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August 10, 2022 4:00 am
As Christians we are commanded to walk in love, so that we do that was a look like in practical terms today on Truth for Life will learn how we can make a difference in our culture by following Jesus example Alistair Begg is teaching from Ephesians chapter 5 were studying verses one and two.
If somebody immediately taken this first exhortation said excuse me Paul. How does that work. Be imitators of God as dearly beloved children.
He said well let me tell you what it means. Here we go walk in love, walk in love again paper tail.
That's the that's the Greek word peripatetic. He says as you walk around Ephesus. As you walk into the fellowship of God's people as you walk into the swimming pool walk in love, one of listen.
If we wonder, then, about the nature of walking in laws we could reverse into chapter 4.
That would save us from going wrong.
If I walked in love it. What would it in but will just look at verse 32 is on the top of my page. It may be on the top of yours. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, because that's how God in Christ is treated you so another words were not. Paul is not giving a little phrase here for people to pour into whatever they want so they can have a little conversation over coffee.
So is it means you to walk in love, while I was thinking this I was thinking that know I was thinking and exit know there's nothing vague and sentimental about this is not about trying get a feeling in your tummy know it's going to get far more demanding than that it means to walk in a manner that is worthy of the calling to which you have been called as the start of chapter 4, so there is a way that you can walk there is a way that you can talk there is a way that you can live that will then set forward the honor and glory of God and this is demanding and it is a command and it is not an option that's important for us to understand as well. It's a command and is not an option.
You see, we understand this with our children. You send your children to a birthday party when they're small and you say to the network. When you get there.
Make sure that you look a person in the eye. Make sure that you say thank you to them and make sure that when the parties over you thank them again and then you come home now.
Can you do that. The child says yes and then you have no control over a little because your family honor is not at stake on the shoulders of that little rascal that the you to send off to the party and something of the nature of my family is represented in my child so God the father through the spirit via the apostle Paul says to the church walk in love, your my beloved children and realize this is an amazing privilege to be my child, and it brings with it a phenomenal responsibility because the world now is going to make deductions about the nature of God himself on the expressions of the children of God. And so again this notion of walking in love is of vital importance and so notice that he does not believe it. Hanging beloved children walk in love, as Christ loved ours and gave himself up for us. This is of of of crucial importance as well. In other words, the love that Paul says is to be displayed is a love which he defines. And Paul does this all the time CheckIt Paul defines the love of God, almost always in terms of the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ so that he says ever going to think about what it means for God to love that it is impossible for us to take our eyes away from the cross itself.
For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son so that the whole focus of the love of God is there. Augustine said the cross is the pool. From which God preaches his love to the world. Therefore, when Paul says I want you.
Ephesians and all who come after him, including ourselves, to walk in love. He defines it in terms of Christ's love for us in addressing the divinity school at Yale in the 50s. James assured the Presbyterian preacher from from Edinburgh talked about harmlessly vague and hopelessly accommodating Christianity harmlessly vague and hopelessly accommodating Christianity, and Eddie said it will accomplish nothing anywhere anytime except to undermine the very Gospel itself. There is nothing hopelessly vague or accommodating in this Paul is saying I want you to walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us plural. What he's doing there in Ephesus is is essentially what he is done in writing to the Galatians, remembering the Galatians, he speaks very personal terms, and he says the son of the God love me and gave himself up for me and I was a great wonder to Paul and if you are in Christ. It will be a wonder to you as well you see the true testimony of a man or a woman in Christ. Is this. But if we were to ask another one about the love of God.
What is the way where is the love of God expressed what what what is it actually mean to you or lessee is putting in more generic terms you go to a congregation go to church and you ask them. Along these lines to find out what what is that the drumbeat of the church. If you like you want to go to a church where the response of the corporate response is this the son of God loved us and gave himself for us. In other words they define themselves the gospel.
The church and the compassionate love of God in terms of the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ. Remember that him we sang it one night hustle hung ago they had about 12 versus people were asleep before we finished, but it is a one it is a wonderful hymn. It begins it is a thing most wonderful almost too wonderful to be that God's own son would come from heaven and died to save a child like me.
I think it might've been written as a children's him.
My favorite verses. This I cannot tell how he would love a child so weak and full of sin, his love must be most wonderful if you would die.
My love to win see again.
This is the answer of the believer. If if a man or woman feels himself to be very good, or even quite good will as they drive in the car anything about themselves they they go through their own checklist.
