Summary: authentic, true Christianity, maturity, maturation, growth, character, put off
Living the Truth
Ephesians 4:11 – 32
A freshman at Eagle Rock Junior High won first prize at the Greater Idaho Falls Science fair. He was attempting to show how conditioned we have become to alarmists practicing junk science and spreading fear of everything in our environment.
In his project he urged people to sign a petition demanding strict control or total elimination of the chemical “dihydrogen monoxide.” And for plenty of good reasons:
1. It can cause excessive sweating and vomiting
2. It is a major component of acid rain
3. It can cause severe burns in its gaseous state
4. Accidental inhalation can kill you
5. It contributes to erosion
6. It decreases effectiveness of automobile brakes
7. It has been found in tumors of terminal cancer
He asked fifty people if they supported a ban of the chemical.
Forty-three said yes and six were undecided. Only one knew that the chemical, “dihydrogen monoxide” was water. The title of his prize winning project was, “How Gullible are We?” He feels the conclusion is obvious.
If we are not careful we can be pretty gullible in our own lives. We can fool ourselves into believing that we are living the life that Christ has called us without learning God’s expectations for those who are to be called by His name. This morning’s message is entitled, “Living the truth”.
Ephesians 4:11 – 32
11It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. 14Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. 15Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. 16From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. 17So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more. 20You, however, did not come to know Christ that way. 21Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. 25Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 26“In your anger do not sin” : Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27and do not give the devil a foothold. 28He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need. 29Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
I’m always amazed at deer hunters. It is my understanding that deer are color blind, right? If that is true, then why do you wear the camouflage clothes along with a large orange vest? I’ve asked many hunters this question and have been told that the camouflage enables you to blend in with your surroundings. If that logic is true, then as “hunters” of men, should we blend in with our surroundings when we are stalking our prey? What’s the difference? If we are to reach men for Christ, shouldn’t we be like them? Paul said, “I’ve become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some.” Is this what Paul had in mind? I don’t think so. If our behavior is to match our belief, then we must be different, so different that the world notices. How are we to be different?