Updated: Mar 30
-What does it mean when scripture instructs us to: 'Walk a walk worthy of the Lord?'
-Jesus, the Lord of glory who was devoid of all sin, voluntarily died an agonizing, painful, cruel and humiliating death on the cross, giving His life ...FOR US.
-In contemporary language: 'He took the bullet for us.' All of our sins were nailed to the cross with Him. His shed blood cleansed us, and washed our garments white as snow.
-So, then how do we keep ourselves and our garments clean?
-How do we keep ourselves 'worthy' of what Jesus did for us?
The Apostle Paul tells us in:
Ephesians 4:1 'As a prisoner for the LORD, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.'
1 Thessalonians 2:12 '... encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.'
Colossians 1:10 'so that you may live a life worthy of the LORD and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God'
The biblical definition of worthiness means to be competent, fit, able, suitable, or appropriate ... having adequate or great merit, character, or value: a worthy successor.
---God is telling us is that we must live a life that's holy and acceptable to Him, worthy of the pain and agony Jesus suffered on the cross at Calvary for us. People can no longer make light of what He did, or consider it 'no big deal' as some think. (ex) Kenneth Copeland - what he said making light of what Jesus did.
---So, how do we live holy lives worthy of our calling in Christ Jesus?
1Peter 4:1-2, gives us a glimpse of what we should do, and how we should live to walk a walk worthy of Jesus' sacrifice:
"Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God." (Stop seeking so many fleshly pleasures/focus on the things of God)
Three things we must do to live holy and keep ourselves clean:
(1) We must first REPENT of all sinful behavior. 'Repentance' means to 'turn from evil, then turn to good.' Turn from our wicked ways, then turn to how God wants us to live as written in the Bible. And ... not go back to them.
(2) The Bible tells us in Matthew 6:33 to "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and its righteousness ..." and then God will give us the spiritual and the material things we desire. (But not always the material things) (Explain: God gives us what we need, not always what we desire). (Ex) Many fall due to riches (ex) Perhaps this is why many Christians don't have wealth, to keep us close to God.
(3) Live Godly. How?
I. We must seek Humility (Def: 'A modest or low view of one's own importance; humbleness.' It's the opposite of PRIDE.) We must humble ourselves before God and towards others: How? (Listed 5 things ... but more)
A. Be submissive to others.
-In 1Pet 5:5-6, "... Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for 'God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.' Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time."
-In Jas 4:10, "Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up."
-Also asking God, in prayer, for a humble heart.
(ex) This is what a hero is made of ... sacrificing his or her own safety, or even life, for another. (Ex. Jerry Burg who received a bronze star for heroism)
B. Avoid pridefulness. (God hates pride. Lucifer's fall).
-In Prov 16:18, "Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall"
-In Isaiah 2:12, "The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, The haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, And the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day." (Explain)
Why should a man or woman be prideful and arrogant?
What do we possess that God has not given us?
(ex) Looks and talent of an actor. (ex) professional athlete.
C. Avoid selfishness.
Romans 15:1-3 tells us: 'We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up. For even Christ did not please himself ...'
Philippians 2:3-4, "Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind (humility) let each esteem (treat) others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others."
(ex) Cut throat big business and finance. (Talk about Heidi's professor)
(ex) Pr-med. (Sabotaging chemistry experiments)
(ex) Avoid eating or drinking anything in the presence of a person you know
would cause offense. (drinking wine in front of a brother; eating pork)
(ex) Avoid wearing clothing that might offend others.
(Even if you feel in your heart there is nothing wrong in doing it).
I once read this quote but cannot remember the source:
"Spiritual maturity is always determined by our willingness to sacrifice our own desires for the interests of the Kingdom or for the sake of others."
D. Avoid judging others 'unrighteously'.
Jesus says in Matt 7:1-2, "Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you." (Jesus is speaking of unrighteous judgment based on feelings or preconceived thoughts or opinions)
But, Jesus also tells us in Jn 7:24, "Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment." (ex. Aurora quiz on judging others-millionaire)
Is Jesus telling us to never judge others? No! He is telling us to judge based on what the Word of God says ... not according to our own thoughts or opinions.
Quote from christian issues.biz:
"We live in a world that increasingly strives to (supposedly) promote the idea of tolerance, but actually becomes intolerant of Christian absolutes as it does so. Whether it involves religion, behavior, or human sexuality, there is a growing anti-Christian sentiment in America and other Western nations. Ultimately, built into this “tolerance” is the concept that truth is determined by each individual, not by God. This has led many people to conclude that making judgments on anyone (especially coming from Christians) is wrong because the Bible says ”judge not” (Matthew 7:1). Interestingly enough, those who reject the notion of God or the credibility of the Bible often attempt to use God’s Word (e.g., by quoting verses out of context) to excuse their actions ..."
And a second quote:
Many Christians misinterpret what the Bible says about judging and say that we should never judge. In Matthew 7:1-5, Jesus did say not to judge. However, a close look at these verses will show that He is referring to hypocritical judging and He went on to say that when a hypocrite cleans up his own life, then he will be fit to judge another.
