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Living a Life Worthy of the Calling

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Ephesians 4:1-13 

Living a Life Worthy of the Calling!

Intro

            Over the summer I have been on many occasions faced with the question. “What is the church?” Although it might seem easy to answer at first sight, this question is actually a combination of many smaller yet significant sub-questions.

            Such as

                        What is the church for?

                        What should the church do?

                        Who is included in the church?

                        Where do the ordinances stand in importance?

                        What are the goals?

                        What is the purpose?

                        What are the responsibilities?

One question that particularly sticks out to me is

            What is our purpose within the church?

                        What are we called to do as members of God’s church?

This as well has many areas in which we could explore

            I however would like to focus on just one!

                        Our purpose in regards to each other

Chapter Summary

Chapter One = Chosen & Sealed (Who is sealed into the Body of Christ)

            Sealed by the Spirit at the time of salvation and made members of Christ’s Body which is the church for which God has given him to be head over.

Chapter Two = Saved by Grace (how we are made members of the Body)

            Slaves to sin, but now through grace salvation has been given and unification into one body has taken place- a building with Christ as the foundation.

Chapter Three = Equal in the Body (No distinction among believers)

            All are equal in their need of Christ. No matter of background or their understanding of theology. It is only through Christ that we have access to God, and through Him we are made member of the Body, unified into one people, into one church.

We are this church!

We have been called and set apart to be members of this church.

Chapter 4 – lays out a challenge in verse 1

           

                        “I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received”

We have received a calling to be set apart for his purpose – to be the church!

Through the first three chapters it has been made clear as to how we got here

            And now we are told how to do it

           

The rest of Ephesians tells us how to live a life worthy of this calling

                       

                        In relation to:

                                                The former life

                                                To evil

                                                To the spirit

                                                To home life

                                                To the preparation for spiritual battle

Interesting through it starts with

                                                The relations between each other

So we will focus on how we as believers can live a life worthy of this calling in relation to each other.

Read all the text v.1-13

1. We can live a life worthy of this calling in relation to each other by maintaining oneness within the Body (vs. 2-6)

Chapter 3 talks of unity between Jews and Gentiles

            Now Paul writes on how to do so

            With an emphasis on maintaining unity through this process

Unity with in the Body is a main focus throughout the whole book of Ephesians

It displays how we act and react to each other has direct implication on how the body lives and breaths

The members of the body act together for one purpose

            For survival

                        To maintain life

There must be unity to achieve this purpose

            Does the heart act on its own for its own purpose

            Does it act independently of the rest of the body?

                        To serve itself

            Or

            To provide blood and oxygen to the rest of the body

We as well must act as parts of one body working in unison for one Purpose

            One calling!

However-

            As humans this is more difficult –

            We can choose not to cooperate – not to work together with the rest of the body

Ephesus was a large city with many different cultures and backgrounds & therefore so was the church.

These cultures would have different ways of thinking with different ways of understanding

This would effect how they dealt with each other

            Paul tells them how to deal in verse 2

A warning to you – Its work – its self sacrificing – and sometimes it will hurt  

 

  

            Vs. 2

                        Humble – You, not as the priority

                        Gentle – Meekness- You, willing to suffer for the others gain

                        Patient – Long Suffering – You, willing to go the distance

                        Bearing with – You, willing to deal with what ever comes up

                                    Long term investments

                        One another in love

Much like Christ’s love for us which is undeserved and given without thought of return.

Our love should resemble this love

The love seen in I Cor. 13:1

            Vs. 3

                        Make every effort

                                    Work at it

                                    Labor at it

                                    Don’t stop

                                    Slave at it

                        To keep unity through peace  

                                   

                                                Unity – Oneness

                                                Peace – agreement for one purpose

                                                            Think of peace as the removal of conflict in exchange

for agreement on a unified purpose         

PT2 and putting aside differences for the unified purpose

            Someone says something off the wall

                        And you put aside conflict to keep unity through peace

You put aside differences to focus on one unified purpose

           

One calling

Verse 4 – 6 explains why one is so important

            V. 4

                        There is one body   

                       

                        Just like there is       One Spirit

                                                            One hope

                                                            One Faith  

                                                            And

                                                            One God

And this ONE body is the church in which we have been called to

And we as believers can live lives worthy of this calling by maintain unity – oneness within the body.

