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Summary: Unity in the body of Christ. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: gcurley@gcurley.info)

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Reading: Ephesians chapter 4 verses 1-16:

(OHP) Introduction with reading.

Ill:

• There were two doctors with the same name who lived a few doors apart.

• One was a Christian and a lay preacher, the other made no profession of faith.

• One night a rather sick person, who was also a Christian,

• And wanting help from a fellow believer,

• Knocked mistakenly at the door of the non-Christian doctor.

• “Are you the doctor who preaches?” he asked.

• “No”, the medic replied, “I am the doctor who practices”.

• “Oh”, said the sick person, “I’ve always understood the two things were inseparable”.

All of Paul’s letters contain a beautiful balance between doctrine and duty:

• And Ephesians is the perfect example.

• The first three chapters deal with doctrine, our riches in Christ,

• While the last three chapters explain duty, our responsibilities in Christ.

Both sections have a key idea:

• The key idea in the first half of the book was wealth;

• You and I are spiritually rich in Jesus Christ (e.g. chapter 1 verse 3).

• The key idea or word in this last half of the book is walk (Eph. 4:1, 17; 5:2, 8, 15),

• E.g. how we apply Christianity to everyday life.

In these last three chapters Paul urges us to walk, to apply truth to four areas of our lives:

• Walk in unity (Eph. 4:1-16), walk in Purity (Eph. 4:17-5:17),

• Walk in harmony (Eph. 5:18-6:9), and walk in victory (Eph. 6:10-24).

• In fact these four “walks” perfectly parallel the doctrine,

• That Paul has taught us in the first three chapters.

Our Wealth Our Walk

Called by grace to belong to His body (chap. 1) Walk worthy of your calling—the unity of the Body (4:1-16)

Raised from the dead (2:1-10) Put off the grave clothes (4:17-5:17); walk in purity

Reconciled (2:11-22) Walk in harmony (5:18-6:9)

Christ’s victory over Satan is the mystery (chap. 3) Walk in victory (6:10-24)

In these last three chapters Paul urges us to walk, to apply truth to four areas of our lives:

• Walk in unity (Eph. 4:1-16), walk in Purity (Eph. 4:17-5:17),

• Walk in harmony (Eph. 5:18-6:9), and walk in victory (Eph. 6:10-24).

Note: A walk is a good picture to compare the Christian life to:

(1). It demands life.

• Dead people cannot walk.

• It is an activity of the living.

• We talk in terms of good and bad people,

• The Bible talks in terms of people being dead and alive.

• Chapter 2 of this letter said; you are either spiritually dead in your sins,

• Or you are spiritually alive, you have experienced new life in Jesus Christ.

(2). It requires growth.

Ill:

• Kathy grew from sitting to wobbling, to crawling to walking.

• Walking is a sign that she is physically growing.

• As Christians we ought to be spiritually growing in our faith,

• We should be growing UP in our faith and not just growing OLD!

• Not the number of years you’ve been a Christian that’s important,

• But are you maturing in your faith, growing more like Jesus?

(3). It requires freedom.

• Someone who is tied up and bound cannot walk.

• Walking requires freedom.

As Christians we can tie ourselves up with all sorts of things.

• Some Christians are bound by sinful habits and a sinful lifestyles.

• Ill: Play with fire and you get your fingers burnt.

• Some Christians are involved in things that may not be wrong or even sinful,

• But they may still prevent us progressing in the Christian life.

Quote:

“Often the good is the enemy of the best”.

(4). It demands light.

• No-one walks in the dark,

• Darkness limits your vision and could cause you to encounter danger.

• As Christians we are told to “walk in the light” (title of chapter 4 verses 17 onwards).

• To make a conscience effort to progress in the things of God.

(5). It cannot be hidden.

Ill:

• Tele-Tubbies, because of the rain Dipsy decided to walking around the house.

• Normal people walk out and about where they will encounter people and things.

• Jesus called us; “The light of the world”, not “The light of the church”.

• We have to live out our faith in the world in which we live.

(6). It suggests progress.

• We walk to achieve something,

• It is purposeful.

• E.g. It gets us from A to B.

• E.g. Or it brings us pleasure as we enjoy a walk in the countryside.

Question:

• How is your walk?

• Are you making progress or spiritually stagnant?

This link between belief and behaviour is very important:

• In some Bible versions verse 1 starts off with the word “Therefore”.

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