Summary: How to live the Christian life
“The Ephesian Example”
August 25, 2019
“Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.”
Last week I was struck by the clear expression of God’s will for our lives.
Do you remember what we learned?
1. The conclusion came first. ““For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and - of God.”
2. The negative side of God’s nature. ““Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient.”
3. We have been transformed into a new person. ““For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light…”
4. We are to stay away from evil. ““Therefore do not be partners with them.” To the Corinth Church he says,
“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols?” 2 Corinthians 6:14-16
5. We are to find out what pleases the Lord. “and find out what pleases the Lord.”
6. We are to expose the darkness. ““Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret.”
7. We are to be filled with the Spirit and live a Spirit-filled life. “be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
As I was reviewing this chapter I realized that’s good advice; that’s good counsel; that’s good preaching! There is so much good stuff in there. In Bible College they taught us to preach only 3 or 4 point sermons – otherwise the hearers can’t remember the points. Seven points are a bit much – I guess that is why I didn’t include the first few verses of this chapter. But as I reread this chapter I realize that those verses are just too good to pass up. So this morning we are going to continue our study in this fifth chapter of Ephesians.
The chapter begins with some wonderful advice for every Christian whether we are old saints or new believers, 1. “Follow God’s example..”
That’s pretty basic and straightforward, but today so many people get lost on the salvation message. You will hear things like, “Just believe”, “Jesus only” “We are saved by grace alone”. Usually the speaker has good intentions and doesn’t mean to preach another Gospel – but that is what they do when they present half-truths. Let me illustrate. Are we saved by faith alone? The Bible says, “It’s impossible to please God without faith…” (Hebrews 11:6) but it also says, “You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.” James 2:24
The Christians must always seek to follow God’s example in all he does. It takes more than belief – even more than faith. It takes action; it take obedience; it takes a desire to hear and do the will of God. That’s one of the reasons Jesus came. Yes, He came to die for our sins; He came to provide eternal life. But He also came to provide us an example to follow.
Secondly, I want you to know that you are dearly loved. The Scripture says, “Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children…”
It IS important to know you are loved. The world beats us down and leaves us with inferiority complexes and insecurities and feelings of inadequacy. We feel isolated, lonely and unloved. That is the state of most people in the world. Some have given themselves over to the dark side and are twisted into hating everyone and looking down of them – but most people are just trying to survive in their pain and loneliness. They need to know they are loved. Love is what brings most people to Christ. Years ago, the Gaithers wrote a little song that went,