Weekend, March 2, 2024

Lopsided Christians

Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. (Ephesians 4:1 NLT)

Some Christians are lopsided. They may have one area in their life in which they’re spiritually strong, but they’re weak in other areas. For instance, I’ve met people who have an impressive knowledge of the Bible. Meanwhile, their personal life is in shambles. They’re always struggling with temptation and falling into sin.

The problem is they are imbalanced. They have an understanding of doctrine, but their life is out of balance.

The apostle Paul wrote to the Christians in Ephesus, “Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God” (Ephesians 4:1 NLT).

It’s worth noting that Paul wrote this from a prison in Rome. He was a prisoner because he was unwilling to compromise his beliefs, his life, and his message.

And the first thing Paul tells Christians to do in this section of Ephesians is to lead a life worthy of our calling. Maybe you’re thinking, “I’m in trouble. How could I ever be worthy? There is nothing I could ever do to deserve God’s grace.”

However, that is not what “worthy” means here. We also could translate the original word for “worthy” as “balance the scales.” It can be applied to anything that is expected to correspond to something else. It’s a word that speaks of the coordination of things.

Therefore, Paul was saying, “I want you to walk worthy. I want you to live a balanced life.”

We can have an understanding and belief in doctrine and prophecy as well as facts and figures, but if it isn’t affecting the way that we live as Christians, then we’re missing the point. The Bible says, “And all who have this eager expectation will keep themselves pure, just as he is pure” (1 John 3:3 NLT).

In other words, our doctrine and belief should affect the way that we live.

Yet there are also Christians who are lopsided in another way. They don’t know much doctrinally. They don’t really know what the Bible teaches on certain subjects, but they love the Lord. And they are passionate about their faith in Jesus Christ.

We might hear them say something like this: “Let’s not quibble over doctrine. I just love Jesus.”

That sounds nice, but we need to realize this is a dangerous statement. If we’re not careful, we might end up loving the wrong Jesus. We might end up believing the wrong gospel. This is where doctrine comes in.

The Bible clearly teaches that in the last days there will be false Christs, false gospels, and even false miracles. Paul warned, “For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear” (2 Timothy 4:3 NLT).

There needs to be a balance between our beliefs and our practice, between our doctrine and the way that we live. We need both areas working together. That is what it means to walk worthy of the Lord.

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