Faithlife Sermons

3-11-2018 - The Handiwork of God

Life in Christ  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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The telos of salvation is to be the handiwork of God.

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Sermon
Thesis: The Telos of salvation is to be the handiwork of God.
The Telos of salvation is to be the handiwork of God.
For Kids: Parable of the 4 soils
Parable of the 4 soils
Me

Hymn of Promise 707 verse 1

Sometimes we get glimpses of what this hymn says only God can see
Philosophy of Aristotle
Telos
We

We are like seeds

We all have a telos or purpose to grow into
God
Scripture
Ephesians 2:1–10 NIV
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Ephesians 2:1-3
2 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh  and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.

Everyone Equally Lost

Seeds on the road
We cannot awaken, be born spiritually without being rescued or saved and planted in soil
We remain essentially dead, only good for feeding the birds
The birds represent the devil and his rebellious angels
4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.

Saved by Grace

Being saved usually means moving
Dead in your transgressions
Alive in Christ
Which of those do you live in and which do you visit occasionally?
We have a tendency of taking our mess with us
Some people think that if they just get married and settle down
Or if they start a family
That will provide enough motivation to help them get past some of their issues
The reality is though, most of us bring all our junk with us even as we start these new phases of life
The Greek words Paul uses to describe living in sin, or trespassing, could be literally translated:
Walking in the way of the world
Or sometimes, wandering in the way of the world
By contrast, Paul describe salvation as being lifted up and sitting in the heavenly places with Christ
6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—9 not by works, so that no one can boast.

Saved with a purpose

Only by asking Jesus to pick us up and move us into His place are we able to escape life living in trespasses
That's why no one can boast.
We can wander ourselves into all kinds of sin.
But we cannot walk to heaven.
We have to be carried
If salvation here only meant going to Heaven...
That would mean you're not saved for sure until you get to heaven
Some people believe that
But that does not match up with what Paul wrote to the Corinthian's
When he told them that the cross power and wisdom for those of us who are being saved day by day. ()
Paul understood that the movement we have experience Is not just a physical movement from earth to heaven
It is a change allegiance, lifestyle, culture, tradition,… It means joining a new family.
Being raised up here has a little bit of a double meaning
Whatever kind of see you and I are, we sometimes get excited for just being sprouts
Sprouts are small but they enjoy the sun and the rain as long as it's not too much of either and they have very little burden to bear.
On the whole life is pretty easy as a sprout
Eat, sleep, and avoid extremes
But sprouts, like seeds, still face the dangers of being stepped or eaten
They are the most helpless of plants
To survive, a sprout has to dig it's roots deep so that it can grow tall and strong
They can't stay sprouts forever
But they only grow by God's grace
They have nothing to boast about themselves
A Sprout has to persevere
Even in good soil, weeds will grow up around it to try to pull it away from the sun and the water of life needs to survive
It needs those deep roots and tall stems to persevere through the weeds
But in the end, it is only by God's grace they will survive.
Those fields that allow the gardener to come in and pull out the weeds, it is only those plants that will thrive.
10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
God's handiwork

What does it mean to be God's handiwork?

Jesus like to tell stories about seeds.
He had a short one about a mustard seed
The smallest seed that grew into the biggest bush, or tree by middle eastern standard
When does that mustard seed officially become tree?
When it begins to provide shade for the ground animals
When it begins to make room for birds to nest in its branches
And when it begins to let loose little mustard seeds of its own
To be God's handiwork minutes reflect as much as God's character as you can as a human being
Loving, serving, and witnessing
Making new disciples all around you
Telling others that it's only Jesus can who could carry you to good soil in him
That it is only Jesus who helped you grow into the person you are today
And that is only Jesus will bring your growth to completion, the author and perfector of your faith
You
Where are you today?
Are you a dead seed seed wondering on the road trespasses and sins?
Are you a new Christian, a sprout, just happy to soak up God's love without risking any real responsibilities in your faith?
Are you trying to grow, but the way the world is pulling you down and strangling you… With fears, anxieties, and desires?
Or are you Loving, serving, and witnessing, and by gods grace, making new disciples all around you?
We

We are not Jesus

Everything we have to be proud of is simply a gift from God.
It could have been given to someone else.
That's why we point others to Jesus
Not ourselves
Not our church
That's why we bring people to Jesus
Not just to ourselves
Not just to our church
It's only by God's grace that any of us can be given new life
We make disciples by sharing every gift of grace that God gives to us.
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