Ephesians: The Church United (pt.1)

Ephesians  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  43:48
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A Walk Worthy of Unity
The fact that the Christian life is described as a ‘walk’ is significant.
‘Walk’ suggests activity, movement, and progress.
We are to ‘walk’ …
Galatians 5:16 (KJV 1900)
This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
1 John 1:7 (KJV 1900)
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
1 John 2:6 (KJV 1900)
He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
and we are to walk worthy of our vocation.
walking means We do not stay where we were or as we are;
we do not say ‘Ah, now I am saved, my sins are forgiven, all is well’, and spend the rest of our lives talking about our conversion, always looking back and remaining in that position.
The Christian life is one of progress, of ever going forward; you are always to be pressing toward the mark, toward the high calling of God!
In order for us to ‘walk’ right we must first know why a worthy walk is needed.

I. The Appeal for a Worthy Walk

Ephesians 4:1 KJV 1900
I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
With the words “walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called” Paul is saying that he is beseeching them and exhorting them always to give equal weight in their lives to doctrine and practice.
We look at this last week some with the word therefore. Paul told them because you have learned so much now you are to put it into practice.
They must not put all the weight on doctrine and none on practice;
nor all the weight on practice and just a little, if any at all, on doctrine.
To do so produces imbalance and lopsidedness.
The Ephesians must take great pains to see that the scales are perfectly balanced.
There are two ideas that come from this
The first is
The idea conveyed is of matching, it is of putting on a piece of clothing that is consistent with another, something that is suited to and matches something else.
Paul means, negatively, that we must always avoid a clash of colour or appearance. There must never be a clash between our doctrine and our practice.
Illustration: Thank about it This is something which is recognized in the matter of dress; there must never be a clash of colours that is not becoming. There are certain colours that do not match, which do not go together; and when you see a person with such clashing, contrasting colours you say that that person is lacking in taste.
We can extend the idea and say that the same clothing is not always becoming at every age. There is nothing quite so ridiculous as to see an elderly person dressing as if he or she were young, and vice versa. There are certain things that are not becoming.
This is the idea that the Apostle conveys here; there must never be an element of inconsistency or of sharp contrasts in our lives.
We can take the idea further by going to Titus 2:10
Titus 2:10 KJV 1900
Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.
The idea is that the doctrine is, as it were, the foundation or basic garment and that the life is a kind of adornment which is added on to it.
His exhortation is that we must always be careful that our decorations, our adornments, are suited to, and are congruous with, and match, this foundation garment which we have already put on.
The doctrine is the foundation; the life is the adorning.
The purpose of the adorning is to make the doctrine attractive, to cause people to admire it, to look at it and to desire to have it.
Our lives should appeal to those that are on the outside and those that are in the family that need direction. If we are missed matched, others will not want it. “Beseech you that ye walk worthy..”
Paul is appealing to us to have a walk that is worthy of being copied.
The other idea is one of living what you are!
we have to understand that it is not just for looks that we should walk worthy, Paul is appealing to them and telling them they need to walk right because they/we have been called. 1Pet 2:9
1 Peter 2:9 KJV 1900
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
The Christian must never be thought of as someone who has decided to take up a certain type of life.
The Christian life must never be thought of in terms of something that we have decided to take up.
When we hear the Word vocation, we immediately think of a trade or job.
My trade was HVAC tech. My brother’s is desiel mechanic.
I knew that I was gifted with the ability to think crictially and work with my hands
my brother is the same way
If I wanted to know about working on desial engines, Im not going to go to HVAC school
Im going to go to a desial school. Why, becasue that is where the experts are. They know the trade better then most. They will talk the talk and walk the walk.
They have a calling to be the best of the best in their trade
That is what Paul is saying here,
be someone that others can come to and learn
Be what you say you are
So the Apostle’s teaching, is that the way in which we are to live the Christian life is first of all to remember always that we have been called to it, called from darkness, called to light and the way we walk should be something that is worthy of being copied.
You know why people dont what what we have? Because we dont live what we are supposed to be. Why? Because most of us dont make Christianity the first thing we identify with.
I heard this statement and I thought it was very powerful, ‘We identify with that which is closest to our heart.’
We dont Walk like Christ because he is so far down on our list of what we identify with, we sometimes forget we are one.
Paul told the believers at Corinth, ‘Be ye followers of me as I am of Christ’
Is your life worthy of being copied by others?
The appeal to walk worthy is we should have balanced lives that are worthy to be copied mainly because we have been called to this life.
If this church is going to remain unified, we must live lives that would cause new believers, new members and vistors, to want what we have.
Do you have a walk worthy of unity?

