For everyone looks out for his own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.
This is the issue of so many conflicts in Christianity. If we would lay down ourselves, our issues, our needs, and instead, look after the interests of Our Lord Jesus Christ, these conflicts would end. Yes, it is difficult to lay aside our need for recognition, our desire to have our way ,our belief that what we want or what we say is right, but if we will surrender those things at the feet of Jesus Christ, we will experience the glory and the grace of God in ways we never dreamed were possible this side of heaven.
…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
There is so much going on in the world to day that is intimidating or scary: physical disasters, moral decay, a lack of true spirituality. Yet, we have God’s promise that He will continue to perfect the good work He began in us right up to the time He returns for us. It takes the fear and anxiety away, knowing that God doesn’t take His hand off of us, or quit working on us, even for a moment.
This chapter is filled with specific instructions.
Honor your father and mother…vs. 2
Fathers do not exasperate your children…vs 4
Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men…vs.7
Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes…vs. 11
Stand firm then, …vs. 14
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions…vs. 18
These instructions can only be carried out in the strength and power that God provides, yet they are instructions for every day of our lives on this earth. Don’t go out to battle against the devil without the armor of God or you will be vulnerable. We don’t just have jobs; we are working for the Lord, not men. Stand firm. Ask the Lord daily for the wisdom and strength to walk in this way.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word…
I worked in a summer camp kitchen for 30 + years. I remember coming home after a long, hot day, tired, sweaty, sticky. There was nothing like a rush of water from the shower head to cleanse and restore, to refresh body and mental status. We are saved in Christ. We don’t get cleaned up first. We are just saved. Then comes the holy, cleansing of mind and spirit through the Word of the Lord. Kindness, forgiveness, grace, unconditional love, gracious speech, wisdom and building each other up in love, these come as Christ makes us holy.
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Submit to one another: not because you are right and I am a doormat, not because you are superior and I am inferior, but out of reverence for the One Who loved us so much, He gave His life to be our salvation.
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.
This is so easily cast aside in our conversations. We find ourselves complaining about others or criticizing them, when , in fact, we should be speaking positively, building each other up. Notice that the kind of conversation that builds one another up is beneficial to all who are listening.
Although I am less than the least of all God’s people, this grace was given me to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.
In the Amplified version of the Bible, the word riches is translated “wealth which no human being could have searched out”. Man has searched out many riches – gold, diamonds, uranium, copper, silver and fabulous wealth from businesses: coffee, computers, space exploration. None of this can be considered the riches of Christ. His boundless, fathomless, unable to be calculated, abundant riches are those of righteousness and holiness. Unconditional love, an ability to forgive that is never exhausted, the wisdom of heaven, the joy of the Lord, the peace that goes beyond understanding, these are the riches of Christ which cannot be stolen or destroyed. They are ours forever.
This chapter clearly explains our adoption into God’s family, God’s nation. Through Christ, we are no longer the “unclean”, the “untouchable”, the “outsiders”. Now we belong. Because of Christ, by God’s grace, we are God’s people. We enjoy His favor.