"We Have A New Walk"
We shouldn't stoop so low into the world's
ways anymore. Be imitators of God--not other people. Reflect
Him to the extent that people see God in your life. To imitate
God we need to look at how Jesus lived. Paul gives some pointers
in verse 2 of Ephesians 5. Point 1: "and live a life of
love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as
a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God." We must walk
in love, love for others. In many aspects of our love, we
find that others may do what we may not. The burnt offering
pictures complete sacrifice to God. That is what Jesus did
for us. Point 2: The second point Paul brings out is that
we must walk in purity, living a life of purity. Verses
3-7, "But among you there must not even be a hint of sexual
immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because
these are improper for God's holy people. Nor should there
be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out
of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be
sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person--such a man is an
idolater--has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and
of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because
of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient.
Therefore do not be partners with them." The Bible teaches
us what to do with these things in your life. We as Christians
have a high calling. Don't degrade your body and mind. I Thessalonians
4:1-8,11-12. "Finally, brothers, we instructed you how to
live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now
we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more
and more. For you know what instructions we gave you by the
authority of the Lord Jesus. It is God's will that you should
be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that
each of you should learn to control his own body in a way
that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the
heathen, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one
should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord
will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told
you and warned you. For God did not call us to be impure,
but to live a holy life. Therefore, he who rejects this instruction
does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit
it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business
and to work with your hands, jus as we told you, so that your
daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you
will not be dependent on anybody." James 1:26-27. "If anyone
considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight
rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is
worthless. Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and
faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their
distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."
Point 3: God will show you what you really are as a first
step to purifying you. James 1:22-25. "Do not merely listen
to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone
who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like
a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking
at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks
like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law
that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting
what he has heard, but doing it--he will be blessed in what
he does." As Pastor Chuck Smith was saying about the law of
God, by looking at it, it shows us where the sin is, for sin
is the transgression of the law (1 John 3:4). And then when
we see the sin in our lives we go to Jesus for help to overcome
the sin we have discovered by looking at God's law. Jesus
through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit helps us to overcome
the sin in our lives. The law all by itself, coupled to our
own human efforts will never cure us of the sin. Jesus must
do it in us by the Holy Spirit. The law is important and we
must keep it, but we can only keep it in and through Jesus
in us by the Holy Spirit. We're not under grace so that sin
can abound. Paul say's to that idea, "God forbid!" Romans
6:1-2. "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that
grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who are dead
to sin live any longer in it?" We're not under grace so we
can continue in sin, habitual sin, but we're under grace so
that we can be overcoming our habitual sinning under the power
and influence of the Holy Spirit who is working in us to perform
God's will. It's not how high we jump for God. God says if
you want holiness, obey me.
Follow Joseph's example. Genesis 39:1-20. "Now Joseph had
been taken down to Egypt. Potiphar, an Egyptian who was one
of Pharaoh's officials, the captain of the guard, bought him
from the Ishmaelites who had taken him there. The Lord was
with Joseph and he prospered, and he lived in the house of
his Egyptian master. When his master saw that the Lord was
with him and that the Lord gave him success in everything
he did, Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his attendant.
Potiphar put him in charge of his household, and he entrusted
to his care everything he owned. From the time he put him
in charge of his household and of all that he owned, the Lord
blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph. The
blessing of the Lord was on everything Potiphar had, both
in the house and in the field. So he left in Joseph's care
everything he had; with Joseph in charge, he did not concern
himself with anything except the food he ate.
Now Joseph was well-built and handsome, and after a while
his master's wife took notice of Joseph and said, "Come to
bed with me!" But he refused. "With me in charge," he told
her, "my master does not concern himself with anything in
the house; everything he owns he has entrusted to my care.
No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld
nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How
then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?"
And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to
go to bed with her or even be with her.
One day he went into the house to attend to his duties, and
none of the household servants was inside. She caught him
by his cloak and said, "Come to bed with me!" But he left
his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house.
When she saw that he had left his cloak in her hand and had
run out of the house, she called her household servants. "Look,"
she said to them, "this Hebrew has been brought to us to make
sport of us! He came in here to sleep with me, but I screamed.
When he heard me scream for help, he left his cloak beside
me and ran out of the house."
She kept his cloak beside her until his master came home.
Then she told him this story: "That Hebrew slave you brought
us came to me to make sport of me. But as soon as I screamed
for help, he left his cloak beside me and ran out of the house."
When his master heard the story his wife told him, saying,
"This is how your slave treated me," he burned with anger.
Joseph's master took him and put him in prison, the place
where the king's prisoners were confined."
We as Christians aren't sinless, but as we walk with Jesus
we should sin less, and less, and less and less.
Ephesians 5:5-6, "For this you can be sure: No immoral,
impure or greedy person--such a man is an idolater--has any
inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one
deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God's
wrath comes on those who are disobedient." Those that
live habitually in sin and immorality will not inherit eternal
life. We must walk as children of light. The light of the
Lord shows you what is pleasing to the Lord and what isn't.
Verses 8-14, "For you were once darkness, but now you are
light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit
of light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth)
and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with
fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it
is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret.
But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it
is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is
said: 'Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ
will shine on you.'" Joseph knew that God's eye was on
him all the time. The most important part of personal evangelism
is how we live our lives. People should see you as different.
Verse 15-21, "Be very careful, then, how you live--not
as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity,
because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but
understand what the Lord's will is. Do not get drunk on wine,
which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.
Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.
Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving
thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our
Lord Jesus Christ. Submit to one another out of reverence
for Christ." Be filled with the Spirit means being yielded
to God's Spirit. Being filled makes us want to sing praises
and hymns. It makes us thankful, vs. 20. It makes us rightly
submissive to others, vs. 21.
1 John 1:5-7. "This is the message we have heard from him
and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness
at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in
darkness [i.e. habitual sin], we lie and do not live by the
truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light,
we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus,
his Son, purifies us from all sin."