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In This Together

Vision - A Place to Call H.O.M.E.  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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INTRODUCTION:
eph 1:
REVIEW
VISION
John 3:16 ESV
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
HOPE
I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called,2 with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love,3 endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling;5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism;6 one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
Ephesians 4:4–6 ESV
There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
INTRODUCTION:
eph 4:
(TELL OF CALLING EXPERIENCE)
YOU KNOW, EACH ONE OF YOU HERE TODAY HAS BEEN GIVEN A CALLING.
MAYBE NOT A CALLING TO PREACH OR PASTOR.
BUT YOU HAVE INDEED BEEN GIVING A CALLING.
YOU MAY HAVE BEEN FEELING SOMETHING ON THE INSIDE, BUT YOU JUST DISMISSED IT
PERHAPS YOU JUST KEEP FIGHTING THAT FEELING.
WELL, JUST MAYBE . . .
GOD MAY BE CALLING YOU AT THIS VERY MOMENT.
PAUL SPEAKS HERE OF THIS CALLING.
Ephesians 1:4–6 ESV
even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.
WE SAW A FEW WEEKS AGO THE WONDERFUL RELATIONSHIP THAT GOD WANTS TO HAVE WITH HIS CHURCH.
HE WANTS TO CREATE A PERFECT VESSEL AS HE IS THE POTTER AND WE ARE THE CLAY.
LAST WEEK WE SAW THE BEAUTIFUL RELATIONSHIP THAT JESUS WANTS TO HAVE WITH HIS CHURCH.
HE LOVES THE CHURCH SO MUCH THAT HE DIED FOR THE CHURCH.
HIS DESIRE IS TO BE THE HEAD OF THE CHURCH.
TODAY, WE ARE TALKING ABOUT OUR RELATIONSHIP TO THE CHURCH.
THIS IS THE CALLING THAT WE ARE ALL GIVEN.
WE ARE CALLED TO BE HIS CHURCH
EACH ONE OF US IS CALLED TO BE A PART OF GOD’S FAMILY.
WE ARE CALLED TO BE THAT PERFECT VESSEL.
WE ARE CALLED TO BE THAT SPOTLESS BRIDE.
WE ARE CALLED TO BE THE CHURCH.
Ø IN THESE VERSES PAUL WANTS BELIEVERS TO WALK WORTHILY OF THEIR CALLING.
THE CALL TO THE WORTHLY WALK
- THE FIRST THING THAT PAUL TALKS ABOUT IS THE CALL TO THAT WORTHY WALK.
- THE WORD WALK USED HERE OFTEN REFERED TO DAILY CONDUCT OR DAY-BY-DAY LIVING.
- THE WORD WORTHY HAS A ROOT MEANING OF BALANCING THE SCALES--WHAT IS ON ONE SIDE SHOULD EQUAL THE WEIGHT ON THE OTHER SIDE.
- FOR EXAMPLE, A MAN THAT WAS WORTHY OF A DAY'S PAY WAS ONE WHO'S WORK CORRESPONDED TO HIS DAY'S WADGES.
- THE CALLING PAUL IS SPEAKING OF HERE IS REFERING TO THE LORD'S CALL TO SALVATION.
- THIS CALLING IS INDEED A HIGH CALLING.
- WITHOUT GOD'S CALLING, WITHOUT HIS CHOOSING US, OUR CHOOSING HIM WOULD HAVE BEEN USELESS.
- SAYS THAT OUR CALLING IS A HEAVENLY CALLING.
- 2 TIMITHY 1:9 SAYS THAT OUR CALLING IS A HOLY CALLING.
- SO NOW PUT ALL THAT TOGETHER AND YOU CAN UNDERSTAND WHAT PAUL IS SAYING.
- AS A CHRISTIAN YOUR DAILY LIVING SHOULD CORRESPOND TO YOUR HIGH POSITION AS A CHILD OF GOD.
- YOUR PRACTICLE LIVING SHOULD MATCH YOUR SPIRITUAL POSITION.

What’s It Gonna Take?

