Living a Life Worthy of the Calling
Living a Life Worthy of the Calling!
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.
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 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 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
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
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
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
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
Make every effort
Work at it
Labor at it
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
Verse 4 – 6 explains why one is so important
There is one body
Just like there is One Spirit
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.
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,
By also upholding our given responsibilities.
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)
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
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
Pastors and Teachers (shepherds) leading & protecting flocks
These are all specific
Not everyone falls into one of these
To each one… V.7
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
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
Paul considered himself a servant
Rom. 1:1 – “Paul a servant of Christ Jesus”
Phil. 1:1 – “Paul & Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus”
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.
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
“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.