II. The Attitude for Walking Worthy

Ephesians 4:2 KJV 1900
With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
We cannot have a walk that is worthy if our attitude is not right.
You can be the best at your trade, but if your attitude is awful then know one will want to learn from you.
In my 20yrs of HVAC I have met alot of other techs and there were some that if their attitude had been better they could have made a diffrence in they trade, but their attitude held them back and proboly held back many others.
Our attitude in this Christian walk needs to be right so that others will want what we have.
Paul tells us that our attitude needs to be right if we are going to walk worthy before God. Paul has broken them down into four things.

A. Humbleness

v.2 With all lowliness...
Lowliness i.e humbleness is not an uncommon idea.
I do believe Christ himself was called humble Zec. 9:9
Zechariah 9:9 KJV 1900
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: Behold, thy King cometh unto thee: He is just, and having salvation; Lowly, and riding upon an ass, And upon a colt the foal of an ass.
Christ said himself that he was humble Matt. 11:29
Matthew 11:29 KJV 1900
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
To be humble is to be like Christ.
You notice the words lowly in heart?
That means the inner man.
Did you know that there is something called prideful humility.
That is humility that has never made it into the inner man.
many preachers are guilty and most likely more preachers then laymen struggle with prideful humility.
Heres the most common thing I see and hear, ‘We had x amount of people on the property today, by our hard work and our drive to get into the community, we brought in this many. Glory be to God.’
Really, there is so much pride in a statement like that.
Its not because of who we are or what we have done. It is only because of the grace and mercy of God we have what we have!
Christ told us that our humility here will determine certain things in eternity, Luke 14:9-11
Luke 14:9–11 KJV 1900
And he that bade thee and him come and say to thee, Give this man place; and thou begin with shame to take the lowest room. But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee. For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
Paul holds up humility throughout his letters as an essential characteristic of believers.
He also speaks of humility in relation to unity (Rom 12:3–8; Phil 2:1–11; Col 3:12–15).
For unity to exist, humble, selfless people must be living for the good of others.
Interestingly, the term humility was uncommon in first-century Greek literature; when it did appear, it was used with a negative connotation (Thielman, Ephesians, 253). Pride was more highly valued. Christians were ridiculed for humility (ibid.). However, this virtue is valued throughout the Old Testament Scriptures (Prov 3:34; 11:2; Isa 66:2).
We live in a similar day.
The opposite of humility is “self-exaltation.”
Our culture says, “Exalt yourself,” “Pamper yourself,” “Think about yourself first.”
That is the problem!
You only think of yourself!
Pride means being filled with self.
Conversely, humility is being filled with God (Eph 3:19).
Paul describes humility in Philippians 2:3 within the context of considering others more important than ourselves and not being conceited or having rivalry.
Tim Keller says in his book Freedom,
“The essence of gospel-humility is not thinking more of myself or thinking less of myself, it is thinking of myself less”

