Summary: An exposition of Ephesians on the difference connecting our "Talk" with our "Walk" in Christ.
Savannah is a wonderful city for walking. When my family and I lived here, we spent many hours walking the nature trails of this beautiful community, or walking downtown through the unique historic district. To commemorate our return this weekend, we walked down about a mile from our hotel to River Street. Savannah is all about walking.
When I pastor, oftentimes I like to get away from just counseling in my office or study. So I say to the one who has come to me, “Let’s take a walk.” It gets us away from formality, needed for my study, but gets us to a place of honesty where we can get at the problem.
The Christian life is also a place to walk. It is not good for sitting or standing around. It is a place to walk. And so Paul, in chapter four of Ephesians makes his typical turn from taught theology to applied theology. He wants the Ephesians to put legs on the truth and walk. So, let’s take a walk through this passage together:
Ephesians 4.1, 17; 5.1-2; 6.1-9
The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever. Isaiah 40:8
Let us pray.
Lord, may the Words of my mouth and the meditations of our hearts be always acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, our Rock and our Redeemer. And let me preach as if never to preach again and as a dying man to dying men.
We all know the axiom, “You must walk before you run.” In the Bible, we might say “You must walk if you are to follow.” What do I mean?
There was a time in my life when I did not follow the Lord. I followed the things of this world. I followed the ways of the world and the desires of my own heart. It led me to many bad things and many sad consequences. But having been reared in the Church, I thought I was a follower of Jesus anyway. You know, “Once saved, always saved” and I could pretty much do what I wanted. One time when I was in the Navy as a teenager, I was following the ways of the world and was called on the carpet by a Mormon. You see I was arguing with him about his religion and calling him a heretic and telling him that he was terribly mistaken. I do not doubt that I was right, though one may find better ways of sharing truth. But at any rate, this Mormon, who certainly practiced his religion, told me, “Mike, your life does not reflect your doctrine. You are not walking with the Lord. And until your walk matches your talk, I think I will keep my own religion, thank you.”
“Ouch.” Or should I say, “Touché!” He was dead right. And years later when I heard the Gospel of God’s grace in Jesus Christ, which showed me that I was a hypocrite and a liar and dead in my trespasses and sins and needing to be made alive in Christ by grace through faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me, I realized that you must walk after Jesus if you will follow after Jesus. Or to use my Mormon roommate’s words, “Until your walk matches your talk” you are not walking and therefore you are not following the Lord.
You must walk in holiness as you follow the Lord. And to walk and follow you need the Spirit to fall fresh on you. You will need, as Calvin said, to have experienced a change in your life. John Calvin wrote of these who could keep the law in His Institutes:
“[The] Law is written and engraved on their hearts by the finger of God, that is, …[so that] they are so influenced and actuated by the Spirit, that they desire to obey God.”
The third use of the Law is for believers whose hearts have been actuated by the transforming power of God in Christ through the action of the Holy Spirit. The matter before us is how to walk after this One who commands us to keep His law.
In Ephesians chapters four and five, St. Paul uses the world “walk” four times (4.1, 4,.17, 5.2, 5.8) but used the word as an anchor for a new thought concerning how to walk. So let us then follow Paul in these passages, in three of those anchors, and be instructed from Holy Scripture on how we must walk in order to follow.
Ephesians 4 and 5 helps us to see that we should be living out the Law daily in our lives for the glory of God and the good of our lives.
But how do we walk? How do we follow the famous third use of the Moral Law?