Summary: Our lives and the lives of those around us will only be as rich as how much we grab on to God’s treasures!
We read in Matthew 6 of the King James Version of the Bible: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
We are to pray, forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. In Luke 11, Jesus told His disciples to pray, And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us.
This is similar to our main verse today in Ephesians 4. But, before reading our passage this morning, let us affirm a number of truths.
1. God is a Holy God!
And what does it mean to be holy?
A Holy God means God is always perfect and always good.
And the second truth we must note is that people, starting with the first man and woman, are unholy. Every person has missed the perfection and goodness of God. If God is always perfect and good and a person disobeys God, that person has sinned.
2. Every person has sinned against God.
Now, if Jesus taught people to pray for forgiveness from God, the question needs to be asked, How can a Holy God forgive unholy people?
3. God Himself became a man on earth, lived a sinless life, and died to pay for man’s sins.
This man of course is Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ, who is God Himself, was born on earth that Christmas day to live a life of perfection, only to die for our behalf. And of course to prove that this was God’s plan for people, God brought Jesus back to life after three days! This is why the celebration of Christmas and Easter is important! Note that the actual dates of Christmas and Easter are not as important as the reality and the reason for Jesus’ birth, death, and resurrection! We will talk more about his next week.
We will answer the question, “Is December 25 Biblical?”
There is one more truth that we need to grasp before reading our text.
Why am I taking so long to prepare ourselves before reading Ephesians 4? You see, our passage today assumes that we know and affirm these truths; otherwise, we will just be wasting our time.
The fourth truth answers the question, “Why would a Holy God allow Himself to suffer and die to forgive people of their sins? Why doesn’t God just instantly zap people and destroy them as soon as they sin? Why does God provide a way for forgiveness of sins?”
The answer is simply,
4. God loves people!
In spite of who we are and what we’ve done and will do, God loves you and me!
Jesus said it in John 3:16, For God so loved the world that He gave His One and Only Son, that whoever believes in Him (in Jesus Christ) shall not perish but have eternal life. Are you a Believer of Jesus Christ?
Please take a moment right now to pray quietly to God and affirm these truths personally.
As a Believer of Christ forgiven of your sins, please open your Bible to Ephesians 4 and stand as we read together verses 21-32……..
We just affirmed the truths about God and Jesus Christ. And last week, we talked about putting off the old self and putting on the new self!
And in v25, we note a very important word in the Bible. As I have said many times in the past, whenever you see the word therefore, ask, what is therefore there for?
Therefore is a hinge word! On one side are truths and on the other side are the proper responses to those truths.
God loves us not only by providing a way to be forgiven of our sins, but also God instructs us how to live specifically. God is basically saying, if you believe in Jesus Christ for forgiveness of sins (this is truth) then you are to live a certain way (how we are to respond).
The main point of our passage today is verse32……..
Another way of saying this is what we read in 1 John 4:11, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
Christians are to love one another as God loves them.
What are the specific instructions?
v25 & 29: In love, speak the truth for building up not lies for cutting down!
The opposite of love is pride of self. How often do we falsely accuse someone to cut them down? And God warns us of what happens when we don’t follow His instructions. When we don’t follow God’s instructions, we allow the devil to grab a foot hold of us!