Vision: Ephesians 3:14-4:16
What Do We Want to be Known for?
My first Goals as Pastor
1. Get to know your names
2. Get to know you and what you love. We want to love what you love.
Today we are going to look at a passage that I believe goes along with our Vision Statement. In case you have missed it, our long-term planning committee has come up with a Vision Statement for our church, it says:
We aim to be a family of believers in Jesus Christ that love God and love others. Together, we aspire to be a church that welcomes all to join us in becoming what Christ would have us be.
So our Question today is what is it that God want us to be and how would we describe ourselves to those the we are welcoming into our church? What is different about us that we are inviting them to that is different from any other church that is in our county?
In our passage in Ephesians chapter 3 verse 14 through chapter 4 verse 16 I believe we get the answer on what our goal should be.
WHAT DOES GOD’S WORD SAY?
I. We want to be known as a church that prays with spiritual strength. We must have God’s Power to do God’s Will
A.How Do We Pray with Spiritual Strength?
1. Pray with a Humble Heart (3:14-16a)
a)Why is Paul so passionate and desperate?
b)I think because he knows what the Ephesians need and what we need is something that can only come from God: Power.
c) Are you coming to God desperately? Do you realize you are helpless and powerless without God?
d) This should humble us and make us desperate, but it also encourages us. You can do ministry with His help.
2. Pray for the Fullness of God’s Power and Love (16-19)
a)Why do we need spiritual strength?
(1)Our culture places primary importance on the outer person, but the inner person is far more important. This is where we need strength
and power, on the inside. This is how we fight sin, proclaim the
Gospel with courage, and love people the way Christ has loved us. 3. Pray with Great Expectations (20-21)
II. We want to be known as a church that displays spiritual unity.
A.So the question now is, how in the world is a room of over a 100 different sinners going to achieve unity that lasts?
- United by divine calling (1)a)We all have received the same mission in the Great Commission.b)Christians are to be little Christs
- United by Christlike conduct (2-3)a)We are to be Humble
(1)Being humble does not mean for us to think less of ourselves, but to
think of ourselves less often. b)We are to be Gentle
(1)Gentleness and meekness does not mean weakness in fact it is the opposite.
c) We are to be Patient
d)We are to be accepting one another in love. e)We are to be intentional in keeping unity.
(1)Unity does not happen by accident. It requires work.
- United by Gospel confession (4-6)
a)We have one body b)We have one spirit c) We have one hope d)We have one Lord
(1)This confession to the Ephesian church could have literally costed them their heads. By proclaiming Jesus is Lord they were saying Caesar was not.
e)We have one Faith
f) We have one Baptism
g)We have one God and Father
III.We want to be known as a church that is spiritually diverse, because Unity does not mean sameness.
A.How are we diverse?
1. We have diverse gifts (7-10)
a)Why does Paul Quote Psalm 68?
(1)Psalm 68 is a victory hymn. Historically it was a typical to bring back the spoils of war after a king won a significant military victory. Here having victory over sin, death, hell, and the grave, our Savior gave His congregation spiritually gifted people that they might minister to His church.
b)How do you find your gifts?
(1)Ability (2)Passion (3)Affirmation
c)Why is it important to know my spiritual gifts?
(1)There are things God is wanting to accomplish through you that he has only equipped you to do by you not using your spiritual gift you are hurting the body.
(2)If you are bored with church, it is a sign that you have not found your spiritual gift, because without using your gift you are missing out on your unique role, your unique calling, you are missing out on what God has called you to do.
d)Where do I use my gifts?
(1)In Acts we see that 39 of the 40 miracles occur outside the church. (2)God wants you to use your gift outside the church in the community.
(a)ILLUSTRATION OF A FOOTBALL HUDDLE (Drew Brees)
e)Have you made yourself available to be used by the spirit of God in the world?
2. We have diverse responsibilities (11-12)
IV.We want to be known as a church that is spiritually mature.
A.How do we know if we are spiritually mature?
1. Maturity involves Christlikness (13)
2. Maturity involves good theology (13-14)
3. Maturity involves truth joined with love (15-16)
4. Maturity involves finding your place on the team (16)
WHAT IS IT TEACHING US?
Paul is commanding us to maintain unity, to use our gifts, and to grow in spiritual maturity.
HOW DOES IT POINT US TO CHRIST?
We are able to use our gifts because Christ gave us the ultimate gift by going to the cross for us.
WHAT CHANGES TOMORROW BECAUSE WE ENCOUNTERED GOD’S WORD TODAY?
Will we commit to be a church that is known for Prayer-Unity-Diversity- and Maturity?
What can you do when you leave here to use your spiritual gift to go out and make disciples that make disciples?
However, some of you might not have a spiritual gift because you are still living in the flesh. You might say something like: “I know God will forgive me, but I cannot forgive myself.” That is idolatry. If God is willing to forgive you, we need realize we do not need anything else. When we think we need something more than God Almighty’s forgiveness, it is clear that we are not finding our identity in Jesus Christ and the Gospel. We are living in a works-based system that does noting but enslave.
So as we close today I pray that folks in our community will say about this church, “They teach the Bible faithful, but I also hope they say They love each other like family and their neighbors as themselves.” If the community does not agree with our teaching, I pray that they will see that we love them anyways.
Are you known for truth and love personally, let us as a church strive to be a church known for truth and love.