Ephesians Session 10-
Living Out Christlikeness
Central Theme: Living Out Christlikeness
Objective Statement: BELIEVERS CAN LIVE OUT CHRISTLIKENESS BY EMBRACING THREE PRACTICES.
- Do you know anyone that has a distinctive walk?
- There are certain people I know that you can see from a distance and by the way they move you can tell who they are even if you can’t see their face.
- You can even see distinctive walks between families. When I see my brother and my dad together, I often laugh to myself because they have similar mannerisms and movements.
- Gait is a word that only athletes or medical specialists use very often.
- It refers to the way a person walks—the movement of a person’s limbs while in motion.
- When there is an abnormality in a person’s gait, it can potentially cause health issues.
- Likewise, every person has a behavioral walk, the way they move through life. One’s manner of life is of the utmost importance. In the experience of a follower of Christ, it determines whether Christ’s love and character are demonstrated or obscured.
- In the second half of the book of Ephesians, Paul uses the verb “walk” several times to help guide the reader of this letter through the text.
- His desire is to connect the identity of the person in Christ to the practice of the person in Christ.
- He doesn’t just want us to believe that we’re in Christ, he wants us to behave like we are in Christ.
- He wants us to live out Christlike character in how we walk- how we live our lives.
- In today’s text we can summarize what it looks like to walk as someone who is growing in Christlikeness by seeing three practices that we can live out.
BELIEVERS CAN LIVE OUT CHRISTLIKENESS BY EMBRACING THREE PRACTICES.
Practice #1– Imitation v.1-2
Eph 5:1-2 KJV
(1) Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;
- “Be ye therefore”- He is attaching what He just said.
- Our position in Christ as forgiven should inform how we walk.
- We should walk “as dear” children.
- We should follow our Father the way that kids sincerely and innocently follow their loving father.
- Kids see their parents as the source of everything.
- This is how we ought to see our Father. He is our authority, but He is also our loving provider.
- Why should we live this way?
(2) And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.
- Because He hath given us His dear Son as “an offering and a sacrifice to God.”
- We have the example of Christ giving himself to God and God receiving the offering “for a sweetsmelling savour”.
- What Christ did was right, good, and acceptable to God.
- When it comes to pleasing God, we should look to the example of Jesus, who in lived, death, and resurrection completely pleased God.
- Illustration: Kids imitate their Dad’s. Whenever I mow, my son gets out his little mower and follows me. He pretends to start it just like I do. One day he even kicked the tire when I kicked the tire. It’s cute when they are young, until you do something you don’t want them to imitate!
- We are all helped by examples, though, aren’t we?
- One of the best things to help the general homeowner or car owner is YouTube! You can pull up a video of people repairing just about anything. This is a big help!
- We should follow Christ’s example like dear children and live out what he exemplified as best we know how.
- So, what will this imitation look like? Let’s look at the second practice.
Practice #2- Isolation. V.3-7
Eph 5:3-7 KJV
(3) But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;
- What does it look like to imitate Jesus?
- Not even a hint of fornication. Fornication is any kind of sexual sin.
- He says not to let it even be named one time among you.
- We should watch and protect ourselves and watch and protect those around us from this kind of problem.
- He says that avoiding fornication, uncleanness and covetousness “becometh saints.”
- Part of what “decorates” those who are set apart – saints- is the fact that they are pure in their life and walk.
- It even impacts the way they speak.
(4) Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.
- Filthiness, course talking, jesting- dirty jokes. These should be replaced by giving of thanks.
- Jokes in and of themselves are not wrong if they are pure. But we should not find pleasure or amusement in things that Christ died for, that destroy people’s lives, or that make God righteously angry.
(5) For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
- People that habitually practice these things show that they are truly unsaved and have never been saved.
- So, we should
- watch our entertainment choices.
- Watch our relationships
- Maintain healthy, loving relationships with our spouses.
- Set up boundaries for ourselves and for our kids.
- This second practice is Isolation- We should avoid these sins. We should run from them. We should not even flirt or mess with them. We must be wiser than that.
(6) Let no man deceive you with vain words:
- We can be deceived. We are susceptible to being deceived because at times we don’t want to believe the hard truth that those who habitually practice sin are not believers.
for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience (7) Be not ye therefore partakers with them.
- The wrath of God for that sin abides on those who practice such things, because people that are forgiven will be changed, and will not habitually practice these kinds of unclean acts.
- Why is this true? Because we are different. We are changed. We are no longer what we used to be, and so we’ll practice something different.
- We will isolate ourselves from dark acts, and we will take on this next practice.
Practice #3- Illumination. V.8-14
(8) For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:
- In Christ we have a new identity. We are light!
- Our practices won’t be evil and dark. We are light.
(9) (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
(10) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.
- Paul refers here to the fruit of the Spirit. He says that these deeds of light are “goodness and righteousness and truth.”
- Fruit that the Spirit produces in our lives comes as we abide in our identity. He produces good, righteous and truthful acts in us and through us.
- This will help us to discern right from wrong and behave the right way.
- Again, Paul’s theme here is the theme that we’ve seen in the whole letter. Live out your identity. You are children of light. Act like children of light!
- Submit control to the Holy Spirit and let him produce that fruit.
- He will then help you to discern and do the right thing.
- Question: Do your works testify growth in your life that would help you to know that you are saved?
- If you are in the light, then your works will be right!
- It doesn’t mean that you won’t ever sin. It does mean that the pattern of your life is a pattern of growing obedience.
- You are light. You are revealing truth to those around you by your words and actions.
- We need to live in accordance with that Truth so that what we are conveying is right.
- We must be controlled by the Spirit by:
- Getting into God’s Word until God’s Word gets into us.
- Discerning right and wrong by the Spirit’s help.
(11) And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness,
- This means not to have things in common at the level of evil works.
- Instead we should stand against them.
but rather reprove them. (12) For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.
- We should stand against these evil works.
- We should speak against them. They are shameful. So shameful that even conversing about what is done brings shame.
(13) But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.
- Eventually all that will be done in secret, and all that has been done in secret, will be made manifest by the light.
(14) Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.
- This is a quote from Isaiah 60:1, which says “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.”
- This is an invitation for the person who dwells in darkness to be made into light by the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ.
- We should be careful about the things we practice.
- How is your character? Your character and integrity can be measured by what you do when no one is looking, or when you think no one knows.
- We can be sure that everything that we do in secret will be exposed eventually.
- We need God to live through us at every moment so that he can make us who we want us to be.
- He needs to shine his light on and through us.
- How does walking in love make you an imitator of God? Explain
- How might you lovingly excuse yourself from an impure conversation?
- How can partnerships (business, social, recreational) impact your spiritual life?
- How do you serve as light in the world? How does your life illustrate the relationship between waling in love (v.2) and living as children of light (v.8)?