Summary: The new birth results in revolutionary change. “None but Christ can transform a burglar into a benefactor!” - John R.W. Stott
Dakota Community Church
Ephesians 56, Grace at Work 26
June 23, 2013
Preferring Others in Giving
We are given six behaviors we are to discontinue - because they destroy unity.
We are given six replacement behaviors which will foster and protect unity.
Instead of lying; speak truth
...having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. (Ephesians 4:25)
Instead of outbursts of wrath; righteous anger
Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and give no opportunity to the devil. (Ephesians 4:26-27)
Instead of stealing; working and contributing
Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. (Ephesians 4:28)
A.) The Eighth Commandment - Let the thief no longer steal
It is wrong to TAKE the fruit of someone else’s labour without paying for it.
B.) An Honest Days Work
- but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands
What is the doctrine of vocation?
1. The doctrine of vocation is the belief that God is active in everyday human labor, family responsibilities, and social interactions.
2. The doctrine of vocation is the belief that since every area of life in Christ is a calling - as we do it unto Him, God accepts it as good and glorifying to Him.
3. The doctrine of vocation redefines our motivation for work; to love God and to love & serve our neighbor.
The Christian can and should love his work. We don’t just do it for the money!
Work for the Christian actually becomes an act of worship, a God glorifying service to Him and to our fellow man.
Making a living, going shopping, being a good citizen, and spending time with one's family-that is, the "ordinary routine" - are all spheres in which God is at work, through us.
God is concerned with your vocation but even more so with how you carry it out.
One Final Thought from Last Week on the doctrine of vocation:
The command to stay in the condition you are called in is not absolute.
Were you a bondservant when called? Do not be concerned about it. (But if you can gain your freedom, avail yourself of the opportunity.) (Prostitute) (Career change is an option)
Instead of stealing; working and contributing 3
C.) Preferring Others in Giving - that he may have something to share with anyone in need.
One activity is to be stopped; the sinful act of stealing. One new activity is to take its place; the God honoring act of giving.
“None but Christ can transform a burglar into a benefactor!” - John R.W. Stott
The new birth results in revolutionary change.
The modern church has preached to change the unchurched into churched when we are supposed to preach the new birth - from enemy of God to child of God.
Faith alone saves, but saving faith is never alone. - Martin Luther
17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.
Last week we talked about how our bad fruit becomes healthy fruit.
Christ’s righteousness imparted transforms works that are filthy rags into works acceptable and reward worthy in heaven.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
(I) The sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit is to be seen in our financial lives.
Let all who are under a yoke as bondservants regard their own masters as worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and the teaching may not be reviled. 2 Those who have believing masters must not be disrespectful on the ground that they are brothers; rather they must serve all the better since those who benefit by their good service are believers and beloved.