Summary: Unity with diversity of gifts, talents, experiences. Purpose of diversity and unity is for the body to do works of service and the building up the body to become the fullness Christ intended.
September 17, 2006
New Covenant EPC
“KEEP THE UNITY OF THE SPIRIT” Part 2
Body Life - The Book of Ephesians
I. Last week we began this passage “Keep the Unity of the Spirit”
A. (vs 1-3) Live up to your calling - humble, gentle, bearing with one another, keep unity of spirit bond of peace
B. (vs 4-6) Unity because of the Reality of our oneness in God
II. (vs 7-11) Unity with diversity of gifts, talents, experiences.
A. verse 7 But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.
1. “But to each one” We can not say we do not have something to give in service to Christ’s church.
a. If we are a believer in Christ, we have been gifted by God.
b. Why does He entrust each of us with at least a gift?
c. It is so we use it for His body.
d. apportioned means a limited measure
e. No one has all the gifts. Christ is in control, He is the only source of all gifts.
2. Billy Waters, Teacher Touch (Colorado Springs: Cook, 1999)
a. After an accident in which she lost her arm, a girl named Jamie refused to go to school or church for an entire year.
b. Finally the young teen thought she could face her peers.
c. In preparation, her mother called her Sunday school teacher and asked that he not call attention to Jamie.
d. The teacher promised, but when he got sick and a substitute did not know the deal.
e. The lesson about inviting friends to church,
f. At the sub led the class in doing the hand motions to the old church poem: Here’s the church Here are the people Open the door See all the people.
g. Jamie’s eyes filled with tears.
h. A 13-year-old boy realized how she must be feeling. He knelt beside her. With one hand apiece, they supported each other, making the church, steeple, and people.
i. Together they illustrated what real church is.
B. Verses 8-10 This whole passage speaks of Christ victory over the all other forces.
1. He is the King and the victor.
a. Because of His victory, we are no longer victims.
b. Empowerment comes from the King to His servants.
2. We are not measly ill equipped slaves.
a. Christ, who descended to this earth, died to pay our sin, was buried and rose again, is now the one who shares the spoils of His ascension.
b. Because of King Jesus’ victory, we His servants are filled with all we need to do His service.
C. Verse 11 It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers,
1. Diversity is God’s design.
2. Richard P. Hansen, "Unsolved Mysteries," Leadership
a. Consider a tuning fork.
b. It delivers a true pitch by two tines vibrating together.
c. Muffle either side, even a little, and the note disappears.
d. Neither tine individually produces the sweet, pure note.
e. Only when both tines vibrate is the correct pitch heard.
3. Diversity is God’s way of building and God’s way of accomplishing His work and will.
a. Hallelujah! Not everyone thinks like me.
b. Can we truly say that with enthusiasm?
c. Do we invite differing views, approaches and emphases?
4. We neither will do the exact same thing nor will we do the same thing the same way.
a. A pastor is often expected to be a jack of all trades and master of all things.
b. Each church session will do some things extremely well because of the gifts of the elders.
c. But the board of elders, the board of deacons, the fellowship ministry team will only be equipped to do that which God has gifted them with.
5. It is the responsibility of every believer to listen to the Lord’s call to service.
a. Right now the Nominating Committee has received various suggestions for elder and deacon.
b. They have prayerfully come up with a list.
c. They have begun asking people to consider serving.
d. If the Nominating Committee comes to you and asks you to serve, will you prayerfully consider if this is God calling.
e. We serve not because it is easy, but because it is tough.
f. We serve not because we want cudos but because Christ is our King and He calls us to serve.
6. If we are a believer then we are His servant. How can you deny His call.
a. Every cabinet member, staff member, officer makes this statement, “I serve at the pleasure of the president”
b. Do we serve the church at our pleasure or Christ’s?
c. Do we serve when it is convenient to us or when Christ calls?