Summary: This has massive implications for our Christian life and ministry. Far too often we try to walk before we learn how to sit.
Pastor Jefferson M. Williams
Chenoa Baptist Church
What’s Your Name?
Alexander the Great was one of the greatest military generals who ever lived. One night when he couldn’t sleep, he got up and wandered around the encampment. He came upon a soldier who was supposed to standing guard but he was asleep. Alexander roused the young man who immediately recognized him and began to tremble. The punishment for falling asleep could be death.
Alexander asked him what his name was. Alexander, he replied. Three times he asked and three times the boy responded.
Finally, Alexander the Great looked the young man in the eyes and said, “Soldier, either change your name or change your conduct!”
Last week, we began a series entitled “Sit, Walk, Stand.” This is the name of a small book by the Chinese pastor Watchman Nee. This work is really a short commentary on the book of Ephesians.
The letter to the Ephesians can be divided into two parts - doctrinal (chapters 1-3) and practical (4-6). In the doctrinal section, we learn about our position in Christ (1:1-3:21). The practical section can be divided into two parts - our life in the world (4:1-6:9) and our attitude to the enemy (6:10-24).
Pastor Nee saw three key words in these verses:
Our position in Christ - SIT
Our life in the World - WALK
Our attitude toward the Enemy - STAND
We learned that understanding that Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father (Eph 1:18-21). We also began to understand that we are also seated with Him! (Eph 2:1-7).
This has massive implications for our Christian life and ministry. Far too often we try to walk before we learn how to sit.
Pastor Nee writes:
“Most Christians make the mistake of trying to walk in order to able to sit, but that is a reversal of the true order. Our natural reason says, ‘If we do not walk, how can we ever reach the goal? What can we attain without effort? How can we get anywhere if we do not move?”
“ But Christianity is a strange business! If at the outset we try to do anything, we get nothing; if we seek to attain something, we miss everything. For Christianity begins not with a big DO, but with a big DONE. Thus Ephesians opens with the statement that God has ‘blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ’ and we are invited at the very outset to sit down and enjoy what God has done for us; not to set out to try to attain for ourselves.”
We have been crucified with Christ (Gal 2:20), buried with Him (Rom 6:4), raised with Him, (Col 2:12), and seated with Him in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 2:6).
This affects the way we view our sin (forgiven), our identity (a prince or princess), and our trials and temptations (more than conquerors).
If you weren’t here last week, I would direct you to our Facebook page to watch the sermon.
Once we have learned to sit and rest in our position in Christ, it is then, and only then, that we can learn to walk worthy of our calling.
Sitting describes our position in Christ. Walking described the practical outworking of that heavenly position here on earth.
Walk the Walk
The Greek word for “walk” is used 8 times in Ephesians. Literally it means to “walk around” but is more often used metaphorically as “a way of life.”
In Ephesians 2:2, Paul writes that before Christ, we walked according to the world’s standards.
In Ephesians 2:10; Paul paints a picture of our lives as poems and encourages us that God has good works for us to walk in.
In Ephesians 4:17, Paul commands us to no longer walk the way Gentiles walk.
In Ephesians 5:2, we are commands to walk in love, in verse 8, to walk in love, and in verse 15, to walk as children of light.
The only way to “walk” in these ways is to understand that we rest in Christ and He does the work in us.
Paul tells the believers in Philippi:
Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. (Phil 2:12-13)
Notice we don’t “work for our salvation” but work it out as God works in and through us.
At the end of chapter three in Ephesians, he says the same thing:
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” (Eph 3:20)