While I've never really harmed anyone. I'm living a good life. I try and help my neighbor. I did hang one of those things on their door, and so on, then the individual will not be surprised that God would love if taken for granted. I may have such a nice person is no surprise. The gardener love me, you see, that's why the gospel and why we often pray as we read the Bible, show me myself and show me my Savior, because until the gospel shows as ourselves that we ensured Paul for example, himself. Remember, Paul was exactly that kind of individual he says you know I I was there I went to good schools. I had a good background.
I was a fastidious law, people, and so on. I regard myself as virtually flawless.
What changed only met Christ. And when he met Christ.
He realized the son of God love me and gave himself for me, myself, righteous, religious freak, the same wonder that grips those as we read through the pages of Scripture and as we look out on one another.
We tell our story.
This is the story Paul's perspective radically changed so that when he writes to the church at Rome he says in the wonder is this, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us now noticed also that he doesn't just say that Christ loved us, but he gave himself up for us will look at this number finished and Eddie gave himself up for us.
Notice that that is not passive, that is active.
I may give you three words that have given you before and I'm not going to another unit tease them out, but this is it. This can be your homework as well. I may see three things about this phrase that he gave himself up for us number one. Christ's death was voluntary was voluntary. Okay remember when he is speaking is recorded for us in John and he says I am the good shepherd says the good Shepherd lays down his life for the she he says, then nobody can take my life from me. I have the power to lay it down and I have the power to take it up again. Indeed he says I lay it down in order that I may take it up.
So when we think about the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ.
When we think about what is happening there on the cross we need to realize that when Paul says, and gave himself up for me Jesus Christ willingly went to the cross and offered himself up as a sacrifice of atonement. That's the second word.
It's not only voluntary but it is propitiate Terry all you say, dear, oh dear, some of the children rear ended said there's no SH and that's all I'll tell you.
By that, and you know this word and you know what it means.
Because we sing it all the time and on that cross as Jesus died the wrath of God was satisfied.
In other words, he was a propitiation for our sins by nature we are alienated from God on two fronts on our side because we are sinful and rebellious on God's side because he is absolutely holy because his justice has to be settled, and his love has to be revealed both justice is served, and love is displayed when on that cross, Jesus die voluntary propitiate. Sorry and substitutionary substitutionary at the Lord Jesus is dying there in the place of sinners. That's why many people of that they got no idea why we would have an emphasis on the cross because their view is that the cross is just a sort of dreadful disaster that happened to a really nice ethical teacher for apparently no reason at all and if there is any message, and it is you should not be like that to nice people and you should try and be nice to people the way he was nice to people, then the cross is just our class mysterious disaster means nothing. So what is the Bible tell us what you read your Old Testament is as a sacrifice and the altar, and the blood in a sacrifice and a sacrifice. Your reading through that all the way through Marie McShane in your centers of wildly sacrifice because they're all pointing forward to the sacrifice once for all time made by the Lord Jesus Christ, who was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before his shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth but he was given up for us all.
How, then, since he was given up for is all shall we not then freely gave him all things, shall we not then walk in love.
In other words, our walking in love must flow from and corresponding to that of the Lord Jesus, that of the Lord Jesus, we can we will come back to this, but at least we know this, that the expression of God's love was in Jesus.
Forgiveness to those who did not deserve it, and it was a sacrifice taken up the bearing of a crop course that justifiably would fall on those who didn't deserve okay. Therefore, this walking in love is expected of us, because God commands it, and it is possible, because God's spirit enables it. Therefore, when we walk out into our community small community immediate larger community of state larger community, nation, and into our world. It's hard to conceive of all that has ensued in these last months in America and once again the church and the representatives of the church are pulled Henry and you on by all kinds of agendas and it may seem simplistic to say, but it is valid to say that if we as a church will ask God to show us in really practical terms what it means to walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us that I believe we have a unique and compelling opportunity and responsibility to impact the culture at this point in time, but it's going to take all of that. You see, because then our Christian life is expressed not simply in us in a series of maxims or beliefs or principles, it is more than that it is not just that we believe in unorthodox way.
It is not just that we are committed to these things.
It is that the Holy Spirit of God has invaded our lives has placed us in Christ.
And now as children of God beloved children of God we have the opportunity to represent the family to deal with men and women the way Jesus dealt with men and women so that so that a community that is that is galvanized by this will not be arrogant. We can be.
