Crosswalk Church of Daytona Beach

2020-10-04 Sunday Morning at Crosswalk

October 04, 2020 Mitch Pridgen
Crosswalk Church of Daytona Beach
2020-10-04 Sunday Morning at Crosswalk
Chapters
Crosswalk Church of Daytona Beach
2020-10-04 Sunday Morning at Crosswalk
Oct 04, 2020
Mitch Pridgen
Transcript

take your Bibles and turn to the book of Isaiah, Isaiah 55 and read all 13 verses and to read slowly so that we can saver the public hearing of God's word, being read to us. Isaiah 55 verse one, come, everyone who thirst come to the waters and he who has no money, come buy and eat, come buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that? Which is not bread and your labor for that, which does not satisfy listen diligently to me and eat what is good. And delight yourselves in rich food, incline your ear and come to me here that your soul may live and I will make with you and everlasting covered my steadfast love. Sure. Yeah. Love for David behold, I made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander for the peoples behold, you are, you shall call the nation that you do not know. And a nation that did not know you shall run to you because of the Lord, your God, and the Holy one of Israel for he has glorified. You seek the Lord while he may be found call upon him while he is near let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man, his thoughts, let him return to the Lord that he may have compassion on him and to our God for he will abundantly. Pardon? Where my thoughts are not your thoughts. Neither are your ways. My ways declares the Lord for, as the heavens are higher than the earth. So are my ways higher than your ways. And my thoughts, then your thoughts, who has the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there, but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater. So shall my word be that goes out of my mouth. It shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish all that I purpose and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it for. You shall go out, enjoy and be led forth in peace, the mountains and the Hills before you shall break forth into singing and the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorns shall come up the Cyprus as to the Briar shall come up the Myrtle. This shall make a name for the Lord. And everlasting sign that shall not be cut off us, bow our heads and pray father. We thank you for the privilege of coming together this morning and gathering as the body of Christ in this place. We do not take lightly nor casually the privilege that we are given to come together as your people to worship you. To give our hearts to you, to give our minds to you, to hear the preaching of your word, to sing your praises, to enjoy the fellowship of fellow believers and father. We have the certainty and the promise of your word, that it will not return to you void, but will accomplish what you purpose and sent it to do. So as we come together this morning, we come with that expectation with that anticipation, that is your word comes forth. Now, not only will we hear with our ears, but that our hearts, we ready to receive and that what you purpose to accomplish in us through it will be done this day for our benefit. But most of all, for your glory, for us in your name, Jesus, we pray. Amen. begin reading with me in Ephesians chapter five, verse one, therefore be imitators of God. As beloved children and walk in love as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God, but sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude, joking, which are out of place. But instead. Let there be Thanksgiving for you. You may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous that is idolater has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ. And God let no one deceive you with empty words where, because of these things, the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not become partners with them. Where at one time you were darkness, but now you are light. And the Lord walk as children of light for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right, and true. And try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Verse 11, take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. Where is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible for anything that becomes visible light. Therefore it says awake O sleeper and arise from the dead and Christ will shine on you. Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise, but as wise. Making the best use of the time, because the days are evil, do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is and do not get drunk with wine for that is debauchery, but be filled with the spirit, addressing one another in Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making metal metal melody to the Lord with your heart. Giving. Thanks always. And for everything to God, the father in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ submitting to one another out of rev burns for Christ. At the end of last week, study of a fee, want five verses one through 10, we saw Paul's warning to his Ephesians audience to avoid partnering. With those, he refers to as the sons of disobedience in verses six and seven, and while reminding them in verse eight of their own former state, which he calls darkness notice, Paul did not merely say they were in darkness. And this was the point that I drove home last week that he doesn't just say you were in darkness. Notice he says that they were darkness. The significance of the way he words that they were in darkness indeed as being unregenerate, but to compound the matter the darkness was in them, they were in darkness and the darkness was in them. They, that is who they were. They were darkness. We see that in verse eight. However, he goes on to tell them they are no longer darkness. But now as Paul