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Steps That Lead to Freedom, Part 2

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll
The Truth Network Radio
November 10, 2020 7:05 am

Steps That Lead to Freedom, Part 2

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll

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November 10, 2020 7:05 am

Becoming a People of Grace: An Exposition of Ephesians

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Our sinful nature is a relentless enemy, even though Christ to set us free from the enslavement of sin, we sometimes find clever ways of returning to mistakes that once held us in bondage will today on Insight for living. Chuck Swindoll invites us to face this common malady head on deploying the weapons God provided to breakers free of these patterns and if you find yourself caught in an endless cycle of sin and defeat the biblical solution is found in Paul's letter to the Ephesians job title. Today's message steps that lead to freedom.

Ephesians chapter 4 we have just read of the importance of laying aside the old self for verse 22 and putting on the new man for verse 24, between the laying aside of the filthy garments and the putting on of the new clothing or the fresh clean clothing. There is the mention of the renewed mind. Verse 23. Look at that Ephesians 423 that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind. There is nothing nothing more important for you and me than to operate with a renewed mind because the old nature is always there trying to make us think were still tied to the stake of the old master. My job is to encourage you to fly free and quit yielding your members as instruments of unrighteousness as though you are a helpless victim of the string and the stake. Now in Ephesians 4, verse 25 he says therefore, here are some instructions regarding some areas of your life you once were unable to conquer you know what they are ready with your pin. Verse 25 lying verse 26 and 27 uncontrolled anger. 28 stealing 29 and 30 unwholesome words. 31 and 32.

The lack of forgiveness was look at him, lying verse 25. Therefore, laying aside false hood speak truth, each one of you with his neighbor, for we are members of one another lies were different faces, something lies are all around us and they come in various forms. There are mild forms of deception. There is what I call diplomatic hedging stretching the truth not telling the whole story staying silent when we should speak that can be a lie. Flattery is lying telling people what they want to hear rather than what they should hear can be a form of lying little white lies all the way to large and and unrestrained fabrication of truth. All that and so much more would fall in the category of a falsehood. Why is it so wrong. Verse 25 tells us we are members of one another.

It is a sin against the body when I tell you a lie or leave you with an impression that I know is fall and I say nothing to clarify it. I have done a disservice to the body of Christ. John Calvin called lying, a monstrosity. Another writes this a lie is a stab into the very vitals of the body of Christ, a shaft from the kingdom of darkness.

Now let's face it folks were immersed in a culture that feeds on deception and loses with falsehood the media make their living stretching a story shaping a story tweaking a story that may not be quite as interesting if I didn't leave those little jabs here and there to make you come back and read what they have to say tomorrow or to listen to whatever may be broadcast tomorrow.

Advertisements are known for lies you buy the product you believe what the advertisement said you get home were there and you say it isn't anything like they made me think and what how I get free from this bondage. Verse 25 speak truth, each one of you with his neighbor. That's pretty clear is in it, just start telling the truth well you say where do I start. He mentions the neighbor I would include in that the people you live with. I would include the one that you have married. If you are married, tell the truth. Don't hedge. Don't deny it. If truth is revealed against you admitted.

Which reminds me so much of the practice of law in the carrying out of a case is how you deal with facts. I remember sitting on possible well a group of people being chosen for a jury in a particular case, and I was by head actually never before been up for jury duty and so I'm sort of new at this and the attorney asks another a number of possible questions. Would you have a problem with this in my hand went up.

Yes and that he ask another you when you have a problem if we we did. Yes, you got the third or fourth what he said besides the redheaded man over here what anyone else have a problem and they had already marked me out I would go to be a good juror. You gotta know how to live with compromise verbal compromises because if you live in the white light of truth you may not make her probably won't make a good jury or jury member tell the truth start at home carry it to work.

Include those closest to you those you do business with. Even when it may be difficult little boy was asked what is a lie he said in answer ally is an abomination to the Lord, a very present help in time of need. Let's just stop with the first phrase it doesn't please our God. It tells what you think you're still tied to the stake as a Christian, you're not.

You don't have to lie. You don't have to if you have to lie to keep your job. You need another job quit. I dare you, and tell them why.

The next is anger. Now that I got you a little bit like that it might be appropriate. Verse 26 to go into it.

Have you ever read the Scripture for what it really says Mad.

Here is being angry so why not auto. I'm asking you to wait don't run onto the rest part of the rest of it because there are many who teach that kind of anger is wrong that's not true.

If that's true then why was Christ angry, on occasion, and he was sinless, if wrong is going on and that doesn't anger you there something wrong with your scale values. If there is abuse and mistreatment and violence committed against another individual, and you calmly walk by saying we need to tolerate life as it really is.

I do not think that is the right response. I think it ought to make you angry. Martin Luther himself said I never preach better than when I'm angry it took Philip Melanchthon the kind of soften those edges, and round the corners.

