Temple Baptist Church - 11-17-2010
A. As we begin the Practical portion of Ephesians, we are admonished to “walk worthy.” Worthy of the highest calling in the world: “Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours.” (1 Corinthians 1:2)
B. Higher than the office of the President of the United States! Higher than the position of a King, Queen, Prince, Princess, or Monarch! Called to be saints! (Saints – pure, blameless, consecrated, or holy) People of integrity; people of honesty; people of holiness. What a calling; what a privilege; what an honor; what a responsibility. I am not a “fan” of Warren Wiersbe nor do I stand where he stands on a lot of issues but I will quote something that he wrote. Dr. Wiersbe gives this quote in his “Bible Exposition Commentary”:
“The Christian life is not based on ignorance but knowledge, and the better we understand Bible doctrines, the easier it is to obey Bible duties. When people say, ‘Don’t talk to me about doctrine -- just let me live my Christian life!’ they are revealing their ignorance of the way the Holy Spirit works in the life of a believer. ‘It makes no difference what you believe, just as long as you live right’ is a similar confession of ignorance. It does make a difference what you believe, because what you believe determines how you behave!”
C. We find in these verse that our walk of worthiness begins in our relationship with each other, not with the world. Paul emphasizes the importance of our relationship with each other and the church. Satan hates the church and does all that he can to destroy or hinder it. Satan has learned well to divide and conquer. If he can get us to be at odds with each other, he has done all that he needs to do. We will do the rest for him!
D. Here are the ways to keep peace and unity in God’s house.
1. By having a right perspective of self – vs. 2 “With all lowliness and meekness” Philippians 2:3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. (Learning to put others first and to put self last. J – Jesus first O – Others second Y – You last. JOY!
Romans 12:3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
2. By being merciful and gracious to others – vs. 2 “longsuffering, forbearing one another” Learning to overlook those things that offend us; forgive those who trepass against us; suffering long instead of being quick to anger. People have bad days, say and do bad things, and later hate it. A brother offended is hard to be won because he does not want to forgive.
Ephesians 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.
3. By loving one another – vs. 2 “in love” I preached once on “Love’s Overlooking” from the Song of Solomon. When we love one another, we can overlook a lot of faults which all of us have. Many times marriages begin to fail when people see the faults of their mates instead of those attributes that attracted them in the first place.
1 Peter 4:8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.
4. By keeping the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace – vs. 3 “endeavouring” To work hard at it. A spiritual union: there is an union between God and his people; between Christ and his members; between saints and saints; and the bond of each union is love: that which knits and cements them together! The saints are united under one head, are members of one and the same body, of the same mind and judgment, and of one accord, heart, and affection.
Romans 14:17-19 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. (18) For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men. (19) Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.
5. By keeping doctrinal purity in the church – vs. 4-6 “one” This is done by allowing the Bible to be your authority, the Holy Ghost and the pastor your teacher, and avoiding those who would undercut what you believer.
Romans 16:17-18 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. (18) For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. (Why do men changed doctrine? They “serve…their own belly!” they let down the doctrines of the faith in order to bring more people in and to increase the offerings. What did God say to do? He said to mark them and to avoid them. Why did God command this? Because they will deceive the hearts of the simple! Not the mature in the Lord but those who are still babes in Christ.)
Conclusion: Why walking worthy within the local church? Because if we are right with God, right with the church, and right with each other—we will be right with the world!