continues, now, they are light in the Lord. Not only have they come out of darkness, we see that in first CR in Colossians chapter one, verse 13, where Paul writes these words, he has delivered for us from the domain of darkness. And we all see Peter in first, Peter two nine address the very same issue, but not only have they come out of darkness. But the darkness has come out of them. They are no longer darkness, but they are light. And the Lord. Now, does those words sound a little bit familiar? Yeah, obviously I just gave you three quotations yet. Paul's quoting here. Paul is quoting a Colossians and Peter's quote in first pestle chapter two, but we are reminded or should be reminded of our Lord's words that we read in Matthew chapter five, verses 14 through 16, where Jesus says this to those who are listening to him. As he teaches his sermon on the mountain. He said, you are the light of the world. A city set on a Hill cannot be hidden nor do people put light, light a lamp and put it under you're a basket, but on a stand. And it gives light for all that are in the house. And so Jesus, himself and self spoke of being light and being light in the world. Unlike those who literally grow up. And this is illustration that I used last week. Those who literally grow up in the darkness, sadly, unaware of their conviction condition believers walk in light. And this is Paul's imperative in verse eight. He says, walk as children of light, since you are no longer darkness, since you are now children of light walk as children of light. Two familial relationships that we see given to us there. But these two are diametrically opposed to each other or stand opposite of one another. We have sons of this obedience and we have children of light every single person this morning within the sound of my voice. Has been, and I, hopefully it has been in both of those, but it has always been at one time or the other in the first of those, that is, we were at one time prior to coming to saving faith in Jesus Christ. Every single one of us were sons of disobedience. And yet by virtue of our salvation, by our faith in Christ, we are now children. Of light. And so the imperative of Ghana, again, stands for us to walk as we are, that is children of light let we saw in verse nine. And Paul gives yet another triad. The last of the three in this particular passage, Paul writes for the fruit of light is found to notice the three things he gives us here. The fruit of light is found in all that is good, right? And true. Good and right. And true. Now Greek word translated fruit is car POS and it means in this context results. In other words, I think of it this way. When the believer walks as light in the Lord, that is bearing. And we are doing that. We are bearing the glorious light, as well as the fragrance. We saw two weeks ago of Christ in our lives. And the results of such a walk is these three things are these three things, all that is good, all that is right. And all that is true. In fact, again, it's akin to what Jesus tells us in Matthew five 16, so that men might see your good works and in the process, do what glorify your father. Who is in heaven. So as it walk as children of light, the results of being children of light, the fruit of being children of light will be all. That is good. All that is right. All that is true. And these standards such dark or SARTs, such stark contrast to the negatives that we see associated with darkness. And Paul gave us in verses three and four. And then in verse 10, we read these words and try to discern what is pleasing. To the Lord. Let's just camp here for just a moment. Discernment here, especially in this context, his sermon is applied to determining what pleases Christ, the word discernment conveys the idea of carrying out a careful examination to reprove after examination something. This has to be a key aim in the believers life that is to carefully examine the imperatives that were given in scripture and be ever mindful that these imperatives actually serve as the proof or evidence that a person really is a Christian one is become light in the Lord when the truth given to us. Becomes part and parcel with our walk. It has to become part and parcel with how we walk. That is how we live our lives. We can, at that point when that is indeed true for us, we can't have the humble assurance of a life that is pleasing to the Lord. Not a life lived according to our own will, but one that is lived in accordance to obedience, to God Christ. That's what it means to be discerning. What is pleasing too little. Are we going about our lives carrying on our lives as we please making our plans following through with our plans, giving a little thought whatsoever to asking that inevitable question that we should be asking ourselves as believers is this that I'm doing is the life that I'm pursuing the life that I'm living. Is this a life that is pleasing to the Lord? Well, how can we be sure that it's pleasing to the Lord? That is how are we applying the imperatives that the scripture gives us. Remember, we've spoken for many weeks now on the importance of the imperatives given to us in the word of God. I truly often wonder. In a day's time, how much we give a thought to our careful attention to whether our walk is truly pleasing to the Lord. Do we put our thoughts and our actions to the test of the wisdom and counsel of God's word? Remember that word discernment means putting something to the test, measuring what we're planning. What we're doing, what we are pursuing with the wisdom that is given to us and the counsel of God's word by doing justice, we progressively grow skilled at godly living. In fact, the Proverbs are given to us for this very purpose that we might grow skilled. In godly living. I think it's important for us each day. And most of you do that trust practically, all of us do that. Now we