Getting Along (Ephesians #18)

Text: Ephesians 4:1-6

Worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called…

Part of our job as Christians is getting along with each other

  • Part of your relationship with God is experienced through your interaction with other people.
  • A vocation is a job.
    • There is little said in the Bible about what job you have in this life.  You’re given some principles about how to steer clear of some jobs, but the truth is we are much more consumed with “what you’re going to be when you grow up” than God is.  How you generate income is much less important to God than your high calling as a Christian.  The vocation is also your calling.
    • Walk WORTHY of your calling, so if you can’t get along that makes you the opposite of worthy, UNWORTHY of your calling
  • We can be very good at finding fault in each other, even better than the world sometimes.
    • “Spiritual people take big things and make them small.  Carnal people take small things and make them big.” Paul Chappell
    • There are some saved folks who are too spiritual for anybody to be around.  No church is good enough.  No congregation is friendly enough.
    • They end up in the same ditch as the unsaved soul that is so spiritual he can worship God anywhere.  Talked to a guy the other day that gave the typical, “I can worship God on the boat,” deal.  “Don’t need a church to go to.”  I said, “Man, you must think awful highly of yourself.”  “Why is that?” he asked.  “Because you believe you are so spiritual you don’t God’s prescription for helping you.” I said, “I don’t go to church because I’m spiritual.  I go to church because I’m not spiritual.  I go to church because I need to go to church.”
    • Anytime you have a group of people who have convictions, you’re going to have people who have strong disagreements.
  • Those are negatives, but the positives of spiritual unity in a church where people are family far outweigh any negatives that could arise.
    • Spiritual protection inside the flock.
    • People who pray for you and with you.
    • Good peer pressure.
    • People who love you and genuinely care for you.
    • The ability for God to use you.  And use you multiple times more than a monk.

There is a way to walk that will keep you from hurting yourself and others

  • Here described as a worthy walk versus an unworthy walk
  • Walk in lowliness and meekness
    • God honors someone who’ll keep their head down
      • Psalm 138:6 Though the LORD be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly: but the proud he knoweth afar off.
      • Psalm 3:34 Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly.
    • Protects you from offense
      • Proverbs 11:2 When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.
      • Philippians 2:3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
      • Quit being offended and quit being an offense.
      • Is the color of the curtain really the hill I want to die on?  Is the purchase of a weed eater really where you want to park your spiritual life?  Is the crockpot that hasn’t been used in 20 years, but was borrowed by the youth group really a good place to make your last stand?
      • James 4:1-3 Wars and strife come from trying to satisfy the flesh that can never be satisfied.  This week it’s the wrong color curtains.  Even if you get the right color curtains, next week it will be something else.  It will be never ending.
    • This is a characteristic of the Lord Jesus Christ
      • Zechariah 9:9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.
      • Matthew 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
    • Not contentious – Just looking for a fight.
    • Not cruel – bully.
    • Not full of self pity
    • Not vengeful.  (I’m going to teach them a lesson.  If she’s not going to listen to me, then I’m going to just let the coffee maker run over.  After all is said and done, you’re twice as mad as you were, they still haven’t learned the lesson, and there is a mess a to clean up.)
    • Accepting your own faults and mistakes.
    • Taking responsibility
    • Not relying on feelings to guide you.
  • Walk with longsuffering and forbearance in love
    • When you love someone that relationship is the most important thing.  And you’ll overlook a multitude of problems just for the sake of the relationship.  You treat your kids this way.
    • Other Christians have to be patient with your faults and tantrums and slow spiritual growth so you can do the same with the rest of us.
    • Offences must come and they can be part of strengthening a relationship.

Endeavoring to keep spiritual unity

  • If you’re unified, how are you unified?  Are you chained together?  Are trapped in the same box?  Are you unified because you’re moving in the same direction?  Are you unified because you have the same purpose?  What’s the nature of this unity?
  • Unity is in the Spirit of God.  Seven muster points of unity.
    • One body – His body was wounded for our transgressions, not Paul’s or Peter’s or your uncle who is a deacon in a church somewhere.
    • One Spirit – the scriptures are how the Spirit of God communicates.
    • One hope –  the resurrection or translation of this body into an incorruptible body when we see Jesus.
    • One Lord – the Lord Jesus Christ who will return to be Lord of lords and King of kings.
    • One faith – faith in Jesus Christ
    • One baptism – this is talking about the baptism of Romans 6:2-4 when a sinner trusts Jesus Christ and in spiritually baptized into the body of Christ.  This will be explained in Ephesians 5.
    • One God and Father – as a child of God you have God as your Father.
  • All of these things are doctrinally true for the child of God.
  • To put these truths into practice the Lord has given gifts to men to bring Christians into unity.  Ephesians 4:8-13 ….till we all come in the unity of the faith…