As we continue working through Ephesians we are now getting to the nitty
gritty. Not that the theology of the first three chapters were anything
else; they were rich and deep. But theory is one thing, practice another.
The question behind the next few weeks is how well do I, we, stack up to
what is required of us as we live “the church”?
Again we have omitted a vital reading (4: 17-24). These verses are the
commentary on last weeks imperative of living a life worthy of our calling.
They refer to believers as putting off the old self, old life, and put on
the new self, new life. Do not live as the Gentiles do giving in to selfish
desires, and living a life separate from God. Instead, be made new in the
attitude of our minds, putting on the new self, created to be like God in
righteousness and holiness. What a calling! From here we are given practical
examples of what Paul means.
In today’s reading we are given a series of commands that have both a
negative and a positive element to them with a reason as to why we ought to
act this way. “Do not….. but do….because…”. These are centred around
the way our actions influence community and actions that are based on the
way God has treated us. However Paul calls us to live our lives worthy of
our calling in these next chapters his emphasis is on building community and
building a community that reflects what God has done for us. “Be imitators
of God” (5:1). When we do this, our lives reflect a love that is shaped and
energised by the love of Christ.