We mustn't be mostly self-sufficient must be that we gather together just just to reinforce ourselves all the time if were going to talk seriously about inviting people in them when we invite the men we are not to talk about them, or act on, but to and say you know you're probably here this morning and that you don't really make much sense of this at all. I understand that by which we are so glad you're here, I will come this afternoon and and and bring your children with you as well. Why because we got a great story to tell to the story is this instead of it being excuse me, you should be careful about her. Why, I've known her for a while. She said she said for husbands and she's living with a guy who really perfect opportunity unless your Pharisee. Jesus didn't start there whereafter clean your plan. I can add you to my discipleship group by you babe. I could edges the first female member but it's not going to work like this. Now he knew she was looking for love in all the wrong places sessions can have a drink of water.
Paul doesn't go into Ephesus and take on Demetrius and the silversmiths. He goes into Ephesus and proclaims Jesus Christ and the gospel. He tells him about a love that will transform our lives. He tells them about one who has died in the place of sinners.
He tells about one. The essence of footage is sacrifice and forgiveness. That's our message, but then what Paul is saying is, unless unless my actions match my professions or my protestations that is going hard for the culture of Ephesus or the culture of Cleveland to actually believe what I'm saying. So we going to go from here, and God the father says now, my beloved children. You're going out into community day.
Remember treat people the way I told you I made my son shine on the righteous and on the unrighteous.
I don't have a special catheter so make sure that you look for the wanderers that you greet them that you welcome them that you serve, and in so doing they may discover the love that is beyond every that is found in Christ himself. We have been listening to Alister bearing on Truth for Life with the message about how we are to imitate the sacrificial love of Jesus. Alister returns in just a moment to close today's program with prayer. If you'd like to learn more about Jesus sacrificial love and what it means to follow him.
You can visit our website and watch a helpful video presentation titled the story. This video explains how Jesus sacrifice on the cross frees us from sin and grants us the gift of eternal life, you'll find the video email@example.com/the story of Truth for Life. We often invite you to open your Bible because our mission is pretty straightforward to teach God's word without adding to it, or taking away from it. Teaching grounded in Scripture that you can trust to be true whether you're new to reading the Bible or you been reading for decades. It can be challenging to fully understand all your to learn from what you bread what the book, read this first can help with that.
It's a Little instruction book.
It will guide you through practical examples of how to study the various books of the Bible to make sure you're applying the lessons to your life. It's a great way to bring a fresh perspective to these ancient texts request a copy of read this first when you give a donation today, you can visit us firstname.lastname@example.org/donate or feel free to give us a call our number is 888-588-7884. Now here's Alister close with prayer. We humbly pray again as we prayed in the beginning that you will so teach and train change and equip us that we might do exactly what your word says help is not to turn your commands into optional extras help is not to turn them into externalism either. Help us to realize that the wonder of it all is that in the provision that you make in the gospel there is the very power to become all that you desire for us to be this kind of love is so amazing and it is divine and we rest in it. In Christ's name on them. Swan PS Taryn take a leaf out of Paul's book I just say one thing is sweet conclude. I recognize that our congregation Sunday by Sunday are made up of all kinds of people from all kinds of places and were all in different stages as we listen to the Bible, but I want to speak just finally ended up sentence or two to those who have actually never believed in the gospel have never believed in Christ and and I fear that some of you are are are still where you are simply for that very reason that you have not believed, and it may be because either I or others or yourself have have created all kinds of hurdles and obstacles on on the way, I was struck again this week by the reaction of the apostle Paul to the Philippian jailer when he asked the question, what must I do to be saved and he said well you need to get in the membership class. If you have heard of Christianity explored.
If you go through the doors to my rage or your laughter. Whatever nice a belief so what if you have not believed what I believe today believe that Jesus is the Savior that you actually need because you've broken his law you're going to stand before him your answer and he has given himself up for you.
Believe and then tell somebody you know what I actually believe, and then you know what, then, you're a believer father, forgive us when we complicate what you make so straightforward. Lord we understand that the very inclination of our heart is away from you. We thank you that not only do you enable us that you save us so as we look out on the coming days and weeks together in your providence. We pray that the love of the Lord Jesus will draws afresh to himself that the joy of the Lord Jesus will enable us and quicken us as we seek to serve him that the peace of Christ will guard our minds when they are unsettled and fearful and that grace, mercy, and peace from father-son Holy Spirit may be the abiding portion of all who believe. Today and forever more on Bob Lapine. Thanks for listening. Does God's sovereignty excuse us from taking responsibility for our actions. The answer tomorrow when you join us for another listener favorite called mercy.
Blessings and character Bible teaching of Alister bearing is furnished by Truth for Life with the Learning is for Living