For Luther, but he was incensed that the established church had twisted the thinking in the minds of their followers so that they would believe a lie rather than truth and the anger motivated him and it eclipsed all of his fears. Anger is a great motivator to stand alone and to stand for what is right so there's nothing wrong with the right kind of anger. This is an uncontrolled anger. In fact, look at the do not always notice in your Bible. The repeated statements or the repeated words do not do not do not verses 26 and 27 do not sin.

Do not let the sun go down on your anger do not give the devil an opportunity there. They are 123 do not sin. You and I know that one of the fruits of the spirit is self-control. If anger reaches the level that you lose control. You moved into the realm of sin.

I've heard people testifying. I just sort of blanked out and I don't remember they've gone too far.

If the enraged condition is to that point that you blanked out you moved into sin. Temper usually does that causes us to act or react in a violent manner and that sinful.

He says do not let the sun go down on your anger. That's the second expression you want to be free from this kind of anger don't go to bed. Back to back. I tell couples you and your married partner need to work it out.

You need to stay added and I know there are things that will come that will be unpleasant and I I know life well enough to know there be disagreements, after all, she married you dingy. I mean, he married you did me the we bring our sinful nature into the marriage so the secret to merit maintaining a marriage is you don't set your arguments in concrete.

You do that by sleeping on so you stay awake until you working through you.

Don't let the sun go down on your anger. Believe me, if you're still awake at two or three in the morning you will agree to anything. It's it's amazing what it will do. It softens your stubborn spirit stay away.

Don't let them go to sleep. Don't let them ignore. Don't let her dodge it going to one of her three day moods stay stay.

Don't let the sun go down on your wrath. You got a problem with someone connect with him or her and deal with it.

Don't act like it's going to go away faster is like a wound with. Plus, it's gotta be lanced. You gotta get rid of that corruption or it will be a sinful anger. That's how you get free of it.

Don't let it get out of control. Don't let it fester. In fact he says in the second part of that thought.

Verse 27. Don't give the devil an opportunity. The word opportunity is the record top boss teal POS. It means a place, a place of entry. I would suggest a door of entry sustained anger opens the door to demonic influence.

Call it what it is I don't know who you are, so I can speak freely if you are the type that lets anger controlled much of what you do. People have learned that, and they learn to sort of stay out of your way, which is the worst possible reaction. They could, you need to be confronted your angry with me right now could we talk about that could be deal with. That is why I did that, I'd be sleeping on the patio for weeks. Well, welcome to the club.

I mean, I know that experience I my wife knows what it's like to have to confront.

Look at Romans chapter 12 Romans 12 turnover there. Verse 16 through verse 19 show you word appears in another part of the Scripture.

Don't let the adversary get a foothold.

That's the idea here is 16 B of the same mind toward one another like the way this context steps into it. Do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation member my comment about repeated words do not do not go back to the. The repeating is for emphasis. Do not be haughty. Do not be proud wise in your own estimation, what leads to an argumentative spirit is usually a haughty spirit and pride. I made my point not to go back to it.

I don't care if I could be proven wrong not to lose face in a state with my present likely weekly not do not. In the next verse is never pay back evil for evil to anyone you say when a whole society is built on the principle do onto others as they have done to you since you and I just got back from a trip internationally and we were in the country for one of the natives of that country, said to us, you need to understand that our country is built on retaliation.

Virtually every action we take toward in the name. The other nationality is in the is is done out of revenge. Can you imagine living like that some of you would say I live like that. I was raised like that. That's why I hold grudges.

That's why look for a way to get back get even.

He says don't do that.

The Scriptures never pay back evil for evil to anyone respect what is right in the sight of all men is possible for me to do 100% of the time know that look at the next verse. That's why Paul says it is impossible to breathe a little easier knowing that's in there if possible, so far as it depends on you to be at peace with all men. You know with some people you can't be at peace. You know that don't you. Some people just like to find that they just wake up hoping for an argument, preferably before breakfast or they'll find one on the way to work. He says it possible.

So what you know he's looking at you.

You're the one you gotta give an account for. I do everything possible to make peace and not tell you I've not made peace with some people because they don't want peace they want to fight. I often say they got too much time on their hands to think of all these arguments you find that in letter writing. People send your hate mail you answer it, it only engenders more hate mail so you finally in the round file under the desk you shredded to keep up an argument in the mail to keep fighting with an individual because if it all possible. I will be at peace with him.

But I'm not to take revenge. Never take your own revenge, beloved leave room for the wrath of God. That's a great idea. Second, Lord. I've done all I can do it. I've tried to make this right. Lord, my heart is right on, I'm willing to confess whatever area wrong not done the best I can. Please Lord you take over you, you deal with this unit then bears the burden and you don't have to keep looking over your shoulder living suspiciously.

Your counsel like this. Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord. Now back to Ephesians 4. Do not let the sun go down in your anger do not give the devil a place you know he takes an opportunity to do that when you fester. That's why festered anger always gets worse. That's why you're not less angry. You just have sublimated you just shunted aside, you got it on hold waiting to pounce when it comes up again. You remember I got a friend. This is when my wife and I have our argument.

