Skip to main content

Learning To Walk

"Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, being diligent to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."
Good Morning Beloved,
Welcome to worship this Lord's Day!
It is my honor and great privilege to share the Word of God with you.
When you join a particular club or organization, you are called upon to function in accord with that with which you identify. That’s just standard. For some people, this can become so binding, it’s amazing to me what they will do to conform. I’m thoroughly amazed at how people will become quote-unquote the organization man, in order to fulfill whatever the organization tells them too.
Allow me to illustrate this to you, from the ninth chapter in the Gospel of John. I'm sure you're all familiar with Jesus performing a miracle, restoring sight to the blind man. Let's look at verses 18-23.

"The Jews then did not believe it about him, that he had been blind and had received sight, until they called the parents of the very one who had received his sight, and they questioned them, saying, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? Then how does he now see?” His parents then answered and said, “We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; but how he now sees, we do not know; or who opened his eyes, we do not know. Ask him; he is of age, he will speak for himself.” His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews; for the Jews had already reached the decision that if anyone confessed Him to be Christ, he was to be excommunicated from the synagogue. It was for this reason that his parents said, “He is of age; ask him."
His parents desire for acceptance in their chosen society was so great, that they would not confess that the sight of their own beloved son had come at the hands of the Lord Jesus Christ, for fear they would lose their social status. In other words, they would not confess the reality of the miracle of their own blind son, because they feared they would get excommunicated.
When we become a follower of Christ, there are certain standards and guidelines, we are expected to follow, conformity to a particular way of living, which is in sharp contrast to the world around us. We are therefore, set apart from the world, by the way in which we conduct ourselves.
And as Christians, we are to identify with Christ, confess Christ, live as He lived, and as such expected to uphold certain social standards, we are to forgive the unforgivable, love the unlovable, pray for those who mistreat us and so on. Yet, many within "Christianity," seem to take these with a grain of salt, continuing to live as the world lives, even blending in among them.

Let us bow our heads in prayer.

Heavenly Father,

Father, thank You for this wonderful, straight forward and profoundly clear truth. Because You have chosen us to be part of Your family, we want to honor You and live for Your glory. We want to live by the standards, in accord to our faith. We want to adorn the doctrine, silence the ignorance of foolish men, to disprove the claims of the critics, by conforming to Your standards of love, as demonstrated to us by Christ Himself.

Because we bear the blessed name of Christ, we come with a great deal of conviction in our hearts to You, because we know that such a high calling demands a worthy, daily walk. Help us Lord, to walk worthy and in walking, transcend this world and be among those of whom the world was not even worthy. Transform us to be more like Christ.
This we pray for Christ's sake, and for Your glory
In Jesus' name

Today's Message: Learning To Walk
Today, we embark on a journey into the fourth chapter in the book of Ephesians. This is such a tremendous passage, of great importance, so rich. Paul is going to give us some practical advice about how we, as the church, can together live our lives in such a manner that they will bring glory to God. I believe that this will have a great impact on our spiritual journey, therefore, we will all be richly blessed.
I find it particularly interesting, that even though the apostle Paul’s letter that he wrote to the church in Ephesus nearly 2,000 years ago. Because it’s a great training manual, it is just as useful to us today as it was when it was first written. The theme of the letter is clear, the walk of our high position. In other words, "Christians, get along with each other, and maintain the unity practically which Christ effected positionally by His death."

It is likely Paul wrote this letter from his prison cell in Rome in around AD 62. As we’ll see, he writes primarily to the believers there, many of whom had become followers of Jesus Christ as the result of one or more of Paul’s previous trips there. Though in recent years, there has been some controversy whether someone else may have written this letter, around 80 - 100 A.D, using Paul's name.

As recorded in Acts chapter 18, verses 18-21 Paul's first trip to Ephesus was a brief stop on his way to Antioch in Syria.

"Now Paul, when he had remained many days longer, took leave of the brothers and sisters and sailed away to Syria, and Priscilla and Aquila were with him. Paul first had his hair cut at Cenchrea, for he was keeping a vow. They came to Ephesus, and he left them there. Now he himself entered the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews. When they asked him to stay for a longer time, he did not consent, but took leave of them and said, "I will return to you again if God wills," and he set sail from Ephesus."

