What is Worthiness? How can our lives be lived with worth? How can Living such a life effect Unity within the Church?
All Believers are Called in Christ to a Live a New Life (v. 1-2)
What does it mean to live a worthy life? What makes something worthy?
Merriam-Webster defines Worthy as Having significant worth or importance.
Paul urged to live a life worthy of the “calling” received. Our calling, like all followers of Christ is, “Come Follow Me”. Jesus calls us to follow Him into His way of living and His mission of life.
Paul Gives 4 ways to live and to see as Tests of How we are living Worthy lives & Seeking Peace: (v.2-3) We are to live Lives of:
- Humbleness: To Act without pride, to act in gentleness or without thinking better of one’s self than others. Showing Equality to others, even when intellect, status, or other factors would normally dictate otherwise. Humbleness can also be interpreted as putting one’s self lower in order to lift another person up or encourage them. Samuel Morse was a Wise and Humble Man: The Wisdom of Humilty: Samuel Morse
Samuel Morse was born into a preacher’s home in New England just two years after George Washington was elected the first president of the United States. After finishing his education at Yale, he went to England to hone his painting skill. Upon his return to America he was recognized as a gifted artist and was soon in much demand. Morse’s first wife died while he was away from home painting in Washington, D.C. He did not receive the news until it was too late. In his heartbreak he turned away from painting and began trying to develop a means of rapid communication over great distances. This eventually led to his discovery of the telegraph.
Despite his fame and the many honors that came his way, Morse wasn’t proud or boastful. In a letter to his second wife he wrote, “The more I contemplate this great undertaking, the more I feel my own littleness, and the more I perceive the hand of God in it, and how He has assigned to various persons their duties, He being the great controller, all others His honored instruments…. Hence our dependence first of all on God, then on each other.”
When we walk in pride and are conceited regarding our talents and accomplishments, we are demonstrating that we do not understand or appreciate the role that God holds in everything we do. None of us are able to succeed in our own strength or wisdom; we should always remember it is God that makes what we do possible. As Paul put it “what hast thou that thou didst not receive?” (1 Corinthians 4:7).
Source: The Life of Samuel F. B. Morse, LL. D., Samuel Irenæus Prime ( http://ministry127.com/resources/illustration/the-wisdom-of-humility)
2. Gentleness: Dealing with others in a gentle, meek way. Gentleness is not weakness, but actually is great strength under control.
A missionary in Jamaica was once questioning some little boys on the meaning of Matthew 5:5 and asked, “Who are the meek?” A boy answered, “Those who give soft answers to rough questions.” We shall do well to remember this child’s definition.
Gentleness helps us to remain calm in under control, no matter how bad life may seem around us. Many times situations and stresses can cause us to lash out. David H. Roper wrote for Our Daily Bread about Gentleness:
The troubles of life can make us cranky and out of sorts, but we should never excuse these bouts of bad behavior, for they can wither the hearts of those we love and spread misery all around us. We have not fulfilled our duty to others until we have learned to be pleasant.
The New Testament has a word for the virtue that corrects our unpleasantness—gentleness, a term that suggests a kind and gracious soul. Ephesians 4:2 reminds us, “Be completely humble and gentle.”
Gentleness is a willingness to accept limitations and ailments without taking out our aggravation on others. It shows gratitude for the smallest service rendered and tolerance for those who do not serve us well. It puts up with bothersome people—especially noisy, boisterous little people; for kindness to children is a crowning mark of a good and gentle person. It speaks softly in the face of provocation. It can be silent; for calm, unruffled silence is often the most eloquent response to unkind words.
3. Patience: the Greek word here means a state of emotional calm in the face of provocation or misfortune. That’s a pretty big ticket to fill. Most of us naturally want to attack when we are attacked, so to stay calm is not our normal reaction. Most of will likely have to work on patience for a lifetime in order to get it right.
A woman once rushed up to famed violinist Fritz Kreisler after a concert and cried: “I’d give my life to play as beautifully as you do.” Kreisler replied, “I did.” Source: Bits and Pieces http://ministry127.com/resources/illustration/famous-violinist
Patience is knowing when not to speak or when to speak with gentleness. Patience is also waiting for others who are less knowledgeable or capable to catch up to where we are.
Patience to see things through to the end isn’t easy, but when we are willing to take time and not give up we can often succeed. All to often people give up far too soon, when if they put their heart and mind into it they might work through to a safe end. You may have heard about the two frogs who fell into a tub of cream:
Two frogs fell into a tub of cream. One looked at the high sides of the tub which were too difficult to crawl over and said, “It is hopeless.” So he resigned himself to death, relaxed, and sank to the bottom. The other one determined to keep swimming as long as he could. “Something might happen,” he said. He kept kicking and churning, and finally he found himself on a solid platform of butter and jumped to safety.
