Faithlife Sermons

Growth in the Body of Christ

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God has established the body of Christ after his departure as part of a victorious kingdom in a dying world. As a conqueror he has given us gifts as spoils. It is his desire we continue to grow in relationship with him through the sharing of our gifts with each other. With every part of the body growing into Him we will be more like Him in wisdom and character. Our working together will be an indicator of God's work through us.

Notes
Transcript

Introduction

Christ, the Victorious & Resurrected One ()

It is so appropriate Soldier Nancy Gutierrez spoke of the Lordship of Christ last week.
He is not only Lord, but a Victorious King
As a victorious King he has given spoils (botín) to his people
This is seen in
Quotes
If God is King this means he has a people He rules and has authority over. If you have trusted Christ and the message of the cross that Soldier Julia Falcon so passionately reminded us a few weeks ago you are part of God’s people. Not only that, but you are also part of the royal family!
1 John 1:9 NLT
But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.
John 1:12 NLT
But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.
Transition: But what does that mean for us now? God has given us gifts to keep growing in our relationship with Him.

Growth through Gifts ()

()

What are gifts?
Skills, talents and passion
is not an exhaustive list
We can be passionate about many other things, but through them we can teach and share the gospel of Jesus Christ, our risen Savior.
Every good gift comes from the
People are also gifts
Ask someone to read
One of the most memorable moments was when a dear friend said to all of us at our ceremony to never forget Lily is a gift to me. A gift from God and a gift from her parents.
Gifts are not meant to be used selfishly.
James 1:17 NLT
Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.
The purpose of God giving gifts is to “equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ.” ()
"In the biblical understanding of giftedness, gifts are never really ours or for ourselves. We have nothing that was not given us. Our gifts are ultimately God’s, and we are only “stewards”—responsible for the prudent management of property that is not our own. This is why our gifts are always “ours for others,” whether in the community of Christ or the broader society outside, especially the neighbor in need.
This is also why it is wrong to treat God as a grand employment agency, a celestial executive searcher to find perfect fits for our perfect gifts. The truth is not that God is finding us a place for our gifts but that God has created us and our gifts for a place of his choosing—and we will only be ourselves when we are finally there."
Spanish Translation
“En la comprensión bíblica de los dones, ellos nunca son realmente nuestros o para nosotros mismos. No tenemos nada que no nos haya sido dado. Nuestros dones son, en última instancia, de Dios, y solo somos "mayordomos", responsables del manejo prudente de la propiedad que no es nuestra. Esta es la razón por la cual nuestros dones siempre son "nuestros para los demás", ya sea en la comunidad de Cristo o en la sociedad más amplia del exterior, especialmente en el vecino necesitado.
This is also why it is wrong to treat God as a grand employment agency, a celestial executive searcher to find perfect fits for our perfect gifts. The truth is not that God is finding us a place for our gifts but that God has created us and our gifts for a place of his choosing—and we will only be ourselves when we are finally there.
Esta es también la razón por la que es incorrecto tratar a Dios como una gran agencia de empleo, un buscador ejecutivo celestial para encontrar ajustes perfectos para nuestros dones perfectos. La verdad no es que Dios nos encuentra un lugar para nuestros dones, sino que Dios nos ha creado a nosotros y nuestros dones para un lugar de su elección, y solo seremos nosotros mismos cuando finalmente estemos allí.”
- Os Guiness, The Call (Chapter 6: Do What You Are, p. 47)
By far the best gift of all was one that would come with the departure of Jesus
Luke 11:13 NTV
Así que si ustedes, gente pecadora, saben dar buenos regalos a sus hijos, cuánto más su Padre celestial dará el Espíritu Santo a quienes lo pidan».
Luke 11:13 NLT
So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.”
John 7:38–39 NTV
¡Todo el que crea en mí puede venir y beber! Pues las Escrituras declaran: “De su corazón, brotarán ríos de agua viva”». (Con la expresión «agua viva», se refería al Espíritu, el cual se le daría a todo el que creyera en él; pero el Espíritu aún no había sido dado, porque Jesús todavía no había entrado en su gloria).
John 7:38–39 NLT
Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’ ” (When he said “living water,” he was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in him. But the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet entered into his glory.)
John 7:38
John 7:39 NLT
(When he said “living water,” he was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in him. But the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet entered into his glory.)
1 Corinthians 12:4 NTV
Hay distintas clases de dones espirituales, pero el mismo Espíritu es la fuente de todos ellos.
1 Corinthians 12:4 NLT
There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all.
The best gift is the One who gives them all.
Transition: But do these gifts from others make me mature automatically? It is important to know we grow as part of a process.

