Faithlife Sermons

Believers Help Others Grow In Christ

What Should We Expect?  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  43:08
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Sorry about the slides on this sermon. Will adjust next week!

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Ephesians 4:12–16 NIV84
to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
Ephesians 5:1 NIV84
Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children
Ephesians 5:19–21 NIV84
Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

We Help Others Grow By...

1. Committing to be Prepared (4:12)

The word you see in your Bible that is translated "prepare," can also be seen as "equipping," or "perfecting,", or "responsibility."
When it's used in the Bible, the idea is to "complete, prepare, or restore."
To "bring to an end, or finish."
To "mature" something.
To "make arrangements for in advance."
Take a look at the front portion of verse 12.
v.12 to prepare God’s people for works of service
We help others grow by preparing God's people.
Some of the ways we do this at Concord are through:
1. Bible study
We have classes that meet on Sunday morning to study God's Word together. Our teachers and leaders work hard throughout the week to prepare in order that you can receive something that will help you in your walk with Christ.
If you come to Bible study in the morning, study your lesson throughout the week, write notes while you discuss, and encourage each other throughout the week.
If you don't attend morning Bible study, let me encourage you to use this hour to learn more about how you can prepare yourself for God's service.
2. Sunday Morning Preaching
Friends, I do my best each week to study, pray over, and provide what I believe God wants Concord to hear each week.
Listen actively as I preach. Open your Bible. Follow along. Make notes in the bulletin. Call or text me with questions throughout the week.
3. Sunday evening study
We generally are learning a different topic each month or so on Sunday night as it relates to being a disciple of His.
Get prepared by coming, learning, and putting what you've learned into practice.
4. One on one discipleship
Prepare God's people by learning to disciple another person in a life-on-life, or one on one method. This is where you spent a few hours of your week walking with another believer, encouraging them, and helping them grow in the faith.
5. Weekday ministries
Maybe you are a part of working with Door of Hope, Hope2All, or Hope you can make it to Wednesday night activities.
These are a great way to serve others within and without the church. Christianity isn't just a Sunday thing, it's who you are.
Believer, it's my responsibility to teach and train you as pastor.
Ephesians 4:11–12 NIV84
It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up
You also have a responsibility.
Yours is to take advantage of the teaching and training that prepares for ministry.
I'm convinced that when there is at least one among us who doesn't take advantage of opportunities to prepare themselves for ministry, something isn't going to get done.

2. Committing to Change (4:13)

Paul says “until we reach maturity…attaining the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”
Friends, there is NO MATURITY UNLESS THERE IS CHANGE.
There can’t be Christian growth, or maturity, unless that believer changes.
I’m not necessarily talking about changing the version of scripture you are reading. If you like it, can understand it, and apply it, USE IT.
I’m not necessarily talking about the music you sing or listen to. If you are glorifying God and His message is being proclaimed, SING IT.
Notice what Paul says in Eph. 4:14
Ephesians 4:14 NIV84
Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.
When we are committed to preparing ourselves for kingdom work and then changing along with that, we’ll see ourselves becoming solid in our faith, being able to pick out what is sound and what is not.
Change here in Ephesians 4 isn’t simply change for the sake of change, but instead it’s change TOWARD a goal.
This goal is maturity in Christ.
The NIV and New Living Translation says “Then we will no longer be infants”
The NASB says “As a result”
Christian, would you say you are on a track of maturity?
One that will result in change toward growing in Him?
What does you daily Bible reading look like? Are you in God’s word?
How do you plan on sharing your faith? Do you study people, and ask them what they think?
Are you intentional?
What is your plan to change toward maturity?

3. Committing to Discovering and Using Gifts (4:16)

Ephesians 4:16 NIV84
From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
We all know someone who is physically disabled. Maybe it’s a family member, a friend, a co-worker.
When we meet someone with a disability, often times it’s easy to pick it out.
They are in a wheelchair
They have braces on their legs or arms.
Maybe some sort of prosthesis.
Some people have disabilities that are harder to point out.
Some have mental challenges that make life difficult.
Often times the church is like this. On the outside everything appears to be normal.
But upon closer inspection, time spent with a local body, the disabilities are seen.
Church, we become disabled as a body of Christ when we fail to act upon this verse.
It says “joined and held together by every supporting ligament.”
Most often we operate on such a low efficiency level in our churches because we’ve failed to grasp the meaning of this verse.
Let me break it down here. Paul is saying “if you claim to be a part of the body, but aren’t participating, discovering your gifts, using your gifts for His kingdom, you are not mature and part of the reason the church isn’t mature.”
Listen to what one author said of the local church.
“Well over 50% of the average congregation is a ministry wasteland.” Bill Hull
He said, “people go unchallenged, untrained, unused, and unfulfilled.”
Concord, some of us may feel unfulfilled, but it’s not because we are unchallenged, untrained, or unused.
We are feel unfulfilled when we aren’t actively taking steps toward maturity; listening to those who are teaching and training as verse 11 mentions.
These people are here to do what verse 12 says; to equip the saints for service and build up the body of Christ.
How do you discover your spiritual gifts?
I think we make it more difficult than it needs to be.
Ask yourself 2 questions:
What am I already good at?
What am I interested in doing for the kingdom?
Romans 12 and 1 Cor. 12 are good starting places for this.
Part of discovering and developing spiritual gifts is using and working with the ones God has already given us. :)

4. Committing to Walking in the Spirit (5:19-21)

Ephesians 5:19–21 NIV84
Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
In the previous verse, 18, Paul reminds them not to spend their time worrying about getting drunk, but being filled with the Spirit. This “be filled” is an on-going, moment-by-moment experience. The context in 18 implies you have a choice. You can do this or that. Verses 19-21 show what that looks like.

Speaking

Speak to one another using scripture or songs.
Or, if you want to relate to me, use pop culture song or movie snippets. “Know what I mean Vern?”
When we are filled with the Spirit, and walking in the Spirit, we speak differently.
The angry speech gets put aside and scriptural words and phrases make their way out.
We tend to speak for His glory and not our own.
We help others grow in Christ when we speak about the things of the Lord often.

Singing

Singing shows an attitude of worship.
When we are Spirit-controlled, we worship God.
The heart of worship protects us from being a gossip or saying slandering things and it helps us to freely worship Him.
We help others grow in Christ when we can sing and worship no matter the circumstance.

Giving Thanks

When we are walking in the Spirit, our attitude is one of thanks. I want to give you permission to think about the one thing you don’t like at Concord. Just one. Don’t say it, or write it.
Now, how can you give thanks for that very thing?
Maybe it’s the color of the carpet. “Lord, you know the carpet isn’t my favorite color, but thank you for something that keeps the noise down.”
“Lord, I’d rather have a drum set with a couple guitars, but thank you for giving us the music that we do have.”
“Lord, I’d rather have a preacher who was this or that, but thank you for sending us one with such dashing good looks.”
We help others grow in Christ when we have a heart of thanks.

Submitting

And by submitting.
Submission means to get into the proper position to those around us.
Submission means to serve those in authority as well as those over whom we have authority.
Christ calls us to a life of service.
Are you helping others grow in His kingdom by modeling what submission looks like in the life of a believer?
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