Paul is serious about the church living the life in the light of the eternal plans revealed to them. He’s built a foundation of what God has done in Christ. He has described vividly why there’s good reason to rejoice in the glorious works of Christ.
It’s in the light of that we are to get on with maintaining the unity and growing up into Him and leaving the old walk behind. The old walk, the old clothes, the old habits, the old predispositions – quick to get angry, hard to forgive, swift to engage in gossip, eager to touch every kind of lust, corruption and deceitful desire. You know the old, you’re surrounded by the old. The old is still around you. They are familiar, you were used to it. It was nature to you. And look where that nature got you – getting pathetic highs and ever lower troughs on the journey to a physical death that reflected the misery of the spiritual death that stank out the world.
Paul gets all forensic in highlighting these attitudes and emotions. He doesn’t spare any issue from highlighting it for the church to know just what has to be dealt with. These relational issues are the critical nub of what this whole manifold wisdom of God business is about. No point getting all emotional and swaying at the touching music and getting goosebumps and wanting to wave lighters in the air if after all that you’re still bitter about how they treated you 13 years ago. No point in nodding vigorously at the latest monologue on virtuous living if after it’s said and done you hardly talk to anyone with any depth because you can’t afford to trust anyone because you only get hurt.
All of that is the old way and in Christ it’s from the old you travel to the new.
This new walk is a walk of love. Tenderhearted, kind, forgiving, full of thanksgiving, finding out what the will of God is, walking as wise and making the most of the time we have in the evil times in which we live. The new walk is a radical alternative to the old way. It does not let up in the intensity of love wiping out the old way that we’re used to. That’s why as children of Light we are reminded to spend all our time finding out about the riches of Christ and dwell on the depths, heights and breadth of the love that goes beyond comprehension. That kind of passion and mindset will find no time for that which we were once used to in the old walk.
That’s played out, as we will see in the key relationships of our lives and that love expressed is summed up in one word … which we will soon consider.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden