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  • Pastor Jacob Marchitell

Ephesians 4:1-3

Given on 06/20/2021

Today were going to take a look back at last week’s Verses, to help us understand what is happening here in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians.


Ephesians 4:1–3

[1] I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, [2] with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, [3] eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Opening Prayer




Like I said last week, were right in the middle of the Book of Ephesians.


And before we actually get into our Verses today, were going to take a quick look backwards at what weve covered.


We're going to do that, because these first few verses of chapter 4, are a hinge for the rest of the book.

Paul has spent 3 chapters laying a foundation

And here he switches to tell us about what is built on that foundation


He swings in a different direction


So for the first 3 chapters of Ephesians, Paul is helping us identify:


Where we stand

What makes us Christians?

Is because of how we were raised?

Is because we are extra smart?


Are some people Christians, while others aren't ….. Because they had some kind of privilege in life, and they're more able to understand the things of God?


Ephesians 2:8-9

[8] For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, [9] not a result of works, so that no one may boast.


God saved us ------ we didn't save ourselves

God saved us ------- we couldn't save ourselves


While we were still undeserving sinners, God came to Earth and saved us.


----------


For 3 chapters God uses the pen of Saint Paul to explain this to us.

He hammers it in over and over and over again


And I know I myself, even sometimes when im preaching, repeat myself accidentally.

My mind wanders---

I loop back into what I already said---


But that doesn't happen in Scripture.

When something is repeated over and over and over again, it’s there on purpose to draw our attention to it.


And for 3 chapters, God is drawing our attention to the reality that is spoken of all through Scripture, Old Testament and New -------- and that is that Salvation is of the Lord.


He did the work

He paid the price

He breathes life into dry bones

He brings the dead to life

He makes enemies His friend

He called lazarus from the grave without Lazarus’s permission, and He does the same to everyone else


-----


And because Salvation belongs to the Lord ------ we can never LOSE our salvation

He forsaw our stupid choices, and still died for us

He knew our weaknesses, and still chose us

He isn't surprised when you sin, and He will never leave you because of your sins

That isn't an excuse to go sin, but know that there is nothing you can do that will cause God to loosen His grip on you


If youve been here on Sundays as weve worked through the first 3 chapters of Ephesians, youve heard all of this repeated over and over and over


Because ---- the first three chapters of Ephesians repeated it over and over and over


----------


So when we take a step back and look at Ephesians as a whole, we can see that God is laying down a foundation for us to build on.


He’s telling us that we are in His hands and that if you have repented of your sins and believed in the Gospel of Jesus Christ ----- then He will never abandon you.


----------


So ill ask again --- this time on purpose ---


Where do we stand?


Matthew 7:24-27

24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”

----------


Then Paul moves into the verses we talked about last week.


What do we do with knowing where we stand?


4:1 tells us

We walk in a manner worthy of our calling


If you are a Christian, then God has called you----

That is where we stand, and nothing can change that


And we are urged by a prisoner to walk in a manner worthy of that calling.


We are being urged from below, instead of being commanded from above------because how we walk and live out our life -------must come from within us ------ we must WANT to live for Him


The deepest desire of our heart must be to see God and His ways and His words and His name lifted high over everything in our life.


If you were here last week, then you already know that Colossians 1:10 tells us 2 ways in which we walk worthy of the sacrifice that Jesus offered up


We are told to bear fruit in every good work ----- and increase in the knowledge of God

To examine our life to see what comes from us

Are we doing things for God?

Is His kingdom advancing, because of us?

Is His name and His word being lifted up, because of how we live our life?


Bearing fruit is how we walk worthy of the sacrifice that Christ paid


And that same verse, that told us bearing fruit is how we walk in a manner worthy of our calling, also told us that increasing in the knowledge of God, is another way


Increasing in the knowledge of God, is how we walk worthy of the sacrifice that Christ paid


We increase in the knowledge of Him

Always growing

Always searching

Always studying and reading and learning and exploring

Not getting our fill on superficial pseudo-spiritual social nonsense that this world is shoving down our throat


But we get our fill from the Word of God


When we realize where we stand, in the palm of His holy hand, and then we move forward in our life bearing fruit and increasing in the knowledge of Him-----


Your life will take shape

We will have direction

We will have our mission

We will know that nothing in this world can stop us


Not stalled out in our suffering, just trying to make it through

Not exerting every ounce of strength we have to try and make life work


But resting in the absolute sovereignty of God over our life.


----------


Then…...we can finally get into verses 2-3


Ephesians 4:1–3

[1] I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, [2] with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, [3] eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.


----------


Bearing fruit is good----- we already went through all that

Increasing in the knowledge of God is good ------- we already went through all that


But -------- how -------


How can I do that?


We become a part of our local Church

Being a church member doesn't save you----But saved people are members of a Church

Anyone that tells you they love God but don't go to Church ----- means they love a god of their own design.