However, just as a Fleshly body has many parts – so does this one.

And

Each part in this body has a role – a very significant role.

As we look at how we can live lives worthy of the calling we have received to be parts of the church,

            We can see that we can do so by not only maintaining unity,

But

            By also upholding our given responsibilities.

V. 7

            But To each one of us Grace has been given

                        Each one = each body part has its own function = Heart

                        Our function in the body is a gift through grace

                                    A grace gift or spiritual gift

                                    A gift for the purpose of serving the body

                        Given by Christ who is head over all and has the authority to give gifts

                                                As seen in (V. 8, 9, 10) - His position

                                                            (Fills the whole universe – V. 1:23)

V. 8

            Psalm 68:18

                        The image of a triumphant King  

This king is the one who descended and ascended

           

            To be the one in which the whole universe finds its Completion, its start and finish

It was this king (Christ) who gave us these gifts

           

V. 11

It was He who gave some to be

 

Apostles = Spread the truth (beginning of the church)

Prophets = reveled the truth (before & on through the beginning)

Evangelists = one who share the gospel

And

Pastors and Teachers (shepherds) leading & protecting flocks

            These are all specific

                         Not everyone falls into one of these

But

            To each one… V.7

 

v. 12

            To prepare Gods people for works of service

                        To prepare other to be servents

These gifts are not given to special people while the peons get the dirty work

These gifts are given to people who are willing to sacrifice everything

                                    Their

                                                Comfort

                                                Peace

                                                Privacy

to prepare Gods people for the most important responsibility one can have

            The ministry of a servant – Those whom serve the body

Much like that of a construction crew and a building

            They are prepared to work on that building with the proper tools and understanding needed

The ministry of service is not at all a lowly one, and not something to be taken lightly  

            For example

                                    Paul considered himself a servant

                        Rom. 1:1 – “Paul a servant of Christ Jesus”  

                        Phil. 1:1 – “Paul & Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus”

                       

            Better yet

                       

                                    Christ thought of Himself as a servant

                        Matt. 20:28 “Just as the son of man came not to be served, but to serve

                                     

And maybe you are familiar with this statement found in Matt. 25:21

                        “Well done, good and faithful servant

It is interesting that this last quote comes from the parable of the talents in which each servant is given a large sum of money to use according to his abilities (to use for the estate).

            And after the owner leaves for a while and returns, He holds each servant accountable for what they did, with what they were given.

To be a servant is a gift of Grace – a grace gift – a spiritual gift

           

            It might be important to remember that we will be held accountable to what we do with what we have been given

And how this has direct implication to living a life worthy of the calling.

It seems therefore that service is pretty important

            As a matter of fact service is essential to building up the body.

V. 12

                        So that… the body of Christ may be built up

                                    Just like the building again

                                                Built by those who have the tools and knowledge to do so

                                    So the body is built up by those whom have been prepared

I am teaching – preparing you for works of service, building you up

            After this morning some of you will come to me with pointers and observations on how to better preach or analyze the text, you then will be preparing me for service

                                                Building me up

& through all this we together build up the body

And in this Growth

                       

                        Just like a construction crew continues until the whole building is complete

We are to continue until – V.13

            Until as a body we are unified in our faith and knowledge of Christ

And have reached maturity which will be displayed through our equaling – or measuring up to the fullness of Christ

           

            Ephesians 1:22-23

                        “the church which is the fullness of Him”

 

by reaching maturity through the unified building up of the body & through the continuing grace of God we can and will

Live a life worthy of the calling we have received.

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