open our Bibles in the morning. We give ourselves to study the scripture first thing in the morning and give ourselves to prayer, not just merely to say, okay, we've fulfilled some obligation or duty that we might have, but to do what, to prepare ourselves for what we will face that day, what we will go through that day asking God to give us the. Wisdom to give us the direction for the things that we may face and may go through any particular day to be skilled at godly living, to be skilled at living a life that is pleasing to the Lord. This is exactly what Paul meant at the opening of chapter. When he exhorted his readers, he said, therefore, be imitators of God as beloved children, chapter five, verse one, listen church. If we want our lives to be pleasing to our Lord, how many of us want that to be truly the testimony of our lives? Now we have lives that are pleasing to the Lord, such discernment, such examination, examination, and testing is essential and it's to be constant and a consistent practice in our lives. Let me move on to verse 11. In verse 11, Paul returns to the illustration of darkness. And I want us to pay very close attention to what he says and what he tries to communicate to us here. He says in verse 11, he says, take no part of the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. There's little question that. By the unfruitful works of darkness. Paul is referring to the very thing he listed in the first two triads we sell in verses three and four. However, with this said, the works of darkness are not limited to just those six things. Example, see, even more previously mentored mentioned in chapter four, but I want to break down what Paul says here, but as I read this, I'm thinking years ago. I'm at a Christian school I was asked about, well, actually it was a little later than this time of the year. I was asked to address I'm the middle school, high school on the matter of Halloween. I mean, I'm not going to go there this morning. This is not the necessarily the time or place to go there, but to address the issue of Halloween and Christian's relationship to it. And so I thought, well, this'll be interesting. So parents were invited to come and I thought, well, I'll have just a middle school students and the high school students. So maybe a few parents will come well to make a long story short, the fellowship hall, which is probably as large as this room right here was packed standing room. Only once people learn I was going to be talking about, and this was kind of the key verse that I use as a springboard. As I addressed the issue of Halloween, I ain't take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead of exposing, which is what my attempt was to do that a day now, I learned something that day interesting about Christians or about people who profess to be Christians. There's just certain things you don't mess with Halloween, the Easter bunny and Santa Claus that will get you in a lot. Of trouble, but I had, I had a very good conversation with the people, had a very good time of teaching with them and had a time of question to answer after. And it was very, very good. I had some, I had some very significant opposition to my position as well, but that's neither here nor there at this point. But look what Paul says, break this down and maybe this will help us, even in that. Area, but look what he says here. Let's take this verse and break it down. Step by step. He says first he says, take no part, take no part. In fact, if you have in front of you, the new American standard Bible, it likely says do not participate in in fact, one translation says, have no fellowship now while the normal word used. For fellowship in the Greek is Quintanilla had. That is not the word that is used here at all. In fact, the word that is the Greek word that is actually used here literally means to do have no part of our no participation in, and the meaning really is quite simple. Don't join in with it. Anything that is unfruitful works of darkness. There's no innocent listen church. There's no innocent compromise, no innocent compromise with darkness. I've shared with you many times before, as I've stood up here that I've had conversations with people who said, you know, well, I just, I don't want to totally withdraw from the world. I think I can do this and then still remain. Okay. And be all right. And in an essence, what they're saying is I'm going to live my life. And see just how close I can get to the fire without getting burned. And really what that boils down to it is a futile attempt to compromise. And we cannot compromise in that way. I remember sharing with you specifically, a gentleman that put his school, took his kids out of Christian school, put them in public school only after year to put them back in Christian school. And when I asked him what precipitated the change of mine, he said, well, it's one thing to put them in the fire. It's just putting them close to the fire. It's a matter of just how close you want to put them. He said, and that was too close for me. You see, listen, church darkness surrounds us. Doesn't it. Darkness surrounds us. And this is becoming increasingly obvious. Some of the most dastardly work, some of the most destructive behavior is carried out in darkness. In physical darkness, which is simply a manifestation of the condition of the proof people's hearts that are carrying this stuff out, darkness surrounds us and it's becoming increasingly obvious and it is going to become more increasingly obvious. And the temptation we have is to either partner with it, even in a small compromise. And to do so is a threatening reality. We can't simply do that. We can't acquiesce and pretend that it does not exist, nor can we in any way, shape, form, or fashion participate in it. We have to do something else and we'll see that in just a moment. But he