A Place For You 4 - Working For God (Ephesians 12-16)
Working For God
Text: Ephesians 4:11-16
Place Preached - (Mississauga International Baptist Church)
Date Preached - (03/10/02)
Review of Series to this point…(Doctrinal Section)
Eph. 1 – In Heavenly Places
Eph. 2 – In the Household of God
Eph. 3 – In the Heart of God
Preview of next three messages….(Practical section)
Eph. 4 – Working for God
Eph. 5 – Walking with God
Eph. 6 – Winning Through God
ILLUS: Relate my work experiences on the farm, in Dad’s business etc. Hard work, Long hours, the work is not always pleasant!!
Now you might say I was CALLED to that work by virtue of my relationship with Dad.
I was also EQUIPPED/TRAINED for the work.
And I like to believe that my work added something to the EFFECTIVENESS of my Father’s work. I was part of a TEAM effort.
It was certainly very Satisfying to eat a hearty meal or sleep after a strenuous day of work.
Most of you can relate to hard work, and to the concepts I included in the preceding illustration – CALLING – TRAINING – TEAMWORK.
And we buy into that, and work hard for temporal gain and temporal (not-lasting) satisfaction.
But we also have a spiritual work to do (for the Christian it is all spiritual) which has a lasting and eternal value.
“Vocation” vs.1 DEFINITION – Calling
“The Work of the ministry” vs.12
“Effectual working” vs.16
Among other things, the thrust of this practical section early on is that we would walk with and work for God.
There is a work, a labour for the redeemed to be involved in.
It is the work of the Lord.
It is the work that is for the glory of God and the good of others.
We are not saved to sit, we are saved to serve!!
In our text we find some great principles regarding our spiritual work.
If we take these to heart we will take our spiritual responsibility as seriously and more seriously than any other responsibilities.
NOW we will see that in the spiritual walk and work we are CALLED, we are EQUIPPED and we are part of a TEAM.
I. We are called to a Walk/Work vs.1
Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Titus 3:8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.
Since we have a calling… How should we carry out that calling?
Three qualities are found in our text.
A. Worthy vs.1 - DEF. Worthily,
DEF. – Reflective of God’s Character and befitting our profession as saints of God.
We are different than the world and it ought to show in the way we approach our spiritual responsibilities.
B. Humbly vs.2
Philippians 2:3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
Galatians 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
C. Spiritually vs.3
One great indication of true spirituality is meekness/humility. Another is genuine spiritual unity.
“ENDEAVOURING” means it must not always be easy!!
Romans 12:18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
What if I don’t feel like walking WORTHY, HUMBLY, or SPIRITUALLY? Or what if I feel others are not?
You don’t have a choice, that’s what you’re called to!!!
II. We are Perfected for the work vs.12
The idea is that we are completed, equipped or furnished for all that God has for us to accomplish.
A. Who is Equipped?
Vs.7 “Everyone of us”
1 Corinthians 12:11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
Romans 12:3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
B. How are we equipped?
1). Through the Holy Spirit. (SEE above verses)
2). Through the Spiritual gifting of others vs.11
2 Timothy 2:2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.
3). Through the Word of God
2 Timothy 3:16-17 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
4). Through Trials
James 1:2-4 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
1 Peter 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
C. For What Purpose are we Equipped?
1). The work
2). The Edifying of the Body
What will be the result of this edifying?
a). Unity of the faith – vs.13
b). Knowledge of Christ – vs.13
c). Spiritual maturity – which is indicated by two things…
Avoidance of false doctrine vs.14
Allegiance to a ministry of speaking the truth in love vs.15
III. We are joined together for the increase of the work vs.16
Why a body?
A. A Picture of Christ
B. Pictures Submission to Christ
We are under His headship vs.15
C. The Effectiveness of the body working together is greater than the sum of Individual members working alone.
There is a synergy (EXPLAIN)
LOOK UP & READ I Cor. 12:12-27
NOW we have seen from God’s Word that in the spiritual walk and work we are CALLED, we are EQUIPPED and we are part of a TEAM.
THE GOSPEL COMMANDMENTS OF LEADERSHIP/SERVICE – Author Unknown
1. People are illogical, unreasonable and self-centred. Love and trust them anyway. (Luke 23:34)
2. If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Do good anyway. (Matt. 11:16, 19)
3. If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway. (Luke 19:36-38)
4. The service you render today will be forgotten tomorrow. Serve people anyway. (Luke 17:17)
5. Honesty and frankness will make you vulnerable. Be honest and frank anyway. (Luke 12:51)
6. The biggest men with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men with the smallest ideas. Think big anyway.
(Luke 22:22, 24)
7. People pretend to love the “little” people but sell their souls to the “big” people. Fight for the “little” people anyway. (Matt. 19:14)
8. What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight. Build anyway. (Matt. 26:48, 49, 56)
9. People really need help but may attack you if you do help. Help people anyway. (Luke 4:18, 19, 28, 29)
10. Give the world the best you have, and you’ll get kicked in the teeth. Give the world the best you have anyway. (Matt. 27:17, 21)