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Dec. 3, 2020

December 3rd, 20

December 3rd, 20

Daily Radio Bible Podcast

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Today’s reading is Ephesians 1 – 4.  We are reading from the New Living Translation.

“Wax on.  Wax off.”  Do you remember that?  These are Mr. Miyagi’s words to Daniel-san in the movie, The Karate Kid.  This passage in Ephesians, for some reason, reminded me of that.  Our Christian life starts by “putting on” what we are.  Paul spends the better part of three chapters telling us who we are and encouraging us to “put it on” – Wax on.  We are “in Christ”, he says repeatedly.  God has made us new in Christ.  He took us, who were not a people, and He made us his own people.  He took us, who were not citizens, and he made us His citizens in His own kingdom,  and adopted us as His own children.  He has done all of this for us, by means of His death on the cross.  He did it for us!  He forgave our sins, he made us new in Him, by His grace!  That, my friend, is what you are.  Put that on!  God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. (Eph 1:4)  That is what you are!  Put that on!  The christian life begins, and ends, (including everything in between) by putting that on Christ – living out who you are.  

Wax off!  We need to take off what we no longer are.  You are not your old self.  You are not the summation of all your old failures, feelings, lusts, desires, regrets, and shames of your past.  NO!  Take it off.  That’s not who you are.  Put on who He says you are in Him.  It’s by living out who you are that you will have the power to put away who you are not.  It doesn’t go the other way around.  It is NOT putting away all the old, so that I can finally begin to live in who I am.  No,  it begins with understanding, and living in, who you are.  Then you’ll have the power, not within yourself, but through Him.  You can’t muster it up by trying really hard.  There’s no physical, spiritual, emotional or psychological regime that can equip you well enough to do what you want to do.  No, it’s only the power of God living in and through you, that can accomplish that.  Paul ends the chapter saying:

But that isn’t what you learned about Christ. Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.  Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy. (Eph 4:20-24)

It’s only then, after we have put on our new nature, that we have the power to stop lying to ourselves and others, to control our anger, to stop stealing from ourselves and others, to stop letting our language be abusive and harm others, to be rid of bitterness, rage, slander,, etc.  It’s as we put on who we are in him, that we have the power to put off who we are not.  And it’s all because, you, my friend, have been chosen by God , loved by Him. and He’s made you new.  Wax on.  Wax off.