3/23/2023 6:39:44 AM
March 19, 2023
Fourth Sunday in Lent
Sermon Text: Ephesians 5:8-14
Other Readings: Isaiah 42:14-21 and John 9:1-7,13-17,34-39
- In verses 8-11, Saint Paul uses four imperatives. But he uses those imperatives only after giving two indicative statements. Why does Paul begin with indicatives (“you are…”) before moving into imperatives (“so be/do…”)?
- Paul commands us to “find out what pleases the Lord.” What parts of the Bible are especially important for finding out what pleases the Lord?
- Paul says that Christians should “expose” the so-called “fruitless deeds of darkness” (v. 11). How should Christians go about doing that?
- Since we are light “in the Lord” (v. 8), we can look to our Lord to see ways that he showed “goodness, righteousness, and truth.” Think of a time when Jesus displayed each of those spiritual fruits during his ministry.
- The indicatives empower the imperatives. We can draw confidence from what we are to do what we’ve been called to do. Paul is reminding us that God’s power is already in us because we are already “in the Lord.” Therefore, everything else will come naturally.
- We can especially go to the Ten Commandments and the Lord’s Prayer. Additionally, Martin Luther’s explanations in the Small Catechism help expound on those key teachings.
- Sometimes exposing the deeds of darkness will mean that we need to directly confront someone’s way of living. This most often (and most effectively) will happen among those within our circle of influence. But we also expose the deeds of darkness simply by living the light we have within us. As we live our light, our conduct shines a light on another way of living–a godly way.
- Answers will vary because there are so many examples. May God the Holy Spirit give us opportunities to do so as well!