If you’ve been paying attention, you’ve probably noticed that there has been a lot of press in recent years, about various church denominations that are facing possible splits over theological issues. Perhaps the most publicized battle recently has been within the Episcopal and Methodist Churches over the election of an openly homosexual bishop, and ordination of homosexuals.

However, I’m convinced that though they receive far less publicity, fractures within local bodies of believers are far more prevalent. I’m sure that most of us here have either been part of a church split or know someone else who has been involved in one.

Although many church splits seem to occur primarily because of theological disputes, I’m not so sure that the disagreements on doctrine aren’t merely a smokescreen to cover up a more fundamental problem within the church.
In years past, doctrinal issues and heretical teaching were the main reasons for church splits and divisions. The scenario has since changed over the years. Today, the main cause is most generally the conflict of personalities. A church on the verge of splitting may appear to be fighting over controversial issues, though in reality, it is the protracted struggle, clash between personalities, ideas, and interests of strong-willed individuals that are tearing the church apart.

A church split usually finds its roots in our passion to make ourselves, our needs, our opinions, our group, our goals, our theology the center of our egoistic pursuit. It is the "I" factor; the self-centeredness and individualistic mind-set that cause the separation. The attitude of many Christians is that unless something represents their views, or conforms to their positions and beliefs, it's unacceptable.

Therefore, we shouldn’t be at all surprised, that the apostle Paul addressed this very situation in his letter to the Ephesians.

Open with me your Bibles, to the fourth chapter of the book of Ephesians. As we continue our journey through Ephesians, today we'll be studying the first three verses of this great passage. I invite you to follow along with me as I read, to get the text set in our minds. Ephesians 4:1-3.

"Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, being diligent to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."

Paul’s’ preaching in Ephesus led to a riot when it threatened the local silversmith business, which was dependent on the production of miniature silver replicas of the Temple of the Greek goddess Artemis, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. So Paul was forced to flee the city.

Since Paul had stayed in Ephesus longer than any other place during his missionary journeys, it’s not surprising that once he is imprisoned in Rome, that he is concerned about the believers there. So he sits down and writes a letter that can serve as a basic training manual for the followers of Jesus Christ, not just in Ephesus, but in that entire region. And his letter continues to serve that purpose for believers all over the world some 2,000 years later.

Paul is obviously very concerned about the unity of the church. As he makes the transition from his description of what God has done for us in the first half of his letter to how we need to respond to God’s work in our life in the second half of the letter, he begins by stressing the need for unity in the body as we apply these life principles.

In this passage, there are two very important principles that at first glance seem to be somewhat unrelated. But the more we look at them, the more it becomes apparent that both of these principles work hand in hand to preserve unity in the church.

The first is, My practice does not determine my position, but my position does determine my practice. Let's look at verse 1.

"Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called."
I believe that Paul is summarizing everything he has written about in the first three chapters of Ephesians. I like to draw your attention to the word, "therefore," which, we know by now, is a connecting word which I believe, makes it even more apparent that Paul is referring back to what he has written in the first three chapters of his letter when he refers to our calling. Including all those spiritual blessings that Paul describes there, from being chosen by God, being one with the Lord, being filled with all the fullness of God, to the unsearchable riches of Jesus Christ. These are all tremendous realities! Here, he is instructing us to walk worthy of those blessings.
The apostle Paul was a beggar, not in terms of profession, but in terms of passion. Before you all get too worked up about that statement, allow me to show you what I mean. In the twenty-six chapter of Acts, before Agrippa, he said "I beg you to hear me patiently." In the twelfth chapter of Romans, to the Romans he said, and to us, "I beg you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice." And, in the fourth chapter of Galatians, he said, "Brethren, I beg you, be as I am." This list is not exhaustive, there are several other examples found in I Corinthians 4, II Corinthians 2 and Galatians 5. Paul was committed to the principle of divine truth, he certainly didn’t mind begging, imploring and beseeching people to respond to it. Paul believed in vital reality.
I suppose, classic apostolic fashion, I can relate to Paul's begging. And, I believe that I have every right to beg you. Because, I also believe, that I cannot approach the ministry with detachment or indifference.
I am convinced, that it is Paul's devotion to Christ and his passion to bring others to Christ, is what motivated him to be the man of God that he was. I am proud to share in that passion with Paul.
Here in Ephesians 4, Paul is begging, or urging us to live our lives in such a way that they are in balance with, or correspond to our calling. He is saying that there needs to be a balance between our doctrine and our doing, between our position and our practice.
Doctrine without practice leads to bitter orthodoxy; it gives correctness of thought without the practical vitality of the life of Christ. Practice without doctrine leads to aberrations; it gives intensity of feeling, however, it is feeling apt to go off in any direction, often, in the wrong direction! Therefore, we need both, as not only Paul’s letters but the whole of Scripture teach us. We can never attach too much importance to doctrine, because it is out of the doctrines of God, man, and salvation that the direction and impetus for the living of the Christian life come. However, at the same time, we can never attach too much importance to practice, because it is the result of doctrine and proof of its divine nature.
In Colossians 1:10-14, Paul reinforces this balancing concept. "so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all perseverance and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins."
Paul begins by pointing out the importance of living a life that is worthy of the Lord and he even describes what that looks like, it involves bearing fruit, growing in the knowledge of God and having endurance and patience. But you’ll also notice that he encourages his readers to give thanks to God, because He is the one who has given them an inheritance and He is the one who has rescued them from the dominion of darkness and brought them into the kingdom of His Son. It is our position that determines our practice.
We all have a common position in Christ, which is indeed a crucial unifying factor. We are all members together of this body because of what Jesus has done for us. That ought to be the driving force for the way we all live out our lives!

The second point is, My attitude does not create unity, however, my attitudes either preserve or destroy unity. Before he begins to write about the kind of behavior that results in a life that is worthy of our calling, Paul first deals with some attitudes that are crucial if we are going to be able to live that kind of life. So let’s look at both sides of this second principle.

My attitude does not create unity. "being diligent to keep the unity..."

In Ephesians 2:14-15, Paul writes, "For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, by abolishing in His flesh the hostility, which is the Law composed of commandments expressed in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two one new person, in this way establishing peace."

Paul makes it very clear that we, as followers of Jesus Christ, are not responsible for creating unity in the body. It is quite apparent from what Paul has already written, that Jesus Himself has already established that unity through what He has done for us.

It is our responsibility, as Christ's followers, to merely to maintain or preserve, what Jesus has already established in his body, the church. I believe, based on the context of Paul’s letter, that concept applies to both the collective or universal church as well as the body. Although we can’t create unity, our actions either work to preserve that unity or they lead to the destruction of that unity. 

In his letter to the Roman Christians, Paul emphasized in Romans 12:18, the need for us to do everything in our power to live at peace with our Christian brothers and sisters.  
"If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all people."

Paul again, rightly points out here in Ephesians, that the key to preserving unity is to focus on the attitudes that promote peace. Paul describes for us four attitudes that preserve unity. Each of the four attitudes that Paul writes about in this passage are very similar. Each of them are an antidote to the "me-first," self-centered culture that we live in today. We’ve already addressed that issue several times in our journey through Ephesians, We’ve seen that the church was never intended to strictly be a place where I come to get my own needs met, but rather it is a place where the followers of Jesus Christ come together to serve each other and our world, in order that we can demonstrate the manifold wisdom of God both here on earth and in the heavens.

However, in order for that to happen, we must develop these four key attitudes. The first, is humility. The Greek word for humility, "tapeinophrosuné," literally means to think lowly of oneself. It means that I put the needs of others ahead of my own. In spite of the world's opinion of what humility means, I believe that humility is not a weak man’s surrender to others, but rather a strong man’s rejection of selfishness, and an out right determination to be actively concerned with the needs and interests of others over his own.

Jesus Christ, without a doubt, is our greatest example of humility. Paul very vividly describes that humility for us in Philippians 2, where he describes how Jesus gave up all the glory of heaven to come to this earth to meet our greatest need. A need that we could never meet on our own.

