Meekness

“I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beseech you that you walk worthy of the calling wherewith you were called, with ALL humility and meekness together with long-suffering, bearing with one another in love.” Ephesians 4:1-2

Paul is speaking to us in a friendly way here. This is how grace encourages, not with threats, but with cheerful exhortations. Paul is making an appeal to us to live our lives in a way that is suitable to our exaltation, that is, our calling, as described in Ephesians 1-3. Truth is living and practical. Our future expectation has present implications.

Most associate “walking worthy” with doing great evangelical outreaches, starting “ministries,” or being busy with church activities. But Paul says nothing of the kind here.

A life that balances out (axios – worthy) our calling is one of humility, meekness, together with long-suffering. Long suffering is a word that means “to put anger and wrath far away from you.” Only then can we truly bear with each other in love. This is more than “putting up” with others reluctantly, it’s active love, clothed with good deeds, on behalf of our brethren, and mankind at large.

The word meek is defined in the Critical Lexicon and Concordance (Bullinger) as follows:

“…meek, gentle, enduring all things with an even temper, tender, free from haughty self-sufficiency, tender of spirit…”

Do our lives pass the audit of Ephesians 4:1-2? These are qualities that are despised by Greek and Roman, and dare I say, modern Christianity’s ideas of a good life.

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Sheridan Family Update

I want to apologize for the sporadic recordings lately. We’ve recently taken in a family with two young kids who need help. I do not have a private office to record so it makes it hard to find a quiet space with so many people in the house – 11 total in 1600 square feet of space!

My wife also had a health-scare which is being dealt with. She is doing ok now, it’s an ongoing recovery. She would appreciate your prayers.

My mother has also been in the hospital for over a week with a heart issue that the doctors haven’t been able to figure out. My parents are 84 and 82 and still take care of my 60 year old brother who has short term memory loss, a disease which is degenerative in his case. I take him off their hands a few weekends a month. With my mother’s hospitalization I am taking care him even more as of late. So now there are 12 people in the house.

So, as you can see, our house is full, our troubles of late are many, and our schedule has been overwhelming. This is the reason the recordings have been few and far between as of late. I am still daily searching the Scriptures and enjoying them. I just haven’t been able to share my findings in the Context and Flow series as of late. I will, however, be getting back to that task asap.

Thanks for your patience and prayers.

Exalt the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who exalts us…

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Preventing Orthodox PTSD! The Whole Armor of God: What is it?

Preventing Orthodox PTSD!

The Whole Armor of God: What is it?

I am getting ready to teach Ephesians 6:10-24 in the “Context and Flow” series. I have decided to do an introductory audio discussing the nature of the Armor of God.

There is too much misinformation connected with this passage. From my earliest days in Orthodox Christianity I was encouraged to engage in “spiritual warfare.” The thing that Paul mentions LAST, orthodoxy puts FIRST. The only problem was that the “generals” were sending me without proper equipment to fight a losing battle – regardless of how much I “claimed the victory.”

Being influenced by Christendom’s love of all things war (especially in America where the military, patriotism, and God are a package deal), combined with a lack of understanding of Paul’s usage of armor and the nature of the “battle,” we were sent out into an imaginary battle field, getting slaughtered, and then suffering untold mental damage as a result.

I know many who are suffering the trauma of “Spiritual PTSD” caused by this imaginary and Scripturally unauthorized war.

In the next audio I would like to lay the groundwork by providing answers to three questions:

1. Who Fights?
2. Why Do They Fight?
3. What Does the Armor Represent? (Answering this will help us answer another question: Who or what are we fighting?)

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Ephesians 4:31-32 – ALL and ALL: The Language of Grace

ALL and ALL: The Language of Grace

Believers in the salvation of all, like myself, love to say, “all means all.” Are we willing to apply that in our practical living? Or are we mere salvation of all theorists? Teaching always leads to practice – we become what we think. Let’s examine a few aspects of the life of one who believes in grace:

“Let ALL bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and outcry, and evil speaking, be put away from you with ALL malice. And become ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, dealing graciously with each other even as God, in Christ, deals graciously with you.” Ephesians 4:31-32.

Let ALL these be put away from you, says Paul, not some of these in certain situations. The more our minds are absorbed with the language of Grace, the more we will reflect the character of grace. Note too how Paul says, “LET…” There is no “thou shalt” or else! The exhortations under grace are suited to the administration of grace.

What are the “all” we are to put away?

1. Put away all bitterness. The word in Greek has the idea of poison, or venom. This a disposition we are to put away.

2. Put away ALL wrath. The word means “out of control,” anger so sever it is as if you’re breathing hard. The Discovery Bible Glossary says wrath is “an anger of passion when somene ‘sees red’.” Trench says it’s a “boiling agitation of the feelings.” Put away ALL wrath.

3. Put away all anger. “…together with the desire of revenge.” It comes, according to Bullinger, from the Hebrew “to kill, and all the tumults and passion WHICH TERMINATE IN KILLING.” Bullinger goes on to state that “This is traced in German kreig, war…” A few verses earlier Paul asks, “Can you be angry and not miss the mark?” The answer is obviously no since we are here told to put away all anger. Put away ALL anger.

4. Put away ALL outcry. This is heated screaming and shouting. This is the outcry of anger, war, and the calling for the destruction of others. Put away ALL outcry.

5. Put away ALL evil speaking. This is vilification with implied hostility. Put away ALL evil speaking.

6. Put away ALL malice. This is the state of mind bent on the destruction or tearing down of others. “The stooping to unscrupulous means to making or injure someone…that which takes pleasure in the misery or pain of another person…” A person with a malicious disposition will soon find a way to act on it. Put away ALL malice.

We are told to put away these six ugly things. We are, however, given beautiful things to replace the ugly things with.

1. Become kind one to another. Kind means, “Good, gentle, benevolent, benign; ACTIVELY beneficent IN SPITE OF INGRATITUDE.” Become kind one to another.

2. Become tenderhearted to one another. Rotherham translates it, “tenderly affectionate.” Bullinger says, “yearningly affectionate.” Become tenderhearted to one another.

3. Deal graciously with each other. This is much more than forgiveness. This is doing favors, this is showing kindness. “To give or bestow a thing willingly or graciously.” This is how God, in Christ, deals with us. Let us become imitators of God. Deal graciously with each other.

Let’s replace the rotten fruit that characterizes the nations and replace it with the delicious fruit that comes from understanding grace.

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Genesis 6:11-7:5 Noah’s “Ark”

Genesis 6:11-7:5 in the “Context and Flow.”

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Genesis 6:1-10 The Sons of God, The Daughters of Men, and Noah

Genesis 6:1-10 in the “Context and Flow.”

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