Ephesians 4

Ephesians 4 talks about putting off and putting on.http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=56&chapter=4&version=31 Everyone who has been around me lately in a church context has heard me talking over and over about the fruit of the Spirit vs. the fruit of the Flesh, per Galatians. I think Eph 4 and Gal 5 are basically saying the same thing. Unity and love and peace come from the Spirit. Lust, lies, anger, saying wrong things all come from the flesh. Righteous anger exists, of course. But we have such a propensity to bitterness and rage. Those are clearly flesh.

 14Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. 15Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. 16From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. 

 This is what we want. We want to be mature and able to withstand those ill winds. As the Spirit brings the body together in unity, and as the body speaks the truth in love, it becomes mature and strong. I love it!

You can speak the truth – you can even die for the truth, but if people can’t hear you because they aren’t receiving your love (per 1 Cor 13 – clanging symbols and all that) then your efforts at truth-telling are wasted.

The picture of a healthy church involves a constellation of increasing Spirit stuff (unity, love, forgiveness, etc.), decreasing flesh stuff (anger, bitter, sex sins, substance abuse, wrong talk, etc.), speaking the truth in love, people using their gifts to serve each other, a growing and maturing body.

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