A note from our pastor:
”Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.”Ephesians 5:14
Good Morning Dearly Beloved,
Our study verse this morning has caused considerable confusion and debate among scholars over the years. The source of the debate is not centered necessarily around the meaning of the verse, but rather over its source and whether or not it is a quotation from another writing. For our purposes this morning, the original source, whether it be the Apostle himself or someone else, is not of great importance.
When interpreting this verse it is important to closely consider the language. Upon first reading, it is quite easy and normal to key on the words ”arise from the dead” and assume this passage is referring to either the resurrection of the body or to regeneration. In both of those situations, we think of Christ speaking to his people and telling them to live. Whether bodily or spiritually, life is given by the command of God.
However, upon closer consideration of this verse a particular point stands out. The power to awake or arise resides with the individual. It is certainly necessary for the dead in trespasses and in sins to awake and arise with the regeneration of the Holy Spirit, but the individual is never called upon to do so themselves. To imply such would go against the teachings of scripture and support an idea of the free will of man in his eternal and spiritual living.
Rather, the Apostle is pointing to how disciples, at times, have a tendency to take up residence with those who are not following after Christ. As they do so, they begin to sleep in their service to God. They become dead to the need for service, for love, for grace, and for mercy. As they reside longer and longer with those who do not seek after God they slowly fall into a deeper and deeper cave which separates them from God and his people.
The call the Apostle references here is a need to awaken to discipleship. To arise from the death of sin and to a life of following Christ. When the disciple does so Christ gives them light. A light for their own path and a light for those around them.
Discipleship is a continual cycle and one which requires active choosing.
Our Prayers are with you daily,