March 5, 2023
Sermon Series: Spirit-Filled Living Is Essential For Christians
Book of Ephesians
Sermon # 6: Living In A Worthy Manner
Paul is telling us to stir ourselves to walk worthy of the Lord!
Part 1: We had two elements we must have to live worthy.
I. THE RIGHT CHARACTER v. 2-3
II. THE RIGHT THEOLOGY v. 4-6
We must have one more element to live worthy.
III. THE RIGHT ATTITUDE TOWARD OUR SPIRITUAL GIFTS v. 7-10
The story is told of a single man who prayed every day for a gift that he could share with his church family. Routinely, he would pray this simple prayer: “Lord, please give me at least one gift that I can share with my church family.” After he prayed this prayer, he would go outside to sit by his mail box, waiting for the gift to come Always being the friendly fellow he was, he made a point to share an encouraging word with the mailman.
Andy had been a mailman for years; and like most folks, he had his share of problems both at home and at work. Trouble seemed to follow him like a cloud, and it showed on his face. On this particular day, as he had so many other times, he saw this man sitting down by his mail box. Andy really liked this fellow because every time he visited with him, he always went away feeling better about himself. The simple man greeted him again with a smile and said, “Have you got a package for me today? I really prayed double-hard that God would send me a gift that I could share with my church family.” Andy looked long and hard inside his mail bag but could find no such thing for this man. “I’m sorry friend. I have nothing for you today.” Dejected, the simple man walked back to his house with slow, plodding steps. “I’ll never get my gift to share with my Christian family,” he sobbed out loud.
Suddenly, a light flashed in Andy’s mind, and he rushed to embrace the simple man. “Friend! God has sent you a gift. I’ve seen it with my very own eyes,” said Andy as he looked the man in the face. Feeling confused, the simple man asked, “You have…you mean He has…where?”
“For all of these months you have asked God for a gift that you already had with you. There have been days when I was as down and discouraged as I could be. But you were always there to cheer me up. You exhorted me to press on and not to give up. God has given you a great gift of encouragement to share with your Christian family. Your gift has enriched my life.”
The simple man thanked Andy for his time and then went back to his house.
“Lord, I’ve had it all wrong. Now I’m going to use all I have to help others:
1. my voice to encourage them
2. my hand to help them
3. my feet to walk and fellowship with them
The right attitude toward our spiritual gifts!
A. Every believer is gifted (v. 7).
While there is unity in the body of Christ, there is diversity because unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ (4:7). “But unto every one of us is given….the gift of Christ.” Grace in verse seven is referring to a specialized gift. The word measure is the Greek word which means a limited portion, or degree.
It is important to note what is meant by spiritual gifts. A spiritual gift does not mean the natural ability or talent of a person. God, of course, keeps natural abilities and talents in mind when He gifts a person, but spiritual gifts are special gifts given to believers. They are highly specialized gifts---gifts that are given to build up believers in the church, and in witnessing and ministering to the world. A point to note is that every believer has received a spiritual gift, a highly specialized gift.
B. Every believer’s gift is costly (v. 8-10).
1. The picture (v. 8)
In verse eight, Paul quotes from Psalm 68:18, which prophesies about Christ’s ascension into heaven after His resurrection. When Christ ascended into heaven, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men (4:8). In ancient times, when a king won a victory, he would bring home captured enemy kings and prisoners in chains, parading them through the most populated streets of the city as evidence of his victory. He also would bring back spoils taken from the defeated enemy to distribute among his subjects.
Therefore, when Jesus led captivity captive, He made captive all those things that formerly made us captive----namely sin and death.
When Jesus rose from the dead and ascended into heaven, in front of all heaven, He publicly disgraced Satan and all the powers of evil.
2. The great cost Christ paid to gift believers: (v. 9)
Before Christ ascended to heaven, he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth (4:9). This probably refers to Christ’s death and burial in the grave.
3. The great value of what Christ did is glorious: (v. 10)
He died that He might ascend above the heavens and fill all things, that is, fill the whole universe with His presence. Jesus Christ is the Sovereign Majesty of the universe. He is seated at the right hand of God the Father, and He rules and reigns over all.
How Do We Recognize and Develop Our Gifts?
1. We must pray and ask God to help us find the gifts we have been given.
2. Remember who is the source of our gifts.
3. True spiritual gifts are “given” as a blessing and benefit to those who love God and keep His commandments.
4. Go to the Word of God.
Responsive Reading: Ephesians 4:1-10