[These notes are from a Bible study taught more than 40 years ago. The notes are in outline form.]
Questions and Answers
- Question: What is the purpose of being a Christian?
- Answer: Be holy and pure in behavior of life – Ephesians 1:4
“According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.“
- Question: Why did God save us in the first place?
- Answer: Our love for the brethren – Ephesians 2:4-7
“But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.”
- Question: What is the ultimate of Christianity?
- Answer: To know the love of Christ and be filled with the fulness of God – Ephesians 3:17-19
“That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.”
- Question: What has God ordained our behavior to be in this present evil world?
- Answer: Live as a new man in righteousness and true holiness – Ephesians 4:17-24
“This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But ye have not so learned Christ; If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”
I want us to look at the behavior, or walk, that pleases God. Let’s begin with Ephesians 4:24 –
“And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”
The new man is created “after God.” This literally means that the Christian has been created “according to what God is in Himself.” That is, created after the pattern of God and what He is.
If you ladies want to use a pattern to make a dress, you will have to follow that pattern exactly or else the dress will not fit and look as it ought.
Ephesians 5:1 reads – “Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children.” Literally, this is – “be becoming therefore imitators of God, as children beloved.”
To imitate someone is to produce a likeness of that person in your life. Paul is telling us that we are to produce a likeness of God in our behavior. We are to be God-like!
But, we say, how can we know what God is like? The Bible teaches that in Christ “dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:9).
Look at Ephesians 2:10 – “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
Expanded translation – “We are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus with a view to good works which God prepared beforehand in order that within their sphere we may order our behavior.”
We are to order our behavior in the sphere of –
- Good works (Ephesians 2:10)
- Righteousness (Ephesians 4:24)
- Holiness (Ephesians 4:24)
There are only two reasons why a Christian does not experience a dynamic life. Look at Psalm 19:12-13
- Secret faults (ignorance)
- Presumptuous sins (disobedience)
- The dynamic Christian “knows and obeys.
- The non-dynamic Christian either “doesn’t know” or “knows and disobeys.”
Look at James 1:22-25 –
“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.”
- Christian A – hearer only
- Christian B – hearer and doer
The Bible is a very practical book. It deals with our real-life, every-day problems. God not only tells us what to put off or stop doing, he also tells us what to put on or start doing.
- Evil speaking
- Malice (ill will)
- Other gods
- Lack of joy
- Neglect of prayer and Bible study
- Temporal values
- Following the crowd
- Lack of moderation
- Drinking, smoking, drugs
- Necking and petting
- Dating wrong people
- Lust of the flesh
- Lust of the eyes
- Self (egocentric)
- Truth telling
- Tender heart
- Searching my own sin
- Self control
- Speaking with praise
- Jesus first
- Rejoicing always
- Preferring others
- Prayer and Bible study
- Eternal values
- Following Jesus
- Balanced life
- God’s temple
- Equally yoked
- God’s purpose
- Pure desires
- Pure thoughts
- Christ (Christocentric)
Is there anything in your life today that needs to be put off? Is there something that you need to put on? If there is and you would like us to pray for you, please raise your hand (or email us).
[Thank you for reading these teaching notes from more than 40 years ago. My prayer is they will be a blessing to you, your family and your ministry.]