This is the First Thing!

In Ephesians 4, the Apostle Paul gives a "to-do" list of the kind of things that believers need to keep in mind. Recognizing everyone is in a different stage of growth, it is sometimes hard to expect carbon copy behaviors out of the saints. Preachers today have it harder than the Apostle Paul ever did; for despite the paganism that he had to wallow through, Christianity today has as many brands as there are clothes designers. There is no "one-size" fits all, and preachers who try for this find their churches shrinking in numbers. 

Yet, just like ay organized institution, there should be certain things that identify someone who claims the name of Christ. Looking at Ephesians 4, this is what Paul starts out with:

So I, the prisoner for the Lord, appeal to you to live a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called [that is, to live a life that exhibits godly character, moral courage, personal integrity, and mature behavior—a life that expresses gratitude to God for your salvation], 2 with all humility [forsaking self-righteousness], and gentleness [maintaining self-control], with patience, bearing with one another in [unselfish] love, Ephesians 4:1-2 (AMP) 

This is quite a laundry list, but how much of this only includes the behaviors that any person wanting to live right should follow? If we outline it, here is the checklist:

*living a life of godly character

*moral courage

*personal integrity

*mature behavior

*gratitude to God for your salvation

*humility (forsaking self-righteousness)

*gentleness (maintaining self-control)


*bearing with one another in (unselfish) love

Only one of these on the list (gratitude to God for your salvation) goes beyond what should be required of civil behavior and conduct for all of mankind. Even if we look at Jesus words expressed in the two great commandments, one of them says, "love your neighbor as yourself" is what is really being exemplified in the above checklist.

Living a life for Christ begins first of all with living life right!