(Sermon Notes) By: Warren Zehrung 5/9/2020
What does God expect of His people? For the very reason that much has been given to us – much is required of us.
God has told us what is right and what He requires of us. He tells us how to live converted lives. God tells us that we are to see that justice is done with loving-kindness. In every case, our primary responsibility is to walk in obedience to our God.
Micah 6:8 [The LORD] has shown thee, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of thee, but to do what is just, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
God tells us that we must also be overcomers even as Jesus Christ overcame the world. Jesus said:
John 16:33 “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
Brethren, how important is it for us to overcome? It is an incredible task!
To successfully be an overcomer, we must First, conquer the world, Secondly, overcome Satan, and Finally overcome ourselves. We must subdue, prevail, and gain victory over each.
Revelation 21:7 He that overcomes shall inherit Everything; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
It is too incredible to grasp! Can you imagine that as Sons of God absolutely everything will be at our disposal to do with as we see fit? For those of us who rise to the task, God has promised wonderful gifts:
He will give us a new name, His Family Name;
We will be the Bride of Christ; (Revelation 2 & 3)
He will give us power over the nations;
We will be clothed in white raiment which is the righteousness of the saints;
God will make us a pillar in His Temple;
Jesus will grant us a seat on His throne; (Revelation 2 & 3)
We will inherit the universe;
And He will be our God and we will be His eternal sons and daughters in His Family! (Revelation 21:7)
These are such great and wonderful promises that God has named this the Better Resurrection! (Hebrews 11:35). The gifts of the first resurrection are much Better.
What does God expect of the overcomers He has called to be a part of this unique and Better Resurrection? Too many people in the Church of God underestimate what is expected of us by God.
Some think that when they repent and are baptized – they are ‘home free’ – and they think that they have it made.
They think that all they have to do is assemble at church on Saturday and keep the Ten Commandments – and they will inherit the Kingdom.
Brethren, that is not near enough! You might ask, “What else is there?” But, Jesus taught differently when He said:
Luke 17:10 …When ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.
How can it be that when we have diligently done all those things which are commanded of us – we are yet unprofitable servants?
What is there to do beyond God’s commands and Laws???
Which fruit does God seek? What works does God seek?
Luke 17:10 …When ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants:
Why is God the Father is not pleased…? It is because we must go beyond a knowledge of the Law:
For example: A Law degree in itself is not enough. If a lawyer never hangs out his shingle – he cannot be a success. He must accomplish works and win some cases.
Consider the Skill of watchmaker – who never makes any watches….
A Laodicean Ideology is pervasive right now: Repent and be zealous. God expects us to be zealous in so doing! Christianity is a lifetime endeavor.
Hebrews 6:1 Therefore moving on from the discussion of the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,
God grants us repentance – it is a gift from God.
Hebrews 6:2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
Paul is saying that after we have learned correctly how the entire Plan of God works – there is still something required that we must do. We must live it.
We must individually go on to perfection in our personal lives – a lifetime pursuit.
Hebrews 6:3 And this will we do, if God permits it.
We must Walk Worthy of our Calling.
Hebrews 6:4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Spirit,
Hebrews 6:5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
Hebrews 6:6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
How can it be that when we have diligently done all those things which are commanded of us – we are yet unprofitable servants?
What is there to do beyond God’s commands and Laws? The answer to this question is the subject of today’s sermon, “Walk Worthy of Our Calling.”
Going back to God’s principle that states, “The more we have been given—the more that is required of us,” we should consider the value of God’s promises to us. They are inestimable! They are too great to imagine.
Luke 12:48 …Whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required.
Brethren, we are not going to simply cruise into God’s Kingdom without hardly trying. Our, Christianity is much more than our ‘Pet’ doctrines. Much more is expected of us.
If keeping that which is commanded of us is not enough – what then are we to do? What does God expect?
We were selected and predestined before time to be called by God to the unique Better Resurrection – to serve with Jesus throughout the Millennium. (Romans 8:29, Ephesians 1:5, 11)
Paul uses the phrase, “walk worthy.”
