Living under the rule and authority of Jesus
Not really a hard concept. God is Creator and Author of all people, places, and things. He is proven faithful, careful, and trustworthy. I am under his righteous dominion. We all are. But, sometimes; and, more often than I care to admit, I .. we, .. live as though there is no Boss. We blindly pursue our own sinful desires. Engage in activities best described as terribly self-centered and utterly self-destructive. Empty living. A toe tag and a willingness to lay down on the mortuary slab as if dead already.
I hate it! It’s a scandal when people waste their lives in darkness.
And, I know better. We know better.
Peter encouraged the follower of Christ by reminding us: you’ve already put in your time in that God-ignorant way of life; partying night after night, living in sensuality, drunk and driven relentlessly by the pursuit of your unbridled sin nature. Its lawlessness; a drunken and profligate life (1 Pet. 4:3). But, you’ve spent enough time in the past in pursuit of what the world says is important. Which, surely by now you’ve discovered, amount to little more than an empty promise. So don’t take for granted this salvation way of life! It was only yesterday that we outsiders to God’s ways had no idea of any of this, didn’t know the first thing about the way God works, hadn’t the faintest idea of Christ. We knew nothing of the rich history of God’s covenants and promises, hadn’t a clue about what God was doing in the world at large. But, now because of Christ—dying that death, shedding that blood—we who were once out of it altogether are in on everything (Eph. 2:11-13). Remember how we groped our way through the murk once? But no longer! We’re out in the open now. The bright light of Christ makes our way plain. So no more stumbling around. Let’s get on with it! The good, the right, the true—these are the actions appropriate for children of the Light. Figure out what pleases Christ, and then do it. Don’t waste time on useless, mere busywork; the barren pursuit of darkness (Eph. 5:8-11).
Y’all, it’s now time to be done with that old way of living .. and for good! So, Paul says: I insist—and God backs me up on this—that there be no going along with the lawless, the empty headed, mindless crowd. They’ve refused for so long to deal with God that they’ve lost touch not only with God but with reality itself. They can’t think straight anymore. Feeling no pain, they let themselves go in sexual obsession, addicted to every sort of perversion. BUT .. that’s .. no .. life .. for .. you!
We have learned Christ! Let’s continue to pay careful attention to him and be well instructed in the truth precisely as we have it in Jesus. We have no excuse of ignorance. So everything—and I do mean everything—connected with that old way of life has to go. It’s rotten through and through. Get rid of it! Then take on this entirely new way of life—a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you (Eph. 4:17-24).
So let’s recognize anew God’s authority over us. Acknowledge Jesus as Lord and King over the minuteness of every detail in our lives. Trust and seek his purposes. Stop living passively; allowing circumstances to manufacture dark thoughts which drive us to mindless decisions. In Christ, we are more than conquerors (Rom. 8:37).
Lets live like it.
So, no matter what struggle or addiction has exerted control over you like a strangle hold .. as a follower of Christ, His grace is more than enough (2 Cor. 9:8) to come back out of that grave! Stand up! Practice the virtue of Self-Control. Begin each day by reminding yourself: I have the power through Christ to control myself. For the grace of God that offers salvation shows us how to turn our backs on a godless, indulgent life; and, how to take on a God-filled, God-honoring life. Jesus offered himself as a sacrifice to free us from a dark, rebellious life, into this good, pure life, marking us as a people energetic in goodness (Tit. 2:11-14).
Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you (Eph. 5:14).