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One: Week 3

One: Week 3

MATURITY IS THE GOAL, AND A MATURE PERSON HAS THE… 

  •   One Lord
  •   One Faith (right beliefs and behaviors)
  •   One Family (relationship)

One body, one function

Ephesians 4:7–16 (NLT) 7However, he has given each one of us a special gift through the generosity of Christ. 8That is why the Scriptures say, “When he ascended to the heights, he led a crowd of captives and gave gifts to his people.” 9Notice that it says “he ascended.” This clearly means that Christ also descended to our lowly world. 10And the same one who descended is the one who ascended higher than all the heavens, so that he might fill the entire universe with himself. 11Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. 12Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. 13This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ. 14Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. 15Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. 16He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.

ONE FUNCTION: MOVING INTO EXPERIENCE RATHER THAN THEORY

1. The church is called the body of Christ. Christ is the head (authority).

  • Just as your brain/head sends messages and creates action, so does Jesus do this with us—we are parts of His body motivated by Jesus through the Holy Spirit.

2. God gives the church leaders, who have a task in his body.

  •   Equippers and coaches who help people learn to use their gifts/experiences
  •   Coaches who create unity and purpose as well as motivation

3. God gives each person a gift to use for Christ’s body, the church.

  • Remember Ephesians 2:10
  •   We become servants (works of service); humility is a value and quality.
  •   We become good stewards of the gifts we have been given—we’re owners versus managers.
      •   Some use their gifts for themselves.
      •   Some use their gifts for Jesus apart from the church.
      •   God’s desire is that we use our gifts, abilities—even scars—in both our personal lives and a part of the body.

Ephesians 2:8–10 (NLT) 8God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. 10For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

1 Corinthians 12:12–14 (NIV) 12Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.

4. Notice what happens when everyone does their part:

  •   Unity (Ephesians 4:13): striving together in a direction
  •   Maturity (Ephesians 4:13): becoming more like Christ not only as individuals but also as a body
  •   Jesus is glorified, made manifest in the world; experiences are provided rather than just theories.

1 Peter 4:10–11 (NIV) 10Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

  • As a part of the church, there are behaviors we share. 
    •   We worship
    •   We give financially to the mission and the needs of other believers especially
    •   We fellowship
    •   We serve with our gifts
  • What happens when we don’t do it? 
    •   We don’t experience the faith as it was designed.
    •   The world doesn’t experience the Jesus God intended them to experience.
  • Your next step, what is it? Respond! 
    •   Join us in the one faith (three categories of truth) 101, or continue with us in 301.
    •   Join us as a part of the family.
    •   Join us in serving! Look for a need and meet it in your life (home, church, work). Serve here in the church.
    •   Look for a need and help fill it. Listen when we share needs, pursue it, keep asking—and not necessarily just things you would like.
    •   In order to have time, you will have to make time; have the ability to say no to self and even others so you can play a part in a greater yes. We are offering you an opportunity to get rich in heaven. (Matthew 6:19-20)
      •   The right heart and motive to serve regardless of reciprocation requires humility.
      •   The right eyes and ears requires you to look and listen.
      •   The right expectations means knowing people fail to notice and make mistakes.
      •   The Ways to Connect booklet, and our website, lists what needs we have.

QUESTIONS TO REFLECT AND DISCUSS:

Passages to consider: Ephesians 4:1-6; 4:17-5:2

  1. From the sermon, what caught your attention?
  2. Read Ephesians 4:11-16 two or three times. What does this passage say about unity and being a part of Christ’s body? A) What effect does the body working together have?
  3. How have you seen or experienced people choose to be a part of Christ’s body—His hands and feet? What difference or impact did it make?
  4. Think about how our physical bodies function when a part is missing or not working. How might that compare with Christ’s body?
  5. What part or work of service is God giving you the grace to do for His Body? (Ask Him about it. Look for needs and opportunities.)
  6. What would be the adjustment you need to make to join Him and serve with and for the body? What would it cost you to not make that adjustment?

 

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