When Christ Is Lord


      A life controlled by Satan is not really a life at all. It is merely an existence. When Satan controls: (1) Minds are futile (Ephesians 4:17), (2) Understanding is darkened and spiritual ignorance exists (Ephesians 4:18), (3) Licentiousness controls life through uncleanness with greediness (Ephesians 4:19), (4) Christ is not learned (Ephesians 4:20), and (5) Life is corrupt. (Ephesians 4:22.) Whatever or whoever Satan controls is always bad, evil and wasted.  Life is always at its worst when Satan controls and always at its best when Christ is Lord.


      When Christ is Lord one puts on the new man. "And that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness." (Ephesians 4:24.)  This "regenerated self" or new person is Godlike.  The purpose of your existence is to be like God, and so you please God by being righteous and truly holy.


      When Christ is Lord truth and honesty is practiced. "Therefore, putting away lying, Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor, for we are members of one another." (Ephesians 4:25.) Christians are part of the same spiritual body. Therefore, they must stop lying to one another and start telling each other the truth.


      When Christ is Lord goodwill is shown. "Be angry, and do not sin: do not let the sun go down on your wrath." (Ephesians 4:26.) Don't get so angry that you allow yourself to sin. Practice goodwill toward others by being careful not to go to bed angry.


      When Christ is Lord care is shown to the needy. "Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need." (Ephesians 4:28.) God's people must be honest and work hard. Christians must make an honest living for them­selves and also give to those in need.


      When Christ is Lord our speech will be pure. "Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers." (Ephesians 4:29.) God's people must stop all dirty talking. There is no place for filthy language or unwholesome talk in the life of the redeemed. Those who belong to God will be conscious of saying the right things at the right time and of saying things that will help others.


      When Christ is Lord un-Christ-like quali­ties will stop. "Let all bit­terness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice." (Ephesians 4:31.) Those who serve Christ as Lord will stop being angry and bitter at others. There is no place for Christians to yell at each other, slander or blaspheme. God's people must not curse each other or be rude to each other.


      When Christ is Lord forgiveness will be practiced. "And be kind to one another, tender­hearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you." (Ephesians 4:32.) God forgave us because of Christ. Because Christians have been forgiven and also in order to be forgiven they must forgive others. Such qualities as kindness, compassion, being loving and forgiving will always be found in the life of a Christian.


      When Christ is Lord one initiates God. "Therefore be imitators of God as dear children." (Ephesians 5:1.) Christians are to imitate God. They do as God does. Christians must imitate or copy God. Remember that you are God's dear children.


      When Christ is Lord one will walk in love. "And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma." (Ephesians 5:2.) Children of God must walk in love. Guided by love Christians will love others and sacrifice for them. This is the result of un­derstanding Christ's love and sacrifice for us.


By Charles Box, Walnut Street Church of Christ, P.O. Box 551, Greenville, Alabama 36036 USA