I) The first call is to Christian duty, wake up
First, out of the sleep of spiritual deadness.
Ephesians 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
Acts 24:22, And when Felix heard these things, having more perfect knowledge of that way, he deferred them, and said, When Lysias the chief captain shall come down, I will know the uttermost of your matter. 23 And he commanded a centurion to keep Paul, and to let him have liberty, and that he should forbid none of his acquaintance to minister or come unto him. 24 And after certain days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which was a Jewess, he sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Christ. 25 And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee. 26 He hoped also that money should have been given him of Paul, that he might loose him: wherefore he sent for him the oftener, and communed with him. 27 But after two years Porcius Festus came into Felix' room: and Felix, willing to shew the Jews a pleasure, left Paul bound.
Philippians 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:Second, many Christians are asleep.
1 Corinthians 15:34 Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.
Christians are asleep in sin.
Christians are asleep in neglect their personal communication with the Lord in his word and in
They are asleep and the word of God has no effect upon them.
Christians are asleep in unconcern about the condition of those around them.
Christians are asleep in front of the TV when they should be about the Lord's business.
1 Thessalonians 5:5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.The enemy is upon us
Our neighbour's house is on fire
Our own families are in danger of falling to the enemy
Society is given to the pursuit of pleasure.
It is time to wake up, and be concerned about the eternal, both in salvation and in standing before the Lord.
James 5:9 Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.Romans 13:11, time is running out. Our salvation is nearer than when we started. If we are going to serve Lord, wake up and do it.
II) The second call is to Christian dress. That call is two fold: cast off and put on.
First, cast off the works of darkness.
Eternity is at the door. We must be careful, or we will be found doing those things displeasing to the Lord. We must claim God's grace, and cast off those things displeasing to the Lord.
2 Peter 3:11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, 14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.
Paul lists the things we are to case off, v. 13:
Lying, walk honestly as in the day. In other words, honest all the time as though everyone is watching and knows the truth.
We had a man plumb my mother-in-law's house a couple weeks ago. The man gave me a price of 300, including the pressure tank. I told him to go for it. When it came time to settle up, he charged a total of 350. When I mentioned the price he gave me, he said, "I said between 300 and 400, and I am splitting the difference with you."
Lying has become a way of life today. There are very few people any more whom we can trust to consistently tell the truth.
Rioting, Drunkenness, which includes what we would call today PARTYING. Excessive eating and drinking. Basically, through Christ and the grace of God, we are not to be controlled by our fleshly appetites, including the cares of this life.
The Lord warns against being controlled by the cares of this life so much that we forget our Christian duty:
Luke 21:34 And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.We can get so involved in making a living (or the pursuit of pleasure) that we have no time for the Lord.
Chambering, Wantonness, adultery, unlawful cohabitation, unbridled lust, unclean books, gestures, dances. Anything that violates God's laws of modesty and purity.
Strife, Envyings, contentions, heated debates, and arguments, rivalry, jealousy, zeal that seeks to punish, pursing and defending things that should not be pursued nor defended, things that are none of our business.
Second, put on the whole armour of God.
We are members of the Lord's army in the midst of the enemy. Our's is a life of warfare against the works of darkness. And we must have on the clothing supplied by the Lord if we expect to be victorious in this life:
Ephesians 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saintsIII) The third call is to Christian walk
Romans 13:13, we are to walk honestly
1 Thessalonians 4:1, we are to walk pleasing to God.
Ephesians 5:8, we are to walk as children of light.
We are to walk, live, decently and as a credit to the Christian profession. We are to study those things that are good and that have a good report.
IV) The fourth call is to Christian provision, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.
Paul is not saying here that we make no provisions for our bodies. What he forbids are the provisions to fulfill the fallen lusts. The Lord taught us to ask for our daily bread; yet when Israel asked for meat in their lusts, he sent them death. (Ps 78.)
V. 14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.The Christian must make no provision for the flesh to fulfill the lusts thereof.
Turn off the "Sit coms" that involve adultery and immorality.
Stay away from the "partying" crowd.
Avoid questionable situations
If we cannot debate something without becoming heated over it, stay out of the debate.
Stay out of things that are none of our business
Leave it up to the Lord to make things right when we are wronged.
Ephesians 4:24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.The only way we will live a holy life above the binding cords of sin is by putting on the Lord Jesus Christ. Without Christ, we are naked victims in the warfare. We have nothing of our own in which we can stand.