Christ Centered Living
Christ Centered Living
Living the New Life - Part III
August 5, 2007
“But that is not the way you learned Christ!” Eph 4:20
1. Having described the world in its darkness, alienation, and futility, Paul now exclaims, “You, however, did not come to know Christ that way.” Because the Gentiles walk in darkness, they do not distinguish between right and wrong; but those on whom the truth of God shines ought to live in a different manner.
2. The gentiles that yield themselves up to lusts is not surprising; but the doctrine of Christ teaches us to renounce our natural dispositions. He whose life differs not from that of unbelievers, has learned nothing of Christ; for the knowledge of Christ cannot be separated from the mortification of the flesh.
3. It is important to notice that this section on Christian life begins with a reference to Christ himself and not to anything that might come out of the depraved hearts or efforts of human beings.
4. Some people think that a new life or a new beginning in life can emerge from self-discovery, personal enlightenment, mysticism or the occult. However, real change comes in none of these ways. The only truly transforming power that has ever come into the world is that of the person and teaching of Jesus Christ, and the only true and lasting changes that ever take place in an individual life take place through believing in and learning from him.
5. You did not learn Christ is a direct reference to salvation. To learn Christ is to be saved. In Matthew 11:29, Jesus offered one of the loveliest of all salvation invitations: “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me”
6. The ways of God and the ways of the world are not compatible. The idea, promoted by some who claim to be evangelicals, that a Christian does not have to give up anything or change anything when he becomes a Christian is nothing less than diabolical. That notion, under the pretense of elevating God’s grace and of protecting the gospel from works righteousness, will do nothing but send many people confidently down the broad way that Jesus said leads to destruction (Matt. 7:13).
7. “Friendship with the world is hostility toward God ” (James 4:4), and the person who makes a profession of Christ but makes no effort to break with his worldly and sinful habits has reason to doubt his salvation.
“The one who says, ‘I have come to know Him’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him,” and “If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:4, 15).
8. From the human side, salvation begins with repentance, a change of mind and action regarding sin, self, and God. John the Baptist (Matt. 3:2), Jesus (Matt. 4:17), and the apostles (Acts 2:38; 3:19; 5:31; 20:21; 26:20) began their ministries with the preaching of repentance. The very purpose of receiving Christ is to “be saved from this perverse generation” (Acts 2:40), and no one is saved who does not repent and forsake sin.
9. To hold on to sin is to refuse God, to scorn His grace, and to nullify faith. No Christian is totally free from the presence of sin in this life, but in Christ he is willingly freed from his orientation to sin. He slips and falls many times, but the determined direction of his life is away from sin.
10. One of the first things a Christian should learn is that he cannot trust his own thinking or rely on his own way. “They who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf ” (2 Cor. 5:15).
11. The Christian has the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16), and Christ’s is the only mind on which he can rely. The obedient, faithful Christian is the one for whom Christ thinks, acts, loves, feels, serves, and lives in every way. He says with Paul, “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me” (Gal. 2:20).
12. The mark of the Christian life is to think like Christ, act like Christ, love like Christ, and in every possible way to be like Christ—in order that “whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with Him” (1 Thess. 5:10).
Have we ever seen holier men than the martyred John Bradford, or Hooker, or Usher, or Baxter, or Rutherford, or M'Cheyne? Yet no one can read the writings and letters of these men without seeing that they felt themselves "debtors to mercy and grace" every day, and the very last thing they ever laid claim to was perfection! — J.C. Ryle
GracePointe Baptist Church
2209 N Post Road
Oklahoma City, OK 73141
Phone: (405) 769-5050