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Understanding and Knowing the Book of Ephesians – Chapter 4

 

Scripture:  Ephesians 4:1–3 (ESV)

1 I therefore, the prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

 

 

1. What Does It Mean to Walk Worthy?

a.  What does it mean to walk worthy of the great calling that we have as children of God?

b.  Several things but look at the first item in the list – humility

 

2. What is Humility?

a.  Before we get into answering that notice that walk worthy references the inside virtues of Christianity

b.  Notice what is not on the list

                                        i.    Faith

                                       ii.    Power

                                     iii.    Knowledge of God’s Word

                                     iv.    Spiritual gifts

c.   The first thing on the list is humility.

d.  So, what is humility?

                                        i.    Humility is reality –

                                       ii.    It is acknowledging the truth or reality about yourself and all the aspects of your life.

 

                                     iii.    Humility is a tremendous word to help you discover the truth about yourself! 

1.  What is the truth about your talents for example? Who is responsible for them? – Where did they come from? What is the reality of that?

2.  What is the truth or reality about…

a.  your gifting’s

b.  your calling

c.   your position in Christ

d.  your intelligence

e.  your looks

f.    your possessions

g.  your personality

h.  your spiritual development

3.  Where did that come from?

a.  What is the truth about you as it connects to God?

b.  That is specifically…

                                                                                        i.    How much of what you have is because of you? What is the reality there?

                                                                                       ii.    How much of your intelligence is you and how much is God? What is the reality there?

                                                                                     iii.    How many of the things you possess are really because of you and how much is because of God? What is the reality there?

e.  Pride, the opposite of humility, occurs when you have a different viewpoint or a different estimation than what is actually reality.

                                        i.    When you estimate yourself more highly than actual reality – that is pride and not what we are called to walk in.

                                       ii.    Some people have a false humility that comes from not doing the hard work of examining and settling in on the reality of each area.

1.  They will say, ‘Well, it’s just all God – it’s just all God – no that’s false humility – that’s religion – that’s a copout – that is not reality.

a.  In every aspect of your life, there is

                                                                                        i.    God’s part

                                                                                       ii.    And your part

b.  Humility is getting the balance right between the parts.

c.   Humility comes when you have a proper understanding of how much His part is versus how much your part is.

 

 

Four Realizations You Should Come To About Yourself

 

Galatians 6:3 (ESV)

3 For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.

1. You are nothing in yourself

a.  Everything you are, you are because of Him

b.  Everything you are, you because of whom you are In Him.

                                        i.    Example – people may say “Wow you are so anointed”

1.  You are anointed because you are in Him.

                                       ii.    People may say “Wow you are pretty talented”

1.  You are talented because God gave you those talents

2.  That is reality – He really did it!

                                     iii.    People may say, “Wow, you are so pretty, so handsome,

1.  You are pretty and you are handsome because God made your face.

                                     iv.    People may say, “wow, you are so smart”

1.  The reality is you would be dumb as a brick if it were not for God.

c.   That is the reason, you should never put people up on a pedestal.

                                        i.    Because these people that you admire, where did they get the traits that you are admiring?  

1.  To answer that – there is God’s part and there is man’s part

2.  Remember this verse.

Psalm 127:1 (ESV)

1 Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.

                                        i.        Your nothing in yourself – to think that you are is deception.

                                       ii.        So, if ‘nothing’ is trying to produce ‘something’, – what is that?  

3.  Nothing producing something equals nothing. That is God’s version of ‘new’ math.

1 Corinthians 8:2 (ESV)

2 If anyone imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know.

2. You know nothing by yourself

a.  You were not born with the knowledge that you now possess – that is reality!

b.  Your mother taught you your ABC’s, your father taught you things, your school teachers taught you, even the bad stuff that you learned that you wish you didn’t know, someone else helped you to know that

c.   Surely anything spiritual, you didn’t learn by yourself, the Holy Spirit taught either directly or godly vessels that He called and equipped

d.  True knowledge should lead us to love people and to love God. If this does not happen, than the outworking of knowledge will puff you up and fill you with pride.

