Summary: Christ has called us to live together as a community of people whose relationships are characterized by grace and truth.
5/16/04-A Life Where You Belong: Becoming a People of Grace & Truth-Eph. 4:1-5:2
Turn to Eph. 4
Ill. Vince Lombardi-took over as coach of a struggling franchise
-they had been losing for almost 10 straight years
-at the bottom of the standings, morale was low
-Lombardi was brought in to turn things around.
-Began leading practices, trying to inspire, train and motivate his new players.
-Not seeing much progress, so finally in his frustration @ one practice, called the team together in the middle of the practice field.
“Everyone stop & gather around” knelt down & picked up the ball and said “Let’s start at the beginning. This is a football. These are the yard markers. I’m the coach. You’re the players.”
From time to time we all need a “This is a football” talk, this morning that’s where we’re going, get back to basics, only we’re going to have a “This is a friendship” talk as we talk about the life that God has created us for-The life you’ve always wanted
-A Life where you belong
David wrote in Ps. 133:1 “How very good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity.”
Our unity pleases God, He takes joy in it , It’s what we were created for & that’s why we all want to be a part of something, we all have a longing to belong
Play clip from Finding Nemo where the Tank Gang initiates Nemo by having him swim through the "ring of fire" end after Gill says "Now you’re one of us, kid"
That’s what we all want to hear “Now you’re one of us”
We are called to be People living in Community (4:1-6)
Vs. 3-value unity, invest energy in maintaining/preserving the unity that the Holy Spirit has given us as followers of X. Make it a priority
-given by the Spirit, not something we create
-what is this unity, our community as believers based on?
How do we live together in community, preserving the unity?
Love as X loved
Eph. 5:2 –read
How did X love? Sacrificially, as a servant, came to give
That’s how we should approach our relationships with others
Look more at this later
B. Accept as X accepted
Rom. 15:7 “So accept each other just as X has accepted you”
Not based on anything that we have done, but because of who He is.
C. Live in Unity
John 17:21 “My prayer for all of them is that they will be one, just as you and I are one, Father-that just as you are in me and I am in you, so they will be in us, and the world will believe that you sent me.”
Our oneness in X is to be a witness to the world.
Let’s get real practical about this oneness, this unity, this community, this friendship we are to share as believers in X.
Play clip from The Matrix where trinity and Neo are talking just before Neo goes in to meet Morpheus. End clip after Trinity says that all Neo can is tell Morpheus the truth.
We are called to be a people of Truth ( 25)
As followers of X, who is the Truth, we should be known as honest, reliable people who can be trusted. Should be obvious, but is not always the case.
How should this play out in our friendship, our community we’re talking about?
-Be truthful about ourselves, don’t hide, don’t wear a mask be honest about your struggles, your weaknesses, ask for help.
Are there people in your life, people who are a part of our church family, this faith community with whom you can acknowledge the truth about yourself?
That’s the kind of community that God has created for His children,
Community is built on trust and trust is build on the truth.
3. We are called to be a people of Grace (4:28-5:2)
What is grace? When it comes to living out grace in our relationships, Grace is expressed as radical acceptance.
That’s why grace & truth have to go hand in hand. W/out Grace we would not have the freedom to be truthful about who we really are, because we would fear rejection. But as we live out our calling to be a people of grace, as we are honest about who we really are we are still embraced even with our shortcomings and failures.
What does it look like?
Encourage Others (vs. 29)
Two ways-2 greek words
Oikodome-build up-4:29-contrast to “foul and abusive language”
Foul used of spoiled fish or rotten fruit, but also used to describe stones that crumble, the way we talk can be either tearing down or building up vs. 16-building up the body by using our gifts.
Greek word-paraklesis-I Thes. 5:11 “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up”