Summary: What is the most important thing we should do as a church to exhibit what it truly means to be a follower of Christ? What is church supposed to look like?
Date: June 14th, 2009
Title: Called To Be One
Text: Eph. 4:1-6
Intro: What would you say is the most important thing that church is to be about?
One author wrote a book, “The Purpose Driven Church”, that uses the premise that there are five purposes of the church that we should work on.
The Natural Church Development stuff we use as a church says there are ten factors that we need to work on to be a healthy church.
Ask10 people and you’ll get 15 different answers.
What if I told you there was a man who wrote the very words of God who had something to say about this question of what is the most important thing a church should be about?
What is the most important thing we should do as a church to exhibit what it truly means to be a follower of Christ?
What is church supposed to look like?
I. The Number One Characteristic Of Living Our Life Worthy Of Our Calling is Unity Of The Spirit. (vss. 1-3)
A. Exhibiting a behavior of unity requires Believers know their true identity. (vs. 1)
1. Paul has been writing the last three chapters explaining who we are in Christ!
a) Alive in Him!
b) One in Him – Saved from the hostility between us and God and others.
c) We have been adopted into a rich inheritance which involves all the riches of His glorious power.
2. Paul starts here with telling us he is “a prisoner of the Lord.”
a) His words ring with authority because he’s living them out!
b) He was in jail because he surrendered to Jesus Christ.
c) He SOLD OUT his life to do what Jesus laid before him.
3. I want you to notice that if he had never fully yielded to Jesus, he could have probably avoided jail, persecution, and suffering.
a) That’s important to me because I don’t want to hear somebody tell me what to do or how to do it if they aren’t living it themselves!
ILL. I, like many of you, don’t like the dentist. It’s not high on my list of things I like to do. BUT when I do go to the dentist, I’m careful.
I’m not too comfortable with a dentist that tells me I have bad breath when his breath could wipe out an army… UH DOC, want a stick of gum… please? Take a hint, umm, I mean a mint.
I’m not too excited when a dentist is lecturing me on dental hygiene and he’s missing 3 teeth and the rest, well let’s say, are on their way out!
Why? Because I want to follow someone that does what they say… practices what they preach.
b) Double standards, compromises, contradictions, are all stumbling blocks and barriers to authenticity.
c) Paul has lived in Jesus to the point of imprisonment…
d) He’s the real deal!
e) He’s not just telling us, he’s living it out.
4. I urge you…
a) In the KJV it is, “I beseech you”, I beg you, I exhort you… walk worthy!
b) That word “urge” is the Greek word “parakaleo”
c) And it means to ‘call near to comfort and counsel’.
d) It’s the same word used to describe the Holy Spirit.
e) As He comes into our lives to counsel & guide us…
5. Paul is urging all Christians of all ages to live according to their calling.
a) He has taken great pains to trace out for us all the benefits of life in Christ.
b) Now, this being the case, he says, so act like it!
ILL. I remember one time when I was playing basketball in High School. It was half-time and we were losing a game to a team we should have been beating! Coach was upset with us and while we all hung our heads, he let us have it reminding us of our record, reminding us of our accomplishments as a team, reviewing our past performances and abilities. He said, “Are all these things I have said true? Are they who you are?” We all shook our heads in the affirmative as we started to pick our heads up recognizing who we really were! Then he said, “All these things are true, you guys are winners, now get out there and play like the winners you are!”
6. God’s Word is saying the same thing here!
a) We have all these blessings on blessings heaped upon us.
b) So live accordingly!
c) Get out there and live a life worthy of who you are!
d) God’s children, citizens of God’s kingdom, members and heirs in His family!
Trans: So does that mean we should do a little dance in the end zone. Maybe a little “in your face” taunting to the other side? No, look what it says in verse 2.