identifies also in his first, what it is that we are to have no part of. He says we are to have no partnership or no, no. I'm sharing the unfruitful works of darkness. Well, there is the fruit of light we saw in verse nine. These stand in contrast to the unfruitful works of darkness. They are indeed unfruitful because of where they originate. They may appear, or they may appear as one thing, but they are not good. Satan himself may appear or disguise himself as an angel of light. We see that in second Corinthians, 11, 14. But reality teaches us that he operates in the realm of darkness. So when we participate our partner with the unfruitful works of darkness, think of it this way. We are literally actually joining in league with our adversary, who does everything in darkness and everything he does is the epitome of that, which characterizes everything. That is displeasing to the Lord. But then what is our disposition? If we're not to partner with the unfruitful, works of darkness, participate with them. What are we supposed to do in this verse? We see the third thing he says, but instead expose them. Now Paul's exhortation goes beyond merely refusing to participate in things. It actually includes exposing them. What exactly does this mean? The believer is not to be passive in his or her disposition to sinful practices. We are to be actively discerning what is pleasing to the Lord as we saw while also being serious about that, which displeases him, the Greek word translated, exposed here. Not only means to bring to light. Or to reveal something hidden, listen to this. It also carries the meaning to reprove or to correct. And with this in mind, I believe it's safe to say that while we are to bring to light the works of the fruitless works of darkness in this world, it is very likely. Paul is saying we are to reprove and correct such conduct and behavior, even when it takes place in the church, when there are things. When there are things seen in the fellowship of believers and even in the individual lives of believers, even though I believe the ex exposing that Paul was talking about has a more corporate nature to it. I don't think it excludes the fact of exposing something personally, but even in individual believers, our duty is to address them. The scripture is clear in regards to how we are to go about, about this when we are silent. In fact, there's an old saying that I heard growing up and I've heard it even as an adult that oftentimes silent is perceived as consent. That when we see something going on, that's not right and we're merely silent about it. We say nothing about it. We refuse to address it in a way it can be perceived by others that we're actually consenting that. We're seeing for somehow that that's okay. That, that kind of behavior, that kind of conduct is okay in our silence. As it's been said, oftentimes our silence speaks louder than our voices. And pulsing, that's not to be the disposition that we are to have, not only are we not to partner with the fruitless works of darkness, but we are to rather expose them. And especially in regards to how they may manifest themselves in the life of a church and even in the life of believers. But we're very careful aren't we? And rightfully so. When we see things in the lives of our brothers and sisters in Christ that are going on, that we know were not beneficial for them. That might not be those things that line up with God's word. We ask ourselves our minds, we'll ask ourselves, who am I to say anything to them? Because we're oftentimes crippled sadly by our own. Propensity and proclivity to sinful conduct and behavior. And so we ask ourselves, who am I to address this with my brother or my sister or two addresses in regards to the church. But in reality, listen, we are commanded. The imperative of scripture is that we'd be willing to do just that. Galatians six one is very clear on this, that when we see these things happening, we are especially in the life of a believer. If a brother or sister is in sin or is doing something that the Bible is clear on in regards to being displeasing to the Lord, we are doing them a great favor. Listen, a great favor by addressing them on. And we're given the way in which we are to address it. But what is the disposition that Galatians six gives us in doing so. Do we do it in a, in a sense of arrogance with our fingers pointing at them and condemning them in light of that? Absolutely not. We do it in a spirit of watt of love and gentleness gentleness ever aware. Now the very thing that we see in them, we ourselves could very well fall into. And in fear and in trembling and humility and brokenness and concern and love and gentleness and care, we go to the brother, we'd go to the sister, we'd go to the church and we address the issues and in doing so, what we are doing is exposing the light. I would say that even this is not even in my notes here, but oftentimes it's a lot easier, as we've said in the past of merely sweeping some things under the rug, pretending that they'll just go away or that they don't exist. How many of us would do that in our homes? Just, I hope you don't do that. Lift your rug and sweep everything a hundred. I mean, eventually the rug is going to be so healing. You'll be tripping over and as you walk through the room, And as silly as that sounds, that's exactly what happens in the fellowship of believers. We put so much stuff under the rug because we're unwilling to deal with it that suddenly becomes so lumpy. We can hardly walk on it with any balance. Yes. So we have, I have, listen, we have an obligation. We have a responsibility, as it has been said, we are indeed to look after one another. We are our brother's keeper in that sense, not to judge them and the sensor pronouncing condemnation on them, but to bring correction when correction is necessary, not only for the welfare