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EPHESIANS: Practice What You Preach

EPHESIANS: Practice What You Preach

Date:5/9/21

Series: Ephesians

Passage: Ephesians 4:1-6

Speaker: James Pritchard

Practice What You Preach
Ephesians 4:1-6

C.I.T./S.—Make sure your life matches your confession.

Purpose—To set the standard for Christian living.

Introduction—Orthodoxy=Orthopraxy

  1. A Christian Standard
    1. Emphatic exhortation
      1. Myself--emphatic
      2. Prisoner of the Lord—example
  • Urge—beg, beseech, exhort
  1. Walk—the way you live
  2. Calling to which you were called
    1. Were called—invitation to be saved
    2. 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.
  1. Raised to walk in newness of life
  1. —Worthy—scale—each side must match weight
  2. Application
    1. Our actions should match our beliefs.
    2. If we have orthodoxy, but not orthopraxy, does out orthodoxy really mean anything?
  • Faith without works is dead.
  1. We have a standard of life that is expected from a follower of Christ.
  2. What exactly is in this standard?
  1. A Christ-like Standard
    1. Humility
      1. Lowliness of mind
      2. Setting the needs of others above your own
  • Either by lowering oneself--asceticism
  1. Or by elevating the other
  2. Philippians 2:3-11
  1. Gentleness
    1. Meekness
    2. The world views meekness as weakness.
  • Cannot be farther from the truth.
  1. Strength under control
  2. Illus.—Horse that is broken—still just as strong, but his will is subjected to his master
  3. 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
  1. Patience
    1. Long-suffering—long anger
    2. It takes a while to get angry or to retaliate
  • Emotional quietness and restraint in the midst of difficult circumstances
  1. You will not have patience if you are not humble and meek.
  2. 2 Peter 3:9
  1. Bearing with one another in love
    1. Enduring—putting up with
    2. 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. 1 Peter 4:8—love covers multitude of sins
  2. Because we love, we are willing to forgive and bear with one another.
  3. We will not bear with one another if we aren’t the first three first.
  1. Keeping unity
    1. Hastening—be quick to do something, it is on the top of your priority list
    2. This includes keeping/preserving the unity
      1. As a church we are unified in the Spirit.
      2. 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.
    1. One body—body of Christ
    2. One Spirit—Holy Spirit, which binds
    3. One Hope—hope of salvation and the resurrection
    4. One Lord—Jesus
    5. One Faith—content of the gospel message
    6. One Baptism—Profession of that faith
    7. One God and Father—Same God
    8. Therefore, in order to keep the unity, we must focus on these bonds of peace, and let the other issues fade into the background.
  1. —If you were on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?
  2. Application
    1. Christ set the standard; we are expected to follow it.
    2. These qualities make for a good Christian, church members, spouse, parent, child, school mate, team member, employee, boss, etc.

 

Conclusion

  • 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.