view...and this reminds us why.



Have a safe and meaningful trip, Darlene.


MtRider

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