by Steven Chan
Having known the truth that was revealed to us in Christ (Eph 4:21b), we are no longer to conduct our lives in a similar fashion as unbelievers or the Gentiles.
Being continually and daily being renewed in the spirit of our mind, we are to put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness (Eph 4:23-24). The emphasis is on “right and pure living” that is in accordance to the truth as revealed in and by Christ.
- The first thing that needs to be changed is in our relationship with fellow brethren. We are “members of one another” (Eph 4:25b). We are to no longer live “independent” lives – in other words, just focusing only on our own well-being or whatever is in our own best interest exclusively. When we put on Christ, we become “members one of another”. Sometimes, when we say that we become “members of the church”, some feel that “the church” is some sort of “institution” or third party “intermediary”. So, one is only related to other members through the “institution” of the church. The emphasis placed on our personal relationship with one another is somehow significantly reduced. We are not just “members of the body of Christ”, we are “members one of another”. There is a requirement for “direct, proximate and personal relationship” between one another in the church. That means, in Christ, we are to be closely-linked or knitted together directly with one another (Eph 4:16) – putting aside social status, financial status, racial status, employment status or whatever distinguishes or distances one from another in this world.
- As we are “members one of another”, we need to ensure that the relationship is maintained, nourished and strengthened by putting aside the “duplicity”, opacity or lack of transparency in our communication and conduct with one another. No more “lying” to one another. Be slow to be angry with one another (James 1:19) and if you do get angry, do not let the sun go down on your wrath – don’t let anger burn in you for any extended or protracted period of time because it may cause you to say or do things that will cause you to sin, and the devil may take the opportunity to “devour” you by taking you captive to do his will (instead of doing things in accordance with God’s will). Remember what anger caused Cain to do to his brother (Gen 4:1-8).
- Instead of trying to take advantage of fellow members (whether through dishonest or deceitful dealings, or stealing), we are to be gainfully employed in whatever is good, so that we may have something to give to the brother or sister who is in need (Eph 4:28). That’s because we are “members one of another”.
- Be careful with what we say to one another. Make every effort to say things that will “edify” or build up one another in our faith and walk with God. Don’t simply say things irresponsibly as they may “undermine” or “corrupt” the faith of fellow brethren. Let those with whom you speak with, go away refreshed and uplifted because of the “graciousness of your speech” (Eph 4:29).
- Do not disappoint God who has adopted us as His children by sending the Holy Spirit as a seal of our redemption. (Eph 4:30) God is “grieved” or “disappointed” when we fail to do His will or to live in a manner that pleases Him.
- Don’t hurt others by our words or conduct. Don’t be embittered against fellow brethren – even when they failed or disappointed you. Be ready and willing to forgive so that our relationship as “member one of another” is not destroyed but healed – just as Christ forgave us and healed our broken relationships with God and with one another: “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you.”( Eph 4:31-32)
Let us not walk like the rest of the world for we “members one of another”.