- Created by: Erin W
- Created on: 04-05-19 16:36
- In Corinthians and Ephesians, "Paul stresses that Christian faith must lead to a Christian lifestyle" (McGrath).
- Paul gives guidance to the Corinthians and Ephesians about living a Christian life, and guides them on moral issues such as marriage, lying, cheating, and unwholsome speech.
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Ephesians - Second Prayer
- In Paul's second prayer, he stresses that Christians should "be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing one another in love".
- This is because they have all been united as one in Christ, so should therefore treat eachother and moral and religious equals.
- Paul uses the word agape in v2, to refer to the highest form of love hat he wishes the Ephesins to show each another.
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- Paul contrasts the morally innapropriate behaviour of the Gentiles with the expected behaviour of Christians as a new creation.
- Paul no longer thinks of Christians as Jews or pagans but as he new people of God - therefore their morality should reflect this.
- He warns his readers not to act as Gentiles do as "they are darkned in their understanding" which leads to"sensuality... impurity... greed".
- Instead, he urges them to put on a "new self" and act morally.
- Stott comments how Paul can descend from intense theological debate to "the nitty-gritty of human behaviour"
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- Paul uses the metaphor of darkness and light to teach the Ephesians morality; "For you were once in darkness, but now you are light in the Lord".
- For example, Paul warns that they should avoid drunkeness, greed, and obscenity.
- For Paul, it is not enough that the Ephesians simply avoid immorality, but they also must strive to exemplify morality.
- He teaches that light is transformative and everything that is "illuminated becomes a light".
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Corinthians - Sexual Immorality
- Paul heard a report of a man in the congregation having an affair with his stepmother.
- Paul said "hand this man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature may be destroyed".
- Murphy-O'Connor summarises this teaching: "If our bodies are to be raised, we must attach importance to actions perfomed in and through the body".
- Therefore, Christians should not engage in sexual immorality.
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- For divorce, Paul refers to Jesus' moral teaching, not his own.
- He commands Christians not to get divorced at all: "reconcilliation, not estrangement, is the course for Christians" (Bruce).
- If divorce does happen, then remarriage should take place as long as the divorced partner is alive.
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- Paul heard of a group of Corinthian women not wearing veils during worship.
- The moral issue that arose from this was that women's hair was an object of lust.
- No veil would "arouse suspicions regarding her moral character" (Guy)
- Paul uses the divine pattern of relationships to solve this moral issue.
- He explains that God is the head of Christ, Christ is the head of man, and man is the head of woman.
- This theory did not grant men superiority, but taught a wife should choose to submit to their husband "as Christ chose to submit to the Father" (Prior).
- His overal teaching in this issue of morality is that the women should return to wearing veils to avoid distracting others during worship.
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