of our brother and sister, but for the welfare of the unity of the church was, which is exactly what Paul's addressing Asians, the unity. Of the body of Christ. However, with this said, our first responsibility is to expose the works themselves through a careful look at what the scripture has to say. Not only correcting ourselves, but also warning others. Look at verse 12, he says there continues. He says for it is shameful even to speak. Of those who have these things that are done in secret. Now, this is not a rebuttal to what I just said in regards to addressing them. Paul's intention leave is to express the utter shamefulness of such conduct. In fact, MacArthur writes in his commentaries as quoted. Some things are so vital that they should be discussed as little as possible. Here's the point? I believe that that Paul is making here explicit details or conversation in is some sins is simply not necessary. I've been around people that feel like the best way to communicate something is to use the shock factor. And so they give all the most explicit, intricate details they possibly can on something hoping to get people's attention and listen to them. We're always beneficial. It is not okay. Always profitable. And that's Paul's point here. There are just some things that we should not give much conversation to address them, deal with them and move on. From them, call it what it is biblically and correct it by all biblical means. But explicit details. Think about it this way. Especially if you look back at verses three and four, where he talks about sexual in morality, explicit details regarding heinous sins, like those that he gives us often calls more trouble by negatively affecting the hearers than it does benefit. Because we don't know when we get into deals like that, how people, what people are struggling with in their own lives and then in their own right, mines, the sins they are wrestling with. We deal with them. We do, as Paul says, we expose them, but we do not give ourselves to own going conversation and detail concerning them. Look at verse 13, but when anything is exposed by the light. It becomes visible verse 14, for anything that becomes visible bull is like here, we see the positive effects of exposing the unfruitful works of darkness. There is a benefit. There's a positive effect of this. They are what they're made visible. You can walk into a darkened room, it can be pitch black. You can have sealed every possible way for light to enter into, to suddenly it's gone and you're in a place, complete art. And the moment you turn on, even the most seemingly insignificant light darkness is dispelled. And wherever that light goes, wherever we walk as the light. There is an exposing going on that, which was darkness has now become visible in the light now, which is done in darkness. And even secret is now what we often say has been brought to light the light of truth. God's word brings things to light. What is the light we are to use? It is the truth of God's word. It brings things truly to light. These dark works, love their hidden character. Don't think dark works lump the darkness that which was secret is not now is not long. There's no longer in secret, but it's done in the open is brought out into the open then, and only then can they be dealt with, and the remedy be administered as long as things remain hidden in darkness. As long as things remain done in secret, they will continue. But when the light of God's truth has come, the light has exposed. Them has made them visible. Then they are no longer, they are no longer able to practice their works of darkness. The longer such things like hidden practice and secret darkness, the greater threat threat they pose. To the believer and to the purity and unity of the church. Remember who is Paul addressing here? Is he addressing unbelievers? No, he is addressing the church. These threats likely were present and the fellowship of believers and he's addressing it. The give 14. It goes on there. Therefore it says awake sleeper and arise from the dead and Christ will shine on you now, many commentators believe this is Paul's adaptation of Isaiah 60 verse one, others. Believe this comes from a hymn sung by the early church in celebration of the resurrection of Christ. It kind of was sung some commentators believe as an invitation to unbelievers who might be in their midst. If this is the case, then it certainly is appropriate. In this context. Paul calls those think about this letters being, read how. How are pistols read a pistols are written. They are delivered to the churches by messenger. The churches gathered the epistle is read the letters, read to the group. Oftentimes within the fellowship of those, where the is being read will be those who would be guilty of some of the things that Paul is writing or the other parcels are writing in their letters. And oftentimes, even in the mix of those who are hearing the reading of the letter will be those who are not yet genuinely Christians who have somehow yet associated with the church, but if not come to faith in Christ. So now having written all that has had exposing the fruitless works of darkness, he calls those in the fellowship who are yet to trust Christ, to awake, to arise from the dead. And come to Christ as a call to come to Christ for regeneration to be spiritually raised from the dead and to be brought from life to death. That is his call. And then in verse 15, look carefully, then how you walk, not as unwise, but as wise, once again, we see Paul's emphasis on how they are to live all the way back. It began. In verse one of chapter four, which is where we began weeks ago. When Paul wrote these words, walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called. Then once again, in the context of a warning in verse 17 of chapter four, he says no longer walk as the Gentiles or