Ø THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE WORTHY WALK
THE NEXT THING PAUL DISCUSSES IN VS 2-3 IS THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE WORTHY WALK.
- HE GIVES FIVE CHARACTERISTICS OF FAITHFUL CHRISTIAN LIVING.
Ephesians 4:1–3 ESV
1 I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
eph 4:1-

1) THE FIRST CHARACTERISTIC MENTIONED IS WITH ALL HUMILITY.

- ANOTHER WORD TO DESCRIBE THIS IS HUMILITY.
JOHN WESLEY ONCE SAID THAT NEITHER THE ROMANS OR THE GREEKS HAD A WORD FOR HUMILITY.
THE IDEA WAS SO FOREIGN TO THEIR WAY OF THINKING THAT THEY HAD NO TERM TO DESCRIBE IT.
APPARENTLY THE GREEK TERM WAS STARTED BY CHRISTIANS, PROBABLY PAUL HIMSELF, TO DESCRIBE THIS QUALITY.
BUT HUMILITY IS THE MOST FOUNDATIONAL CHRISTIAN VIRTUE.
WE CAN'T EVEN BEGIN TO THINK ABOUT PLEASING GOD WITHOUT HUMILITY.
HOWEVER IF YOU LOOK AROUND, THE WORLD IS FAR FROM BEING HUMBLE.
IN FACT MANY PEOPLE TODAY ARE MUCH LIKE THE ROMANS AND GREEKS AND DON'T EVEN KNOW THE MEANING OF THE WORD.
PERHAPS THE BIGGEST STUMBLING BLOCK FOR MOST PEOPLE BEING HUMBLE IS PRIDE.
MOST PEOPLE ARE TOO PROUD TO BE HUMBLE.
IN TODAYS SOCIETY, PEOPLE ARE ENCOURAGED TO BE PROUD OF THEIR OWN ACCOMPLISHMENTS.
THIS IS TOTALLY OPPOSITE OF WHAT GOD EXPECTS.

A) HUMILITY BEGINS WITH PROPER SELF-AWARENESS.

HUMILITY TAKES OFF YOUR ROSE COLORED GLASSES AND ALLOWS YOU TO SEE YOURSELF AS YOU REALLY ARE.
- WE ARE NOTHING WITHOUT GOD.
Ephesians 2:1–22 ESV
1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. 11 Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— 12 remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. 17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.
EPH 2:1-

B) NEXT HUMILITY INVOLVES CHRIST AWARENESS.

- JESUS IS THE ONLY STANDARD WE CAN GO BY.
- WE SHOULD STRIVE TO BE MORE LIKE JESUS.

C) THIRDLY, HUMILITY INVOLVES GOD AWARENESS.

- THE MORE WE FOCUS ON GOD, AND THE MORE WE REALIZE HIS PERFECTNESS, HIS POWER, HIS COMPASSION, AND HIS LOVE, THE LESS WE THINK OF OURSELF FOR ANYTHING.
- WE SHOULD COME TO THE POINT WHERE WE JUST WANT TO CRY OUT HOLY, HOLY, HOLY, IS THE LORD OF HOST, THE WHOLE EARTH IS FULL OF HIS GLORY.

2) THE SECOND CHARACTERISTIC THAT PAUL MENTIONS IS MEEKNESS.

- HUMILITY ALWAYS PRODUCES MEEKNESS.
- YOU CANNOT POSSESS MEEKNESS WITHOUT HUMILITY.
- MANY DICTIONARIES DEFINE MEEKNESS AS TIMID OR DEFICIENCY IN COURAGE.
- THAT IS FAR FROM THE BIBLICAL MEANING.
- THE WORD WAS OFTEN USED TO DESCRIBE A WILD ANIMAL THAT WAS TAMED.
- THE ANIMAL STILL HAS ITS STRENGTH AND SPIRIT, BUT IT IS UNDER THE CONTROL OF ITS MASTER.
- THE SAME SHOULD BE TRUE FOR CHRISTIANS; WE SHOULD BE TOTALLY UNDER GOD'S CONTROL.
- THE MEEK PERSON SHOULD RESPOND WILLING TO THE WILL OF GOD, NO MATTER WHAT THE REQUIREMENTS OR CONSEQUENCES.
- HE IS ALSO A PEACE MAKER WHO READLY FORGIVES A SINNING BROTHER.
- AND HE ALSO HAS THE RIGHT ATTITUDE TOWARD THE UNSAVED.
- WANTING TO DO ANYTHING TO SEE THEM COME TO KNOW CHRIST.

