A Church-Equipping People Series
Contributed by Perry Greene on Jul 28, 2015 (message contributor)
Summary: Our vision also includes helping one another mature, unite and serve through the presence and power of God's Spirit.
1. Who is better equipped? [PPT of Soldier with weapons and without; Football player with pads and without; Christian with armor of God and without
2. Vision and Mission -- Destination and Steps to get there
a. God Led
b. Outreach Centered
1) World Bible School opportunities
2) Other ways to contribute -- providing for the needs of seekers, etc.
c. Church Equipping
3. 2 Peter 1.3-11 (especially 4-5)
4. God provides so that we may be equipped for our times of service
I. God Equips Us WITH His Spirit
A. We Have Treasure Within
1. Things within -- gospel; spirit of faith (2 Corinthians 4.13)
2. [Jars of Clay 2 Corinthians 4.7 -- treasures in jars of clay or "earthen vessels"
Corinth was famous for many things
* Invented a bronze jar 4' high; 2.5' in diameter as an urn; these were placed in cubicles below the theater for acoustical amplification of the actors (1 Corinthians 13 -- no love = sounding brass)
* Most famous for exquisite pottery that has been found all over the world -- the best pottery as Waterford crystal today
Paul compares pottery to clay jars
Our treasure is in clay jars, not Corinthian pottery: Fragile and Sincere
Proves it is from God (we are the clay pots); We would put the treasure in the good pottery, God puts it in the plain
Clay Pottery absorbs what is put inside of it -- And the earthenware [clay] vessel in which it [sin offering] is boiled shall be broken. But if it is boiled in a bronze vessel, that shall be scoured and rinsed in water. Leviticus 6.28
Jeremiah 32.14 -- clay pots last a long time (DSS); Jeremiah 18.6 -- God is the Potter, we are the clay
B. We Have Power Within
1. Various types of power
a. Divine Power -- 2 Peter 1.3
b. Spirit of power -- 2 Timothy 1.7
c. Transcending Power -- 2 Corinthians 4.7
d. Apostles were to receive power -- Acts 1.8; 2.1ff
e. Power of the Gospel -- Romans 1.16
2. [Welder's Glove
A Teacher lectured his class. He laid a large welder's glove on a table in front of him. From time to time he would give the glove a command, "Get me a cup of coffee," etc. The glove, of course just laid there. Finally, he put his hand in the glove and said to it, "Turn on the light." He then walked to the wall switch and turned it on. Then he took the glove off and laid it down and continued speaking. Near the end of his lecture, he put the glove back on and said, "Turn off the light." He walked to the light switch and turned it off. He laid the glove down and walked away without explanation.
Most obviously, we cannot really do anything of value if God is not within us. He asks us to bring Shalom (peace and harmony) to a broken world. We are unequipped and unqualified to do this alone. When we are filled with the presence of the Holy Spirit, we are able to do remarkable things.
II. God Equips Us BY His Spirit
A. There Are Individual Spiritual Gifts
1. A Place for Everyone
2. A Service for Everyone -- "Reach Down and Pull Up"
B. There are Congregational Spiritual Leaders -- Ephesians 4.11-13
a. Pave the way as "Sent Ones"
c. Abram -- leave old for new; evangelizing -- "Souls" with him
2. Prophets -- inspired teachers -- forth-telling and foretelling
3. Evangelists -- heralds of salvation through Jesus; bringing good news to others
4. Pastor-Teachers -- shepherds who instruct with the word of God
5. Purposes -- 4.13-16:
a. Maturity as Fully Functioning Followers of Jesus
b. Knowledge (more than head knowledge -- experiencing God
c. Unity as Jesus prayed for in John 17
III. God Equips Us FOR His Spirit
A. We Have a Supernatural (Above Nature) God -- Ephesians 4.6
1. Jesus began his earthly ministry with miracles
2. Jesus ended his earthly ministry with miracles -- resurrection and ascension
B. We Are Dealing with the Spiritual Realm (therefore need the Holy Spirit)
1. Other worldly citizenship -- 20 But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself. Philippians 3.20-21
2. Spiritual Warfare and Armor -- Ephesians 6.10ff
1. Dealing with the Different:
Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheynu Melech Haolom Meshaneh Habriot Praised Are You God who has created a variety of different types of people. Traditionally this bracha is recited when you see someone of unusual form, someone physically different than we are.