It means we are to live a life of great value to God. We are to make something of ourselves that will be of worth, consequence, and usefulness to Jesus Christ in the Millennium. We are in training right now to be kings and priests with Jesus then. What must we do now to be useful to God then? We are to be becoming spiritually mature Christians.
Ephesians 4 The Title of today’s sermon, “Walk Worthy of Our Calling,” is from here.
Paul wrote these words to the Ephesians – and they are understood by those who hunger and thirst to Walk Worthy of Our Calling:
Ephesians 4:1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the invitation wherewith you are called.
Paul wrote that we are to be completely humble and gentle; patient, bearing with one another in love.
Ephesians 4:2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
Whenever a phrase—like, “walk worthy“—is repeatedly used in the Scriptures – it is because it carries great significance.
Colossians 1:10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God.
“The knowledge of God,” Brethren we do not know all that is in the Bible! Brethren, you realize that we will be rewarded according to the fruit we produce – our works.
1Peter 1:17 If ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judges according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: [fearful reverence for the things of God.]
Romans 2:6 Who will repay/render to every man according to his deeds:
Revelation 20:12 …The dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. (Proverbs 24:12)
Revelation 22:12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
Satan is always there to convince you that you have “Done enough,” “You are better than others.” It is not wise to compare ourselves with others – like saying, “Well, I’m doing as good as everybody I see at church.”
2Corinthians 10:12 For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.
God informs us that in the better resurrection we will all—everyone of us—be at different levels of usefulness to God’s Plan.
1Corinthians 15:40 There are also celestial bodies [The stars in the night sky], and bodies terrestrial: but the glory/brightness of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.
1Corinthians 15:41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differs from another star in brightness.
1Corinthians 15:42 So also is the resurrection of the dead.
One star differs from another star in brightness. That is telling us that some of the resurrected Saints will shine with much more brilliance while serving Jesus Christ in the Millennium.
It is not a matter of how smart we are—it is a matter of how much we strive to come to the perfection of Jesus Christ.
It is a matter of how spiritually hard we work… As we are shown in:
Ephesians 4:13 Till we all come… unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ:
That is a spiritual endeavor.
Solomon was the wisest man ever because God gave Solomon wisdom, yet he went off the deep end because he thought he was so smart that he could “game the system.”
1Kings 4:29 And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on the sea shore.
1Kings 4:30 And Solomon’s wisdom exceeded the wisdom of all the children of the east country, and all the wisdom of Egypt.
1Kings 4:31 For he was wiser than all men;
And still, he wasn’t smart enough to obey God.
Here is another place we find today’s Title: “Walk Worthy of our Calling” We are answering the question of “What does God expect of us.”
1Thessalonians 2:12 That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto His Kingdom and glory.
The Bible does not teach – Once saved—always saved. We must endure unto the end. Paul would not have said this if all the brethren in Ephesus, Colossae, and Thessalonica were living their Christianity in a worthy manner – valuable to God.
Sadly, it is the same today in God’s Church.
Paul was admonishing them to live a life worthy of the calling they have received.
Revelation 3:4 Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.
What are some of the ways revealed in God’s word to do these valuable things? How do we walk worthily? How can we know that we will be guaranteed entry into the Kingdom of God?
Galatians 5:18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. [the penalty of death]
Galatians 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
Galatians 5:20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
Galatians 5:21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
WHY? Because there is a Law against these things.
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Galatians 5:23 Meekness, temperance/self-control/self-rule: against such there is no law.
Why does Paul say, “against such, there is no law?”
Paul is comparing and contrasting here: He is saying “quite the contrary,” “these we must be doing.”
Galatians 5:24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its affections and lusts.
Romans 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death?
Romans 6:4 Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
Galatians 5:25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
Let us walk worthily of our calling.
Let me make a few comments about temperance in Galatians 5:23 because it is a most important word:
In Galatians 5:23, (temperance), “self-control” means “gaining the power, developing the mastery of self-rule over our desires and impulses.
And, doing that is real work – and as we saw in Galatians 5:25 – it takes the help and empowerment of God’s Holy Spirit to bring ourselves into the submission of God’s way and dominion.
We must pray, “With the help of God’s Holy Spirit” we will gain mastery over ourselves.
