EPHESIANS: Practice What You Preach
Practice What You Preach
C.I.T./S.—Make sure your life matches your confession.
Purpose—To set the standard for Christian living.
- A Christian Standard
- Emphatic exhortation
- Prisoner of the Lord—example
- Emphatic exhortation
- Urge—beg, beseech, exhort
- Walk—the way you live
- Calling to which you were called
- Were called—invitation to be saved
- Calling is the object/position to which you were called.
- Once you have accepted that invitation and placed your faith in Christ, you become a child of God, a new creation.
- Raised to walk in newness of life
- —Worthy—scale—each side must match weight
- Our actions should match our beliefs.
- If we have orthodoxy, but not orthopraxy, does out orthodoxy really mean anything?
- Faith without works is dead.
- We have a standard of life that is expected from a follower of Christ.
- What exactly is in this standard?
- A Christ-like Standard
- Lowliness of mind
- Setting the needs of others above your own
- Either by lowering oneself--asceticism
- Or by elevating the other
- Philippians 2:3-11
- The world views meekness as weakness.
- Cannot be farther from the truth.
- Strength under control
- Illus.—Horse that is broken—still just as strong, but his will is subjected to his master
- Meekness requires humility
- We are still just as strong, but instead of pursuing self-interest or self-assertion, we exert our strength as subjected to the Master.
- 2 Corinthians 10:1
- Long-suffering—long anger
- It takes a while to get angry or to retaliate
- Emotional quietness and restraint in the midst of difficult circumstances
- You will not have patience if you are not humble and meek.
- 2 Peter 3:9
- Bearing with one another in love
- Enduring—putting up with
- In agape love—love that is unconditional, unwavering, but also elevates the object of love and meets those needs
- Colossians 3:13—bearing up is equated to forgiveness, which Christ set the example
- 1 Peter 4:8—love covers multitude of sins
- Because we love, we are willing to forgive and bear with one another.
- We will not bear with one another if we aren’t the first three first.
- Keeping unity
- Hastening—be quick to do something, it is on the top of your priority list
- This includes keeping/preserving the unity
- As a church we are unified in the Spirit.
- This unity is under attack all of the time, and therefore we must “keep” or “maintain” this unity
- The bond of peace keeps us unified.
- One body—body of Christ
- One Spirit—Holy Spirit, which binds
- One Hope—hope of salvation and the resurrection
- One Lord—Jesus
- One Faith—content of the gospel message
- One Baptism—Profession of that faith
- One God and Father—Same God
- Therefore, in order to keep the unity, we must focus on these bonds of peace, and let the other issues fade into the background.
- —If you were on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?
- Christ set the standard; we are expected to follow it.
- These qualities make for a good Christian, church members, spouse, parent, child, school mate, team member, employee, boss, etc.
- Let’s get on the scale. How much do you weigh?
- If a person does not exhibit these Christian characteristics, what does that mean?
- Either he is not walking with the Lord, or
- He doesn’t know Jesus.
- What do you need to do in order to live up to this standard?
Philippians 2:3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. 4 Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. 5 Adopt the same attitude as that of Christ Jesus, 6 who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be exploited. 7 Instead he emptied himself by assuming the form of a servant, taking on the likeness of humanity. And when he had come as a man, 8 he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death-- even to death on a cross.
2 Corinthians 10:1 Now I Paul, myself, appeal to you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ-- I who am humble among you in person but bold toward you when absent.
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord does not delay his promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance.
Colossians 3:13 bearing with one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a grievance against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you are also to forgive.
1 Peter 4:8 Above all, maintain constant love for one another, since love covers a multitude of sins.