Welcome to Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, Pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. God calls His people to live a life with a radically different purpose than the one we would live in our own flesh. In His goodness, He also equips us with everything we need to live out that calling vibrantly. We're delving into Ephesians 4-1 in this message titled, Walk Worthy of the Calling, preached on September 10th, 2017.
Let's listen in on the third and final part of this message. Folks, that list of 16 things from Ephesians 1 to 3, you need to know that. You need to know that. You need to contemplate and meditate on those truths. The second tactic of the adversary, the first one is ignorance.
He would love for you to maintain ignorance so that you too, even as a Christian, would walk in the futility of your mind. But his second tactic is individualism. You see, we are called to be a radical new community of a new people, of a one new people bringing glory to God. And the opposite of that is individualism. That doesn't mean you relinquish your individuality. Individualism means my life is focused on me and my pleasure. And Paul refers to that in Ephesians 2-3 as the course of this world.
So even though you have eagle's wings, you're still strutting around like a chicken eating off the ground. If you're living according to the passions of the flesh of your individualism, then what that means is that God has granted you a feast at his table, but you're happy to eat out of the dumpster in the back alley. The course of this world. And your adversary would love more than anything for you to be focused on you and to forget that you in fact are a spiritual billionaire.
You have been lavished all the spiritual blessings in Christ, Ephesians 1-3, those 16 things we talked about. And he would love for us, even though we're spiritual billionaires, if we forget that and we're focused on ourselves, he wants us to live like paupers. And how does a pauper live? A pauper lives scrounging for sustenance. A pauper lives in fear of loss. A pauper lives preoccupied with his own existence instead of blessing others. And your adversary wants more than anything for you to be that.
So loved ones, I challenge you, I call you this morning, I call you to this. Don't be subject to ignorance or individualism. Contemplate Master, grasp the truths of Ephesians 1-3. Now, if these things are true, if you say, Rich, you grasp the truths of Ephesians 1-3, the indicatives of scripture, this is what God has done, this is what's true about you, then we can live in the outflow.
And that's exactly what I'm telling you. Then why on earth does Paul need to give us all the imperatives of 4-6? Let me give you two reasons why the imperatives are necessary. Number one, the flesh lusts against the spirit. And you have the flesh.
You still have it. The flesh lusts against the spirit. It is a battle.
It is a daily battle. And like I said, you have an adversary who would love for you to forget these profound truths of Ephesians 1-3. And the flesh lusts against the spirit. But Paul says, walk in the spirit and you will not, what? Fulfill the lusts of the flesh. So listen, we have a Care Group Sunday School classes coming up in October and we will once again be studying the fruit of the spirit, picking up where we left off back in May.
I strongly recommend you to be a part of that study. Because this is what empowers us to do and be what God has designed us to do and be. It's not about you trying harder. It's about walking in the spirit. Here's the second reason why the imperatives are necessary. You have not yet attained or been perfected. And this is what the apostle said even of himself to the Philippians.
I have not yet attained or been perfected. We are all on the path. We are all in the process of being sanctified.
Sanctified means being made holy, continually being set apart, becoming more and more like Jesus Christ. It is a path. It is a process. And every one of us in Christ is on that path at different places on that path. But none of us has arrived. And those of us who have been on the path longer should be coming alongside those who have been on it a shorter time. That's what we're called to. That's why the imperatives are necessary. Because the flesh lusts against the spirit and because you and I have not yet attained or yet been perfected. God is still at work in us.
And you have an adversary who wants more than anything for you to forget what's true about you and for you to be focused on yourself. Christians don't go there. Lastly, so where do we start Rich? Here we go. We're starting chapter four, chapters four to six. A lot of practical day to day relational teaching here.
And this is going to take us all the way through January to February next year. I've got it all planned out. Where do we start?
Start here. No God. No God. And if anybody tells you anything different, they're wrong. You listening to me?
This is where you start. Because this is how grace works. You draw near to God. You abide in Christ. You walk in the spirit. You let His word dwell in you richly. Christians listen to me.
We have failed at this. And that's why the church is so anemic today. We live a bumper sticker coffee mug theology. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly. Consume the word of God in huge chunks. And let His truth transform you in your heart and mind. And in doing so, you will be drawing near to Him and abiding in Christ and walking in the spirit. This is how you learn Christ. Paul says that in Ephesians four, you learn Christ and you're transformed by the renewing of your mind. That's a changed life. Transformation.
All of this information is not given to us just for information. It's for our transformation. And that's what this is about. But you have to begin at the right place. Otherwise, you're put in the cart before the horse. So know your calling. Know your calling. Know God. Secondly, know your calling and your equipping. Know Ephesians one to three.
Pour over those 16 truths from Ephesians one to three. Know them. Contemplate them. Meditate upon them.
Let them grip you at your heart and mind. Consider Paul's prayers. Two prayers of Paul for the church in this letter.
Two of them. What did Paul pray for? Lord, I pray that the Ephesian Christians would just be doing what they're supposed to be doing. Is that what he prayed?
No. He prayed that they would know their calling and their equipping. That's where you begin.
You need to know God and you need to know your calling and your equipping. And then, and then, only then, you can live in the outflow. And this is what Jesus promised in John 7 38. Whoever believes in me out of his heart will flow rivers of living water. Live, loved ones, live in the outflow.
Four to six of Ephesians is not about identifying the checklist of what a Christian is supposed to do. Four to six is about what living according to your calling and equipping looks like as you live in the outflow. You ready to do it? Let's do this. You with me?
Stand with me, please. Father, we are so blessed to know that we have a word from God. That you have made yourself known to us so that we can know you. And you've not left us up to our own devices, our own desires, or our own power even, Father.
But you are at work in us to do beyond what we can ask or imagine. We thank you for the forgiveness, redemption that we have in the Lord Jesus. The presence of your power. And Father, I pray for us, for your people today, Father, that you would find in our hearts and our minds resolve, first of all, to know you. To know you fully, to know you richly, to let your word dwell in us, that Christ will dwell in us. That we would walk in the Spirit to know you, Father, and then to know our calling and our equipping. Father, we must begin with a passionate pursuit of you. Otherwise, doing what's prescribed in Ephesians 4 to 6 will just be duty.
And we don't want to do that, Father. We want to delight in you and live in the outflow of that. So Christians here this morning, let me speak to you. What is it you need to work on? You need to begin. You need to go back to knowing God and living so that you can live in the outflow. Can you do business with God this morning and confess to him that you've been a bit ignorant about your calling and your equipping?
Maybe you've been a little individualistic. You've been living a life of individualism and you've forgotten that we have been called to be a radical new community of one new people to glorify God. Confess that before God this morning and invoke him and his power to change you at the core so that as you know him, you will live in the outflow of his presence and his power. Father, we are so grateful for your love, for your truth, for your spirit, for your son whom you've given for us. Teach us this morning, Father, do the work that you want to accomplish in our hearts and our minds, that indeed we as your church will be the church. We pray these things in Jesus' name. Amen. Amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-02 18:08:57 / 2023-01-02 18:13:24 / 4