The more you read the Bible, the more grounded you become in your faith. In the 4th chapter of Ephesians, the Apostle Paul tells us how to “walk the walk”. It’s one thing calling yourself or professing to be Christian. Another thing is proving it by your actions and behaviors — or your “walk”. The whole idea of becoming a Christian is leaving your old, sinful life behind and being reborn into a new life through Jesus Christ. Here, Paul tells us just how to do that. Let’s dig in…
Ephesians Chapter 4…
Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. 2 Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. 3 Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. 4 For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future.
5 There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism,Ephesians 4:1-6 NLT
6 one God and Father of all,
who is over all, in all, and living through all.
This sounds a lot like the Apostles’ Creed, which I just finished deconstructing in a series. “I believe in one God, the Father almighty…”. Here he mentions the word “calling”. We are called by God to be good Christians. It’s what we’re supposed to do. Each of us has a special mission for God. We don’t know that until we receive the Holy Spirit in our hearts and tap into His guidance for our lives.
7 However, he has given each one of us a special gift (grace) through the generosity of Christ. 8 That is why the Scriptures say,
“When he ascended to the heights,
he led a crowd of captives
and gave gifts to his people.” (Psalm 68:18)
9 Notice that it says “he ascended.” This clearly means that Christ also descended to our lowly world. 10 And the same one who descended is the one who ascended higher than all the heavens, so that he might fill the entire universe with himself.Ephesians 4:7-10 NLT
When I read this, my first thought was, ah-ha! That’s where they got the idea that Christ descended into hell which was added, then taken out of the Apostles’ Creed. However, this text doesn’t say that. Paul clearly states that Jesus was in Heaven, then descended to earth, then ascended back to heaven. Nothing about hell mentioned here — no purgatory either.
11 Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. 12 Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. 13 This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.
14 Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. 15 Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. 16 He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.Ephesians 4:11-16
Living as Children of Light
17 With the Lord’s authority I say this: Live no longer as the Gentiles do, for they are hopelessly confused. 18 Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him. 19 They have no sense of shame. They live for lustful pleasure and eagerly practice every kind of impurity.
20 But that isn’t what you learned about Christ. 21 Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, 22 throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. 23 Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. 24 Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.
25 So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body. 26 And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 for anger gives a foothold to the devil.
28 If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need. 29 Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.
30 And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.
31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. 32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.Ephesians 4:17-31
A Laundry List of How to Clean up Your Life…
- Foul language
- Bringing sorrow to the Holy Spirit
- Evil behavior
Forgive as you’ve been forgiven! That’s not always easy. Even forgiving yourself for you past sins is sometimes very hard. Keep in the word and it will guide you in your new walk.
Here’s a quote from one of those wonderful Bible Studies I found in the free YouVersion Bible app.
As Christians, we must be grounded in our faith. We must know what we believe and why we believe it. That way, when a false teaching comes along, we can spot it, and refute it. Do you know what you believe and why you believe it? If not, get in the Word, and learn it. Do a subject study on specific topics if need be, to be sure the things you believe are founded on God’s word. It is our responsibility to understand our beliefs enough to be able to defend them.S. Beau Waldrup
This is important — know what you believe and why you believe it.
You should be able to state why you believe what you do. And don’t just say, “Well, I’ve always been a Catholic or __________ whatever.” That’s not enough. Just because your parents dragged you to church every Sunday doesn’t make you a Christian who is grounded in the true faith.
Reading the Bible daily helps you grow in your the truth. It helps you get grounded — rooted — so that when the storms of life hit, you are tightly wound around Jesus Christ who is our immovable Rock.
Here’s a hand-picked song for you from Casting Crowns… Thrive!
Soli Deo Gloria — To God Alone Be the Glory!