Summary: The heartbeat of the Christian life is learning to walk in a manner worthy of our calling.
Live Out Loud – Our WALK (Part – 1) May 20, 2007
Video: Learning to Walk – www.sermonspice.com
Insert: Meg and I are about to enter into that wonderful stage once again of watching one of our little ones learn how to walk. It’s a sweet time when those little ankle biters put one foot in front of the other and then offer their version of the leaning tower of Pisa staggering to the left and then to the right only to fall on their bottom – it’d be sad if it weren’t so cute.
Trans: Learning to walk spiritually is not much different. Having been a believer since I was 12, I sometimes forget how learning to walk spiritually can be challenging. You have to learn that fine balance b/w understanding and executing the steps of the Christian walk w/out missing God.
Insert: Have you ever been to a AA baseball game – b/w innings they hold contest w/ fans. My favorite is the sausage race where the costumes extend some 5-6 ft above the contestants. As the contestants race around the bases it is hilarious to watch b/c the costumes are so top heavy the people stagger and sway. I think this is often what our spiritual life look like. Many of us stagger and sway b/c we’ve yet to find our spiritual equilibrium.
Recap: As our study in Ephesians turns from understanding our faith to putting it into practice, the time has come to stand up and to start walking. Paul will spend the remainder of this book teaching us how to walk worthy w/out staggering by continuing to walk by grace through faith. This is an important truth to remember. Many times we think that we must strive to produce works that honor God, but the Christian life is about surrendering to His grace and obeying God’s Spirit and the mandates of His Word.
So Paul begins… walk in a manner worthy of your calling. That is, b/c Jesus died on the cross to pay for our sins and bring us into an eternal and living relationship w/ Him, and b/c we’re now His people empowered by His Spirit, we’re to live in the grace and power of Christ in us so we might walk and experience the abundant life Jesus promised.
I The APPEAL to Walk Worthy 4:1
Funny: Have you heard about the guy who was having trouble getting 2nd dates? He started reading books and listening to tapes on how to interest women. He discovered that to be interesting to women you have to find out what interest them and then be or do that. He went to a baseball game and happened to sit next to a beautiful single girl, so he thought he’d try his discoveries. He said, “I see you like baseball. What kind of men do you like?” She thought for a moment and said, “I’ve like native American men, Jewish men, and I’ve even dated a few good ole boys. What’s your name?” He said, “Geronimo Goldstein, but my friends call me Bubba.”
Trans: It is a critical reality that we have to be true to ourselves. As Christians, it is essential that we are true to our identity and calling. Paul says that real Christians walk in a manner worthy of their beliefs.
Text: 1 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life (walk) in a manner worthy of the calling you have received.
Word: urge (parakalo) Paul says, “I personally but urgently encourage you.
Word: live a life (peripateo) to walk – aor. act. inf. – It means to take personal responsibility to begin walking w/ God conducting your self in a manner that reflects well and honors Him. This is done through surrender.
Note: Let me cut to the chase – What you say, how you act, and even how you think is a direct reflection of your walk w/ God. As followers of Christ, b/c of what He has done and who He has called us to be, we’re to start and never stop walking in a manner that says – “I am a follower of Jesus.”
Point: How we live determines what people think about the God we say we serve.
Trans: By the way, to walk worthy doesn’t mean perfect – God knows we’re not going to be perfect, but He does expect us to strive to live under the influence of His Spirit and in concert w/ His Word.
Trans: So what does a worthy walk look like? Paul offers four (4) qualities that every follower of Christ must possess if they’re to walk in a manner worthy of their calling. They must be humble, meek, patient, and loving.
II The ATTRIBUTES of a Worthy Walk