This blog will include the sermons I have preached as a lay minister with the Anglican Parish of South Queens in the Diocese of NS and PEI in the Anglican Church of Canada. Because my preaching schedule varies, the frequency of postings will vary.
I hope that these sermons will enrich your spiritual life as much as they have enriched mine.
Friday, 6 June 2014
Ephesians 4:17-32 Paul’s Guide to Christ-Like Behaviour
1948, Jackie Robinson became the first African-American to play Major League
baseball. He faced stiff opposition in the form of balls being deliberately
thrown at him by pitchers, base runners who dug their spikes into his shins,
fans who mocked him and even death threats. Jackie Robinson was a competitive
scrapper, but he also knew that the right way to fight was to demonstrate
meekness and forbearance. In other words, his behaviour was Christ-like. His
strength changed the face of baseball and in the process helped change the face
ancient Greek city of Ephesus was a corrupt city. The apostle Paul urged the
Ephesians to change. Christianity was not compatible with the Ephesians’
current lifestyle.Believers have to
forget about their old ways of doing things, but they can’t do it alone. God
can and does change the lives of believers. We can help the process by
following the spiritual disciplines of prayer, Bible study, service, ministry
Christians, our uniqueness in the world has to be made apparent by our mood,
morality, money, mouth and manners. We need to control our anger, encourage and
exhort others, and impart grace. We are warned against corruption in both words
have been sanctified or made holy, but that does not mean that personal
morality can be ignored. On the contrary, because we have been justified or
made right with God, we have been made new creatures who have to move out of
the control or power of the world. This means that our personal morality must
also be pure and holy because we have been saved by Christ from the sins of the
world. Christ frees us to be a new creation.
a new creature, we have the power of words. Words can harm and help. People who
are hurting, who are without hope or who need encouragement can be help by
encouraging words. They can also be hurt by words spoken in anger. Using the
acronym T.H.I.N.K. will help us to control what we say and how we say it.
Before we speak, we need to ask ourselves if the words we will speak are:
must ask ourselves how we think others will rate us on the amount of praise and
encouragement we give them. Are we a force for encouragement in their lives or
are we discouraging as we interact with them? What if we only said things that
could build other people up or encourage them even when we have to talk about
careful with our words does not mean that we as Christians are not to get angry
at all. There are times and situations where anger is justified or called for
such as crime, injustice and hunger.How
we express our anger and how our anger affects others determine Christian
action and attitude.
example of righteous anger involves people who refuse to work to earn a living.
Honest labour can be good, but it can also be sinful. If we work to get more
and more goods for ourselves, then honest labour is sinful. In fact, Jesus
warned us against labouring for plenty or hoarding what we harvest or earn. If
we labour to provide for those who are poor, then our labour is for good,
because we are labouring for what really matters, and that is human tenderness,
family love and togetherness. People we work for have a duty to pay us a fair
and decent wage. Failure to do so is the same as stealing.
have to make a conscious, minute-by-minute choice to depend on the Holy Spirit
to change us if we want to be like Christ. Our good works and service will not
save us. God saved us so that we can be like him and do the works that he would
do. These works have to be motivated by service. In other words, we are to
serve others and not call attention to ourselves.
most important quality we need to be Christ-like is the ability to forgive others.
We are to be merciful just as Christ is merciful. We have to forgive others as
we have been forgiven. Forgiving is not the same as forgetting. If we refuse to
forgive others, we are hooked to them and the past, and that means that the
pain continues for us.
Holy Spirit is grieved when we do not act in a Christ-like manner. Our bad
conduct tarnishes his name. We become ignorant to God’s truth. We become
morally insensitive. We have to lay aside this evil nature when we become
believers. When we become believers, our minds are renewed and furnished with
the light of God’s mind, and we can see things as God sees them and make godly
David: The Jeremiah Study Bible, NKJV (Brentwood,
TN: Worthy Publishing; 2013)
& Ogilvie, L.J.: The Preacher’s
Commentary Series, Vol. 32: Galatians/Ephesians/Philippians/Colossians/Philemon
(Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Inc.; 1982)
C.,F.: The Charles F. Stanley Life
Principles Bible, NASB (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Inc.; 2009)
J.F. Jr.: The MacArthur Study Bible, NASB
(Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Inc.; 2006)