Bible Study Notes:

The Daddy You Never Knew:
Ephesians 4:29-5:2


These notes are from a transcript of the postings during Bible Study on Friday Nights at 7 PM at Bible Study Chat at churchusa.com.
You are welcome to join us at any time!


Lord Jesus we are so grateful for another opportunity to study your Word together and learn more of you. Open our hearts and minds to understanding and wisdom we pray. Thank you for all your treasures of knowledge that you so graciously share with us. Help us put them into practice Father. To put off the old self and put on the new, created to be righteous and holy in Christ Jesus.

satan we come against you and your plans to cause dissension and hurt tonight. We bind you and rebuke you and cast you out in Jesus Name!

Holy Spirit, we invite you to be our instructor in righteousness tonight. We confess that we have the mind of Christ and that we will be able to comprehend and practice what you teach us. Lord, bless this earthen vessel so that your treasures will shine forth. In Jesus Name AMEN and AMEN.

For the past couple of weeks, we've been looking at Ephesians chapter 4 and talking about putting off the old self - our ways of thinking and living with its deceitful desires - the old self we had before becoming Christians, and putting on the new self, created to be like God in righteousness and holiness. Now this sounds all fine and good, but how do you do it? The apostle Paul is very practical, and we've been looking at ways we can put it into practice in our everyday life.

In verse 25 we learned to quit lying (old self) and start telling the truth (new self). In v. 26 we saw the proper way to handle anger - to express this emotion without sinning and without giving the devil a foothold in our lives.

PR0V 10:12 - CHRISTIANITY IS NOT OUR RESPONSIBILITY BUT OUR RESPONSE TO GOD'S ABILITY!

BSoC - His grace covers our sins, but that doesn't give us license to continue living in sin. We are called to holiness.

And in verse 28 Paul said to quit stealing (old self) and start working (new self) so that you can not only provide for yourself but can have something to share. That brings us up to date to verse 29:

Ephesians 4:29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

Now unwholesome comes from the Greek sapos, which means useless, putrid, obscene, corrupt. What do you think are examples of unwholesome talk?

BSoC - That includes coarse jesting (dirty jokes), gossip and slander also, cursing, sexist remarks for example

Misty Blue - Non edifying, the mouth speaks what is in the heart, or something like that

Cowgirl - Or even listening to it. And not saying stop

PR0V 10:12 - REDEEMED TALK, YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT BECAUSE WHAT YOU SAY CAN BE HELD AGAINST YOU

Amplified: Let no foul or polluting language, nor evil word, nor unwholesome or worthless talk [ever] come out of your mouth; but only such [speech] as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others, as is fitting to the need and the occasion, that it may be a blessing and give grace (God's favor) to those who hear it.

One of the major problems that we have in chat, especially teen, is foul talk of one kind or another, even from those who claim to be Christians! And when the monitors ask them to stop, they become insulted! Why do you think that is? I think that popular culture is responsible for a lot of it! There are virtually no limitations on what comes out of the mouths of musicians, actors, even those supposedly reporting the news. Children especially imitate what they see and hear.

BSoC - Crude talk has become so socially accepted that they don't realize that it is sin.

Cowgirl - Because they haven't been taught right from wrong. Out of the heart the mouth speaks

OlePappy - Or been given a good example. If you put bad in you get bad out,put good in get good out.

BSoC - And yet we all spend money to rent videos to be entertained by the sin Christ died for.

PR0V 10:12 - the heart is deceitful above all things who can know it

I think we all pretty much know what Paul means by putrid, corrupt talk. But lets look at the opposite. What SHOULD we be saying? "but only such [speech] as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others, as is fitting to the need and the occasion, that it may be a blessing and give grace (God's favor) to those who hear it." The first thing we need to consider is "those who hear it". Probably that's the LAST thing most of us (and I've been guilty too) think about, especially when we are angry. But we should be thinking, "What effect will this have on those who are hearing me?" And we ESPECIALLY are careless about this at home when we "let our hair down".

Cowgirl - Always edify and lift one another up.

BSoC - Remember what Jesus said "it's what comes out of our mouths that makes us unclean."

We SHOULD be thinking, "Is what I'm saying good and beneficial to the SPIRITUAL progress of those who hear me?" Also, "Is what I'm saying fitting to the need and the occasion?" In other words, is what I'm saying appropriate RIGHT NOW? The timing of what we say is as important as what we say. When your spouse comes home from a rough day at work, had a flat tire on the way home, got splattered by mud while changing it, and THEN ran out of gas, may NOT be the best time to tell him what the dog did to his garden or what happened to one of his good shoes!

