Monday, November 26, 2012

Manner of Life

“Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called” (Ephesians 4:1).

For God’s chosen people there is a pattern set for life. Jesus said He “came to give life and give it abundantly” (John 10:10), so if we are going to receive that life we must be able to see the pattern of that life. And even though the rest of the world may not set their standards on this pattern, we as God’s children must devote our minds and hearts to the adhesion of this walk.

The pattern of the abundant life that the Bible refers to begins with faithfulness: “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10:23). God has promised a great future for those who will not allow the world to persuade them to give up. Hebrews is a book written to a group of Christians converted from the Jewish belief system and they were being pressured to return to their old ways. The writer encourages them to remain faithful to Jesus’ way because this is the way to the promises that are entailed in this life. And he reassures them that the One Who made these promises is faithful and would never lead them wrong. The lesson is our also that if we will hold fast to our confession that Jesus is Lord then we can be free from doubt or worry that God will not hold back on any of His promises to us.

This pattern for life begins with faithfulness that leads us to action. In verses 24 and 25 of Hebrews 10, the pattern for our new life in Christ has within its guidelines an unselfish connotation. We are to “consider” and “stimulate” our brothers and sisters to “love and good deeds.” Thayer’s Lexicon says that the word “consider” is a Greek word that means to “fix our minds upon.” In other words, our brethren’s spiritual welfare should be a priority for why we do what we do as an assembly. We are not in worship just for ourselves but we are there to consider the welfare of our brethren also. We are also shown that the pattern involves a desire to “stimulate” each other. Thayer says the Greek word for “stimulate” means an inciting and can be used in a negative sense, as to invoke anger in Acts 15:31. But here it is a positive format showing us that God wants us to gather as an assembly to motivate each other to love, which is a serving love, and good deeds, which are works that God created us in Christ to accomplish: “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10). The church’s pattern of life is much different than the world’s way of existing because we are patterned after our Lord.

There is one more piece of the puzzle of the pattern for the Christian life and that is reverence. This word sometimes confuses the majority because it entails fear. Some believe that we are not to fear God, but the Bible definitely reveals fear as part of our love for God. Not a too scared to see fear but a reverent and respectful fear that motivates us to action. In verses 26 and 27 of Hebrews 10 we see that if we do not have this fear for the Lord we will continue to willfully sin and this will bring judgment upon what God calls His adversaries. The Christian life is a pattern of sacrifice for Jesus’ cause, which is bringing the lost to Christ. The pattern of our lives lived faithfully reveals to the world that only through the wisdom of God can one find their way to His promises (Romans 12:1-2). If the church is going to be successful in what the Lord has set us apart to accomplish, then we must dedicate our live to the pattern of success He has revealed to us in His Son. If we will be faithful to His pattern He will be faithful to His promise.

In His Grace,

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