Growth through Process ()

Ask another volunteer to read
This teaching is one of the ones I am most passionate about in our theology.
The Lord can give us a new heart once we seek Him above all else and give ourselves entirely holding nothing back.
When we are in this stage of full surrender and the Lord has given us the assurance of the Holy Spirit transforming our minds and hearts our growth is no longer stunted by the desire to sin.
The way we are able to acquire this blessed gift of holiness of heart is the same way we are saved from our sins: by grace through faith in Christ alone. We cannot earn it.
You cannot earn it.
God expects progress to happen
As we are now exactly three weeks away from Lucas’ projected due date I think of the many silly, little things I will love to see him do. I have a video that will show you some of those things.
https://youtu.be/eQH5Fj1ywtA
Babies vs. grown adults
As a parent you want your children to learn, grow and develop their own skills. God is no different as our Heavenly Father.
Ask volunteer to read
Expects us to grow in knowledge and wisdom (v. 14)
Expects us to grow in character (v. 15)
Speak
Speak truth
Speak truth in love
In so doing we will grow “in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.” (v. 15)
Transition: But how can we make sure we are going through the process of growth? By making sure we are in a community that fosters (fomenta) growth in your relationship with God.

Growth through community (, )

Without the element of community we cannot completely fulfill the desire for which God created us to be.
It is with Christ that the body fits together perfectly.
If you are a good observer you might have noticed we skipped earlier, but not on purpose because it makes a key point.
We need each other so we can all grow through the collective sharing of our gifts.
makes a key point
Ask someone to read
Gifts are not meant to be used selfishly.
The purpose of God giving gifts is to “equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ.” ()
"In the biblical understanding of giftedness, gifts are never really ours or for ourselves. We have nothing that was not given us. Our gifts are ultimately God’s, and we are only “stewards”—responsible for the prudent management of property that is not our own. This is why our gifts are always “ours for others,” whether in the community of Christ or the broader society outside, especially the neighbor in need.
This is also why it is wrong to treat God as a grand employment agency, a celestial executive searcher to find perfect fits for our perfect gifts. The truth is not that God is finding us a place for our gifts but that God has created us and our gifts for a place of his choosing—and we will only be ourselves when we are finally there."
Spanish Translation
“En la comprensión bíblica de los dones, ellos nunca son realmente nuestros o para nosotros mismos. No tenemos nada que no nos haya sido dado. Nuestros dones son, en última instancia, de Dios, y solo somos "mayordomos", responsables del manejo prudente de la propiedad que no es nuestra. Esta es la razón por la cual nuestros dones siempre son "nuestros para los demás", ya sea en la comunidad de Cristo o en la sociedad más amplia del exterior, especialmente en el vecino necesitado.
Esta es también la razón por la que es incorrecto tratar a Dios como una gran agencia de empleo, un buscador ejecutivo celestial para encontrar ajustes perfectos para nuestros dones perfectos. La verdad no es que Dios nos encuentra un lugar para nuestros dones, sino que Dios nos ha creado a nosotros y nuestros dones para un lugar de su elección, y solo seremos nosotros mismos cuando finalmente estemos allí.”
- Os Guinness, The Call (Chapter 6: Do What You Are, p. 47)
It is through both the generous sharing of our gifts with each other and remaining together in Christ that we help the entirety of the body of Christ to grow and allow it truly be healthy and complete.

Conclusion

Summary

Growth through our gifts begins by making sure we make are properly stewarding the gifts for which God has created and placed us where we are.
Growth through process means there should be progress in our likeness to Christ. It may mean our minds do not know the right thing to say or do, but the intention of our being will be that of Christ.
Growth through community reminds us we cannot go through this journey alone if we expect to remain in Him. God said “let us make man in our own image” and Jesus had twelve disciples. Surrounding ourselves with others seeking to grow is part of our design.

Call to the altar

Today the challenge the Lord has placed on my heart is for all of us as a church, not just individually. Where are we?
Are we placing all of our gifts in the hands of the Lord and to the service of others? Or are we holding them back and using them only for ourselves?
Are we trusting the Lord is working in us? Or are we trying to work ourselves to be more like Christ to no avail (en vano)?
Have we been trying to go through our journey with God alone at some point? Have we let ourselves be led away from the family Christ has given us as a support?
The answer to all of these questions is answered by trusting God and remaining in Christ together. Let us pray as a people made family through the blood of Jesus Christ so we will truly bring His kingdom here and bring glory to Him for the rest of our days.
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