Is Nothing Shameful Anymore?

(Ephesians 5:12) “For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.”

“Shame” is defined by one source as “A painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior.” For something to cause “shame” there must be a conscience that considers it to be morally wrong. Therefore, in order to avoid shame, the one who is committing the act commits it in a secret place.

In our society, fornication, uncleanness, covetousness and all the other sins listed in Ephesians 5:3-5 have always been in our culture. From the politician to the ordinary person, these sins have been committed throughout history. However, there has been a common moral belief, in American culture until recently, that these sins listed were in fact wrong. Therefore, the one committing the act committed it in secret. Though the person may not have had a conscience against it, they knew it was unacceptable to society. The majority of the population considered it shameful.

We live in a new paradigm today. Our society does not consider the Biblical definition of sin to be sin. We’ve been conditioned to accept the concept of moral relativity. We’ve been acclimated to believe as long as no one is physically hurt, anything is acceptable. Therefore, there are no longer moral absolutes and therefore there is no real concept of shame except in the most extreme cases. It is no longer considered shameful to talk about doing these things or even admitting to participating in them. In fact, advertisers pay money for television programs that promote them. We live in a society where the morality of the Bible is no longer considered the baseline of acceptability for someone’s actions. Politicians who are caught committing a wrong are counseled to get it out in the open and admit it in order to retain their current position. Or they confess publicly as a method of seeking to preserve the opportunity to lead again sometime in the future when the news cycles have exhausted their story.

It may seem old-fashioned and a throwback to a previous era to believe in the Biblical definition of sin. But the Bible is a book that transcends time. Throughout history, it has been proven over and over again that it is not repressive to believe and act on a moral absolute. We worship a God who settles the definition of morality and we have a Savior who died for all those who defy and violate that definition. In Christ we are aligned with the personification of all that is good and right. We are indwelt by Him. Therefore, why would we take pride or live as if everything is acceptable as long as it “ doesn’t hurt anyone?” Why would we accept leaders who cannot live according to a moral conscience? Why would we allow openly what God said is shameful? We’ve been conditioned to segment our “church life” from our “private life.” Is this really progress?

Renewed Thought – Are we embarrassed about being caught or embarrassed about being wrong?

Lifestyles Of The Lost And Saved

(Ephesians 5:7)  “Be not ye therefore partakers with them.”

The word “partakers” comes from the Greek word symmetochos which means “a co-participant.” It is used only twice in the entire New Testament and both times are in Ephesians. The first time is in Ephesians 3:6 – “That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:” This first occurrence describes our inheritance. It tells us we are heirs of eternal life forever as children of God. It is the logic and doctrine behind the second use of the word.

Fear of hell is not the reason we should avoid participating in the sins of those listed in the previous verses (whoremonger, unclean person, covetous man, and idolater). Even though hell is their inheritance, we already know it isn’t ours: We discovered that in exhaustive detail in the first three chapters of Ephesians. The reason we should not be partakers in the sins of those listed is because we do not share their inheritance. In fact, because we are in Christ, we have nothing in common with them anymore. We don’t share the same spiritual life, we don’t share the same values, and we aren’t going to spend eternity in the same place. So why would we participate with them in those things that defy the very God we profess? If we are saved, why would we share the lifestyle of the lost?

The only reason why we would choose to participate with them in their sinful lifestyle is because we choose to live contrary to everything that provides our identity in Christ. We may feel like we have “grace” to participate but this verse is a very clear commandment: Don’t do what they do.

Renewed Thought: Let the life of Christ determine your lifestyle.

Am I Angry With The Right Person?

(Ephesians 4:26)  “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:”

What does this verse really mean? I’ve heard so many explanations over the years that I think most people know how to apply the verse before they totally get the full meaning. It may be applied to husbands and wives, parents and children, and even friends. But I’ve seen so many Christians over the years who live in constant righteous indignation over the doctrine and actions of other Christians that I don’t think many take the time to think of this verse in light of their personal outrage.

Is it alright to be angry but tear down the name of another brother or sister in Christ? Is it alright to constantly ridicule the beliefs of others just because they may not know the Scriptures or have been raised in a system that has some doctrinal problems? Most of the time when we see someone living in daily outrage over the beliefs of others we are really seeing someone who is living in daily pride. Pride lifts up the heart over the pure motivation of seeing others come to more personal knowledge of Christ. Pride is sin.

Yes, there are times when I need to be angry over sin. But I think I need to be more outraged over my own sin first before I am angry over what others believe or do. If I hate the pride and self-righteous attitude of my own heart, I find less time to look around for a reason to be angry at other Christians. But when the time comes when I am personally outraged over someone else, I also need to remember that it needs to be settled quickly or else I will be consumed.

Renewed Thought – Am I angry enough at my own sin first?