"That it may be a blessing and give grace (God's favor) to those who hear it" - Do we ever think about whether we are blessing others by our speech, or giving them evidence of God's grace and favor? Well, if we pause long enough to ask all these questions, we may decide just to shut up! And that may be the best form of communication there is! Part of putting off the old self is to quit saying unwholesome, corrupt, putrid, cursing, untimely, unkind, etc. speech. Putting on the new self is speaking blessing, wisdom, grace, that which is good and beneficial and timely to the hearer - or perhaps saying nothing.

Ephesians 4:30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

Tal - I have always loved this verse-Prov. 10:19-When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise

Good one Tal! Sometimes it is better to say nothing, if you can't say something good! It's a two-way street. We ask God to remove these things from our hearts, AND we cooperate by putting off the old self - making righteous choices in our behavior. I don't believe that the Holy Spirit up and leaves every time we mess up. Verse 28 talks about grieving the Holy Spirit by doing the things the old self wants to do. I believe that the Holy Spirit continues to convict us of sin and lead us into the path that God wants.

Misty Blues - the tongue is a thermometer of sin

The fact that the Holy Spirit can grieve shows us that He is a person with feelings, that He loves us and longs for us to live righteous lives. He grieves and mourns when we do wrong, and strives to lead us back into holiness. Notice that verse 28 says "with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption".

A seal in the Bible times was a sign of ownership. An important person usually had a signet ring with his identifying mark carved in it, and when he sent a letter, he took some wax and sealed in, then pushed his ring on the wax to leave his mark. That way the one who received the letter would know it was genuine. Seal1.jpg (56832 bytes)

So when we come to Jesus, we are sealed by the Holy Spirit UNTIL the day of redemption.

Seal2.jpg (43902 bytes)  

Seal and clay impression of seal belonging to Nehemiah son of Micaiah, a Biblical name.

Photos fromTreasures From Bible Times by Alan Millard, p.113

He's in it for the long haul. It's not up to me to say, Oh the Holy Spirit left him or her because of this or that. That's God's business. What I DO need to worry about is:

Am *I* grieving the Holy Spirit?
Am *I* violating the covenant I made with Jesus when I accepted Him as Lord and Savior?
Am *I* walking in truth?
Am *I* putting off the old self and putting on the new self?

If He wasn't with us, how could He be grieved by what we are doing? The Holy Spirit is the agent of God on earth to bring about conviction of sin. When He convicts the sinner, and the sinner truly repents, then that repentant sinner is baptized into the Spirit to bring about salvation.

Misty Blues - I've sinned before and the Holy spirit was there stronger than ever ,,, leading convicting drawing me back !!!

The Holy Spirit is the believer's Paracletos, one called along side to help. He wouldn't be much help if He kept running away would He? We plan to have a special study on the Holy Spirit when we finish Ephesians. Hope you all will join us then. OK, let's go to verse 31, which tells us things which GRIEVE the Holy Spirit (so don't do them!).

Ephesians 4:31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.

The Greek word for bitterness is pikria, which means malice, venom, bitterness. Where does bitterness come from?

Hebrews 12:15 See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.

Bitterness is caused when WE miss the grace of God, when we allow unforgiveness, anger, resentment, etc build up until it defiles us (makes us unclean, polluted). Then since we are bitter and resentful, we take it out on others. We become spiteful, and hateful, and unkind, like a snake spewing venom. We envy those who are serving God, and try to destroy them. This is a gradual process, it starts with a little envy, unforgiveness, unresolved anger which smolders inside and grows until it burns our souls and those around us.

Virtue - Unresolved anger only gives space to the devil

How can this happen to a person who has the Holy Spirit living in them? It all goes back to choice. Just because a person comes to Christ, doesn't automatically make them perfect and holy. We are presented with choices everyday, and if we continually reject God's wisdom, and the teachers and those in authority over us, these things can take root. At some point, we also can reject the Holy Spirit and be lost.

Tal - Can those who are lost ever come back to the Holy Spirit, or will there hearts be too hard like Pharaohs heart was made hard?

Tal, being a backslider is dangerous, but there is always room for forgiveness if they repent. But if they are an apostate, and blaspheme the Holy Spirit, then probably not.

Cowgirl - How do you forgive someone who hurt you real bad and the hurt goes real deep. Just keep confessing forgiveness over that person until one day the anger subsides.

Forgiveness is an act of the will, an obedience to the command of Jesus. We forgive, and later have that"feeling of relief".

