Tiistai 25.9.2018
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Herra sanoo: "Peseytykää, puhdistautukaa, tehkää loppu pahoista töistänne, ne ovat aina silmissäni. Lakatkaa tekemästä pahaa." Jes. 1:16

Speak about what is good and useful

in English 24.5.2016 14:00 | Siionin Lähetyslehti
The Letter to the Ephesians focuses on ways to foster fellowship and unity between Christians, and our text gives some practical advice for this. Most of the points made by Paul seem simple and more or less self-evident: speak the truth, do not quarrel, do not speak inappropriately, put away bitterness, anger, hate, disputes, slander and all malice. But if these points really were self-evident and easy to live by, it would hardly have been necessary to mention them specifically
Even Jesus felt anger

”Be angry and do not sin” (Eph. 4:26). Paul encourages his readers to express their angry feelings, which makes it possible to discuss constructively the causes of anger. Even Christ Himself experienced feelings of anger. The Bible tells us that Christ was angry when He drove away the moneylenders from the temple and discussed with the pharisees whether it was permissible to do good to others on the Sabbath day. ” And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored.” (Mark. 3:5.)

In one survey questionnaire people were asked what they considered to be the opposite of love. Most responses mentioned indifference rather than hatred. It is probably right to place an equality sign between ’indifference’ and ’lovelessness’. We are given an example of lovelessness that is contrary to God’s will at the very beginning of the Bible. When God asked Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?”, Cain answered, ”I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?”  Unlike indifference, anger shows that the other person is important to me. But there is a problem in our interaction that needs to be solved, in order that we could continue in mutual love.

”Forgive one another”

What makes anger problematic is that our corrupt nature often takes over and we show our anger by offending our neighbor with evil words or deeds or negligence. The human old portion would then like to respond with equally evil words and feelings of bitterness. The advice in the Letter to the Ephesians to settle our quarrels before the sun sets is always topical and important. If we obey that advice, we will not give the devil an opportunity (Eph. 4:27) to displace the love of Christ from our hearts.

Our text ends in instructions that are vital to all Christians and good to remember every day as long as we live: ”Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (Eph. 4:32). The congregation in Ephesos were encouraged to foster unity and mutual love. The key element in this endeavor is the gospel of forgiveness.

Although the word of God instructs us to avoid evil and to work for the best of our neighbors, and although we would like to do so, we are not able to live according to God’s will. Each child of God therefore needs abundant forgiveness, the strength to ask for and to believe the gospel. He that has been forgiven much loves much. 

Text: PM
Source: Siionin Lähetyslehti 7–8/2014
Translation: S-LL

Julkaistu englanninkielisessä numerossa 11.5.2016

 
 

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Mediatilan tähän myy Päivämiehen ilmoitusmyynti.
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