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The Rev. William Klock: “Be Renewed in the Spirit of Your Mind” (Ephesians 4:17-32)

October 9, 2016

I thought I would mention one of Fr. Bill Klock’s latest messages, Be Renewed in the Spirit of Your Mind, which is based on Ephesians 4:17-32.  In particular I found this portion worth considering for any of us, since these sins are surely things we all must fight:

And so Paul can end saying:

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.  Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.  (Ephesians 4:30-32)

We all know people who are bitter and angry.  I remember counselling someone once who was overflowing with bitterness, but he said, “This is just who I am and I’m not going to change!”  He thought that by being bitter he was being free and that I was trying to chain him up by telling him to stop being bitter, but in fact it was bitterness that had him in bondage.  His mind was captive to futility and his bitterness was the evidence.  But the Spirit frees us from that kind of bondage.  The Spirit sets our minds on Jesus and the natural and free outflowing then ought to be an outpouring of Christ-likeness in our lives: things like love and kindness and grace.  And, Friends, in doing that we manifest Jesus and his kingdom, we manifest our hope to the world around us.

I’m convinced this is part of what St. Paul was getting at when he wrote to the Philippians, telling them to “work out their salvation”.  “Work out your salvation” doesn’t mean that we save ourselves through good works.  What Paul’s getting at is the practical outworking of the Spirit having renewed our minds.  The Spirit has thrown out the filth, the lies, the rebellion so that we can think straight about the Lord Jesus and so that we can set our minds on the hope of the world and the age to come.  Paul’s given this list of dos and don’ts, but his point isn’t to put us into some new kind of bondage.  He’s trying to show us the mind of Christ so that we are set us free to really and truly live out the Good News.  It’s like learning the rules of spelling and vocabulary.  Those rules aren’t there to bind us up.  They’re there so that once we’ve learned them we can be free to speak and write and express ourselves.  And so Paul shows us Jesus and he reminds us what Jesus has done for us and what his new world is going to be like and he turns us loose, and says: work out what the salvation Jesus has brought us looks like within the unique particulars of your life and personality.  What does it look like to live out the Christian hope for you.  How can you in your life and vocation and with your unique gifts live and think as a day-dweller in the midst of a world still in the dark?  Brothers and Sisters, this is what it means to have the mind of Christ.  In Jesus the Spirit has set our minds on something worthwhile and of value.  Christ has died.  Christ has risen.  Christ will come again.  Now let that truth work out into your actions and in your day to day life.  Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

Indeed, that is the crux of the matter: to live these truths out in our daily lives.  If you’d like to hear the sermon, you can do so here or on the player below.

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