• Covenant in Ephesians
    • Bring this before the Lord – sometimes we need a renewal of our calling
  • Paul’s letters often contain two broad sections, same here in Ephesians
    • First he builds his theology: All about what God has done. Redemption through the cross. The power of the Spirit to grasp the love of Christ.
    • Then he moves from “theory” to practice with a “therefore”. If this is who God is and this is what he has done for us, this then is how we should live. 
      • Like in the NFL, the players move from classroom (film sessions) to the field to put it into practice. They need both. 
        • If they just spend their time in the classroom, they don’t actually get in the game.
        • If they don’t learn from the coaches, they’re just relying on natural talent – and they’ll never win. 
  • In Romans, this transition happens in ch 12. “Therefore, I urge you brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God”
    • In Ephesians, it happened last chapter (4). “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received”.
      • So most of chapter 5 is about getting in the game, getting on the field.
        • Ch 5 summarized in the command to “Walk in the way of love”
        • But there are still moments of learning from the coach.

Why this way of life? Because our covenant helps us to walk in the way of love.

First, we need to remember that God IS the Way of Love

  • God has given us a model to follow behind – a pioneer. That’s Jesus. Paul says:
    • Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (v.2) We’ve got someone to imitate.
    • God has given us the person of love – the Holy Spirit
      • Don’t be drunk with wine, but be filled with the Spirit. (v.18) Be under the influence of the Spirit.
      • Isn’t it radical – even unbelievable – that the Spirit of God, a Person, lives in us and flows through us? 
      • This Person is what Augustine called the Gift of love between Father and Son.
    • And God has shined his light on us.
      • For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord … everything that is illuminated becomes a light”. (v.8)
    • What’s one area in your life that was once dark but God illuminated and made light?
  • We’ve been so blessed. “Therefore” we ought to be moved to love God in return.
    • I believe our community’s covenant is a concrete, specific way to walk in love.
      • You can view the upward, inward, and outward dimensions of our covenant as a response to God’s grace and God’s call.

Walking in the Way of Love by Pleasing God

  • One of my favorite lines in Ephesians: 10“Find out what pleases the Lord.”
    • This is the way of love in relationships. When you begin a relationship, you don’t really know what pleases the other person! 
    • With my wife – Even now, been married 4.5 years, I don’t always know! I ask “What would bring you pleasure?” That’s a beautiful question to ask the Lord – what would bring you pleasure?
    • What’s one thing you’ve discovered that gives the Lord pleasure?

Walking in the Way of Love in our Households

  • Community shines in helping develop strong households – whether single households or families (or combined, like mine has been).
  • Being filled with the Spirit  Mutual submission. 
    • In families this looks like:
      • Godly marriages where husbands lay down their life for their wives
        • Where wives respect and honor their husbands
        • Where children obey their parents, and parents bring their children up in the training and instruction of the Lord
      • In single households this looks like honoring one another above yourselves, laying down preferences, encouraging one another, sharing your lives.
  • How can your household grow in the way of love?