unbelievers do. And then here. Verse one of chapter five, he says, walk in love. And then here he says, walk not as unwise, but as wise in a real sense, this verse is a parallel verse to verse 10 in regards to discerning what is pleasing to the Lord to walk wise, is he walking away this pleasing to the Lord to walk. Unwise is a way that is unpleasing to the Lord. Not wise, according to the squirreled, but wise in accordance to the wisdom God gives. How often have we seen, especially as we began our exposition of the book of Corinthians first Corinthians sometime ago, which we will return to, did we see Paul explicitly address the issue of godly wisdom in contrast to human wisdom, men treasure, their wisdom. They are, they, they they're legit, as it said in their own minds. And in regard to how wise they actually are. And yet the truly wise among us is the one that doesn't is not necessarily wise in regards to human wisdom. The truly wise among us are the ones who are wise in regards to the wisdom of God gifts. The ones, the ones that takes the wisdom that is given to us on the pages of scripture and applies them to our lives. As I said, in the very beginning of our study this morning that learns skillfully live, apply the principles and the imperatives that God gives us to everyday life. That's how we live wise and unwise, certainly all of us like that one time in our lives have made decisions that we would look back to and say, that was unwise. And yet, hopefully as we progressingly grow in our sanctification, in our knowledge of God's word and in our Christ's lightness, as we, as Paul tells us to be imitators of God, that changes that becomes less and less and less, because what we are seeking is the wisdom of God. James tells us if we lack wisdom, what do we do? We ask God. And what are we told that when we ask God, are we saying, I wonder if God will give it. I wonder my asking for something that God's not really concerned and give me no, absolutely not. In fact, he says, if you lack wisdom, ask God who gives wisdom without finding fault without showing favoritism. It is the very thing. God desires above all things for us to ask for. Wisdom God give me wisdom to live my life in a way that is pleasing to you, that I might conduct myself in a way that is not foolish, but in a way that is wise pleasing to the Lord. And then in verse 16, he says making the best use of the time because the days are evil. My goodness. Need we consider the days in which we live in light of the days in which we live. There is no time for complacency. There's no time for apathy towards evil. In fact, Isaiah five gives us an indication of how we know when we are approaching the, in an accelerated way. Isaiah says that the day will come when men will call that, which is good, evil and will call evil. Good. Is that not indicative of the day in which we find ourselves right now? It never ceases to amaze. It's almost a daily thing now where you are hearing commentary after commentary things that you do not. Line up, obviously with God's word, but things that just reasonable sound mind are not good. And yet they are being called good. I saw one of the most detestable news reports, just a date that I have ever. I've never even heard of. I'm going to give you an idea of just real briefly, where, where we've come as a society in regards to this evil. Now there was a office celebration. At a corporation in America this past week where they held an office party happy abortion day for one of their workers who had just come back to work from having an abortion with balloons and refreshments and everything, celebrating the fact that she'd had an abortion calling that, which is evil good, and calling that, which is good. Evil. We need to make the best use of the time in which we were given. I say it again. There's no time for complacency. It's no time for apathy towards evil of all people. Church of all people, we as Christians should be keenly aware that our time here is limited. Unlike the unbeliever. We know our Lord's return is imminent. What does that mean? That our Lord could come when at any moment at any moment, we do not know. We do not know how long we have will before he returns. And yet in the meantime, What are we watching in regards to the world, the world waxes increasingly evil and the bottom line, the bottom line is this. We are to be, we are to be busy about the Lord's work and ever mindful of the dangers and threats that the world poses in regards to us doing that, the sets, the context of what Paul writes in verse 17. He says, therefore do not be fullest. Cause it sound familiar. Do not be foolish. Motor. Understand what the will of the, the Lord is in verse 15, we saw unwise versus wise here we see foolishness versus understanding like verse 15, verse 17 bears, a striking similarity. To verse 10 that we might say we see yet. Another one of Paul's triads. First we see, try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Secondly, walk, not as unwise, but as wise, and thirdly do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. The danger, the church at Ephesus was facing was so great. Paul continues almost verse after verse to drive home, the importance of watching how they live their lives individually and corporately churches. One thing for us to be together here in this place this morning, we are in the safety. So to say in the confines of the four walls of this building, we are gathered together. With what is likely the majority of us are truly born again, believers and love Christ. I hope that's all of us. And so there's a measure of safety that we enjoy here as a fellow and a unity that we have when we come to come together here. But we can't stay here. Can we you'll leave here today? Tomorrow morning, you'll go back out into a world that is an at MIT is that is hostile toward not only Christ and