3) A THIRD ATTITUDE THAT CHARACTERIZES THE CHRISTIANS WORTHY WALK IS LONGSUFFERING OTHER WISE KNOWN AS PATIENCE.

- PATIENCE IS AN OUTGROWTH OF HUMILITY AND MEEKNESS.
- THE PERSON WHO IS PATIENT IS ONE WHO ENDURES NEGITIVE CIRCUMSTANCES AND DOESN'T GIVE IN TO THEM.
- THE PATIENT CHRISTIAN ENDURES AND ACCEPTS ANYTHING OTHERS THROUGH AT HIM.
- THE PATIENT CHRISTIAN ACCEPTS GOD'S PLAN FOR EVERTHING WITHOUT QUESTIONING.
ILLUSTRATION
A YOUNG GIRL WAS ASKED IN SUNDAY SCHOOL WHAT THE MEANING OF PATIENCE WAS.
SHE THOUGHT FOR A MINUTE AND ANSWERED, IT'S WHEN YOUR SITTING IN CHURCH AND THE PREACHER IS PREACHING, AND YOUR JUST SITTING THERE, AND HE KEEPS PREACHING AND YOU JUST KEEP SITTING THERE.
THAT'S PATIENCE!!!
- AS CHRISTIANS WE NEED TO HAVE THIS TYPE OF PATIENCE.

4) A FOURTH CHARACTERISTIC OF THE WORTHY CHRISTIAN WALK IS FORBEARING ONE ANOTHER IN LOVE.

- THIS TYPE OF FORBEARING LOVE IS AN AGAPE TYPE LOVE.
- THE TYPE OF LOVE THAT OVERLOOKS OTHERS FAULTS.
- IT'S THE TYPE OF LOVE THAT GIVES CONTINUOUSLY AND UNCONDITIONLY.
- AGAPE LOVE IS UNSELFISH LOVE.
- LOVE THAT GIVES REGARDLESS OF WEATHER OR NOT IT IS RETURNED.

5) THE ULTIMATE OUTCOME OF HUMILITY, MEEKNESS, LONGSUFFERING, AND FORBEARING LOVE IS IN VS 3.