"Christ Jesus, who, as He already existed in the form of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but emptied Himself by taking the form of a bond-servant and being born in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death: death on a cross."

A church that is full of people who are here to meet the needs of others, rather than to focus on their own needs will never have a problem with keeping the unity.

The second attitude is Gentleness. This word is frequently translated as "meekness." Unfortunately, in our culture today, that word carries with it the connotation of weakness. But the word Paul uses here is a word that indicates power under control. As we might expect, it is a word that Jesus used to describe Himself in Matthew 11:29. "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls."

By no account, was Jesus weak, however, he was gentle or meek in the sense that the tremendous power He possessed was always under control. Gentleness, therefore, means that rather than fighting for my rights, I focus on what is best for others. Again, when we have churches full of people with that kind of attitude, preserving unity is rather an easy task.

That brings us to the third, which is Patience.

The word Paul uses here is a word that literally means “long tempered.” The KJV very accurately renders this word "longsuffering." Longsuffering is possessing the quality of self-restraint in the face of provocation which does not hastily retaliate or promptly punish. It is the same word used to describe God’s attitude toward us, demonstrating His patience toward us. In other words, patience bears insult and injury without bitterness and without complaint. Patience enables us to endure unpleasant people with graciousness and fools without irritation.

What does that mean in the church? In the church, it means that we’re willing and able to put up with people that insult us and frustrate us. It means that, just like God does with us, we’re willing to put up with the actions of others that hurt us without seeking to get even. It means that we’re willing to put up with those who are less spiritually mature and often don’t know any better. 

Obviously, what that doesn’t mean, is that we don’t deal with conspicuous sin or that we don’t try to encourage others to grow spiritually. But it does mean being willing to be long-tempered with those people and allow God to work in their lives in His own time. 

That brings us to Bearing with one another. Every one of us has different personalities, abilities and temperaments. Paul is encouraging his readers to make allowances for the uniqueness of each individual part of the body. It means that we are to allow for the faults and failures of others. Once again, Paul is not saying that we are to tolerate blatant sin in the body, but we are to put up with and tolerate those who are different than us. So while Paul encourages unity, he never expects uniformity in the body.  

Bearing with one another is more than just an outward display or a facade. It is an inward decision to love others in spite of our differences.

I’ve addressed these four principal attitudes in a very general sense. Now, I believe we should address these in a more specific and practical sense and how these attitudes really function within a church body. 
While I am aware this subject matter can be rather a divisive issue, I believe it is necessary. Music and worship styles seems to be an issue that continues to provide the opportunity for conflict, in just about every local body. There is no church which is immune to this. In fact, it seems as though pastors get more feedback about the music ministry than about anything else in the church. There are some, who have the opinion that a church should only sing hymns. Then, the issue arises between those who believe that there should only be traditional church hymns sung, while others, would argue that traditional hymns are out of touch with today's Christians, therefore a church should sing only contemporary hymns. 

However, I would like to suggest this is not a doctrinal or scriptural issue. Frankly, there is not a whole lot in the Bible about what kind of music to use in a worship service, but what we do have indicates that we are to use a variety of types of music in our worship. So what we’re dealing with here is really a potential conflict that is based on the strong-willed personal preferences and over bearing opinions of people who come from a variety of backgrounds, traditions and temperaments when it comes to music. And the fact is that no matter what kind of music a church uses, there is no possible way to meet everyone’s preferences. I further like to suggest, that our worship is for Almighty God, there is no Scriptural evidence, that I have been able to find, that the congregation must approve. However, Scripture has a great deal to say about unity among the body of Christ. Whatever the style of worship music, it should reveal something about God and then encourage us to respond to Him in praise and worship based on that revelation.
I have often wondered whether or not there would be that much response if I preached something that was clearly not Biblical. 

In Closing...
Regardless of your choice, I'd like to share with you a biblical perspective. Five times in the Psalms we are commanded to sing a new song. And there are two references in Revelation to a new song that will be sung in heaven. My belief is that God enjoys it when we learn new songs that give glory to Him. And one of the problems with songs that are so familiar to us is that after a while, we just sing the words we have come to know by heart, without ever really thinking about the true meaning of what we’re singing.

