Summary: The way you live depicts your view of salvation.
“Learning to Walk A New Way”
– Part Four June 28, 2009
OPEN: We’re focusing on five steps Paul gives us in the beginning of chapter four. Paul says walk worthy of the calling you have received. We’re learning how to walk a new way -
Review: We’ve thus far covered two of the 5 steps that are given to us here . We’ve talked about
humilty - what is humility? It is dealing with ourselves honestly before God. We’ve been given a high calling, but it calls for a lowly walk. We’ve talked about gentleness: Also called meekness in the Bible. It is power under control. Today we are going to be learning about practicing patience.
The progression: The first step is humility. “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he will lift you up.” It always starts with humility. The absence of resistance, pride - eliminating boosting. Humility leads to something else – it leads to gentleness. People who are harsh and forceful in their criticisms and ideas lack this? Why because they haven’t really taken the first step. True humility results in gentleness – meekness of spirit. meekness is a manifestation of true humility, - humility leads to something else And we said that meekness is power under control, it isn't cowardice, it isn't a sentimentalism, it isn't an indifference, it isn't a Casper Milk Toast, it’s possessing power – but making the choice to keep that power under the control of God.
Now Catch This: The issue is confrontation – dealing with the tension that lies between what has been revealed about God and His Kingdom and his gifts to followers and the events we are experiencing in our lives. The way you live depicts your view of salvation. The way you give depicts your view of salvation. The way you relate to others depicts your view of salvation. If you don’t have a high view, then you are not going to have a worthy walk. When we have a high view of salvation, we begin to confront ourselves with what the Scriptures say we are to be. We are to exchange our old habits for new ones. Our old way of thinking for a new way. The word of God confronts the old and brings the new.
- John the Baptist said “He must increase and I must decrease” – that’s what the worthy walk is all about.
I had a conversation with a person a week ago in which they looked me in the eye and said – “You don’t believe in being born again do you?” When I said yes – he rolled his eyes. He smirked at my answer – this person was by the way a person who called himself a Christian – he just wasn’t one of those born-again kind of Christians. Folks I don’t know how to tell you this but there are not dozens of different kinds of Christians – there is only one kind – it’s the kind that Jesus described. “Unless you are born-again you can not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Being born-again means a completely different kind of life- just like you were - well – born-again. It’s not a modification of the old life – it’s not an improvement of the old life – it’s a different kind of life. When we are confronted with the word of God – we change – we exchange the old for the new.
So today we are going to take the next step listed here. In order to walk worthy of the calling we have received we are to be completely patient. How many have heard the phrase, “Patience is a virtue?” So let me ask the question – is there any aspect in our culture that really endorses that concept? We live in a world that is most impatient. We live in what I’ve begun to the facebook generation. It really is the “I want it now” generation. Everything is fast-paced. Fast is good – slow is bad. Commercials on TV have to be quick to grab the attention of the impatient viewers. Almost every offer we hear is, “Don’t wait –call now –right now. Do it today – if you are going to get the best possible don’t wait.” Restaurants have to be quick to deliver the meal or people will complain. Everything must be quick. Instant gratification is the driving motivation behind most of the technological advances during our generation. We are a culture totally intolerant of anything that brings delay. Such are the times in which we live and if we are not careful, we can soon get caught up in the “I want it now” and “I am in a hurry” mentality. Most people today are not good at waiting for anything but yet we know that the best things come to those who patiently wait. We, as Christians, must be patient. Waiting on the Lord shapes our Christian character. As we yield to the Holy Spirit, He produces "the fruit of the Spirit" on the inside of us.