                                        i.    Knowledge is to help people – not to club people. If you ever feel superior, you are not walking in love.

                                       ii.    If you maintain a humble heart, you will always be in position to receive things from others, no matter who they are.

1.  You should keep your heart in position to learn from anyone

2.  That leaves all avenues open for God to get the answer to you.

e.  It’s what you learn after you think you know it all that counts.

Job 39:13–17 (ESV)

13 “The wings of the ostrich wave proudly, but are they the pinions and plumage of love? 14 For she leaves her eggs to the earth and lets them be warmed on the ground, 15 forgetting that a foot may crush them and that the wild beast may trample them. 16 She deals cruelly with her young, as if they were not hers; though her labor be in vain, yet she has no fear, 17 because God has made her forget wisdom and given her no share in understanding.

f.    Why did the Lord withhold understanding from the ostrich, to punish the ostrich? – No, it is a sign to you that you may know that all understanding comes from God.

1.  Nebuchadnezzar learned this the hard way!

Daniel 4:28–33 (ESV)

28 All this came upon King Nebuchadnezzar. 29 At the end of twelve months he was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, 30 and the king answered and said, “Is not this great Babylon, which I have built by my mighty power as a royal residence and for the glory of my majesty?” 31 While the words were still in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, “O King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: The kingdom has departed from you, 32 and you shall be driven from among men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. And you shall be made to eat grass like an ox, and seven periods of time shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will.” 33 Immediately the word was fulfilled against Nebuchadnezzar. He was driven from among men and ate grass like an ox, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hair grew as long as eagles’ feathers, and his nails were like birds’ claws.

g.  Nebuchadnezzar thought he was something. He thought he did something until God struck him and his understanding and his reason left him. He became a wild animal of a man.

                                        i.    Here’s the reality!

1.  Without God, we are all dumb as an ox!

                                       ii.    The proper attitude to walk with God is a broken and contrite heart

Psalm 51:17 (ESV)

17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

1 Corinthians 4:7 (ESV)

7 For who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?

3. You receive nothing because of yourself

a.  Now, we are over into possessions and here is the question; what do you have that you did not receive?

b.  The house you live in came from the Lord.

                                        i.    People say “Yes but I worked hard to acquire it.”

1.  Yes, but who gave the strength to work hard? He gave you air to breathe and the intelligence to know what to do.

c.   What about the possessions of those who are unsaved?

Matthew 5:45 (ESV)     

45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sunrise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

d.  God gave the unsaved rain! – What does that mean? He gave you rain – He had mercy on you

                                        i.    Everything you have, you received because God was good to you.

                                       ii.    Appreciate what you have – quit gripping about what you do not have.

                                     iii.    Instead of recognizing everything as a gift from God and being filled with gratitude, people possess their possessions — see them as their own—and look down on others who do not have what they have.

1.  That is pride and ungodliness and not what you are called to walk in.

 

John 15:5 (ESV)

5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

4. You can do nothing by yourself

a.  Spiritual life is dependence

                                        i.    Dependence means being led

                                       ii.    Dependence means having no mind of your own

                                     iii.    Dependence means willingness to do whatever He asks of you

b.  The Greek reads as a double negative

                                        i.    Apart from me, you can do NOT NOTHING.

c.   Look at your example in Jesus

John 5:19 (ESV)

19 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise.

John 5:30 (ESV)

30 “I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me.

CONCLUSION:

Here are the four truths that lead one to humility:

You are nothing in yourself

You know nothing by yourself

You receive nothing because of yourself

You can do nothing by yourself

 

But, here is the reality part – You are not by yourself!

You are nothing in yourself but you are everything in Him

You know nothing by yourself but He is your wisdom

You receive nothing because of yourself – but all things are yours – you have every spiritual blessing in heavenly in Christ

You can do nothing by yourself – but you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you

He is in you to help you so that you can know something

He is in to strengthen you so that you can do something

He is with you so that you can receive something

He sits on the throne so that in Him you are something.

That’s reality – that’s is humility!

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