Last in this series:
Lesson # 5
We are the Family of God
Lesson # 5
Copyright © 2002
D. S. Briggs, BA; ThM; D. Min.,
Ephesians 4:22 - 32
Background scripture: St. Matthew 5: 1-16
Memory verse: Galatians 2:20
“I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me”
Perhaps the most challenging aspect of these series of lessons is not unlike the swing of a golfer: to learn how to follow through and follow through! It should be and must be the determination of the disciples of the Lord to follow through what we have learned and make it an active part of our daily lives. It is not enough for the saint to merely acknowledge that we have received inspirational information and transformative thinking; but to accept it, and to assimilate it as well. Strongholds exist in our lives as well as in the lives of our churches. These will remain, whenever we refuse to accept spiritual information and education, and change our lives by the power of the Holy Spirit! Far too many believers reject what they hear based on the authority that brings the Word, (preacher, Pastor, teacher, parent, workshop leader, spouse, etc) or the effect that accepting that word will have to our carnal nature. (it cramps our style) How well the Apostle Paul declares emphatically to the church at Rome…
“For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For To be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace”
It is imperative that if the church is going to make a difference in this world that we take information filtered by the truth of God’s word, tried by His precious Holy Spirit, and to implement it in our daily lives. Until we change, the church will never change. A good axiom to remember is…
In other words…”What good is it,” or “What is the point?” The process
of implementation, or ”follow through” is the true test of whether or not we have truly heard the voice of the Lord, and have been convicted by the power of His Holy Spirit to change our lives for Him. Do we follow through?
Numerous sermons have been preached, Bible Studies taught, Workshops held, and conferences convened to share with the Body of Christ the inescapable truth of God’s word. Word studies, and books abound at every turn. The advance of the information age and technological advances bring information to us in mere seconds. Yet there is an overpowering, overwhelming apathy that borders on rebellion. (Read Ezekiel Chapter 2) We fail in bringing our lives into the conformity of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
How? We fail to bring our lives in submission to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in all areas. Either He is Lord over all of your life, or none of it. Which is it? Simply put, there is no service to Christ, without first submission to Christ. We do not practice what we preach, possess what we pray, stand on what we sing. We are not governed by how we give, nor touched by what we teach. We proudly point out the mote in our brother’s eyes, and invariably ignore the beam in our own eyes…we throw rocks, forgetting we are standing in a rock quarry. We are quick to find fault in others, while our faults are full and flowing. Like our forefathers and mothers have said…”We talk the talk, but do not walk the walk.” This has also been called…hypocrisy.
Hypocrisy is when one who knows what is right, and has been taught what is right, refuses (power of choice) to heed biblical instruction. Continually practicing and performing that which is wrong in the sight of Almighty God, then having the audacity to make erroneous justification for their sins. It is living contrary to what standards one is teaching, preaching, singing, praying, ministering, or shouting about. Like a pig that wallows in the mud and enjoys it immensely, hypocrisy is wallowing in sin and enjoying it. Although the talk may be spiritually inclined, the walk is carnally motivated.
How do excuses hinder your spiritual development? How does this affect the growth/development of the ministry at your local church?
It is because of such blatant hypocrisy that the church has diminished its ability to impact the world in a positive manner, and transform the world for Christ. We are called by Christ to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. (cf St. Matthew 5:13 – 16) We are in the world, but not of the world, so that we might change the world. We should be inspiring the world to be more like the Christ and His Church. Instead we are trying to be more like the world. The world sees our shortcomings, failures, and sin and says pointedly…
”You can’t say anything to me…just look at yourselves…straighten yourself up first, live the life (at least try), love each other, follow the Bible you teach and preach, then come to me. If it (the Word) can’t transform you, how do you expect it to transform me?”
The issue is we choose not to straighten up ourselves. We have allowed the adversary to implant negative thoughts on submission to anyone in our spirits, thereby fostering a movement called secular humanism right in the church. Modern day believers in attempting not to appear “holier than thou” have swung all the way to the other side of the pendulum, believing that we can live however we desire to live, just as long as we get it right before we die. Sadly this writer has often heard it said by many professing believers that if we could not have any fun (sin) down here, then we might as well curl up and die. The Apostle Peter says of such carnal thinking, even among professing believers…
“Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you.”
I Peter 4:4
If God meant for us to live like that, I am quite sure He would have told us so in His Word. Rather than get mad at God or the author for putting a damper on the “carnal party”, we need to repent. There is no valid excuse for us not living the life that God calls us to live.
What is your choice?
It is time for the body of Christ to live lives that glorify God.
Let’s look at the text.
Ø Vs#21…If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:
Ø Vs#22…That ye put off concerning the former conversation of the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
Ø Vs#23…And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
Ø Vs#24…And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created In righteousness and true holiness.
Ø Vs#25…Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man, truth with his neighbor: for we are members one of another.
Ø Vs#26…Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:
Ø Vs#27…Neither give place to the devil.
Ø Vs#28…Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.
Ø Vs#29…Let no corrupt communications proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace to the hearers.
Ø Vs#30…And grieve not the Holy spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
Ø Vs#31…Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
Ø Vs#32…And be ye kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
I.) Paul Challenges their Reception of Spiritual Instruction
- If so be that ye have heard…
- If…have been taught by Him
A.) Hearing is both aural and spiritual
B.) Hearing demands response and responsibility
C.) The spirit of the Lord will lead us into all truth
II.) Paul Commends their Response to Spiritual Instruction
A.) Put off the old man
1.) you must make the choice to take it off
2.) The old man is both corrupt and deceitful
-when a virus enters a computer it corrupts files
B.) Put on the New man
1.) whenever you take something away, you must replace it with something better and more blessed.
III.) Paul Commands their Respect of Spiritual Instruction
a.) How does one grieve the Holy Spirit? One way is certain - by not walking in the truth, when it has been revealed.
b.) Put away all evil
c.) Be kind to all, and forgive each other.
If you were to purchase a new automobile, and you lived in the state of Alaska, air conditioning would not be a very necessary option. Having it would only be a mere convenience. However if you lived in Texas where there are usually double digits days of temperatures reaching 100 degrees or more, air conditioning is a must. Well it is the same way with living what we have learned. It is not an option, or a nice idea. It is mandatory.
In the language of the streets, the younger generation would casually banter back and forth the ebonical question…”How ya livin? “ to which one would reply “I’m livin large, livin single, livin fine, livin for the moment or just livin day by day.”
The challenge is for all of God’s children to live for Jesus. Every day - every moment - every opportunity. Glorify God in your body and spirit.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God which is your reasonable service.”
You need to be a member of Black Preaching Network to add comments!
Join Black Preaching Network