B. Gentleness

With all lowliness and meekness...
Meekness means gentleness.
This does not mean timidity.
It involves being “mild spirited” or “self-controlled.”
Moses was described as the meekest man on the face of the earth (Num 12:3).
Yet he was a dynamic leader who challenged the power of the throne of Egypt.
His strength stood under God’s control (albeit imperfectly).
Pastors, who are to exemplify Christlikeness, are required to be Peaceable.(not a brawler)
1 Timothy 3:3 KJV 1900
Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;
Gentleness is a fruit of the Spirit, and it is the way we are to care for one another (Gal 5:23; 6:1).
God puts alot of value on a meek heart, 1Pet. 3:4
1 Peter 3:4 KJV 1900
But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.
To have a worthy walk we must be humble and meek. but Paul goes on,

C. Patience

With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering....
Longsuffering means Patience, How are you doing with this virtue?
For some of us the microwave is too slow!
“O Lord, give me patience, and hurry!” is our prayer.
Lack of patience displays a lack of humility and a lack of love.
Paul says, “Love is patient” (1 Cor 13:4).
To have patient love, we must endure annoyances and challenges over a period of time.
How do you cultivate patience?
By relying on the Spirit!
And by meditating on the patience that Christ has shown you (cf. 1 Tim 1:15ff; 2 Pet 3:9).
‘Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief’

D. Tolerance

Ephesians 4:2 (KJV 1900)
With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
Forbearing one another in love, means tolerance i.e to put up with each other in love.
tolerance sometimes is the only way we can be around certain people.
Peter tells us, 1Pet 4:8
1 Peter 4:8 KJV 1900
And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.
This is how marriage works. If I had to ‘put up’ with me, one of us would have to die. But, my wife, bless her heart ‘puts up with me in love’
Sometimes we have to put up with people simply because we love them!
In order to pursue these qualities, we must be willing to renounce the opposite of each (Snodgrass, Ephesians, 218).
We must renounce self-centeredness in order to walk in humility.
We must renounce harshness in order to walk with gentleness.
We must renounce the tyranny of our own agendas in order to walk with patience.
We must renounce idealistic expectations in order to walk in forbearing love.
Now Paul goes into the why we walk worthy.

III. The Aim of a Worthy Walk

Unity is active, not passive.
We should be zealous to maintain unity.
Notice we do not work to create unity but to keep unity!
God unites us, and we are to seek to maintain unity by the Spirit’s help.
Paul is telling his readers here in verse 3 to use haste, to use diligence, to put forth great effort, strive for.

A. To Regard Solidarity

Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit..
Unity: [union or fellowship arising from common responsibilities and interests, as between members of a group or between classes, peoples, etc.:]
Illustration with Maddie. tell her what ever you do go in the opposite direction then I do. Carry a chair
What happens if you are in a row boat and half the boat is paddling to go forward and the other is paddling to go backward?
You will go in circles. Not making any progress.
Same things goes for us, if some of us are walking unworthy and the other half is walking worthy, What progress are we going to make for the cause of Christ?
That is what Paul is saying here.
If you are saved by the grace of God, then you have the Spirit in you which makes us united already, therefore we should put forth with haste great effort to regard (to keep,) that solidarity.

B. To Retain Serenity

‘..in the bond of peace.’
Remembering that we are all in it for the same reason, for the same goal, with the same guide. Will help us retain the peace of a unified house. The peace of a well oiled machine.
If your oil pump goes out, what will happen? Your motor will lock up.
If we are having to always resolve conflicts, how can we have peace?
If we are always fighting each other, how can we ever fight the enemy?
Unity in the church is so vitil to the work of God. No unity no peace. No peace, no worship.
No worship, no Church!


Those of us that are born again have been called to walk worthy of our vocation (calling).
We should be living our lives in such a way that others would want to copy us.
Those that are lost in here today, you can try to live a good life and some of you might even have a good standing in the community, but that is not what will get you to heaven, it is only though the blood of Christ. “I am the way the truth and the life, no man cometh unto the father but by Me.”
I am 100 persent certain that none of us in here are walking the way we should be,
wont you come today and ask God to help you to have a walk worthy of unity.
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