The Result of our Calling is godliness.
Part one - Humility
By Nick Bibile
On Ephesians chapter 1-3 we see Paul build a strong foundation of theology, then on that foundation of theology he is building from chapter 4 the practical lifestyle of the Christian.
It is very important for us to know the theology and the practical implications. There are lot of Christians who would like to learn only theology and they major on theology and when it comes to practical issues where Paul is talking here on Ephesians chapter 4 they say, we know all that and thatís not important. This is very wrong. Doctrine without practice leads to bitter orthodoxy, head knowledge while the heart is not changed. James said, be doers of the word not hearers only.
Then on the other side of the coin there are the others who† want to excel in practical issues of life only, they donít care about theology. Practice without doctrine leads to aberrations and gives a good feeling but leads in the wrong direction which is very dangerous for the soul.
Thatís why we need to teach the whole counsel of God not according to denominational opinions or according to our opinion but according to Godís truth, which means even if we donít understand and does not make logic according to our standard we need to tell the truth as it is, as God is above logic.
Now letís begin with Chapter 4:1-2
Verse 1) I therefore, being prisoner in the Lord, pray you that ye walk worthy of the vocation whereunto ye are called,
Verse 2) With all humbleness of mind, and meekness, with long suffering, supporting one another through love.
Verse 1) I therefore, being prisoner in the Lord
Paul a prisoner of the Lord. How is it to be a prisoner of the Lord? What does it mean? Prisoners suffer in the flesh. It means Paulís suffering for Christ being a prisoner.† Is it a good thing to suffer for Christ? It is a glorious thing to suffer for Christ. The martyrdom of saints his more glorious than all the fleshly pleasures of life.† The true Christians in Godís service will suffer in this earth for the sake of God. Sometimes it may look as if God has abandoned us and left for the devil and this world to persecute us. Sometimes we may even taste death in suffering. But the word of God gives comfort to us when we suffer, we know when we suffer in Christ he really loves us and nothing can separate us from the love of Christ, yes even suffering.
Ro Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
†36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
†37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
†38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
†39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Verse 1) pray you that ye walk worthy of the vocation whereunto ye are called.
What do you mean by vocation?† In todayís English it means an occupation which you are trained a people doing the same kind of work. But according to the Websterís Dictionary 1913 it meant a calling, a summons.† It is our divine invitation, divine calling from God. We were by nature the children of the devil, we are dead in sin, (Eph 2:3) lost on our way to hell then God in his mercy and grace called us to worship and serve him.
Apostle Paul is urging the believers that we need to walk worthy of our calling. The word walk means to conduct our life, behave and to live worthy or to live godly. If we are called by God to him then we would not be living like unbelievers but we will live a godly life pleasing to him as we are called by God to him. †The result of our calling is godliness. It means to live in obedience to God.† We are called to be saints. Meaning the opposite of a worldly life, but to live a holy life.
1Co 1:2 Unto the
2Ti 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.
We are called out of the world from the fellowship of the world to the fellowship of Christ. That we would not compromise in participating the ways of the world. Specially this Christmas season I wonder how many who are called Christians followed the ways of the world and walked according to the flesh instead of the walking by the spirit of God. Well, if you donít compromise with the world the world will hate you. Many will say, I want peace not problems the easy way to get out so they get into their flesh and walk according to their convenience instead of being obedient to God.
Joh † If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
†Joh If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
God did not call us for convenience but for obedience of his will.† We need to pick up the cross deny our self and follow him.† Instead of conforming to the world we need to be a light to the world, that our behavior and conduct will be godly and Christ like. But the hypocrites have two faces, two behaviors one a godly behavior in the church and then a worldly behavior when they are in the world.
Verse 2) With all humbleness of mind.
Here we see the fruit of our calling, the fruit of salvation, the godly life. †John Calvin said, ďhumility is the foundation of whole Christian character.Ē This is absolutely true. The first thing that happens when God calls us to him is that we become humbled.
27 And Abraham answered and said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord, which am but dust and ashes.
When Isaiah saw the LORD he said, 5 Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undoneb; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts. (Isaiah 6:5)
The †opposite of humility is †high, lofty, pride and arrogant.
Humility comes from the result of salvation.
†If salvation was by human works and I had something in my power to come to Christ then there is something to boast and be proud of myself. But the Bible says the opposite.
Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
†9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
When God called us and we did not deserve to be called to him we see utter unworthiness in us as we are brought to low.
Luke ...sense of: Oneís sinfulness Luke 18:13, 14 Oneís unworthiness
13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
If the Lord ask you †ďAsk what shall I give you?Ē What will you say? ďGive me a lot of money, a beautiful home, etc., God asked this question from king Solomon and Solomon said, you have chosen a great people too numerous to be numbered and counted, give me understanding how to discern right from wrong. †This is having a lowliness of mind.
We need to understand there is nothing of ourselves, the only thing that we have is sin. But righteousness comes from Christ Jesus who have charged to us, so we become humbled.
True humility is not an act or pretend to be humble, speaking softly and showing an outward love but full of pride inside. This humility comes from a regenerated heart, a born again Christian, the new man in Christ Jesus.
Jas 4:6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
Humility is realizing who we are, lowliness of mind. †
11 And Moses said unto God, Who am I,
that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of
1 Samuel 18:18
18 And David said unto Saul, Who am I? and what is my life, or my fatherís family in
6 Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child.
43 And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
30 He must increase, but I must decrease.
Humility is the lowliness of mind. It is an absence of our own powers and willing to give up our rights and taking up a lower position.† Our Lord Jesus Christ is the perfect example as he gave up his hig position in heaven and came down to this earth and took a low position for the sake of us, this is humility. This is the mother of all Christian character.
Ac Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews.
Php 2:3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
†4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
There is this
The Christian farmer prayed and went the following day and first pumped water to his neighbors field and then he pumped water to his field on top of his neighbors field. And from that day his water stayed in the field but he had to labor more as he had took care of his neighbors field too. Then in time the neighbor made inquiries and was stunned by the behavior of the Christian. The neighbor was convicted of his sins and saw the godly behavior of the Christian and the neighbor became a Christian.
Humility is refusing to insist our rights and putting our neighborís interest before our own. †When we have food in front of us are you the first one to fill up your belly donít care what is left for your neighbor? You are more interested of your needs than your neighbor. This is not Christianity. †John Calvin said, ďall the weapons of impiety must be bruised, broken and burnt in the fire.Ē We should beat our pride daily.
There is so much pride and greediness and coveteousness in the church today. When some Christian leaders when to have lunch in restaurant, everyone ordered from the menu what they can afford thinking they have to pay out of their own money. But when the lunch was finished and the waiter brought the bill one person said donít worry I have already paid the bill. Then some said, if we knew that we would have ordered the more expensive foods. †It may sound like a joke but it is truly thinking of self not of the neighbor, this is not humility. †We should not think of our belly first but of our neighbor first. Humility shines when you treat your neighbor first before you.
Humility is submission to Godís word.
39 And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesusí feet, and heard his word.
Humility is submitting to one another.
1 Peter 5:5
5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.
God will not hear the proud.
15 For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.
Ten virgins professed to be followers of Christ. Of this number, five only were real Christians. How many years have you slept in Godís vineyard? And still you continue on sleeping. It is high time to awake, for all who do not awake in time, will suddenly awake in hell. There is great danger of being deceived and thus only dreaming of heaven. †(Asahel Nettleton)
Do you want a true blessing, then let me read what the Lord said.
"But He said, 'Yea rather, blessed are they which
hear the word of God, and keep it.' " Luke 11:28