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And He Himself gave some to be....evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ...
- Ephesians 4:11-12

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Location: The Hill Country of Texas

Pastor - Providence Reformed Baptist Church
Director - TIME in the Word Ministries

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Walk as Children of Light

The next message in our series Be Imitators of God is taken from the paragraph of text found in Ephesians 5:8-14. This message, titled Walk as Children of Light will be available to listen to or download later today.

Working through the outline one of the most important things we will learn from this passage is that we are not to try to contextualize the gospel to the culture in which we live. This is a hot topic today in the world of evangelicalism as many are set on trying to change the way the church does things in order to make the gospel relevant to the culture in which we live. They believe that the message must stay the same but that the methodology must change.

First we must note that the gospel does not need to be made relevant. It is relevant! It is timeless truth. It is the power of God to salvation and it is foolishness to those who are perishing. Trying to make it "unfoolish" is nothing less than an attempt to change the very content of the gospel itself.

Secondly we must also note that we are not called to reach the culture! We are called to preach the gospel to people and the gospel calls us OUT of the culture. Not that we leave the culture, but here is what we miss sometimes, especially in light of the latest fads out there. We are not called to change the culture. We are called to live in the culture but while doing so to live differenly than the culture.

We are salt and light. And light, as we will learn today, exposes the unfruitful works of darkness. It reveals them to be what they are. So we do not redeem these things - we expose them. The way we think, talk, and live as we imitate God by walking in the light will make it clear that while we live in the culture we are different from it and that difference reveals the need that people have for Christ. As that need is exposed often people react with hatred and evil. Should that surprize us? They hated Christ and if we look like Him then they will hate us too.

We must respond then by living and preaching the gospel. Their words and actions serve only to remind us that they need Jesus. And God has appointed us as His ambassadors to preach the gospel to those who need to be saved and reconciled to God.

The methodology we have been given is not subject to change! Did you hear that? Some think that methodology must be updated to match the times - but I would submit that both the message and the method are timeless and effective! The methodoly we have been given includes in part worship, fellowship, discipleship, preaching, and evangelism. And we are instructed in how to do these things in the Scriptures. These do not change - and in fact to change them is to begin to go outside of the Scripture to try to accompish God's purposes. How foolish is that? It denies the sufficiency of Scripture. It denies the power of the Holy Spirit. It makes men, and not God, the most important thing in our witnessing and preaching and living.

Sadly many of those who try to make things relevant are actually changing the method and in the process losing the message as well.

Here then is the outline for this message:

Walk as Children of Light - Ephesians 5:8-14

Walk in Light – Eph. 5:8-14

A. You were once Darkness – vs. 8a
1. Once, before salvation – 1 John 1:5-6
2. Dead in sin, not sick in sin – Eph. 2:1
3. Lovers of darkness – John 3:19-21

B. You are Light – vs. 8b
1. A New Creation – 2 Cor. 5:17
2. A New Man – Eph. 4:21-24; Col. 3:9-10
3. Alive to God in Christ – Rom 6:6, 11; 8:7

C. Walk as Children of Light – vs. 8c-10
1. As children = growing, trusting
2. In Goodness – Ps. 14:3; Mt. 19:17
3. In Righteousness – Heb 2:17; 1 John 2:2-6; 1 John 4:10
4. In Truth – John 14:6
5. In Christ (#2,3, and 4 are only found in Christ)
6. Find out what is Acceptable to God – Rom 12:1-2

D. Expose the Unfruitful Works of Darkness – vs. 11-13
1. Have No Fellowship (agreement, endorsement, participation)
2. These works are UN-fruitful - Gal 5:19-21
3. Expose them
4. They are Shameful – where has shame gone? – Prov 6:23; 2 Tim 3:16
5. Made Manifest by the Light – to make visible, to see something for what it is - Heb. 4:12

E. Christ will Give You Light – vs. 14 – the gospel call to salvation!
1. Isaiah 55:1-3, 6, 7;
2. James 4:6-10


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