the gospel, but as hostile toward you as a person who represents Christ and represents the gospel. And even in that setting, it's one thing to walk wise here. It's one thing to wa to gain, understanding, and to walk in an understanding way here. It is a whole nother thing altogether to conduct ourselves in that manner. Once we go out the door, Once we walk in that world out there to discern out in the world, what is pleasing to the Lord as we're working oftentimes elbow to elbow with people who have no faith in Christ, who may, as I said, a moment ago, be hostile, even toward the faith and toward Christ to discern even in our lives at that moment, how might I live in a way that is pleasing to him? I want to walk wisely and to live wisely and not foolishly. I want to have understanding and how I'm to conduct myself. That's the danger that faces us out there in this world. They're not going to help you. They're not going to aid you. They're not going to assist you or accommodate you. In fact, quite the opposite as I prepared to close. Let me just ask a question to consider in light of the day. In which we live recognizing what I call and I believe I'm absolutely right here on this. What I call the terminal illness of human depravity, recognizing that the terminal illness of, of human depravity is still present a present reality in this world, which of the imperatives that we have seen since chapter four, verse one do not apply to us as believers. This very moment. I asked that question for this reason. Remember, I've told you almost from the beginning of this study, that sadly there are those and evangelicalism, which give no attention to the imperatives. In fact, as I've said to you, and it bears repeating because I want to drive this point home. It is almost as if they perceive as if they perceive the imperatives, the commands of scripture as those things, which burdened people beyond what the gospel intends on doing. And nothing could be further from the truth. I would argue the only correct answer to that question as to which. Of those applies. They're all applicable. Every one of them, every single imperative, every single imperative that Paul has given us since Ephesians four, one is as true today for us as it was for the Ephesians believers. 2000 years ago, the principles. Paul lays down are essential for us church. He's central to be an effective fruitful, or to have an effective fruitful and persevering Christian life. I've said from the beginning, the impaired has given us some scripture are just that they are imperatives. They're not suggestions and they're not merely recommendations. Paul did not open chapter four, verse one, by saying this might I suggest that you consider no, he opened chapter four. Verse one. With these words, I urge you a strong, never command, almost bearing the amplification. If I were to stand before you as your pastor here this morning and be addressing something of such pertinent as what Paul was addressing with the Ephesians church, which we have in fact been doing. And I looked at you with all sincerity and with all seriousness and with all intent, and it said, church, I urge you, would you walk out and say, well, that was a mirror, nice recommendation you made for us. No. You'd walk out. I'd hope seeing it for exactly what it was that which we should indeed do. And practice Paul's will an intended purpose for his readers. And by extension that applies to us as well is to live their lives for us to live our lives. As he writes these things for us. So as we look back just very quickly at 41, I therefore a prisoner for the Lord urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling, to which you have been called all the way to chapter five, where we read these words, therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. All that ties together with all the imperatives that has given us. May our mayor precious Lord by his spirit grant us not merely the will, but the strength to do these very things. You recognize church that apart from him, we can do nothing. The power to obey is not inherently rest in. You. In fact, as we often sing in one of our hymns, our hearts are prone to wonder aren't they? And a moment they're prone to wonder, but by God's spirit, my, he not only give us the wheel, but grant us the string to live our lives this way, this way, not only for our benefit, but for our benefits, certainly, but most of all, For the sake of the glory of his great name. I think about what Jesus wants again, said to Matthew chapter five verse 16, and that men might see your good works and glorify your father in heaven. Let's stand Father, the clarity of Paul's imperatives as he wrote under the inspiration of your spirit are astounding. It is astounding Lord. With such clarity and precision addressing those things that we need to be aware of, that we need to be cognizant of, that we need to give ourselves carefully to in order that we might live lives that are pleasing to you mighty truly be our heart's desire, father, to live such a life, to live as those who are wise and not foolishly. To live as those who have understanding those who are able to discern what God's will is, and to live lives. As I've said, pleasing to you, we recognize that we stand in desperate need of the spirits, help your spirit. You have given to us who not only is with us, but has taken up residence in us. To strengthen us in our weaknesses to encourage us in our times of, of great need to give us the strength to persevere when things are pressing in on us. Very heartless. So father, we thank you. We bless you. We honor you for all that you have given us all that you have provided for us. The wisdom that you make available to us. If we ask in faith believing we will receive it for your glory and for the sake of your great name, as well as our benefit, we pray in Jesus name. Amen.