Misty Blues - Cowgirl Forgiveness is a choice not an emotion,,, Make your emotions line up with your stand on forgiveness

Virtue - That's a good one Cowgirl, I've gone through that before. I just kept reminding myself that God is willing to forgive me for all the terrible things I've done and he commands us to " let this mind be in you which is also in Christ Jesus" So we must think like He thinks and forgive as well

Virtue - Sometimes we are lead more by our emotions and feelings than by the Holy Spirit. Our flesh doesn't want to suffer or feel the "Hurt"

Cowgirl - So just keep confessing forgiveness and the rest will follow

Right, we are supposed to walk by faith, not by sight (feelings). Now bitterness explodes in rage and anger, brawling, slander, and every kind of malice and hatred. So it's a dangerous thing to let bitterness take root, and that's why it "defiles you". This is all part of what we need to GET RID OF! Now verse 32 tells us some more of what we SHOULD DO to put on the new self:

Ephesians 4:32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

redaps - in my notes it said that if we receive forgiveness we will pass it on to others; also it said those who are unwilling to forgive are not one with Christ

Now if we follow this verse, being kind and compassionate and forgiving, bitterness doesn't have a chance to root up. Every time a seed of anger, or hurt or misunderstanding is dropped into our heart, if we immediately forgive, then it will not sprout and take root.

BUT if we nurse our grievances, repeat them to whomever will listen, gossip about the offender, then that tiny tiny seed will send out shoots of self pity, rootlets of rage, and before you know it there's a leaf of hate, a blossom of revenge, and bitterness is a full blown plant, making us dirty inside.

Virtue - The same way Christ forgave, " Forgive them for they know not what they do"

Forgiveness has nothing to do with whether the offender apologizes or not. We are commanded to forgive whether the offender even acknowledges they've hurt us. Forgiving releases the offender to God, and frees us from bitterness AS LONG AS we have truly forgiven, and speak no ill of that person.

BSoC - I have had to forgive others even after they died. Just to free myself from the bondage of unforgiveness.

Misty Blues - God is our healer , not the offender

redaps - I feel that we have to forgive and then God will do the rest If we are clean we have tried our best

The only one you can change is YOU with the Lord's help - it is not your concern what the offender does or does not do. That is the Lord's business. Sometimes you have to just back off from a situation completely so the Lord can work.

Virtue - We are believers and WE have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us . We must show love

The last part of this verse is the key to it: "just as in Christ God forgave you" See, God has forgiven us in Christ for ALL our sins, the biggest debt we've ever owed, so we are commanded to forgive the smaller debts that others owe us. Remember the parable Jesus told about the man who owed about a zillion dollars and the debtor was going to throw him and his family in prison? The debtor begged and the moneylender felt sorry for him because he could not pay, and forgave him ALL of his debt?

BSoC - Yep. He begged for mercy and was forgiven the debt completely.

Then the debtor goes to someone who owed him about a dollar, and put him in prison. When the guy he owed a zillion dollars to found out about it, then what happened?

BSoC - The lender found out about it and threw him in prison.

mom1 - OT, the rich guy turned the offender over to the torturers until the debt could be paid.

Right! and then what did Jesus say?

Matthew 18:35 "This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart."

BSoC - That sounds like unforgiveness can steal our salvation!

So this is the same point Paul is making here - In Christ you've been forgiven the equivalent of a zillion dollars worth of sin. Therefore, you MUST forgive the $1 worth of offense that someone does to you. What does the Lord's Prayer say? Forgive us AS we forgive those who have trespassed against us. Forgiveness is serious business, we need to forgive as an act of the will, and forgive from the heart. It isn't easy, but God will reward us for obedience.

mom1 - Remember when Christ and Peter were talking. Peter asked how many times we are to forgive for an offense--7 times. Christ said 7 x 70. That didn't mean to keep actual count, but to repeatedly forgive. Don't know about the rest of you, but true forgiveness and release from the feelings of being offended is hard for me.

Misty Blues - MOM , when those feelings pop up I slam them down

mom1 - In His faithfulness, forgiveness eventually came, but I was the one who changed, not the offender.

Misty Blues - We are always who God changes !lol

Ephesians 5:1-2 Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

God is our true Father in Heaven who dearly loves us. Isn't that marvelous? If we could just get a glimpse of what that awesome love means! If we could just begin to grasp how much we are truly loved by God, it wouldn't be so hard to forgive and to obey. And as children imitate their parent's actions, we are commanded (Be imitators) to copy God's actions.

BSoC - Lord Jesus, reveal in our hearts the power of your love!

eternally secure - yeah OT I was just thinking He does more work in us than through us, if you get what I mean.

mom1 - OT, don't you think that if we could peek into Heaven, the picky little nothings of our daily lives would be laid aside.

