February 16, 2020
______________________________ Pastor Tom Matson
Becoming More Like Christ
1 John 2:6 Whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.
1 Corinthians 11:1 Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.
1 Peter 2:21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.
Ephesians 5:1-2 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Ephesians 4 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. 7 But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. 8 This is why it says:
“When he ascended on high,
he took many captives
and gave gifts to his people.”
9 (What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions? 10 He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) 11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. 17 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19 Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.
20 That, however, is not the way of life you learned 21 when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 26 “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold. 28 Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.
29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
We're expected to walk in a different way, once we follow Christ.
It doesn't matter if a crowd is watching - or if no one at all is watching.
It doesn't matter if the watch is full of joy, or difficult.
It doesn't matter about the circumstances, the physical, emotional, or even spiritual strain.
Walking as a follower of Jesus requires a different step than the rest of the world
Taking upon yourself this new life requires change.
1. The way you live has nothing to do with the way you were saved
Ephesians 2:8-10 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Receiving the gift of salvation, receiving the ultimate gift is easy, it's wonderful.
Millions and millions of people believe that Jesus was the Christ, the Messiah, the Savior.
But there's as big a step between receiving Christ and living a life that's worthy of that gift.
2. The way we walk is seen in how we treat others
Bearing with one another.
Working hard to keep the unity among believers.
Ephesians 3:20-21 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
3. The way you walk is up to you
The only person in the world who can make that decision for you ... is you!
I urge you today to first, take a look at your relationship with Christ.
Do you know Him personally?
If you know him, are you living a life that He has planned for you?
Does your life resemble the life of Christ?
Jesus transforms lives from a lost existence through repentance and His forgiveness of sin.
His grace and mercy from His gift of salvation is ready for anyone who is willing to trust in Him as personal Lord and Savior.
He can, and will, transform you today. Just ask, and you will receive. Amen.
If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9)
So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.”(Acts 16:31)
God, I know that I am a sinner. I believe that Jesus died on the cross in my place. I believe His shed blood, death, burial, and resurrection were for me. I now receive Him into my life as my Savior. I thank you for forgiveness of my sins, the gift of salvation and everlasting life, because of your merciful grace, Amen