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Vieraskieliset / In-english

Speak that which is good to the use of edifying

Siionin Lähetyslehti
Vieraskieliset / In-english
11.5.2015 14.44

Juttua muokattu:

1.1. 23:53

The fo­cus of the let­ter to the Ep­he­si­ans is on che­ris­hing Chris­ti­an uni­ty and har­mo­ny, and our text gi­ves us prac­ti­cal ad­vi­ce for doing so. Most of Paul’s ex­hor­ta­ti­ons are clear: speak the truth, do not squ­ab­b­le, do not say un­fit­ting things, and put away bit­ter­ness, wrath, an­ger, cla­mor, evil words, and all ma­li­ce.

Even Je­sus be­ca­me ang­ry

“Be ye ang­ry, and sin not.” (Eph 4:26) This ver­se may seem qui­te un­set­t­ling. Paul ex­horts the Ep­he­si­ans to show fee­lings of an­ger so that a const­ruc­ti­ve dis­cus­si­on can be en­te­red re­gar­ding the cau­se of such fee­lings. Fee­lings of an­ger were not fo­reign to Christ, eit­her. The Scrip­tu­res tell us that Christ was ang­ry when he drove the mo­ney chan­gers out of the temp­le and when he dis­cus­sed with the Pha­ri­sees about whet­her it was law­ful to do good on the Sab­bath (Mar 3:1–5).

What is the op­po­si­te of love? Of­ten in­dif­fe­ren­ce–not so much an­ger–is con­si­de­red to be the op­po­si­te of love. One could per­haps place an equ­al sign bet­ween a per­son’s in­dif­fe­ren­ce and a lack of love. We have an examp­le of such a lack of love, which is cont­ra­ry to God’s will, al­re­a­dy in the first pa­ges of the Bib­le, when Cain ans­wers God’s qu­es­ti­on, “Where is Abel thy brot­her?” by sa­ying, “I know not: Am I my brot­her’s kee­per?” In cont­rast to in­dif­fe­ren­ce, an­ger is a sign that anot­her per­son is sig­ni­fi­cant to me. Be­hind an­ger is some is­sue that hin­ders mu­tu­al fel­lows­hip and needs to be re­sol­ved.

Bit­ter­ness se­vers love

What ma­kes an­ger prob­le­ma­tic is the fact that of­ten our cor­rupt na­tu­re sur­fa­ces and we disp­lay our an­ger by hur­ting our neigh­bor with evil words, deeds, or neg­lect. As a re­sult, our hu­man re­ac­ti­on is to re­ward evil with evil and be­co­me bit­ter. The ad­vi­ce gi­ven in the let­ter to the Ep­he­si­ans to set­t­le dis­pu­tes be­fo­re the sun goes down is al­wa­ys ti­me­ly and im­por­tant. In this way we do not give the de­vil an op­por­tu­ni­ty (Eph 4:27) to se­ver and disp­la­ce the love of Christ from our he­art.

“Let no cor­rupt com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on pro­ceed out of yo­ur mouth, but that which is good to the use of edi­fying, that it may ad­mi­nis­ter grace un­to the he­a­rers.” (Eph 4:29) Ac­cor­ding to the ori­gi­nal text, cor­rupt com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on can al­so be trans­la­ted as foul speech or speech that spre­ads foul­ness. This co­vers words with doub­le me­a­nings as well as spe­a­king evil, ma­li­ci­ous ru­mors, and all speech that se­vers love. Ins­te­ad our speech should pro­mo­te the com­mon good and joy and should be­ne­fit our neigh­bor.

Paul’s inst­ruc­ti­on to the Co­los­si­ans was “Let yo­ur speech be al­wa­ys with grace, se­a­so­ned with salt.” (Col 4:6) Salt pre­vents food from spoi­ling. For a child of God it is al­so an ex­hor­ta­ti­on to be an open mis­si­on let­ter and to ma­ni­fest the love of Christ which cal­ls ot­hers in­to the king­dom of God through one’s own life, words, and deeds.

“For­gi­ve one anot­her”

Obe­dien­ce to the word of God en­su­res that, as Paul warns, we do not bring grief to the Holy Spi­rit of God which we have re­cei­ved as a seal for the day of re­demp­ti­on. The child of God has re­cei­ved the Holy Spi­rit as a gift which dwel­ls in his or her he­art. This gift is im­me­a­su­rab­ly va­lu­ab­le and needs to be pro­tec­ted at all cost, be­cau­se the­re­by we are par­ta­kers of eter­nal life.

Our text ends with an inst­ruc­ti­on that is a good les­son for eve­ry day in our life: “And be ye kind one to anot­her, ten­der­he­ar­ted, for­gi­ving one anot­her, even as God for Christ’s sake hath for­gi­ven you.” (Eph 4:32) The cong­re­ga­ti­on in Ep­he­sus was ex­hor­ted to che­rish uni­ty and mu­tu­al love. The cent­ral ele­ment in this task is the gos­pel of for­gi­ve­ness.

Even though the word of God ex­horts us to avoid evil and to think the best of our neigh­bor, re­gard­less of our best in­tent we are in­ca­pab­le of ful­fil­ling the will of God. For this re­a­son the child of God needs abun­dant for­gi­ve­ness–po­wer to ask for for­gi­ve­ness and to be­lie­ve sins are for­gi­ven. A per­son who has re­cei­ved much for­gi­ve­ness has much love.

Text: P.M.

Trans­la­ti­on: K.K.

Sour­ce: Sii­o­nin Lä­he­tys­leh­ti 7–8/2014

Teks­tis­sä kä­si­tel­lään seu­raa­vaa raa­ma­tun­koh­taa: Eph 4:25–32

Jul­kais­tu eng­lan­nin­kie­li­ses­sä kie­li­liit­tees­sä 6.5.2015.


Tämä Jeesus, joka otettiin teidän luotanne taivaaseen, tulee kerran takaisin, samalla tavoin kuin näitte hänen taivaaseen menevän. Ap. t. 1:11

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