See yourself as a godly child, see yourself as one truly, everlasting, unconditionally loved! Watch your Father, do what He does, say what He says, walk like He walks! It's so simple a child can understand it, but when we get old and wise, sometimes we lose that childlike faith. We lose that tender gaze, looking up into the Father's eyes, grasping His hand, adoring Him, following only Him, longing for His presence!  Don't know how to handle a rough situation? Go to the Word and see what the Father says to do! See the Father's love in Jesus. Don't lean on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He WILL direct your paths. In good times and bad, go to the Word. Imitate your Father in love in speech in conduct! Hand.gif (13960 bytes)

Sadly, some have not had a good image of a father here on earth. At times my earthly father's love was obscured by his love for alcohol, and it has been a struggle to understand that God's love is constant, unconditional, not subject to irrational rages. Well the important thing is that God has redeemed all that, has restored the years that the devil robbed me of and I would rather concentrate on God's grace. Forgiveness and a lot of inner healing were involved in this process. And my dad came to know the Lord three years before his death, and is now waiting for me in Heaven!!! Hallelujah!!! Praise His Holy Name Forever!!!!

But as I grow in Him, I realize that God is the Father every child longs for, gives the love that every heart needs, heals all the wounds, and is always there.

BSoC - Keep that thought fresh in our hearts Lord. You are the loving Father we have always longed for.

Paul goes on to say "and live a life of love". If we would just make this our goal, everything else will fall into place. Live a life of love. Wake up in the morning thinking, how can I live a life of love today? Yell at the kids, no not that! Kids are good for teaching patience, understanding, compassion! What lessons we miss whilst running amok at the mouth!

mom1 - Our choice to be obedient and forgive and His position is to be Creator, Omnipotent, etc, always faithful and loving.

We are again reminded to be like Christ in living this life of love "just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. " Christ loved us! He came to earth as a helpless baby, Jesus the Son of God! Walked the paths we walk, was tempted like we are yet without sin, gave His life willingly for us on the cross, and was raised from the dead so we can have eternal life! "Gave himself up for us" - what a blessed sacrifice, what a wonderful love.

We are called to a sacrificial life style - one imitating God and His marvelous gift of salvation, one imitating Christ who sacrificed all for us, not out of duty, but as an expression of our love. As Jesus' sacrifice was a "fragrant offering" to God, so will our lives be if we live imitating Him.

Father God help those who have not have a righteous father's love to look to you for peace. Show them that you are their perfect father who loves them unconditionally, no matter what happens. Open our hearts to a greater understanding of this marvelous love you have for your children. May our life be a response to that Love that you have freely showered down on us.

Father God, help especially those who have been abused or abandoned by their Fathers, to know that this was NOT your will for their lives. Help us all to forgive the failures of our fathers and not let them cloud our vision and relationship with you.

God, help us look up to you with shining eyes and a childlike faith, expecting love and forgiveness and blessing in return. Praise You Father for loving us even though we don't deserve it. Thank You for Jesus, for the Holy Spirit, our teacher. In Jesus name. AMEN

If our fathers have hurt us and cause a root of bitterness to spring up, Lord cut it out of our hearts that we might be pure and clean before you. Heal those wounds, Lord, and free us to receive that wonderful love and peace and joy you are longing to pour into our hearts tonight.

Give us back that childlike expectancy of good, of trust, of joy and contentment in small things. Free us from the fear and guilt of the past, Oh Lord, let us forget those things that are behind and walk freely into your light.

Father give us a new longing for your presence, to spend time in your company, to look upon your loveliness and to praise and minister to you.

Father God send a longing for your presence into the body of Christ tonight. Let not your people be content with earthly things, but long for communion with you. Gracious God, we accept the bounty of the love that flows from You to us, in the name of Jesus, Thank you Lord. AMEN

Father God bless each heart tonight. Help them not only to forgive, but to forget the pain, send healing to them now we pray in Jesus Name. Father, let each one look to you as the perfect, loving, kind father they have not had on earth. Give each one peace and joy. Shower your love on them right now. We pray in Jesus Name. AMEN and AMEN.

Father, bring this lesson to our thoughts this week as we go our separate ways. Help us to know you better and to serve you better and to be imitators of you as dear children. IN the mighty saving name of Jesus we pray. AMEN

Father, extend Your protecting hand to those gathered here tonight that we may have safety in our travels this week. Father, our lives and those of our families are in your hands, Father your will be done. Father God Thank You, in Jesus name. AMEN

God wants to be your daddy more than anything. He wants to take you in his arms and hug you and take away the pain. Have faith like a little child. Trust Him. He sent us to tell you how much he loves you, dear one. Look up! Your daddy God is smiling down right now and sending you beams of love. Just believe it and accept it.

Remember, whenever God gives us a revelation, the devil tries to steal it from us. Guard your hearts and meditate on what you've learned!
And put it into practice.

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