A Worthy Manner
A rather pompous-looking deacon one day was endeavoring to impress upon a class of boys the importance of living the Christian life. "Why do people call me a Christian?" the man asked. After a moment’s pause, one youngster said, "Maybe it’s because they don’t know you."
That boy stumbled onto a powerful truth: Others may call you a Christian…but once they get to know you maybe they wouldn’t call you a Christian!
I want to ask you this morning: What is your life indicating right now regarding you being a Christian? Is it validating it or is it revealing something different? Let me ask you this: Should it be validating it?
Gypsy Smith, the great evangelist from the late 1800’s-early 1900’s, once said: “There are 5 Gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and yourself – but most people will never read the first four.”
That is a powerful statement and truth! What are others reading in the 5thGospel?
In Ephesians 4:1 Paul says this: 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,
Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called,
There are 3 things I want you to notice this morning. First, notice…
1. The Plea – implore you
- Here in 4:1 Paul moves from his doctrinal teaching in 1-3 to the practical teaching in 4-6.
- In 1-3 Paul sets forth the believers position with all the blessings, honors and privileges of being a Christian (child of God), then in 4-6 he gives the consequent obligations and requirements of being a Christian.
- Paul wants us to get our theology right then get our lived theology right!
- So here he implored the Ephesian Christians to live right
- The word he used here means to call to one’s side with the idea of wanting to help – it connoted intense feeling, strong desire, not simply a request but strong urging, begging to them.
- Paul loved these Christians deeply.
TS – Next notice…
2. The Message – walk in a worthy manner
- Walk in a manner worthy of your calling
- Walk is frequently used in the New Testament to refer to daily conduct, day-by-day living
- The word worthy used here has the root meaning of balancing the scales—what is on one side of the scale should be equal in weight to what is on the other side.Paul is insisting that there should be a balance between profession and practice.
- Too many Christians are glad to have the spiritual security, blessings, and promises of the gospel but have too little sense of responsibility in conforming to its standards and obeying its commands...
- He expects His standards to become our standards, His purposes our purposes, His desires our desires, His nature our nature.
- The Christian life should be simply the process of becoming what you are!
TS – Finally…
3. The Reason – worthy of your calling
- You are to live in such a way that you live up to your calling = that you live up to who you are now in Christ!
- “The calling” refers not only to the believers’ salvation, but also their union in one body. Therefore, a Christian’s conduct concerns both his personal life and his responsibility to other believers in the church.
- Missionary E. Stanley Jones asked Gandhi, the great liberator of India from British Rule, on 1 occasion: Mr. Gandhi, though you quote the words of Christ often, why is it that you appear to so adamantly reject becoming his follower?”
- Gandhi said: “Oh, I don’t reject Christ. I love Christ. It’s just that so many of you Christians are so unlike Christ. If Christians would really live according to the teachings of Christ, as found in the Bible, all of India would be Christian today.”
- Saying I see more truth in Hinduism than Christianity
In 2 Cor. 2:15-16 Paul says…15 For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; 16 to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life. And who is adequate for these things?
For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life. And who is adequate for these things?
What will change the culture faster than anything? When Christians start living like Christians, living contagious Christian lives
Problem today: People don’t see the church as the place where they can find hope, relevance, life change, place that can help them – they see it as filled with hypocrites and self-righteous people.
The great need today: For you and I who profess Christ, to live in such a way that those around us can see us shining for Jesus – living a compelling, attractive lifestyle!
So what is your lifestyle like today?