A. In our quest for spiritual growth and development, it is important that we perform a self-evaluation.
B. Our greatest enemy is, self. (i.e. not the devil; not another person)
C. If we are to be all that God expects us to be, we must examine ourselves to see whether we are in the faith. Self-evaluation is a must to maintain this high level of holiness that is required of us. Holiness is still practical and required of us today. The scripture declares to follow peace with all men and holiness without which no man shall see the Lord. That is a mandate from God. Thus to maintain this high calling of holiness, it behoove us to evaluate our walk with God.
D. In this teaching, the challenge will be to motivate you to take your salvation seriously, and neglect not this great salvation.
II. The questions may be asked how can we evaluate the quality of our faith? Are there any ways to assess spiritual progress and growth? Of course, the answer is, yes. Paul gives us a number of them in Ephesians 5.
III. The book of Ephesians can be viewed as two halves of one big picture about giving and receiving faith. Chapters 1-3 describe what God has done for us in Christ. Chapters 4-6 describes what we are to do in response to what God has done for us.
IV. We are called to live for God and to be followers (imitators) of God, Eph 5:1, just as children follow after the patterns seen in their parents. God is our heavenly Father and we should endeavor to be like Him. Paul gives us some of the patterns that a godly lifestyle would include:
A. Living in love, which means giving of ourselves sacrificially for the benefit of others, just as Christ has done for us. Eph 5:2; I Jn 2:7-17; 3:13-24;4:7-21; I Cor 13
B. Forsaking selfish pursuits such as self-seeking immorality and ruthless greed. Eph 5:3,5
C. Replacing filthy talk, flippant chatter, and unkind jesting with communication rooted in thanksgiving to God and affirmation of others. Eph 5:4, 20
D. Exercise discernment about what we are told so as not to be susceptible to trickery from others. Eph 5:6-7, 15
E. Bowing out from situations where evil is the agenda. Eph 5:11-12
F. Managing our time. Eph 5:16
V. We all need accountability. Others tend to see us better than we see ourselves. Ask a close and spiritual friend to assess your progress over several days or weeks. Allow these patterns of godliness to rule your life before using them to evaluate others. Mat 7:1-6