Summary: Because we have been called by God, we are to live worthy of that calling.
Title: Leading a Life Worthy
Text: Ephesians 4:1-16
Thesis: Because we have been called by God we are to live worthy of that calling.
Background/Setting the Stage:
The first three chapters of Ephesians may be thought of as speaking to God’s grace and our salvation and of our profession of faith in Christ.
“For it is by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not of yourselves, it is a gift from God – not of works so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork or workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:8-10
Ephesians 4 – 6 speak more to the application of chapters 1 – 3. Chapters 4 – 6 speak to the way we live out our profession of faith or in other words, the practical aspects of our profession. So we may think of chapters 1 – 3 as the profession of our faith and chapters 4 – 6 as the practical application of our faith.
New Testament scholar Klyne Snodgrass sums it up as simply as this: “Right theology should lead to right conduct.” Klyne Snodgrass, The NIV Application Commentary, Ephesians, Zondervan, P.216)
I have really enjoyed the Olympics this year… the gymnast and swim teams have been so delightful to watch. I have been particularly blessed by the way they seem to love and support each other. I love seeing their hard work result in excellence in competition. My sense is that the athletes are pretty humble and are taking their successes in stride. And I love their joy. Missy Franklin is so much fun.
I am also pleased when professing Christians do the Christian community proud. After Gabby Douglas won the Gold in the Women’s All Around she was interviewed and the first thing out of her mouth was, “I give all the glory to God. It’s kind of a win, win situation. He gets all the glory and the blessings fall down on me.”
But sometimes Christians can be downright embarrassing to the Christian community.
This week I watched a shocking news story from Crystal Springs, Mississippi. The pastor of First Baptist Church was being interviewed. It seems on the eve of their wedding of a couple who attended the First Baptist Church, there was a congregational meeting in which a decision was made that no non-white weddings would be held in their church. And furthermore, if the pastor officiated that non-white wedding he would be fired. Never-the-less, the pastor quickly moved the wedding venue to a neighboring church and officiated the wedding there.
In the interview this is how he explained the situation to the media. “This had never been done here before, so it was setting a new precedent. There are those who reacted to that… I didn’t want to have a controversy within the church and I didn’t want a controversy to affect the wedding. I wanted to make their wedding special day.”
Meanwhile church officials said they would hold internal meetings to decide what to do if another non-white couple wanted to use their facility in the future. They also insisted that all races were welcome at their church.