The men of the Ephesian church were quarrelsome and angry, treating corporate worship like it was a UFC match. Paul instructed men to lift their holy hands in prayer, not for sin and violence. Sinful hands that have abused, surfed X-rated sites, stolen from others – these hands have been made holy through the work of Christ’s hands being nailed to the cross.
If the men thought they were UFC fighters in the ring, the women imagined themselves as the ladies walking around with the round-cards. They were consumed with their outer beauty, treating the aisles like it was a catwalk. They gave greater thought to what adorns their bodies than to what adorns their hearts.
So what could change these men and women? What could change us? The Gospel.
Men need the gospel to remember that He has made these hands holy. The past is gone. We are renewed in Christ. These hands are being redeemed, not for sin and violence, but for prayer. Women, you need the gospel to remember that you have been clothed in Christ. Everything you look to gain in your appearance, you already have in Christ – acceptance, love, affirmation. So be known and marked by your Christ-like character as you do good works.
This week, we’ll be in 1 Timothy 4:1-5 as we talk through the damage of legalism. In the man-centered pursuit of piety, Ephesian teachers imposed man-made restrictions upon the church, restricting themselves and others from receiving God’s gifts that are meant to be enjoyed. Paul states that legalism is demonic and calls Timothy to expose the lies of legalism with the truth of the Gospel.
Here’s a few of the songs we’ll be singing this week:
See you on Sunday!