Faithlife Sermons

Discipleship: We are one

Discipleship it's for you and for me  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  58:53
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Discipleship is not just for knowledge it is for application. This series has been learning or being reminded of being a disciple (follower through application) of Jesus Christ. Today we are looking at a major theological application that promotes unity and calls for protection of the unity of the believers.
(Applied Faith Picture Inserted Here)
Application from salvation
Saved by grace through faith (Eph2:8-9)
Salvation/redemption from sins through His blood (Eph1:7; Eph2:11-13)
Born again by water and spirit (Jn3:5)
Assured of eternal life in the name of Jesus (1Jn5:13; Jn20:31)
Salvation will produce works of faith (Jm2:14-22)
Paul in Eph4 makes a transition about what we have “in Christ” and how to be “in Christ” to what we as a body, disciples of Jesus Christ are to do from salvation.
Our passage tonight is about unity, unity of the faith, unity in service, joining together as we are unified in Christ.
Salvation produces works of faith that bring glory in the church to Him (Eph3:14-21)
Ephesians 3:14–15 NASB95
14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name,
Ephesians 3:16–17 NASB95
16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
Ephesians 3:18–19 NASB95
18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.
Ephesians 3:20–21 NASB95
20 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, 21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.
Jesus commanded to keep His commands, from love a proof of love (Jn14:15)
You will carry out the great commission (Mt28:20)
This passage is an encouragement (urges application) and a reminder that we are “one” in the Lord. Oh we may have different gifts (see 1Cor12:12-31) but we are unified by the one’s that we see in our passage this evening.
(Applied faith picture inserted here again)
So this evening in an effort to continue with discipleship, personally and as the church we are going to dig into this passage.
Paul’s call for application (Eph4:1-3)
Paul’s reminder who we are in Christ, how we are united (Eph4:4-6)
Christ’s gifts through unity (Eph4:7)

Paul’s call for unity

Christians are called to a higher standard of living then the rest of the world. Paul calls and explains how to join in and how to protect the unity of the believers.
Ephesians 4:1–2 HCSB
1 Therefore I, the prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk worthy of the calling you have received, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, accepting one another in love,
Ephesians 4:3 HCSB
3 diligently keeping the unity of the Spirit with the peace that binds us.
(Insert Urge picture here)
Paul urges (Eph4:1)
This is urging the church that is in Christ Jesus to come along side, to join in living a life worthy of the calling.
God called through the gospel, gave power through the regeneration so to live in a manner that is worthy of the gospel. Like the beatitudes call for the blessed Christian to live by certain things, Paul calls the Christian to
Paul calls for us to walk with humility and gentleness (v.2; ref: Php2:4; Mt5:5-meek)
His aim to is promote unity in the body, and invites all to join him in it after knowing who they are in the body, they together they make up the body of Christ.
So walk in humility - looking not out for yourself only but for the good and benefit of others (ref: Php2:4; Mt5:5- meek)
Gentleness is also the word meek. This is not weakness but power under control. For it is God who wills and works in us now (Php2:13) to accomplish his good, perfect and acceptable will. And we know that is to love one another, right?
Paul urges to have patience, accepting one another in love (v.3; Ref: Gal5:22; 2Pt3:9)
Be patient, don’t loose your gentle demeanor and become upset, irate with one another, for that promotes division and this is about the unity of the believers.
Patience like gentleness is a fruit of the Spirit (Ref: Gal5:22)
This is demonstrated by God’s patience with us as noted in 2Pt3:9)
So as believers we need to remember how much we have been forgiven, how we were forgiven and why we were forgiven so we can be patient and bearing with one another in love.
In the Greek it was the equivalent of the word “forbearing” and we are to “put up with one another.”
This is putting up with each others shortcomings, weaknesses, faults, failures and this is all done in
Love for one another - only love can bring the unity of the believers in all our uniqueness, faults, failures and the like, being patient , gentle and in humility with one another because of the unity of the faith.
Paul urges to diligently (make every effort) to keep the unity of the Spirit (v.3)
Ephesians 4:3 The Message
3 alert at noticing differences and quick at mending fences.
Just for fun I looked up a few other versions and saw this and thought it described what Paul is urging perfectly. Noticing and mending, so in other words protecting the unity of the Spirit
Ephesians 4:3 HCSB
3 diligently keeping the unity of the Spirit with the peace that binds us.
Paul urges to protect the unity with the peace that binds us. (v.3)
(transition) Now we come to the place where we see the workings of the unity in the One’s. When we know, believe, and agree on these there is unity of the body that works together in application as disciples of Jesus Christ.

