Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Key Bible Verse Text
“Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, whereby you are sealed unto the day of redemption.” – Ephesians 4:30
Miriam Webster’s dictionary defines ‘life space’ as ‘the physical and psychological environment of an individual or group.’ Differing life spaces may be interpreted as two or more life spaces at variance with one another. On a theological level, when ousted from the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve entered a new life space. When Israel left Egypt, they were stepping out to the threshold of a new life space. When our blessed Lord entered the life space of the Samaritan woman at the well, she was ushered to a brand-new realm of salvation. On a broader level, this variance may be projected as a Christian’s presence on the world stage. The very nature of a Christian’s existence in this world is at variance with the worldly norms. As Apostle Paul names a believer in Christ as a “new creation”, implying the genesis of something new, apart from the believer’s environment.
The aspect of differing life spaces assumes a significant perspective in the meta modern (post postmodern) society of our times. If we look around and critically review the events unfolding on the world stage, we may safely conclude that the Christian perspective is becoming less and less impressive in the popular culture. In many a situation, it has become outright offensive to hold a Christian perspective.
Apostle Paul’s instructions to the first century Christians in Ephesus are as relevant today as it was at that time. God’s Word does not change over time. “The grass wither, the flower fade, but the Word of our God stand forever.” – Isaiah 40:8. So our stand and stay as Christians are not to dance according to the contemporary tunes of the culture, but to emphasize and live the living words of the gospel truth.
Our blessed Lord, when He walked in this world declared “…not one jot or tittle shall in no wise pass….”-Matthew 5:18. Not only does it underline the permanent nature of the Word of God, but also the implication that His disciples must honor it in their daily walk. Lord Jesus Christ rebuked the religious sect for using worldly traditions to dilute God’s moral law - (Mark 7:9-13). In other words, Christians should observe the Biblical principles rather than succumbing to cultural pressures.
Paul is giving a set of instructions to the new Christians in Ephesus. They, by their old nature, practiced many vices in their lives. Naming each such vice, Paul is calling for a change in their pattern of behavior. At that time, Ephesus was a commercially thriving city. However, it was morally bankrupt. Paul’s preaching shed the glorious light of gospel on its inhabitants, and it began to transform. But it still existed in a grossly sinful atmosphere and its influence continued to be felt in the newly formed church as well. Paul is reminding them that as Christians, their character should radically change.
We can trace a parallel between the people of Ephesus during Apostle Paul’s time to those of current times. In this affluent meta modern society, people are concerned about fleeting pleasures more than their spiritual standing with God. Darkness is spreading fast across the world and even many Christian churches have lost their flavor. As true disciples of Christ, we should sound the alarm and redouble our efforts to spread the true gospel all around the globe.
Our assigned work of the Lord is being carried out with the help of the Holy Spirit. He is our guide, comforter, and accomplisher. World is not the permanent abode of the Christian. “Our citizenship is in heaven from which we eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” – Phillipians 3:20. Our presence here is solely to bring glory to God whatever life spaces He puts us in. For this end, we need the help of the Holy Spirit all the time. May we never grieve the Holy Spirit despite the wearisome spaces and times we need to go through in our lives.
Lord, we pray that You grant us the Holy Spirit abundantly to overcome the vices of the devil and continue our life journey as true witnesses of our Lord.
Thought for the Day
Grieve the Holy Spirit and you will lose all Christian joy – Charles Spurgeon.
Abraham Mammen, Sehion Mar Thoma Church, Dallas, Texas