As followers of Christ, we have a choice, we can either gripe and complain. Or we can even just sit there and take it. Not saying anything, though we don’t have to like it either. Or we can do as Paul instructs us and respond with humility, gentleness, patience and bearing with others. I would like to inform you, that only one of those responses will preserve the unity of the church.

While as Christians, we are not immune to the "me-first," self-centered world we live in. However, the only way that we can make sure we preserve the unity we have been so graciously blessed with, is to continue to develop attitudes of humility, gentleness and patience and learn to bear with one another in love.

May it be so...

And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Now and forever, in Jesus' name

Copyright © 2019-2020 All Rights Reserved

The Brian Monzon Ministries



Email *

Message *

Check Out Our Most Popular Messages

You Can't Quarantine The Word of God

" 35  Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, He got up, went out, and made His way to a deserted place. And He was praying there. 36  Simon and his companions went searching for Him. 37  They found Him and said, “Everyone’s looking for You!” 38  And He said to them, “Let’s go on to the neighboring villages so that I may preach there too. This is why I have come.” 39  So He went into all of Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons. 40  Then a man with a serious skin disease came to Him and, on his knees, begged Him: “If You are willing, You can make me clean.” 41  Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out His hand and touched him. “I am willing,” He told him. “Be made clean.” 42  Immediately the disease left him, and he was healed. 43  Then He sternly warned him and sent him away at once, 44  telling him, “See that you say nothing to anyone; but go and show yourself to the priest, and offer what Moses prescribed for your cleansin

The Things Which Must Soon Take Place

    " The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bond-servant John, 2  who testified to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. 3  Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near." Revelation 1:1-3 Good Morning my beloved,   We welcome you to worship in the name of the Lord. Thank you for joining us today, we're glad to have you here. We are especially grateful for those of you who have been sharing the ministry website with all of your family and friends. Your faithfulness to share God's Word with others continues to bring about tremendous results. We are grateful to each of you. And through your sharing, God has brought a number of people to Christ. Praise God! May He continue to use you and this minist

Nothing Has Changed If You Haven’t Changed

Good Morning beloved family, I'm so glad to have all of you joining us today! Let's give a shout of praise to the Lord! Amen! Heavenly Father, As we gather here today, enlighten our understanding, purify our hearts every desire, quicken our wills, and strengthen every right purpose. Grant us wisdom and discernment, that we may better know Your Word and understand. Direct us, in clarity, during this time of worship, guide us to the magnifying and exalting of Your name, and to the e nduring good of us Your children and servants, through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen " To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:   A time to be born, And a time to die; A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted; A time to kill, And a time to heal; A time to break down, And a time to build up; A time to weep, And a time to laugh; A time to mourn, And a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones; A ti

Ministry With A Mission

    " Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus according to the commandment of God our Savior, and of Christ Jesus, who is our hope, 2  To Timothy, my true child in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord." I Timothy 1:1-2     Good Morning my beloved,   We welcome to all of our beloved brothers and sisters, from all around the world, who have been lead to join us today. We are glad to have you here!   I know that I mentioned this to you in our last message, however, Scripture calls us to pray with and for our brothers and sister in Christ. I again, would like to encourage all of you to visit our Prayer Wall, there are a number of them who are in great need of some faithful prayer warriors. I pray that you will join us in praying for them in their time of need. I would greatly appreciate it, and I know that they would as well!   I Timothy 2:1 tells us " First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and than

The Power Of A Humble Prayer

      " Finally, brethren, pray for us that the word of the Lord will spread rapidly and be glorified, just as it did also with you; 2  and that we will be rescued from perverse and evil men; for not all have faith. 3  But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one . 4  We have confidence in the Lord concerning you, that you are doing and will continue to do what we command. 5  May the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the steadfastness of Christ." II Thessalonians 3:1-5     Good Morning my beloved,   Welcome to all of our beloved brothers and sisters, from all around the world, who have been prompted to join us today. We are glad to have you here!   I believe that peace, encouragement and good hope are present realities for any true believer. It stands in stark contrast to what the world offers. In the face of life's challenges, discouragements persecution, and shattered dreams, God brings encouragement to th