Summary: Christians are called to the image of Jesus Christ and so, with the help of God the Holy Spirit, Christians are to live a life on earth worthy of this calling.
God used the Apostle Paul to write a letter to reveal His plan. We had noted previously that the letter was not only for those Christians in Ephesus 2000 years ago but it is also for us today!
From the first three chapters of Ephesians, we learned much important truths about God and His relationship with people.
And because of God’s love for Christians, God provides specific instructions for living. For any Christian wondering how to live or what God’s will is, Ephesians 4-6 provides specific answers!
What is God’s will for all Christians?
All Christians are to live a life worthy of God’s calling! Christians are to live a life worthy of the calling received from God!
What is the calling of Christians received from God?
The answer is simply stated in Ephesians 1:4 - For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight.
Because of belief in Jesus Christ, Christians are bound to the perfect image of Christ! The change to perfection will be complete when a Christian goes to heaven, but God calls Christians to the change even while living on earth.
Salvation is a process. When you believed and received Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and God, you were justified (God forgave you of all your sins; past, present , and future). Remember what God said in Ephesians 2? A Christian may be living hardships here on earth, but in the spiritual world and in God’s eyes, Christians are reigning with Jesus Christ!
Believers of Christ are in a heavenly position with Jesus not because they worked for it but because God simply put them there! Positionally, a Believer of Christ already belongs in heaven even though that Christian occasionally sins or have hardships here on earth.
In the future, when God completely changes the Christian for heaven, the Believer will be glorified to perfection! And in heaven, everything will be right with God, there will no longer be sins or hardships! Amen?
Between Justification (Christians are saved) and Glorification (Christians will be completely saved), there is Sanctification (Christians are being saved)!
As a Christian, you are saved because of your faith in Jesus Christ. As a Christian, you will be completely saved because of your faith in God the Father. As a Christian, you are being saved right now (being sanctified) as you have faith in God the Holy Spirit!
Christians are to live a life worthy of God’s calling. In other words, Christians are to live by faith, complete trust in the fullness of God.
Have you trusted God the Father, the Creator of everything? Good! Have you trusted Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord? Awesome!
Let us then continue to trust God the Holy Spirit, as He lives in us while we are still on earth.
Christians are to live on earth by faith by saying yes to God the Holy Spirit and saying no to sin. God gives specific instructions for Christians, but they are actually results of our faith in God.
Look again at verses 2-3 of Ephesians 4……….
As we trust God the Holy Spirit we will be humble, gentle, patient and loving other Christians, and making every effort to keep the unity with God and the church. If we do the opposite of these things, we are not really trusting God!
The message today is summed up with that great hymn:
But we never can prove the delights of His Love
Until all on the altar we lay
For the Favor He shows and the Joy He bestows
Are for them who will Trust and obey
Then in fellowship sweet, we will sit at His Feet
Or we’ll walk by His Side, In the way
What He says we will do. Where He sends we will go!
Never fear only Trust and Obey
Trust and Obey for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey!
So, according to Ephesians 4, how do we trust and obey?
1. As Christians, we are to trust God the Holy Spirit by being completely humble.
Let me share a story which gives us a picture of humility; maybe you will see yourself in this story:
When Charles Evans Hughes was appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, he moved to Washington and transferred his membership to a church there. His father had been a minister, and Hughes had been a lifelong witness to his own faith in Christ.
It was the custom in that church to have all new members come forward during the morning service and be introduced to the congregation. On this particular day, the first to be called was a Chinese laundryman, Mr. Sing, who had moved to Washington from San Francisco and kept a laundry near the church. He stood at the far side of the pulpit. As others were called, they took positions at the extreme opposite side. When a dozen people had gathered, Mr. Sing still stood alone. Then Chief Justice Hughes was called, and he significantly stood next to the laundryman.