Our unity in “one”

We are called to have the mind of Christ (Php2:5; 1Cor2:16) having the same mind (Php2:2) and now when we know, believe and walk in these we are united.
Well, maybe a couple of the referenced scriptures would be in line.
Philippians 2:5 NKJV
5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,
and add to that
1 Corinthians 2:16 NASB95
16 For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.
having the same mind
Philippians 2:2 NASB95
2 make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.
Now that brings us the the passage
Ephesians 4:4–5 HCSB
4 There is one body and one Spirit —just as you were called to one hope at your calling— 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism,
Ephesians 4:6 HCSB
6 one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.
Paul goes from urging (vv.1-3) to now describing the seven fold basis for our unity as believers, as disciples of Jesus Christ (vv.4-6) these seven things are what all Christians have in common.
Seven-fold basis for our unity:
There is one body (v.4; ref: Mt16:16-18; Eph2:15, 3:15; Rom12:15)
This is the universal and the local body. There is only one. One church (Mt16:16-18) - there are no denominations in the church that Jesus built. - Denominations defined as “part of the whole”
One body that is made up of Jews and Gentiles (Eph2:15); both in heaven and earth are comprised of (Eph3:15)
We are many but make up one body (Rom12:15)
Kenneth Boles a commentator says this
“The essential oneness of God is reflected in the oneness of His church. Though represented in many local congregations, yet the universal church is one body.”
While in the body there is a diversity of gifts (1COr12:4) the gifts are distributed by the one Spirit
There is One Spirit (v.4; Ref: 1Cor12:4, 12:13)
So the body has the same Spirit, personally (Act2:38) and in uniformly (v.4, 1Cor12:4) The Spirit makes us one body (1Cor12:13)
1 Corinthians 12:13 NASB95
13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.
(One body, one Spirit picture inserted here)
(Stop here- insert invitation; salvation message here)
(Transition) so after now being reminded how to be one body regenerated by One Spirit it brings us to the next point of seven-fold basis of our unity.
Just as you were called to one hope (v.4; 1Tim1:1; Eph1:18; 1Pt3:15)
You were called by the gospel, you were transferred by your obedient faith into the one body local and universal by the One Spirit to the one hope and Jesus Christ is our hope according to (1Tim1:1)
Another beautiful verse that reminds us of the hope we have
Ephesians 1:18 NASB95
18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,
Hope of His calling, riches of his glory, inheritance in the saints, that is the Church, the one body that is unified by the one’s we are looking at today.
While this hope is personal it is to be shared publically too. (1Pt3:15)
1 Peter 3:15 NASB95
15 but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;
So a reminder we have one church, local and universal that is united by One Spirit filled with One hope now that brings us to our next part of the Triune God
One Lord (v.5)
This is one Lord Jesus Christ in who all things were created (Col1:16), and through whom all things are held together (Col1:17).
One faith (v.5; Eph2:8, 3:17; Jude3)
This is the saving faith Eph2:8, 3:17
This is the uniting faith (Jude 3)
Jude 3 NASB95
3 Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints.
This uniting faith is the Word that has been handed down that you hold in your hands that brought the saving faith in which you stand, in the One Lord, and the One Spirit that fills us with One Hope.
(Transition) so From the One Lord it is now linked to the next item:
One baptism (v.5; ref: Act8:12; 1Cor12:13; Act2:38; Rom6:1-5; Gal3:27)
One faith, one belief brought on One baptism
Acts 8:12 NASB95
12 But when they believed Philip preaching the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were being baptized, men and women alike.
It is the believers that have heard the word, believed the word that were baptized, and baptized in and by One Spirit as noted in 1Cor12:13 I read earlier.
Reason for baptism is for forgiveness of sins (Act2:38)
It is the place we are united with Christ (Rom6:1-5) as well as
Galatians 3:27 NASB95
27 For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.
This is the One baptism that is spoken of, there is no other baptism in the New Testament that denotes anything other than a water baptism by immersion, or any baptism apart from immersion. No one is commanded to be baptized into the Spirit it in baptism that the Spirit comes in you.
One God and Father of all (v.6; ref: Eph3:16-19; 1Cor12:4-6; Col1:12; Eph1:3, 17, 3:14-17)
Ephesians 4:6 HCSB
6 one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.
So, the first of the Triune was the work of the Spirit, the second was based on the union with Christ and that brought us to the third the sharing in the one God and Father of all.
I don’t know if you know it, or noticed it, the order here, Spirit, Son, Father is the same way Paul put it back in Eph3:16-19 which we read earlier, and it is the same found in 1Cor12:4-6
The ultimate unity of the church and of all creation is found in the Fatherhood of God. He is the source of all things and is before all things. His Fatherhood is qualitative (Col1:12) and redemptive (Eph1:3, 17, 3:14-15)
Paul uses three prepositions in the seven-fold facts of unity.
God the Father is over all, through all, in all (v.6; Eph2:22)
While it is all inclusive for all creation, it is especially true for the church and promotes the unity within the church, within the disciples
God is over all His children as their Father
God is through all in whom He works through the children of God today. We are His instruments
He is in all, His Spirit dwells in the repentant baptized believer who has confessed Jesus as both Lord and Savior after hearing the gospel message of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 2:22 NASB95
22 in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.
(Conclusion) - Unity as disciples of Chist, while we may be many, we are united in One, Body, Spirit, hope, Lord, faith, baptism, God and Father of all. First it starts with being One in Christ.
(Invitation slide- In Christ) to be one you need to be in, are you in Christ? Are you alive in Christ? Are you serving Christ as a disciple? (expand)
(Song) (Prayer) (Exit)
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