• We are all disciples.
• A disciple is… and Head, Heart, Hands, and Feet (Matthew 4:19)
• We’re on a journey to the 5 Spheres.
REMEMBER: ABIDING IS FIRST—IN EVERYTHING.
• Abiding is: spending time in His Word, working in His power to obey, spending time with His people…
• See John 6:63, Matthew 4:4, and John 15:7-10
WE CARRY OVER WHAT HAS ALREADY BEEN TAUGHT INTO NEW TERRITORY, LIKE TREE RINGS.
Ephesians 4:29–31 29Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.
Ephesians 5:1–2 1Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Ephesians 5:21 Submit therefore one to another out of reverence to Christ.
• Why is church before family?
• Abiding in personal relationship with Jesus and with those in the Body of Christ is part of abiding.
• What is included? Hobbies, neighboring, interactions with government—all interactions outside of personal abiding (the Church & Home Spheres)
Work: Let’s break it down by reading the text.
• Historical Context: “slaves and masters” is best translated to today’s “employees and employers”
• Remember work was good, but now it’s cursed, but God is using it to redeem us.
• Paul is not condoning slavery; he merely acknowledges its reality in the world he lived in.
• The slavery system looks different during this time than it did in our more recent history.
Ephesians 6:5–9 5Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. 6Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. 7Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, 8because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free. 9And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him.
WHAT IS GOD SAYING?
1. God is our master, and He tells us what to do and how to do everything.
1 Corinthians 10:31–33 31So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 32Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God—33even as I try to please everyone in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved
2. We are to work—this is assumed. God tells us how to work.
• Employees: Work hard, be respectful, have integrity—regardless of whether you are rewarded.
• In the same way, employers: lead fairly, and keep in mind that your worker belongs to God. Don’t have favorites.
• God sees and rewards us in heaven. Workers are often not appreciated—leaders are not appreciated, either.
2 Thessalonians 3:10–15 10For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.” 11We hear that some among you are idle and disruptive. They are not busy; they are busybodies. 12Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the food they eat. 13And as for you, brothers and sisters, never tire of doing what is good. 14Take special note of anyone who does not obey our instruction in this letter. Do not associate with them, in order that they may feel ashamed. 15Yet do not regard them as an enemy, but warn them as you would a fellow believer.
3. Slaves and Masters have the same value in God’s eyes, but they have different roles.
• There is no favoritism with God. Your identity is in Christ.
Galatians 3:26–29 26So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
4. The purpose of work:
• To take care of your own needs—family included. (See 2 Thessalonians 3:11–13 and 1 Timothy 5:8)
• Our purpose is to take care of our needs and have something to share. (See Ephesians 4:28 and Galatians 6:10)
o To share with believers and the lost—but in what order?
• Our role is to bring attention to our God by the way we act. (See Titus 2:9–10, 2 Corinthians 9:10–11, and Ephesians 5:15–16)
Special consideration: politics. (See Romans 13:1-6)
• We’re not to be divisive people looking for a fight. We should be known for our humility and service, for wisdom (fighting the right fights in the right way), and for our love, humility, and courage.
• We are to be careful how we speak, even in governmental things.
• It is legal to attack the character of others; however, our Constitution (the Bible) says otherwise.
• How are we able to withstand persecution and negativity? We’re abiding in Jesus’ promises, and we’re in a community of believers where there are reminders, accountability, and support.
QUESTIONS TO REFLECT AND DISCUSS:
Passages to consider: 2 Corinthians 5:14-21; Matthew 5:13-16; Ephesians 4:17- 5:21; 6:5-9
Icebreaker: What is the last thing you remember breaking? Or What is the last thing you remember repairing?
• Most likely, something caught your attention from the sermon. Share what did with the group.
1. Read 2 Corinthians 5:14-21 and Matthew 5:13-16. What are some things these passages show us about who we, as Christ-followers, are as we live in the world?
2. What could set Christians apart in the world? A) What are challenges we face as Christ-followers in the World Sphere? B) If you look through the lens of the Abiding Sphere, how does that change your view of the World Sphere?
3. Who is someone who inspires you in how they display Jesus in the places they work, live, and play?
4. How is abiding with Jesus affecting how you see the world and the relationships you have in the world? Maybe even how you see your purpose in the world? A) What can distract or get in the way?
5. How do you share hope with the people around you? A) Who doesn’t know Jesus who you are concerned for?
6. What opportunities do you have to do good for the community you live in, work at, or recreate with?