She doesn't get hysterical. She gets historical and she goes back and remembers when not just the women and men can do that to I remember when we were first married, will good night. Let's all forget what we were first married, make terrible mistakes. We said good things we did wrong things many to get past don't give the devil an opportunity.

You're not tied to the stake your fly free of this stuff live free live beyond what was once the bondage. Now here's 1/3 area you like old sins are hard to break.

When you think I'm gotten personal.

Verse 28 really starts to metal. He who steals your daughter was like a pack of thieves well in this reading from the Bible here.

I'm just doing my best to be true to the Scripture. Some people Hamlet by changing the punctuation will mark that it was steel steel no longer let him labor, working with his own hands, not not a good way to handle the past. Let's let it say what it says in the first century, thievery was common in two places at the docks and at the public bath houses at the place where the ships would bring in large amounts of good send us the guys who unloaded the ships would take home with them.

Some things they wanted and they stolen the government look the other way, or they couldn't stop it in the public bath houses which would answer to the fitness centers of today, the gymnasium, the places where people would change their clothing and set aside their possessions in order to work out or whatever those would be pilfered and those will be stolen was a common practice in the first century and when people became Christians, they have been doing this all their lives, and now Christians they still steel.

The word is so interesting tailing PTO we get our word obviously kleptomania kleptomania from it. Let him who stole stopping goodness-I would steal the let's see shoplifting is stealing padding expense account is stealing using a credit card for other reasons than its purpose is stealing intentionally overestimating the cost of service or product is stealing from your customer. Failure to report accurately to the IRS is stealing falsifying cost overruns is an active stealing accepting more change after one's purchase. That is more than you should be receiving is stealing outright embezzlement. Obviously, reneging on a debt is stealing, not paying fair wages is stealing common occurrences all some of them even among Christians. You work at a place that has a full supply of paper you want to use the paper for your own purposes you steel paper. When you use it in that way, you should buy your own paper and do it in your own under your own expense. They have paperclips and rubber bands and pens and pencils.

Another petty items you say how pretty.

Can you get more than that. Get right down to the lovelies of life because it stealing, and if you justify that you won't have problems justifying faking it on your income tax. One of my favorite letters ever written to the IRS came from the man who said I need to confess to you, to whom it may concern, that I have not paid all that was due.

Enclosed you will find a check for hundred and $50.

I cannot sleep added on a PS if I still can't sleep. I'll send you the rest.

All or find a way that is legal to get around paying so much.

But if it's illegal you're stealing and it's sinful and God will honor your life. That's how it works sometimes we have to confront this and other people and that's a very, very tender thing to do.

Sir Winston Churchill while Prime Minister and Great Britain was attending one of those posh evening dinners and the head waiter called them aside and said to him ladies so and so has been seen stealing the silver salt shaker from the table, what shall we do, leave it to me said Sir Winston on his way across the room. Following the dinner, he paused and picked up a matching pepper shaker and put it in his pocket. He walked over to the lady and he said to her could you step aside with me for a few moments and he got her out of earshot from the gas that he said to her in a voice that was somewhat guilty as he pulled his pepper shaker from the pocket, my dear lady, he said, I think we have been seen. Perhaps we should both put them back. I need to say here that when you're called upon to confront another individual. Do it humbly and gently and vulnerably knowing you been guilty of the same or worse in your own life.

Be careful about being proud stealing as many different expression in each one. Whether egregious or innocent robs us from knowing the relief of freedom in Christ, Chuck Swindoll is teaching from Ephesians chapter 4 is titled today's message steps that lead to freedom and this is insight for living. To learn more about this ministry. Visit us online@insightworld.org leading up to the study, Chuck and Cynthia Swindoll selected a book that they believe will help you walk in freedom throughout the new year 2021. It's a daily devotional called good morning Lord. Can we talk mornings in the Swindoll home.

Begin with time together throughout their marriage, Chuck and Cynthia have set aside an hour every morning, seven days a week to sip coffee talk, listen and pray their morning routine has cultivated a deep love and their relationship is also the inspiration behind Chuck's 365 day devotional good morning Lord, with brief reflections for every day of the new year.

This book will shine the light of God's word on your path day by day throughout 2021. You can purchase a copy at Insight for living's website by going to insight.org/store or by calling us if you're listening in the US dial 1-800-772-8888 and then as you measure the impact of Chuck's teaching on your life as God prompts you, we invite you to join us in bringing the good news of freedom in Christ to people around the world. Your gift no matter the size allows us to provide Chuck's teaching on radio, the Internet, mobile app and the many other outlets where insight for living is really her to give a donation today to scholars listening in the United States dial 1-800-772-8880. Many in our listening family have chosen to reinforce their commitment to this cause by becoming a monthly companion to join the team colors listening in the United States dial 1-800-772-8888 four. Give online when you go to insight.org/monthly tomorrow. Chuck Swindoll continues his encouraging message about the steps that lead to freedom right here on insight for living. The preceding message steps that lead to freedom was copyrighted in 2000 2001 and 2009 and the sound recording was copyrighted in 2009 by Charles R. Swindoll.

All rights are reserved worldwide. Duplication of copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited


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