Summary: Hope in what we believe can give us the foundation to stand strong in the storm.
• SLIDE #1
• Today hope is ending; no I mean this is the last message in our Hope series.
• Hope can provide a variety of benefits for us. Hope can cause us to soar to great heights; hope can also sustain us through difficult times.
• Hope in what we believe can also provide a foundation for our life that will help us to be able to stand in the midst of the storm.
• The 4th chapter of Ephesians deals with this issues of unity of the Body of Christ along with the issue of maturity in Christ.
• We are told how the different God ordained positions within the church were designed to help accomplish those goals.
• Verse 13 is a key passage.
• SLIDE #2
• Ephesians 4:13 (ESV) until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,
• Hope is not directly mentioned in our passage but hope is implied by the fact that we have to place hope in what we believe or else we will have no foundation on which to build our life.
• Let’s explore Ephesians 4:14-15 together this morning, we will start with verse 14!
• SLIDE #3
• Ephesians 4:14 (ESV) so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.
• The first observation we will make this morning is…
• SLIDE #4
Our hope in what we believe…
I. Gives us a foundation.
• A goal for a Christian is to mature in one’s faith. Our hope in what we believe will give us a foundation that will allow us to survive the storms that hit our faith, the storms of deception and disbelief that will cause us not to grow in Christ.
• Paul speaks of no longer being children who are tossed to and fro. The word translated “children” denotes a person who is unthinking and impulsive. One who lacks the judgment to make good decisions.
• Those who teach and preach do so with the hope that one is grow, and will be stable in their faith so that they do not chase after every wind of doctrine thrown at them.
• Children can be easily persuaded and confused. They will jump from one opinion to another at the drop of a hat.
• There were those within the church at Ephesus that were trying to dissuade people from putting trust in what Paul was teaching.
• In order to maintain unity and to strive for maturity having hope and faith in what one believes would keep them from becoming petulant little children.
• Children and in particular babies cry out because of their own pains and needs. Without hope in what we believe we are reduced to focusing on self.
• When a child wants something, or are hurt, they pay no mind to where they are, what the situation is, they just cry out.
• The hope we have in the doctrine that we believe in can provide us a stable foundation that will allow us to stand strong in the storms.
• Verse 14 shows some of the traps that folks who are not grounded can fall into.
• …tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.
• When we are not sure of what we believe, we will have no stability, whenever the next new thing or fade comes along; we will get caught up in it.
• A ship without an anchor will get tossed all over the ocean when the storms come.
• A person without the anchor of hope, belief and faith will get tossed mercilessly into the rocks of life.
• We can get pulled in by HUMAN CUNNING. The word cunning is the Greek word for “cube” which was literally uses to speak of dice throwing. A cleaver person could actually hold two sets of dice in his hand and throw whichever set he wanted.
• The dice was also loaded to get the desired results. This deception was used to trick folks out of money.
• We can be fooled into making God’s kingdom OUR kingdom if we allow ourselves to be tricked by a cunning person.
• WE would call that being PLAYED today.
• Craftiness denotes being willing to do ANYTHING to take an unfair advantage. It referred to the practice of adulterating a product.
• They would take a pure product and mix other things in it so they could have more products to sell. What you were paying for was not what you were getting.