Spiritual Disciplines

Spiritual Discipline: Transformation

Spiritual Discipline: Transformation

Today’s message focuses on killing sin and putting on Christ. In it we will look at the spiritual discipline of taking off the old man and putting on the new man:

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. 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. Ephesians 4:17-24

Paul ties this passage to the one prior that used the word “walk.” Note verses 1 and 17:

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called,

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.

As we move though this chapter, Paul links today’s subject with the purpose of gifts in the first 16 verses. So, Paul wants us to walk worthy of our calling, and he does not want us to walk like a Gentile. The biggest obstacle to using our gifts in the body is sin. Since every spiritual gift given to the church is packaged inside a sinner, the topic this morning is relevant to everyone who desires to use the gift(s) God has given them.

Spiritual Disciplines: Using Your Gifts

Spiritual Disciplines: Using Your Gifts

Last week Karl challenged us to be consistent students of the Word and to be diligent before God as we discipline ourselves in the work of our sanctification – the process of becoming like Christ. Today I would like to build on the foundation Karl laid, looking at the fourth chapter of Ephesians to discuss the argument Paul makes for being worthy of your calling in Christ.

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. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.

And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.  Ephesians 4:1-16

Paul states God’s purpose for gifts in verse 13, then restates it in 14 and restates it again in verses 15 and 16.

1.       Positive: v13 - until all of us attain the unity of the faith

2.      Negative: v14 - until all of us are no longer undisciplined children following every new doctrine or scheme

3.       Positive: v15-16 - until all of us respond like Christ, building up the body until everything works as it should

Spiritual Discipline

Spiritual Discipline

Good morning. Welcome to church. I am excited to be able to do what I love this morning and proclaim the truth of God’s word. Nothing on earth has the ability to give me more joy than to read scripture and be challenged to live for Christ. Today, we will be looking at a passage that should change our lives if we take it seriously. It’s my desire that the Holy Spirit would do a tremendous work in us and sanctify us even more.

 The word sanctify comes from the Greek word hagiazo. This word has a meaning of being “set apart” or “separated.” Nobody was more set apart from the world than Christ himself. In other words, if we are to be sanctified the end goal is to become the image of Jesus. Sanctification does not come at salvation, but comes through a process of conforming ourselves to the image of Christ after we have been redeemed.

 If we are to conform ourselves to the image of Christ, then we must know Christ. We have a level of responsibility to be disciplined in our spiritual lives. Discipline is something that we have to learn. The most disciplined people in our lives had to learn how to be disciplined. A baby is not born with discipline.