Andrew Fountain - How the Church grows up

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Full sermon notes - How the Church grows up


Ephesians 4

  1. I, therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to live in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called,
  2. with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,
  3. eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
     
  4. There is
    • one body and
    • one Spirit, just as you too were called to the
    • one hope of your calling,5
    • one Lord,
    • one faith,
    • one baptism,6
    • one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
  5. But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.
  6. Therefore it says, “When he ascended on high he captured captives; he gave gifts to men.”
  7. (Now what is the meaning of “he ascended,” except that he also descended to the lower regions, namely, the earth?
  8. He, the very one who descended, is also the one who ascended above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.)
     
  9. It was he who gave some as apostles, some as prophets, some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers,
  10. to equip the saints for the work of ministry, that is, to build up the body of Christ,
  11. until we all together arrive
    • at the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God,
    • at mature manhood
    • at the measure of Christ’s full stature.
  12. So we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of teaching
          by the trickery of people who craftily carry out their deceitful schemes.
  13.       Rather, being truthful in love,
    we will in all things grow up into him who is the head, into Christ.
  14. From him the whole body grows, fitted and held together through every supporting ligament.
    As each part works properly according to its measure, the body grows so that it builds itself in love.

Version: based on NET Bible


Ephesians 4

  • v.1-3
    • Paul has just been talking about what Christ has done for them on the cross
    • Is this a guilt trip? “Earn it!” ?
      • no, it could also be translated “as appropriately”
      • If prince William gets drunk, it is unworthy of his position as heir to the throne
      • But he doesn’t lose that position by getting drunk,
      • it is just inappropriate
    • what kind of lifestyle is appropriate to our new position in Christ?
      • v.2 love and kindness
      • v.3 unity
        • A Spirit filled church is not just about power
        • We have three things as our foundation, what are they?
        • Spirit of power, love as here, truth as Jesus promised
  • v.4
    • This is an expansion of the unity in v.3
      • one body: “If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body.” (1 Cor 12:15)
      • one Spirit: notice trinity
      • one hope: we all have the same destiny, we’ll be together for eternity!
      • one Lord (Jesus)
      • one faith: The truth we believe.
      • one baptism: We all died to the power of the old life and rose again as part of the New Creation
      • one God and Father: brothers and sisters
  • v.7-10
    • the key word here is measure, (lit metron in Greek from which we get metre)
    • The idea is that Jesus has given a measure of gift to each of us
      • image of a king in ancient times who is returning from victory
      • irony here is it is the captives who are getting the gifts
  • v.11-13
    • five fold?
    • They don’t do the ministry of building up, but equip every person to do it
    • saints...
    • have we arrived?
      • this is one of the passages that convinced me that prophecy is still for today
      • get someone to stand against the wall and “draw round them”
  • v.14-16
    • This is the climax to the whole passage
    • v.14 & 15 are opposites
      • Growth and maturity or wave-tossed and wind-blown
      • deceitfullness or love (truth is not just words, but actions as well)
    • So we can grow up to match the measure of Jesus
      • There seems to be a progress in time through the years and centuries
    • v.16 take clause by clause
      • note the word measure again—we each have our role, our assignment
      • the body grows by gifts excercised in love
    • Do you think they are all supernatural gifts?
      • are any gifts “natural” ?
      • no, but some not spectacular or supernatural in a “laws of physics” sense
    • two examples:

Conclusions

  • Gifts of the Spirit do not have to be supernatural
  • Is is exciting, God is doing something
    • How much do you want to be part of it?
  • We need every single Christian to do this!

Updated on 2014-06-19 by Andrew Fountain

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