The Way You Learned Christ

Ephesians 4:1-3 ESV

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

What is a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called? Or perhaps I should ask first, “What is the calling to which you have been called?” Do you know? Well, first of all we are called to belong to Christ and if we belong to him then he owns us and we are now his possession and we now surrender our lives over to him to do his will according to his word.

Then we are called to be saints who are God’s holy people. And to be holy means to be set apart from the world, to be unlike (different) from the world because we are now being conformed to the likeness of Christ. And to be like Christ is to be morally pure, faithful, honest, and trustworthy, and it is to be in submission to God in walks of obedience to our Lord and to not live in sin.

So, if we are morally pure, honest and faithful, and if we are walking in obedience to our Lord, and if we are not living in habitual and deliberate sin against our Lord, then we are walking in a manner worthy of the calling to which we have been called. And we are giving God all the glory for everything good he is doing in our lives. We are not taking credit ourselves.

And bearing with one another in love is not tolerating or placating deliberate and habitual sin in our own lives or in the lives of others who are professing faith in Jesus Christ. But it does mean being patient with others and being kind, but kindness is never lying to people to make them feel good about themselves. The most loving thing we can do is speak the truth in love.

[Rom 1:6-7; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-29; Rom 12:1-2; 1 Co 1:9; 1 Co 3:17; 1 Co 6:19-20; 2 Co 5:15,21; Gal 5:13-21; Eph 1:3-4; Eph 2:10,21; Eph 5:27; Col 1:22; Col 3:12; 1 Thess 4:7; 2 Tim 1:8-9; 2 Tim 2:21; 1 Pet 1:13-16; 1 Pet 2:5-9,24; 2 Pet 1:3; Tit 2:11-14; Lu 9:23-26; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 2:3-6]

Ephesians 4:17-19 ESV

“Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity.”

If we are true believers in Jesus Christ, then we should no longer be walking like the ungodly who make no profession of faith in Christ Jesus. We should no longer be walking (in conduct, in practice) according to the flesh, but we should now be walking according to the Spirit in holiness and righteousness in the strength, wisdom, and power of God who lives within us.

Jesus Christ should now be our Commander in Chief, and our lives should be given over to him to do what pleases him, and not to please ourselves. We should have pliable hearts which can be molded into Christ’s likeness and we should not have hard hearts which stubbornly hold on to the way we used to live before we “believed” in Jesus, if in fact we did believe in him.

Our lives should not be given up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. We should not be those who are engaged habitually in sexual immorality of any kind, not even a hint of it. So we should not be engaging in anything nor being entertained by anything of a sensual or sexually explicit nature which might lead us to do things we ought not to do.

So, we need to be those who guard our hearts and minds against the filth of this world and who refuse to consume garbage on a regular basis. We need to exercise much spiritual discernment when it comes to the things which we view and listen to. We won’t always know ahead of time what some things contain but if we see or hear what is impure we need to cut it off.

Ephesians 4:20-24 ESV

“But that is not the way you learned Christ! — assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”

A lot of people today are teaching a diluted and altered gospel which does not require death to sin on our part, and which does not require walks of obedience to the Lord and submission to him as Lord. They call that works salvation and so they dismiss it and instead they give their followers carte blanche to continue in deliberate and habitual sin while professing Christ.

But this passage of Scripture and many others like it dispel that notion that we can believe in Jesus, have our sins forgiven, and be on our way to heaven while we continue in deliberate and habitual sin, and while we refuse to obey our Lord’s commands and refuse to submit to Christ as Lord of our lives. This lets us know that is not the way we should have learned Christ.

For the truth in Christ Jesus teaches us that we must forsake our old lives of living in sin and for self. By faith in Jesus Christ we must be crucified with Christ in death to sin and raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, not like our old lives, but now in submission and obedience to Christ as Lord of our lives. Sin should have no more reign over our lives.

Instead we are to be made new in Christ and we are now to honor Christ as Lord of our lives and follow in his ways and in his truth. Our desire should now be for him to please him in all that we do. For Jesus died on that cross to deliver us out of our slavery (addiction) to sin so that we would now be his servants and servants of righteousness and holiness to the praise of God.

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:21-25; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-10; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Ac 26:18; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

My Jesus, I Love Thee

Hymn lyrics by William R. Featherstone, 1864
Music by Adoniram J. Gordon, 1876

My Jesus, I love thee, I know thou art mine;
For thee all the follies of sin I resign.
My gracious Redeemer, my Savior art thou;
If ever I loved thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

I love thee because thou hast first loved me,
And purchased my pardon on Calvary’s tree;
I love thee for wearing the thorns on thy brow;
If ever I loved thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

I’ll love Thee in life, I will love Thee in death,
And praise Thee as long as Thou lendest me breath;
And say, when the death-dew lies cold on my brow,
If ever I loved thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

In mansions of glory and endless delight;
I’ll ever adore thee in heaven so bright;
I’ll sing with the glittering crown on my brow;
If ever I loved thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

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