[NOTE: I will begin with my re-statement of the passage. Then I will present a list of “I Will…” Statements that I wrote based on that section. Reading these sections will give you some insight into what struck me as I studied through these texts, but your time would be better spent doing your own 3-column study first. After you have written your study then reading mine will give you another set of eyes and experiences that may help you with your efforts to hear from God.]
(1-6) Reminded why Paul was imprisoned, he admonishes them to be righteous in their living. Love excludes haughty and harsh behavior. It prompts compassion. Work hard to maintain the peaceful oneness the Spirit created: One family, one Comforter, one confident expectation. One master, one surrender, one washing. One Papa God reigning and living in each and every one of us.
(7-13) Individually Christ gave us gifts. This is why the Word says, “Coming up he had the Victor’s entrance, leading his spoils and giving out gifts.” (The one coming up had earlier gone down from heaven to earth. The one who came down later went up to the highest place, so everything reaches fulfillment.) This Victor appointed some as apostles, some as prophets, some as evangelists, and some as pastor/teachers. Giftings to equip God’s children to do edifying acts of servanthood. This building up continues until God’s family is mature compared to Jesus, walking like he walked.
(14-16) Such maturity will prevent us from being battered by false teachers who work hard to trip us up. Rather, lovingly saying what is right, we will become more and more like Jesus our Master. He is the one the family becomes stronger in by doing our own part. Like a body growing stronger through focused exercise, we work together focusing on our mutual good.
(17-19) In view of all Jesus has accomplished, we must stop living the way unbelievers do, in their vain thinking. They don’t “get it” since their hearts are hard and they are spiritually dull and live a different lifestyle. Without a spiritual focus they keep choosing rebellion to God by seeking increasingly unholy ways to satisfy their human desires.
(20-24) Jesus changed our thinking. We came to know the truth about God through him when we were discipled. We were taught to stop living in self-destructive ways. We learned to be renewed in our thinking. We learned to be transformed to become more and more like God—doing what is right and holy.
(25-29) Integrity—being honest with our neighbors is expected because we are in the same family. When angry we must not sin—we will deal with our anger today so we limit Satan’s access to us. As people of integrity we avoid the temptation to steal by working hard to provide for ourselves and have some to share with the needy. We replace destructive speech with constructive conversation. People who hear us are blessed.
(30) Our talking doesn’t sadden the Holy Spirit—God’s pledge of the coming redemption.
(31-32) Hatefulness, stirring up turmoil and lying about others are out of the question for us. Like God treated us with grace, we forgive and treat others with gentleness and empathy.
“I Will…” Statements
- I will live up to my calling to a righteous life.
- In humility I will put up with a lot from the people I love in God’s family.
- I will work hard to hold on to the peace God’s unifying Spirit creates.
- I will remember the seven ones: church, Spirit, hope. Lord, faith, baptism and Father unite us. I will put work boots and gloves on this unity.
- I will stay humble regarding Jesus’ gifts.
- I will recognize only Jesus earned the right to give these gifts.
- I will follow his example of humbly leaving heaven to become a man.
- I will recognize God exalted him for his humility; he will exalt you.
- I will accept the fact that Jesus set the kingdom up according to his purpose.
- I will build up the body by using my gifts in serving others.
- I will work for God’s goal of mature faith in Jesus.
- I will measure up to the standard of Jesus.
- I will seek maturity because it protects us from the damaging effects of false teachers.
- I will lovingly speak the truth like Jesus so we grow to be more and more like our head.
- I will remember it takes all of us working together under his guidance to be built up in love—each must do his/her part.
- I will choose mature thinking, rather than thinking in the old futile ways.
- I will keep my heart soft by doing whatever God calls me to do.
- I will realize disobedience contributes to a destructive insensitivity and sets in motion increasing levels of rebellion.
- I will remember how I started.
- I will remember the truth about Jesus started me off so I will stay in it.
- I will obey the truth I learn and stop the old way of living.
- I will seek a godly attitude each day.
- I will do righteous and holy things since God transforms me through them.
- I will be honest with members of God’s family.
- I will deal today with anger that arises.
- I will limit Satan’s use of my anger.
- Rather than stealing, I will use hard work to provide for myself and to share with the needy.
- I will speak only helpful words so my words are beneficial to my hearers.
- I will make sure what I say is appropriate for the Spirit to hear.
- I will choose not to be hateful and/or a trouble-maker.
- I will treat others with kindness and forgiveness because Jesus did the same to me.