We still have within ourselves our old fleshly natures, which tempt us to take wrong actions and exhibit wrong attitudes – and that is a misuse of Godly liberty.
James 2:10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.
Peter tells us how to be assured of the Kingdom of God.
1Peter 1:9 Receiving the end [Goal] of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.
1Peter 1:15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
1Peter 1:16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
1Peter 1:22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:
2Peter 1:3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
2Peter 1:4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
2Peter 1:5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
Mark 9:24 Straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.
2Peter 1:6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
2Peter 1:7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness Godly Love.
2Peter 1:8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
This is why God tells us not to bury our talents. Let me repeat Luke 17:10 that we were studying a few moments ago:
Luke 17:10 So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.
Who will be the bride of Christ? What attributes will they have?
Those who overcome the World, Satan, and self:
Strive to Overcome the World:
John 16:32 Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.
John 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
No chapter break…
John 17:1 These words spoke Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:
John 17:2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.
John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
How can we know for sure that we have eternal life awaiting us?
1John 3:14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loves not his brother abides in death.
There needs to be, a love of God the Father and a love of Jesus Christ as well.
1John 5:1 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loves Him [Father] that begat, loves Him [Jesus] also that is begotten of Him.
1John 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep His Commandments.
1John 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His Commandments: and His commandments are not burdensome.
1John 5:4 Everyone who is begotten by God overcomes the world: and this is the victory that overcomes the world—our faith.
1John 5:5 Who is he that overcomes the world? Even he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
A billion or more people around this earth profess ‘Christ,’ and yet they don’t really believe Him.
It goes without saying that those who truly believe Jesus is the Son of God – live as Jesus lived – follow in His footsteps – in obedience – in Godly Love – laying their lives down for others as Jesus laid down His life. That is how the world is overcome.
How many people know how to overcome Satan (Revelation 12:11), and then set out to prevail over him?
In a red flag warning, Paul says we must be anxiously on guard:
Hebrews 4:1 Let us therefore fear [be on dire alert, on our guard], lest, a promise being left us of entering into His rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.
Strive to Overcome Satan:
Jesus enumerated three things that are necessary to overcome Satan because it is absolutely required of all who will enter the Kingdom of God.
Each and every saint will be an overcomer (Revelation 3:21).
We must overcome Satan as Jesus Christ did. He tells us how to go about overcoming Satan:
Revelation 12:11 They overcame Satan by the (1.) blood of the Lamb; and by the (2.) word of their testimony; and they (3.) loved not their lives unto the death.
First, Jesus’ sacrifice, the blood of the Lamb becomes effectual only after one repents of breaking the Ten Commandments.
That is when our sins are covered by the blood of Christ.
1John 1:7 If we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
Second, the word of their testimony is the exact same as the testimony of Jesus Christ—every word of God (John 17:17).
The word of our testimony means that we embrace every word and teaching of Jesus Christ – making His testimony our own testimony.
1John 5:10-11 He that believes on the Son of God has the testimony in himself: he that believes not God has made Him a liar; because he believeth not the testimony that God gave of His Son. And this is the testimony, that God has given to us – eternal life and this life is in His Son.
Third, they loved not their lives unto the death. They laid down their lives daily—following Christ’s example (Romans 12:1).
That third point is the deciding factor as to who goes to the Place of Safety, and who will have to wash their robes in the Tribulation [martyrdom]:
One must overcome Satan by loving his brethren enough to lay down his life daily for them.
1John 3:16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because He laid down His life for us: and we must lay down our lives for the brethren.
We Must Overcome Self:
The ‘self’ is the most difficult to overcome. How does one let go of the ‘self? How is the ‘self’ brought into submission to God’s will?
Self is part of our human nature and it wars against God’s way.
Christians are empowered by God’s Holy Spirit to overcome the self-serving human nature. Christianity demands that we follow the example of Christ and lay aside personal self-interests; preferring the good of all others, which is spiritually speaking, Christian love.
The ‘self’ is the part of us that remains of the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil. We know best!
We come into this world slaves to sin. Brethren, do we realize that God is directing our lives in order for us to become all we can be?
If we overcome as we must, in the Millennium God is going to hold us up as examples of His workmanship.
God is performing His work in each of us.
