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UM Army 2019  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Introduction

<Picture> Ordination experience recently....
On the morning after my ordination I had breakfast with my family. With all different people in my life explaining my calling to people has some what been difficult. Friends, family, etc. A close relative asked me as I began this journey.....how long will this phase last?
When did you know? What makes this so obvious to you?
Was it when you failed biology in college? No, this was not some secondary plan when college got hard.
Was it when you were in the back of a police car after getting arrested for DWI? No, that is only a piece of the story.
It was when I realized at 21 years old, my whole church experience had been a shell of shallow platitudes and therapeutic attempts to be something that was good. Or at least above average. I wanted to control like and sprinkle Jesus on top when it was convenient, or life was hard, or I was out of options.
There came a time when I realized believing in Jesus and following Him meant something. It had implications over everything. But my whole like to that point, I couldn’t see it because I did not think I needed him.
My salvation was out of the church pew and my calling was shaped by it. Believing means something. And on this journey my life has truly been shaped. Today this text is about what happens after saying yes to God and how important the journey is. Part of my calling, driven by my story, is to call believers deeper into the house of God.
I want to give a brief overview of what Paul is trying to do here to exhort the believers, to give them there charge and what this looks like moving forward. And I think this translates for us as what to look forward to. So no matter where you are tonight this is looking into what God wants to do.....
Ephesians 4:1–16 NIV
As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. This is why it says: “When he ascended on high, he took many captives and gave gifts to his people.” (What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions? He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his 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 people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of 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.
Read
Pray.
Live a life worthy of the Calling
This opening verse is the introductory line for all that follows. This takes us back to Barrell’s message Monday....we cannot just move past what Jesus has done on the cross. Because of all that he has done for us we should respond with something fierce....not lukewarm.
Jesus death for all should motivate us to work hard to be one together. There is no pride and self righteousness at the foot of the cross. You all received the body and blood of Christ tonight night because you all needed it. We were all lost at one point, not some degrees of lost.
The first set of ingredients for the worthy life in response to what Christ has done is humility, gentleness, patience, love.
Submission to the ones set a part for the work of the church
Ephesians 4:11–12 NIV
So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up
I am going to do this one quickly because it is not my intention to bark at people to respect me.....Let’s use Clint and student staff for example. What Paul is saying that there are those that have been called and equipped for the work of the church. Of course they need accountability, but they deserve respect and your trust as you follow them....not really because they deserve it by themselves but because God has chosen them to lead you. My 10 year ordination journey was to ensure that was the case. The body of Christ, the denomination in this case, was discerning the clarity of calling on my life and my gifts for this work. My work, Clint’s work, is to equip the people for the work of service.
Ephesians 4:
I am going to do this one quickly because it is not my intention to bark at people to respect me.....Let’s use Clint and student staff for example. What Paul is saying that there are those that have been called and equipped for the work of the church. My 10 year ordination journey was to ensure that was the case. The body of Christ, the denomination in this case, was discerning the clarity of calling on my life and my gifts for this work. My work, Clint’s work, is to equip the people for the work of service.
No longer infants
The last section and where we will focus a little more are the last two verses. I want to read them again:
Ephesians 4:14–16 NIV
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 people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of 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.
Here is what I want you to hear tonight friends, Giving our yes to God is not an arrival point, but it is a launching point into a journey with God that is amazing and unexpected.
Paul says they are like infants being tossed back and forth....
It’s true. Early in the Christian walk there is an immaturity that is there. And I know we all do not like to be called immature but here is what I think Paul is saying. He is talking about the fact that we can so easily be influenced by the world around us. By the teaching of the times. By the cultural influences, by the temptation of self-gratification.
Our yes becomes a deeper yes.
Example with 20 year old me and now with Luke’s journey with diabetes.
<Show picture>
that yes is deeper and more of me kind of yes.
How does this work?
CS Lewis on having a toothache. (Mere Christianity)
 Let me explain. When I was a child I often had toothache, and I knew that if I went to my mother she would give me something which would deaden the pain for that night and let me get to sleep. But I did not go to my mother—at least, not till the pain became very bad. And the reason I did not go was this. I did not doubt she would give me the aspirin; but I knew she would also do something else. I knew she would take me to the dentist next morning. I could not get what I wanted out of her without getting something more, which I did not want. I wanted immediate relief from pain: but I could not get it without having my teeth set permanently right. And I knew those dentists: I knew they started fiddling about with all sorts of other teeth which had not yet begun to ache. They would not let sleeping dogs lie, if you gave them an inch they took an ell. 
   Now, if I may put it that way, Our Lord is like the dentists. If you give Him an inch, He will take an ell. Dozens of people go to Him to be cured of some one particular sin which they are ashamed of (like masturbation or physical cowardice) or which is obviously spoiling daily life (like bad temper or drunkenness). Well, He will cure it all right: but He will not stop there. That may be all you asked; but if once you call Him in, He will give you the full treatment. 
Let me unpack this a little....
1. Theological distinction here.... There is grace done for you (instantaneous) and grace done in you (on going)
Grace done for you. When you give God your yes, He forgives you of your sin. He calls you holy and righteous because you are joined to Christ. You are part of the family. This is the grace done for you....we call this positional holiness. Dead. Alive.
Grace done in you: Then there is conditional holiness.....As you continue to stand in that Yes and give it day in and day out he makes you holy and righteous. This is a grace that is done in you.
example, adopting someone into the family.
example, adopting someone into the family.
This leads to the last point....
2. The Christian journey is one of movement
Deeper in the house of faith.
Matthew 5:48 NIV
Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Telos of the Christian journey.....calling deeper into him. If he can forgive you of your sin then he can surely set you free. Delivering you from sin, self, society.
Telos of the Christian journey.....calling deeper into him. If he can forgive you of your sin then he can surely set you free. Delivering you from sin, self, society.
Telos of the Christian journey.....calling deeper into him. If he can forgive you of your sin then he can surely set you free. Delivering you from sin, self, society.
Do not settle for less. God begins to renew your mind and heart. To purify your desires and loves. There will be suffering and difficulty but there is a hope, joy, and peace, that is available and deep and ready for you.
Tonight, you heard amazing things....what if life could be about that all the time.
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