E. Seek to walk in love.
--What is the opposite of walking in love? Walking in HATE, BITTERNESS, ANGER, UNFORGIVENESS, CONTEMPT for others ... as just a few examples.
Matt 22:37-40 tells us: "Jesus said to him (a pharisee questioning Jesus about which is the greatest commandment in the law), You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind." "This is the first and great commandment." "And the second is like it, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' "On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets."
Meaning: If we live by just these two commandments, love God and love our neighbor, we will have incorporated all ten commandments. If I love my neighbor, I won't murder or steal from him; I won't bear false witness or talk trash about him; I won't commit adultery with his wife. And if I love God, I won't take His name in vain, or worship any other gods. I will honor my father and mother, and I will keep the sabbath day holy.
The following excerpts were written in an article titled, 'Walk in Love' found in Bible Study Guide.org:
The phrase "walk in love" expresses our entire relationship with God and mankind (Matt. 22:37-40). Paul says: "Therefore be followers of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma" (Eph. 5:1-2). Those who love God are followers (imitators) of God as His dear beloved, dearly loved children ... we are following God because of His love for us. And because God loved us, we love Him (1 Jn. 4:19). Therefore we imitate Him as dear childre
Jesus is our example of walking in love ... We have a grave responsibility to walk in love. A walk in love is not dictated by the doctrines and emotions of men but by God, thus imitating Him ... Are you walking in love as a beloved child of God? If not, whose child are you?
--So, we are to walk in love, not only toward God, but toward all mankind.
Jesus tells us in Matt 7:12, "Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them ..."
We demonstrate our love for God ... by praying to Him daily; by doing everything we do ... FOR HIM; by helping others ... with our time, our finances, and by our prayers for their needs; seeking after the spiritual things of the Kingdom ... spiritual gifts (nine), bearing fruit, and the heart and mind of Christ.
Examples of how we can show a neighbor the love we have in our heart for Jesus ...
-Shovel or snow blow his driveway.
-Offer to buy groceries for an elderly or invalid neighbor if bad weather.
-Offer to pray with your neighbor if troubled or in need of prayer.
-Offer money to meet his or her needs, if you are able.
F. Thinking about only good things and avoiding thoughts that are not edifying ... Thoughts that don't build you up spiritually.
This is what God's Word instructs us t
Phil 4:8 says, "Finally , brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy - meditate on these things."
Ps 51:10, "Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me ..."
In Matt 5:8, Jesus tells us in His sermon on the Mount: "Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God."
--We are to avoid thoughts that are not edifying to us; they don't help build us up and grow in faith!
(IMPORTANT) -- If our faith is not strong, how can we help build another's faith? And if our cup (heart) is empty, how can we fill another person's cup with what we don't have?
So, we have discussed the following to walk a walk of worthiness:
-Seeking first the Kingdom.
-Being submissive to others.
-Walking in love.
-Thinking about good things that will edify and build our faith.
Question to the congregation:
What else must we avoid in order to, "Walk a Walk of Worthiness?"... "And to walk humbly before God?"
1. Avoid lustful thoughts. The Bible tells us that sinful thoughts can lead to sinful desires in the heart, then eventually sinful actions.
2. Avoid and put away: unforgiven
ess, hatred, bitterness and holding grudges in your heart toward others: (Story of the unforgiving servant in Matt 18 when a servant was forgiven his debt by his master but refused to forgive the debt owed him by a fellow servant) ... A picture of God's forgiveness to us for much; and necessity for us to forgive others for little.
In Matt 18:34-35, Jesus said:
"And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him."
"So My heavenly Father also will do to you if eac
h of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses."
3. Avoid doubting God.
We are to ask in faith, without doubt. If we doubt God’s ability to respond to our request, what would be the point of asking in the first place? God says that if we doubt while we ask, we will not receive anything from Him, because we are unstable. Jas 1:6 tells us, “He who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” We have to believe in order to receive.
4. Avoid worry and fear.
Matt 6:25-34 (condensed), "Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on ... Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? So why do you worry ... O you of little faith?"
As for fear, the Bible tells us not to fear 366 times, one for every day of the year, including leap year! Some quotes telling us not to fear:
Isa 35:3-4, "Strengthen the weak hands, And make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who are fearful-hearted, Be strong, do not fear! ..." (con't)
Isa 41:10, "Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand."
And in 2Tim 1:7, "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind."
-The Bible is replete with scriptures describing how we should live a holy life;
- a walk worthy in the sight of God and of the sacrifice Jesus made for us on the cross.
- We have to read the Bible to help us understand what God requires.
- All who call themselves Christians, all who call on the name of Jesus, will desire a walk worthy of the Lord's sacrifice for us; ...
- Will die to the flesh and seek more of the spiritual things of God and the Kingdom; ...
- And who will say, 'Yes, Lord, I want to know You more, to love You more, to put away the things of the flesh and seek the spiritual, and follow You the rest of my life, ... even into eternity. And they will say: 'COME LORD JESUS!'