Faith: Walk in a manner worthy
Sovereign Grace Community Church
Ephesians 4:1, “Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called.”
This morning when I woke up, I heard the news of the horrific school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. Our society has almost become anesthetized to these kinds of tragedies, but the sheer scope of this one makes it difficult to ignore.
Whenever an event like this happens, there are plentiful reactions from our leaders and from thought leaders as well. These reactions are often inane and emotional and do little if anything to address the issue.
What gets lost in these tragedies is the reality of just how depraved and lost mankind is. Instead of asking for more gun-control, more mental health services, and safer schools. Instead of looking at these issues, as important as they may be, we need to understand the root cause of this — sin. Mankind is irreparably lost and depraved, and this latest tragedy is just the most recent example of just how evil man can be.
The solution to this does not come from us. We are incapable of solving the evil in our world as daily events constantly remind us. Only God can solve the problem of sin in the world and sin in your life. God has chosen as His vehicle for this solution to be the church. The church is to be the primary vehicle for the spreading of gospel of Jesus Christ.
The church is not a babysitter. The church is not a concert venue. The church is not a comedy club. The church is not a family reunion or a social club. The church is here to proclaim that you are dead in your trespasses and sins and that the only way you can find true life is by repenting of those sins and believing on Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came to earth, born of woman, lived a perfect life, willingly died to pay for your sins, and then was raised from the dead in defeat of sin and death. That is the purpose of the church.
In Ephesians 4, the apostle Paul gives us a look at what the church is supposed to look like. There is so much confusion about the church today, and that is why for the most part the church fails miserably at its primary function of spreading the good news.
The foundational element that one must understand is that the church is not for everyone. Yes, that’s right, the church is not for everyone. The church is for those who have repented of their sins and believed in Jesus Christ.
In Ephesians 5:23, Paul writes, “For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body.”
“The Body” that Paul is speaking of is the church. Did you catch what Paul wrote, “He Himself being the Savior of the body.” To be in “the body,” in the church, one must be saved. You may belong to a church, but that does not necessarily mean you are part of the church.
Once you are in the body, then you are to live in a “manner worthy of the calling.” Too often today the church tries desperately to be like the world. But we are told right here in Ephesians 4 how we are, as the church, to conduct ourselves.
First of all, in verses 2-6 Paul, we are to be unified. We are to “preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” But it is nearly impossible to be unified with those who are not really part of the body of Christ. They may think they are, but they are not.
Secondly, we are to exercise the gifts that God has given us. Verse 7 says, “But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.” We are to serve the church with the gifts that we are given.
In verse 11, Paul says, “And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers.” Why did He give these gifts? “For the equipping of the saints.” A church is not there to make you feel good. A church, a real Biblically based church, is there to equip you to go “and make disciples of all the nations.”
Thirdly, the church is to be mature. Verse 14 says that “we are no longer to be children.” So much of the church today is childish, consumed by the latest cultural fades. But that is not what the Bible proscribes for the church.
We are to be mature Christians, not children. Having raised four children, one thing I know is that children are easily distracted. We as Christians are not to be distracted. We are to be focused on sound Biblical teaching that then produces a commitment and desire to spread the Gospel.
Fourth, we are to put on the “new self.” Paul says in verse 17 that we are “to walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk.” We are to leave behind our old life. If we are legitimately saved, we are to be a new creation in Christ.
The old things we used to do no longer hold sway over us. We now desire to do things that please God, not ourselves, and not others. If you are really a part of the church, you will have a desire to glorify God.
And finally, we are, it says in verse 32, to “be kind to one another.” We live in some ways in a very brutal world. As Christians, as the church, as the Body of Christ, we are to be kind. This does not mean that we are to compromise on the truth of the gospel, but we are “share the truth in love.” The kindest thing we can so is call sinners to repentance.
As the pastor of Sovereign Grace Community Church, I want to invite you to join us. We are a body of believers who endeavor to live truly Biblical lives that honor and glorify God. We desire for our life as a church and as individuals to speak to the reality of God’s saving grace in our lives. If you are desperate to find a church that unapologetically preaches the truth of Scripture, book by book, chapter by chapter, and verse by verse, we would love for you to join us.
Tim Adams is pastor/elder at Sovereign Grace Community Church of the Yampa Valley. For more, SovereignGraceCommunitychurchyv.com.
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