TO PLEASE GOD WE MUST LIVE IT, NOT JUST TALK IT
It is easy to talk Christianity, but God expects more. God expects action; Christian living. Christian living involves both negative and positive principles. “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.” (Ephesians 5:11-17) Observe the following:
Christians must avoid fellowship with the works of darkness. "And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light." (Ephesians 5:11-13) Christians must not practice works of darkness. They must also actively oppose these evil things. This is done through reproof of those things, avoiding involvement in them, refusing to consider their practice and taking no pleasure in the doing of them. Christians must cause God's light to shine because the light makes manifest or makes known works of darkness.
Christians must avoid spiritual sleep. "Therefore He says: Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light." (Ephesians 5:14) Those who sleep spiritually need to awaken. Those who are spiritually dead need to arise. Everyone needs to receive the light of Christ. God's purpose is to awaken man from spiritual death caused by sin to eternal life brought through Jesus Christ. Those who turn sinners from their ways are imitating God. Let us go forth to awaken those who are spiritually sleeping and dead.
Christians must walk in a wise way. "See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise." (Ephesians 5:15) Some foolishly walk in sin. Others walk wisely. The life of those who would turn others to the light must be a godly life. It does no good and, in fact, does much harm for the unfaithful member of the church to try to defend Christ or His kingdom. To "walk circumspectly" is to walk in the right way; God's way.
Christians must use their time wisely. "Redeeming the time, because the days are evil." (Ephesians 5:16) One preventative for sin and wrong doing is to fill your time with good things. Brethren, do good while it is in your hands to be able to do so. The time of opportunity passes quickly. Let us double our efforts to make wise use of our time in serving others and in evangelism. There are days that are evil because of great persecution. Our days are evil because of much sin. What are you doing with your time?
Christians must understand the will of God. "Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is." (Ephesians 5:17) Christians should allow nothing, not even hard times, to make them ignorant of their duty to God. Nothing should cause us to neglect our souls. Knowing God's will and doing it, under every circumstance of life, is true wisdom.
It is our duty to do more than just talk. We must LIVE the Christian life. To become a Christian you must hear the gospel (Romans 10:17), believe in Jesus (John 8:24), repent of all sins (Acts 2:38), confess Jesus as Lord and Christ (Acts 8:37), and be baptized to be saved. (Mark 16:16) As a Christian, always be wise enough to do the will of God.
By Charles Box, Walnut Street Church of Christ, 306 Walnut Street, Greenville, Alabama 36037