Source: Nelson’s Complete Book of Stories, Illustrations & Quotes, Robert Morgan
Susanna Wesley, mother of John and Charles Wesley, had eleven children. Her husband once admired her patience in reminding her children to do something. Samuel Wesley once said of Susanna:
“I marvel at your patience! You have told that child the same thing twenty times!” She replied, “Had I spoken the matter only nineteen times, I would have lost all my labor.” (Choice Gleanings).-https://www.family-times.net/illustration/Patience/201021/
When it comes to patience in our busy world we also forget sometimes that there might be really important reasons why things don’t work out when we want them to: Lou Nichols writes of patience in an Airline Delay:
Recently I was waiting in the Philadelphia airport on a flight to a distant city. Every half hour, they would tell us that we would get an update in another half hour. I knew the plane was there, the crew was there, all the passengers were sure there, but the flight just kept getting postponed. I must admit that my patience was running low. When we were finally boarded and about to take off, the pilot explained what had been taking so long. He said, “Just before we were going to board you, our mechanics found a problem with two of our tires in a routine maintenance check. We had to replace both tires.” So all of a sudden I was so grateful for the delay that had been so frustrating. Now, there was a very good reason for that particular airline delay. I have to tell you the airlines don’t always have a good reason for their delays. God always does. (Lou Nicholes – Word of Life). https://www.family-times.net/illustration/Patience/202134/
So, whether we see it or not, sometimes we just need to have patience to see things through to the end. Other times we need to wait with people to see them blossom into what God has planned for them.
4. Bearing with One Another : is a mutuality or Equally holding one another in regard It is Tolerating One another’s weaknesses. In Christianity it is also Helping to carry one another, or one another’s cares or burdens. A great example of carrying burdens comes from the stories and movies of “Lord Of The Rings.
In “The Fellowship of the Ring?” In this film, Frodo Baggins inherits a ring, which is an instrument of absolute power. Frodo, together with a fellowship that includes hobbits, humans, a wizard, and an elf, take the One Ring on a journey across middle earth on their way to Mount Doom. They have to deal with extrernal evils and attack, as well as internal dissension caused by the corruption of the One Ring. They even end up at times fighting one another. However, in the end it is because Frodo & his friend Sam wise, along with the others each played their part to get the ring where it was to be. They were bearing with one another through the whole ordeal.
We are made One in Our Faith: One Lord, Faith, Baptism, God, (v.4-6)
- One in Faith: Our faith is in One Lord, One Baptism, One God
- One Lord– Our faith is in Christ as our Savior God came in flesh (The Son of God). God put himself, as sacrifice for the sin of the world, which all humanity is guilty. Thus, He becomes the one who we follow, the Lord of our lives.
- One Baptism– Is the Outward symbol of our New Life in Christ
Baptism is one of the rites that remains as symbol of all Christ Followers. Which is why the perfect Christ Himself went through the ritual. He had no need of repentance of sin, but He was establishing the way for all His followers to set themselves apart as followers through baptism.
In going down under the water symbolizes dying to our old sinful ways. It symbolizes participating in Christ Death and being buried in the grave.
In coming up out of the Water Symbolizes: Rising with Christ from the dead with Christ. Rising from our now dead past to live life new in Christ.
The Water also symbolizes the Spirit of God cleansing our souls. It can also represent the covering and filling of us with the spirit of God, as He dwells within us.
4. One God– Faith in One God, and not multiple gods. In fact, we as followers of traditional Christianity hold to the belief in a “Triune nature of God” or Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit-All are representative parts of the one and only God.
This is the Unique nature of the Abrahamic backgrounds of religions (those who can tie their roots of faith back to Abraham, a belief in One and Only One God). Through out the Old Testament the Jews are identified as Israelites, Children of Israel- Jacob. Also, we find the terminology- The God of your Fathers- Jacob, Isaac and Abraham. Abraham is the father of Faith- He was the first person acknowledge in Scripture, as leaving a land of idol worshipers to follow God by faith alone.
Thus all Jews, and Christians now who follow the Messiah- the Christ hold to the same faith in the one and only God.
5. The Bible (I mention this here, as our Main text of Revelation): Although Paul doesn’t not it, this is our other unique “One”, which we hold to. Our One Written Revelation of the One and only God, and His Good News for all People, through Salvation in Jesus.
How are you doing in your walk of faith today?
How are you doing about sharing your faith with others around you? Is your light shining bright or have you allowed things to become dim?
May Jesus bless you on the journey with Christ today.