Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Walking In The Light

Temple Baptist Church - 5-31-2011

Ephesians 5:1-14


A. Now we find a list of sins that, though they are wicked and characterize the world, they are a possibility for the child of God to commit. Many believers (I use the word “believers” and not “Christians”) have fallen prey to the wickedness of their flesh, thus bringing reproach to the name of Christ and incurring the judgment of God.

B. If we “follow God” and “walk in love,” the following list is not a problem. When we “follow God” and “walk in love,” we control both our imaginations and flesh. Our heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked and our old nature is alive and doing well if we feed it.

C. The problem with sin in the life of the believer is a constant reminder that our flesh is not saved. The problem with our living in sin has to do with our disobedience to the Word of God.

1. We see the life of Lot - Genesis 13:12 Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom. (This verse is in direct violation of 1Thess. 4:22 which says, “Abstain from all appearance of evil.”)

2. We see the life of Demas - Timothy 4:10a For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world… (This verse is in direct violation of 1 John 2:15 which says, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”)

D. These sins are entirely avoidable though many succumb to them. A verse that may be of great help is found in the “Hall of Faith” chapter:

Hebrews 11:15 And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. (“Mindful” means to reherse the memory. Mind Full is the problem with sinfulness in our lives.)

E. There are several “negative” aspects to willful, presumptuous sin in the life of the believer that I want to deal with tonight. Yes, we do have choices; yes, we can still sin; yes, we can act just like the world; yes, we can even return to our old life. I find it amazing that, when we were lost, it was “vomit” in our mouths that made us turn to Christ. Isn’t it amazing how we, like the dog and sow, return to the very things that made us “throw up” spiritually just a few years ago!!

1. Our sinfulness is displeasing to our Lord! Hebrews 10:38-39 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. (I am not speaking of anger alone; I am speaking of a displeasing of our Lord who loves us and gave His best for our salvation. I am speaking of the wonderful Kinsman Redeemer who bought us off of the “slave block” of sin with His own blood. We try to please our boss at work; we try to please our mates and family; we try to please the people of this world and care not if we please or displease the One who loves us the most.)

Hebrews 10:39 says, “But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.” We cannot lose our salvation but our lives can be displeasing to our Lord.

2. We can suffer a loss of rewards! Vs. 5 1 Corinthians 3:14-15 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. (15) If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. (The loss of rewards is not an eternal loss. I find no place in the Bible where there are degrees of heaven. After Revelation 20, we find no tears in the eyes of the believer. There is one street in the Holy Jerusalem; no back streets but all equally living on the same street. Loss of rewards has to do with two things:)

a. A loss of crowns at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Revelation 4:10-11 The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, (11) Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. (Crowns to be cast at the feet of our Lord for He alone is worthy to wear them. What a shame to have nothing to give to Him!)

b. A loss of position in our ruling with the Lord for 1,000 years during the Golden Age of the Millennium. Luke 19:16-26 Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds. (17) And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities… And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five citiesAnd he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds. (25) (And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.) (26) For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him. (Our position with Christ will depend upon our faithfulness in this life during the Millennium.)

3. We can be chastened of the Lord! Vs. 6 Hebrews 12:5-7 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: (6) For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. (7) If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? (The Lord’s chastening is progressive in nature. He speaks to our hearts through God’s Word and or God’s men. If sin is not gotten right, He progressively chastens. If this chastening does not bring about the right results, he “scourgeth” which can end in a premature death for the child of God.)

4. Our life can bring shame upon us, our family, our church, and—most importantly—the name of our Lord! Vs. 12-13 Ephesians 5:3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints. (A testimony for the Lord is not easily built; it can be quickly destroyed; and almost impossible to rebuild to its original glory. The Lord will forgive and forget; elephants may or may not forget; but people do not forget and many will not forgive.)

5. How do we maintain our walk of light with the Lord? Vs. 13-16

a. Awake to the fact that sin made you miserable before you were saved and it will make you much more miserable now! Simple enough?

b. Rise up and seek those things that are above! Colossians 3:1-3 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. (2) Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. (3) For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

We often sacrifice the eternal for the temporal. We choose that which we cannot keep over that which we cannot lose! 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; (18) While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

c. Walk in the Light! Why stumble along in the darkness of this world when we have the light of life. John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

d. Redeem our time. Stay busy for the Lord! “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.” Ephesians 5:16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

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