Believers Boot Camp Lesson 4
Believers Boot Camp (Ephesians) – Part 4
The Lord Jesus Christ has already defeated our Enemy hands down. However, He has left it up to us to enforce every day in earth’s trenches the victory He has won in the Heavens. The book of Ephesians serves as a Believers Boot Camp, teaching us that the church is equipped with vast spiritual weaponry in order to accomplish this very task. Victory is ours if we fight for it! Ephesians is serious training for serious Christians.
When people become Christians one of the hardest things to do is to RETRAIN them not to continue to operate according to the world system. It took one night to get Israel out of Egypt, but forty years to get Egypt out of them. There is always a battle between the NEW MAN and the OLD MAN. And that is why we need teaching like Paul gives to us in Ephesians.
4:1 – God often calls you to do things YOU cannot do (i.e. He called Peter to walk on the water, and Lazarus to come out of the grave) – He imparts His ability to us as we walk with Him
4:1 – “walk worthy” – walk as though you were already at the place you are pursuing – don’t walk according to where you are (faith calls those things that are NOT as though they WERE)
4:2 – “with all lowliness” – the higher the call, the lower you must be; the more gifted you are, the more humble you must be
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
4:3 – fulfilling our calling is inseparably tied to our allegiance to one another; unity costs something, and unity WILL be a struggle
4:3 – “spirit of unity” – unity is impossible apart from the Holy Spirit (how the SPIRIT is leading our church is far more important than MY preferences!)
4:4 – “one Body and one Spirit” – coming into GOD’S presence means that we have to come into each other’s presence – whether you understand and like me or not, He’s my God too!
4:6 – our “oneness” is a dynamic oneness – it takes God to hold it together
4:7 – “grace” = “graciousness” (the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life) – we need this to get along with each other!
4:8 – the OT saints were held CAPTIVE by the grave but not the NT church!
4:9-10 – Jesus went into Hell itself – so we would never have to go there!
4:11 – five-fold LEADERSHIP ministries in the church
- Thumb Finger – Apostle – touches all other ministries
- Index Finger – Prophet – gives direction
- Middle Finger – Evangelist – reaches furthest
- Ring Finger – Pastor – in covenant with local church
- Little Finger – Teacher – brings balance
4:12 – this is NOT the “threefold job description of the fivefold ministry” – church leadership has ONE job, to perfect (“mature”) the saints – so THEY can do the work of the MINISTRY and edify (“grow, build up”) the Body
4:13 – mature saints are UNIFIED – with each other, their pastor, the church
4:14 – “lie in wait to deceive” – Paul is again “wolf-proofing” them!
4:15 – “speaking the truth in love” – speaking the truth takes BOLDNESS, and speaking in love takes KINDNESS – you need BOTH
4:16 – to be “fitly joined” is NOT just being “loosely joined” – we are not independent, but interdependent
4:16 – “every joint … every part” – when one part of the Body doesn’t work properly, we all suffer for it
4:16 – “edifying” – a building term, basically meaning “renovating” – the human body is so smart that any time you introduce a foreign element, it will automatically resist it (sickness, diet) and compensate for it
In order to be loyal to that which you have been called TO, you may have to be disloyal to that which you have been called FROM
4:17 – “vanity of their mind” – the human ego can’t function in God’s kingdom unless it has been tempered by the Holy Spirit
4:18 – “ignorance” – they may be very intelligent, but they are ignorant in this area because they are in the DARK (they are not walking in LIGHT)
4:19 – “lasciviousness” means unrestrained action (with no boundaries) – if we are not going to be like the world, we need to have “restrained action”
4:22 & 4:24 – “put off” and “put on”
4:23 – what is between “put off” and “put on”? – RENEW YOUR MIND (CHANGE YOUR ATTITUDE)
Your “new clothes” may not immediately be as comfortable as your “old clothes” – but keep putting them on, by PRACTICING until your new actions become a HABIT (“but doing that feels like a ‘put on,’ Pastor!” – EXACTLY!
This is not being a hypocrite, it is RETRAINING yourself to walk with God and RESTRAINING your old self from walking in sin
FOUR THINGS TO PUT OFF:
4:25 – LYING – be honest in word and spirit (the impressions you give)
4:26-27 – ANGER – deal with your feelings immediately and biblically
4:28 – STEALING – get a job (!), and be generous with what you have
4:29 – CORRUPT TALK – not just filthy talk, but negative talk as well
4:27 – “place” = “territory”
4:29 – “edifying … minister grace” – if your communication destroys unity or damages a brother or sister, it may be “right” but it is still WRONG!
4:30 – “grieve” – to outrage and humiliate (i.e. a King deposed from his throne by his own subjects – Jesus’ throne is your heart!)
4:31 – SIX THINGS THAT GRIEVE THE HOLY SPIRIT
BITTERNESS – motivated by unforgiveness
WRATH – motivated by a desire for revenge
ANGER – motivated by a loss of power
CLAMOR – motivated by discontent
EVIL SPEAKING – motivated by jealousy
MALICE – motivated by hatred
4:32 – “BE kind” (not “FEEL” kind)
4:32 – “as God” – when we begin to see others as God sees them, we will be “tender” toward them and forgive them even when they are undeserving
Matthew 6:14-15 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.