- PAUL SAID WE SHOULD ENDEVOR TO KEEP THE UNITY OF THE SPIRIT IN THE BOND OF PEACE.
- THIS TYPE OF UNITY THAT PAUL IS SPEAKING OF IS NOT THE TYPE OF ORGANIZATIONAL UNITY.
- HE IS SPEAKING OF THE INNER UNITY OF THE SPIRIT OF ALL BELIEVERS.
- THIS IS SOMETHING THAT WE DO BUT RATHER COMES FROM THE INSIDE.
- IT IS SOMETHING NOT CREATED BY YOURSELF OR THE CHURCH, IT IS CREATED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT.
- TO SUMMARIZE ALL THESE CHARACTERISTICS UP:
- HUMILITY GIVES BIRTH TO MEEKNESS,
- MEEKNESS GIVES BIRTH TO LONGSUFFERING,
- LONGSUFFERING GIVES BIRTH TO FORBEARING LOVE,
- AND ALL FOUR OF THESE CHARACTERISTICS KEEP THE UNITY OF THE SPIRIT IN THE BOND OF PEACE.
Ø THE CAUSE OF THE WORTHY WALK
- SO PAUL HAS TALKED ABOUT THE CALL OF THE WORTHY WALK
- HE HAS SPOKEN OF THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE WORTHY WALK,
- LASTLY PAUL SPEAKS OF THE CAUSE OF THE WORTHY WALK. (VS 4-6)
- EVERYTHING THAT RELATES TO SALVATION, THE CHURCH, AND THE KINGDOM OF GOD, IS BASED ON THE CONCEPT OF UNITY.
- IN THESE THREE VERSES ALONE PAUL USES THE WORD ONE SEVEN TIMES.
-
- IN VS 4 PAUL SPEAKS OF THE UNITY OF THE SPIRIT.
- THERE IS ONLY ONE BODY OF BELIEVERS, THE CHURCH.
- EVEN THOUGH THERE ARE MANY DENOMINATIONS AND CHURCH BUILDINGS, THERE IS ONLY ONE BODY OF BORN AGAIN BELIEVERS.
- THERE IS OBVIOUSLY ONLY ONE SPIRIT. THE HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD.
- THE HOLY SPIRIT IS WHAT IS INSIDE OF EVERY BELIEVER SO IT SHOULD BE THE UNIFING AGENT.
- THE HOLY SPIRIT IS WHAT BRINGS THE BODY TOGETHER.
- HE ALSO SPEAKS OF THE ONE HOPE OF YOUR CALLING.
- -WE ALL HAVE THE HOPE OF OUR ETERNAL PERFECTION, WHICH WILL BE IN HEAVEN.
- IN VS 6 PAUL SPEAKS OF THE UNITY IN THE SON.
- WE KNOW THAT THERE IS ONLY ONE LORD, SO THERE IS SALVATION IN NO ONE ELSE.
- ONLY THROUGH THE SHED BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST CAN ANYONE BE FORGIVEN OF THEIR SINS.
- PAUL ALSO TALKS OF ONE FAITH.
- THIS IS NOT REFERING TO THE FAITH BY WHICH A PERSON IS SAVED, BUT RATHER THE TRUTHS SPOKEN IN GOD'S WORD.
- IN TRUE CHRISTIANTY THERE IS ONLY ONE FAITH.
- OUR FAITH IS THERE IS ONLY ONE GOD AND ONLY ONE WAY TO GET TO GOD, THAT IS THROUGH JESUS CHRIST.
- AND THEN IN VS 6 PAUL SPEAKS OF UNITY IN THE FATHER.
- THIS IS WHERE IT ALL COMES TOGETHER.
- PAUL SAID THAT GOD IS THE FATHER OF ALL, WHO IS ABOVE ALL, AND THROUGH ALL, AND LISTEN TO THIS, HE IS IN ALL.
- THAT MEANS WE ARE GOD CREATED, GOD LOVED, GOD SAVED, GOD FATHERED, GOD CONTROLLED, GOD SUSTAINED, GOD FILLED, AND GOD BLESSED.
- WE ARE ONE PEOPLE UNDER ONE SOVERN, OMNIPOTENT, AND OMNIPRESENT GOD.
- YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS; OUR GOD IS AN AWSOME GOD!!!
CONCLUSION
- SO I'LL GIVE YOU THE SAME CHALLENGE THAT PAUL GAVE THE PEOPLE AT EPHESUS:
- I BESEECH, I BEG YOU TO WALK WORTHLY OF THE VOCATION WHEREWITH YOU WERE CALLED.
THERE ARE TWO GROUPS OF PEOPLE HERE TODAY AND I'M SPEAKING TO BOTH TYPES.
- FIRST TO THE CHRISTIANS, I SAY TO YOU BE THE CHRISTIAN THAT GOD WANTS YOU TO BE. DON'T WORRY ABOUT WHAT I WANT OR ANYBODY ELSE, BUT BE WHAT GOD WANTS.
- IS THERE SIN IN YOUR LIFE THAT MAY BE BLOCKING YOUR VIEW OF WHAT GOD WANTS?
- IF SO THEN DON'T LEAVE HERE WITHOUT GETTING IT REGHT WITH GOD.
-
- AND TO THOSE WHO HAVE NEVER ACCEPTED JESUS AS YOUR LORD AND SAVIOUR, I SAY TO YOU THAT THE CALLING IS TO YOU FROM GOD.
- GOD IS CALLING YOU FROM YOUR WICKED WAYS.
- GOD WANTS YOU TO BE PART OF HIS FAMILY.
-
-
- PLAN OF SALVATION
- PRAY
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