In writing some comments on Selwyn Hughes’ study for today, from the current issue of CWR’s publication ‘Every Day with Jesus’; I was struck by this great verse – which, I think is very well expressed in, the New Living Translation, as follows:-
Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, Chapter 4, verse 30 (NLT): “And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.”
The New International Version (NIV): offers this translation: ‘ … do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.’
The way, this verse is presented in the New Living Translation, really brought home to me – God’s guarantee that those who believe in Jesus will be saved. I think it’s a fantastic verse – worthy to be committed to memory. It may also help us, to recall the rest of what Paul is talking about, in his letter to the Ephesians.
Another set of great verses, from the same Chapter, are these (vs 17-24, NLT): “With the Lord’s authority I say this: Live no longer as the Gentiles do, for they are hopelessly confused. Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him. They have no sense of shame. They live for lustful pleasure and eagerly practice every kind of impurity.
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.”
Clearly, when we follow Jesus, we must leave behind our old sinful habits. We must let God renew our thoughts and attitudes – and, we must put on our new, righteous and holy nature.
Yet – why is it – that so many, who call themselves Christians, want to continue to live ‘for lustful pleasure and eagerly practice every kind of impurity’?
These ‘hoplessly confused’ people often try to re-define what lustful pleasure is, in terms of the cultural standards currently adopted by this materialistic world – as if, God has no foreknowledge of the twists and turns that this modern world would employ to justify their behaviour!