Summary: The test of a true Christian comes in our everyday walk with Christ.
FOLLOWING IN HIS FOOTSTEPS
[Ask song director to sing “Footsteps of Jesus” #325 red hymnal]
This morning our Scripture reading is Ephesians chapter 4, verses 1 through 6. The message is entitled “Following in His Footsteps,” and we’re going to be talking about walking.
Talking is easy, isn’t it? Some people have no problems with talking to you about almost any subject you can think of. They can ramble on and on and say thousands of words, and not really say anything of importance.
Three boys were bragging to one another about their fathers. One of them said, “My father is a professor. When he is talking about nuclear physics, there are only fifty other people in the world who can understand him.”
The second boy said, “ My father is a world class brain surgeon. When he is talking about his surgery there are only 20 other people in the whole world who can understand him.”
The third boy said, “ That’s nothing. My dad is a Baptist preacher. When he is preaching, nobody seems to understand him.”
Talking is a wonderful thing. It is one of the ways that God gave us to communicate and relate to one another, but there are many people who call themselves Christians who can talk the talk, but they can’t seem to walk the walk.
Being a born-again Christian is more than just saying the right words. It’s more than doing good deeds, and coming to church, and talking about the Bible. The test of a true Christian comes in our everyday walk with Jesus.
Jesus said in Matthew 10:38, “ . . . he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.” That’s what the message is about this morning - walking “worthy” of Jesus Christ.
Jesus made some very distinct and definite footprints when He walked the earth. He blazed a trail that is easy for us to see, and, to walk worthy of Him, we must follow in His footsteps.
Let’s read Ephesians 4:1-6, “ 1I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, 2with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, 3endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”
Walking Worthy -
What is Paul telling us when he writes, “I, beseech you to walk worthy of your calling?”
To be worthy means to have value. It means to possess useful qualities that make you deserving of something.
It seems that Paul is telling us to do the impossible, doesn’t it? How can you and I as mere mortals ever be worthy of God’s greatest gift? The answer, of course, is that we never have been, nor ever will be worthy.
It says in Romans 3, “ There is none righteous, no, not one;” Romans 3 also tells us that “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” In other words, you and I cannot be righteous in and of ourselves.
All of us are sinners. None of us are worthy of God’s love. None of us deserve eternal life, but, thank God for Jesus! God came to us in the form of the God-man Jesus Christ, and He blazed the trail for you and me.
He left His footprints for us to plainly see and to follow. If we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, and follow in His footsteps, our walk will be worthy. So, Paul wasn’t telling us to perform an impossible task.
We can “walk worthy of the calling with which [we] were called,” but only because of, and only through Jesus Christ.
Footprints of Jesus -
Paul goes on in verse two to tell us how to walk worthy. He doesn’t tell us about the footprints of worldly wisdom. The world tells us to walk in haughtiness, and greed, and boasting, and impatience.
The world tells us to prove that we are better than anyone else. It tells us to grab all we can grab. If anyone gets in the way, run over them. No, Paul tells us to follow the footprints of Jesus.
He tells us to walk the way that Jesus walked, and Jesus walked in:
Lowliness means humility. Lowliness is the opposite of pride, and Jesus was humble. Philippians 2:8 says, “ 8And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”