They don't want to be called out on their sin ----

So they avoid Churches that call sin for what it is


They don't want to hear about repentance

So they avoid the Churches that talk about it----


They don't want to hear about being kind to sinners

So they avoid churches that talk about it----


They don't want to hear about judgment and hell

So they avoid Churches that talk about----


They want to fashion their life around a god they make up in their mind who never judges anyone and will never send people to hell-----


Who is a soft and squishy feel good old man who never does anything that they themselves think contrary too


So when a Church actually preaches and teaches that Scripture says God IS sovereign and He WILL do those things ------ they stay home


They stay home and never learn

Never grow

Never help others

Never let others help them

Never confess their sins

Never worship with other believers and grow alongside them


They never live into the words of:


Philippians 1:27

[27] Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, (ESV)


----------


God spent 3 chapters establishing the reality that He is sovereign over everything------

And then tells us to be:

Humble

Gentle

Patient


And to what?

What does the verse say?


--------- to bear with one another in love


Im sure some of this is hard to hear

Im sure there are COUNTLESS examples of Churches being horrible to people

Mistreating them

Being malicious and mean-spirited


Hurting people intentionally because they think they themselves are somehow holier or better than other people


But God didn't spend three chapters explaining that no one is holier than anyone else, and it is HIM that does the saving ------ so that His children will go out and treat people like garbage


And any Church, that treats people like that ------ isn't following their own rules


They think they are smarter

Better

Or holier


And it is those preachers and teachers that should shake and fear under the words of


James 3:1

“Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness”


----------


But none of that, disqualifies our words in verse 2 this morning.


Be humble

Be gentle

Be patient

AND

Bear with one another in love


----------


You see, when God’s children gather as a local Church ------- they are setting themselves up for success ------- if they are following what the Bible teaches.


We are intentionally putting ourselves in situations where humility will be needed

Where patience will be needed

Where gentleness will be needed


Because anyone can tell you, that other people, especially other Christians ------- can cause you to be angry and prideful and self centered -------- OR humble and patient and gentle


Other people test our patience----

Other people test our humility---- and test our gentleness


And when we exercise patience, humility and gentleness ------- we are bearing together in love


We are admitting that WE OURSELVES aren't the standard for how to live


When the children of God unite in humility, patience and gentleness amongst ourselves, we are puzzle pieces joining together to face whatever the world can throw at us.


We are a mosaic of lost and broken and undeserving sinners, saved by the grace of God through the gift of faith that He gave us ------- we are called to be together.


God didn't plant us out in the wilderness to fend for ourselves against the elements and the predators ------

He planted us in a garden ---- His church

Where he uses His other children to kill the weeds of self-righteousness

Where He uses His other children to fertilize and provide water and shade and protection from the elements and the predators


Together ----- we are stronger than we could ever be apart -----

But it will require us to be patient, humble, and gentle


Am I repeating myself enough?


----------


Now, it must be said that this is not a reason to not call out sin when we see it growing in our Church.


Being humble doesn't mean being silent in the face of someone being a bully

Being humble doesn't mean letting someone walk all over you


Being humble means understanding that you are a tool in the hands of God

Nothing more

Nothing less

Some tools are capable of ripping 100yr old trees from the earth

Others are small enough that they can’t be seen with the naked eye


And being around other Christians, will help you learn to be humble


Being patient doesn't mean being lazy

Being patient doesn't mean not doing the things of the Lord


Being patient means working and striving and planting, while accepting that God is the one who causes the growth

It means not getting bitter and angry when what you want to happen, isn't happening


Being gentle doesn't mean ignoring sin

Being gentle doesn't mean staying quiet and soft


It means understanding that the issues we are dealing with are soul level, life altering, topics----------- that people have spent their entire lives guarding----- with everything in their life.


A Surgeon is gentle, but he still cuts deep into the vital organs of someone ----- when there is no other way


----------


Bear fruit

Increase in the knowledge of God

Strive side by side with other Christians

Go to Church

Be humble

Be patient

Be gentle


----------


And like I mentioned earlier and last week as well ------

These things must come from within us ----- because we WANT them too


That is what verse 3 is talking about when it says:

“...eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

Are you EAGER for your church to grow?

Are you EAGER for healthy christian relationships?

For humility and kindness

For gentleness and patience?


Are you EAGER to maintain the unity that can only come from the Holy Spirit?


Will the mistakes of other Christian push you away from the Church that God created?

Will the ---- intentional ---- choices of other Christians who think they are holier or smarter ------ push you away from the Church that God purchased with His own blood?


Do you want to see the Church grow? // To expand?

Do you want to see the lost coming every Sunday?


Because---- it starts with you in the pews

Being gentle toward one another /// Being patient with one another

Being humble with one another /// Bearing in love with one another


Being eager to maintain the unity of the Holy Spirit in the bond of peace


Doxology


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