Ephesians 2:1 And you [that is each of us brethren] has He quickened [made alive], who were dead in trespasses and sins;
Ephesians 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us,
Ephesians 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
Incredibly, this is written as though we were already sitting on the throne next to Jesus in heaven.
Ephesians 2:6 And has raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
Revelation 3:21 To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
God is revealing this to us NOW!
Ephesians 2:7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them.
We are each God’s creation – He is the master potter – shaping us.
Proverbs 16:9 A man’s heart devises his way: but the LORD directs his steps.
If we are not compliant clay in His hands – we are getting in the way. We are to rise to the challenges set before us. God sends us ready-made challenges and circumstances whereby we may grow in Godly character. All of our trials are custom made for us.
That is why we count it all Joy:
James 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
James 1:3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith works patience.
James 1:4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
Our world-view begins to be more like God’s overall perspective. We begin to realize that God has taken us by the hand – and we relish His involvement more and more in our lives. We learn to overcome properly.
2Peter 2:10 Peter says that all men despise being under submission – walking according to the flesh. We are audacious, arrogant, and self-pleasing.
We know and understand that we are to put God first in everything – but because of our carnal nature we give self the priority.
Romans 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
How can we be freed?
Romans 7:25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
We arrogantly assert our own self interest
2Corinthians 5:14 For the love of Christ constrains us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:
2Corinthians 5:15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.
2Corinthians 5:16 Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.
2Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Ephesians 4:23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
Ephesians 4:24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
Where do we go to become profitable servants?
Over and over we are told to grow to be useful to God. We are to be developing ourselves to a higher standard. We are to build our own lives – with God’s instructions as a guide to our every decision.
What we need to learn to effectively do – is to correctly apply every Scriptural case in point to our own lives – and achieve the intent of the Biblical instruction – and actually live by every word of God.
Hebrews 11:6 says, “Without faith it is impossible to please him.”
So the call to walk “worthy of the Lord” is at least a call to walk by faith.
Galatians 6:9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.
Put on Christ
Romans 13:14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.
Galatians 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
There is only one way to “put on Christ” and that is to know the Bible well – and then trust that God still works only as He always has. Never assume that the issues addressed in the Scriptures are one time scenarios that are interesting to read. No, we are given God’s counsel and God’s word so that we can always live according to the way that leads to Christ living in us. That is what Putting on Christ means.
Bring forth good fruits
Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
Matthew 7:16, 20 Ye shall know them by their fruits.
Do we leave hurt, pain, destruction, and divided lives and families in our wake? Is that the fruit of our actions? Ministers live by the same tenets and principles of Christ that we do. God never permits ministers to run roughshod over the member’s lives. Jesus tells us to look at their fruits – how do they treat the brethren?
Every one of us must submit to Christ in our life by obeying every tenet and precept of Christianity.
Mat 7:17 Even so every good tree brings forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree brings forth evil fruit.
Matthew 7:18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
Jesus is speaking of how we live our entire Christian lives – and what are the results. As we saw a moment ago:
Mat 7:24 Therefore whosoever hears these sayings of mine, and does them, I will liken him unto a wise man.
John 15:4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
John 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abides in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
I think that all too often we overlook the fact that “without me, Jesus says, you can do nothing” and we set about doing things differently than if Jesus were a part of the process.
Revelation 3:5 He that overcomes, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.
He that overcomes??? Is it Sabbath-keeping alone that is being spoken of here? The Jews and Seventh Day Adventists do that? Is it baptizing underwater – the Baptists do that? What makes someone a righteous Christian? Is it a sliding scale?
Sardis lacked an understanding of the Holy Days and a full picture of the Plan of God that they portray – and yet Christ counts, some of them, faithful – because of their right attitude of Christ’s righteousness. They had not defiled their garments.
Revelation 19:8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.
Galatians 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap.
Sows to the Spirit We are speaking of how a true Christian lives his life.
Galatians 6:8 For he that sows to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that sows to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
Galatians 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
Galatians 6:10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
Who is really a Spirit-led saint who will be in the first resurrection? What does it mean in verse 8, “He that sows to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption, but he that sows to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting?”
End: Walk Worthy of Our Calling