Posted by: Toni Sprandel | February 25, 2013

Walking in a manner worthy of the calling…

Ephesians 4:1-3 (NASB) says: “Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”  I love these words that the Apostle Paul wrote to the believers in Ephesus.  Paul wrote this letter to them as an encouragement.  Here in the 4th chapter he talks about walking in a manner worthy of our calling, using words like humility, gentleness, patience, tolerance, love, unity and peace to describe what our walk should look like.  Whether I am writing on facebook or writing on this blog, I pray that all my words are written in a way that exemplifies this teaching, especially this blog entry.

Moving to Southwest Ohio was very difficult for me.  Having spent all my life in Northeast Ohio, I felt like I had moved to the opposite end of the earth.  Many things were quite different.  The people had some different attitudes and beliefs, likes and dislikes were different.  The churches were different.  The things I had clung so close to, my church and small group, were no longer present.  I felt like I was walking alone, I had no spiritual support group.  Getting started in a new church was a priority for me.  We started attending church soon after moving here, but I felt like a foreigner.

You see, the church I attended in NE Ohio preached Christ, Christ crucified, dead and resurrected, and we accept that gift.  Once the gift was accepted, we lived life for Him.  Period.  Here in Southwest Ohio, the emphasis was different, not wrong, just different.  Most of the churches here preached getting saved and baptized and welcome to the family.  Period.  This was really different, not wrong, just different.

It was a different way of looking at the same thing.  I believe in the Triune God.  The word Trinity does not occur in Scripture, but it describes the three-in-one nature of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  I had a gentleman from here in SW Ohio once tell me that God the Father was on the top rung of the ladder, Jesus was on the next rung, and the Holy Spirit was just below Jesus.  I was really surprised to hear him say this, the concept was totally foreign to me. And that is kind of the same feeling I get at some of the churches we have attended.  That’s not what I believe.  The three are One, all on the same level.

So I say all of this to say that a lot of the churches down here have a different emphasis from what I am used to.  The emphasis is more God focused, and I have grown up in a church that had a major emphasis on Christ and His redeeming work on the cross.  Neither is wrong.  For me, I choose to place my emphasis on Christ for these 2 major reasons: first, we are called to preach the gospel.  The gospel = good news.  The good news is that Jesus came and died to redeem us back to our Heavenly Father.  The second reason is this: John 14:6 in which Jesus says “I AM the Way, and the Truth, and the Life, NO ONE COMES TO THE FATHER EXCEPT THROUGH ME.” Emphasis mine.  Jesus is the only way we can get to the Father.

When we exclusively use the word God in all our speech and writing, I worry for the nonbelievers hearing/reading.  Every religion in the world has a god.  But we Christians (Christ ones) are the only ones who have Jesus.  Jesus, alive and sitting at the right hand of the Father, is exactly what makes us different.  When nonchristians hear us or read what we say and we only use God’s name, what makes us any different from any other religion?  They don’t know the difference.  If they only hear the name of God, do they know they have to go through Jesus to get to the Father?  It is very important to steer nonbelievers to God, I am just worried they won’t know how to reach Him if we aren’t using Jesus’ name.   Jesus is the only way to get there.

I am in no way criticizing anyone or trying to be legalistic, I just wanted to explain where I am coming from in regards to my blogs and facebook.  We all have our own unique words and way of sharing the gospel & witnessing to the lost.  And that is how it should be.  There is no wrong way.  Whether we preach Christ or God, we are all in the same family, God’s family.

I pray as a prisoner of the LORD, I too can walk in a manner worthy of the calling; with all humility, gentleness and patience showing tolerance for one another in love, truly desiring to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  Amen.

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Responses

  1. I thank you for sharing. I understand how you feel, at least I think I do. For years I had been taught about the death, burial, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Nothing wrong with that, but I was never truly taught the application of the message that Jesus preached and that same message that He told the disciples to preach…which is the Kingdom of Heaven Message. So, when God began to show me Kingdom Himself I felt lost when I went to church because what God was showing me was water, but when I went to church it was so different. To make a long story short, I kept questioning The Father to make sure I wasn’t losing my mind and He began to confirm Himself. Soon after that (9 months or so, not so soon LOL), my husband and I ended up leaving the church that we were at for at least 12 years as adults. I pray God will reveal to you exactly what He wants you to walk in. Be encouraged.


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