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Living the Better Story

Ephesians: Speaking the Truth in Love  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Going to the Boundary Waters
Tom and I doing the fuel tank
Ephesians 1:3–6 ESV
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.
Ephesians 1:9–11 ESV
9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. 11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,
Ephesians 2:1–7 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.
Ephesians 3:17–19 ESV
17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Ephesians 4:20–24 ESV
20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!— 21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
Ephesians 5:29–33 ESV
29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
Ephesians 6:1–4 ESV
1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), 3 “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” 4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
Ephesians 6:8–9 ESV
8 knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a bondservant or is free. 9 Masters, do the same to them, and stop your threatening, knowing that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and that there is no partiality with him.
Ephesians 6:15 ESV
15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.
Living by faith in grace… Living the story of grace
What is story? Unmet desire and hard reality combined with faith that turns into action
A husband facing failure

The challenge of an authentic story

What’s the most authentic way to tell your story?
Your story doesn’t start with you.
And you could find parts of your story you don’t like.
Hard reality - Noticing danger
Unmet desire - Cars breaking down
You have multiple potential narrators.
Who has suffered the most/ been victimized the most has the most authentic story?
What do I do with desires others find undesirable?
Actions - Why did you do what you did?

The fundamental story of the Gospel

This is God’s story.
Doctrine - Truths of the Bible
The joy of submission - It’s not ultimately your story
The pursuit of goodness - there is good that can be done
The repentance of hope - I don’t have all the answers nor all the right actions

The high-jacking of the story by shame

What if you don’t have the knowledge he prays for in chapter 1?
What if you don’t grasp the love he prays for in chapter 3?
What does it mean to not stand in chapter 6?
Romans 1:16 ESV
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
Shame gets you drunk when you should be filled with the Spirit.
Marriage - 2 responses… buying a new car… hiding
Parenting = afraid my kids won’t turn out well… protect them from everything!
usually adds something from your past - this intensifies your reaction and locks the plot in place...
Work
The shame that wants to say adult modern reading of history is better than childish religious reading of history is the same shame that says “you’re failing at ...”
Elon Musk - Curiosity

Living out the story by applying truth in love

I want…I am redeemed
I feel unloved…I am adopted
I am waiting…I have an inheritance
Parable of the talents
How does this help me love, trust, serve, give, do good?
Journaling
Live the Best Story…
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