Summary: Once we begin to grow and mature in our faith, what is next? How do we move forward as a believer?
Date Written: May 21, 2015
Date Preached: May 24, 2015
Church: OPBC (AM) Sunday
Series: Spiritual Growth
Text: Ephesians 4:11-16 (ESV)
Title: Now That You Know…Moving Forward
Focus Question: Now that I have my foundation, what is it for?
Memorial Day is tomorrow when we remember those who have fought and died for our freedoms! These men and women were willing to set aside their own desires and dreams to serve this country, and they were willing to give everything for her!
The soldier who gives his life for our freedom should be respected and remembered! We should never take what they have done for granted!
I saw something this past week that really hit home with me, it said…
There are 2 people who made the choice to die for you…
The solider who died for your freedom, and
The Savior who died for your redemption!
To that I add this… we remember and respect the solider who died for us, and we Worship and give praise to the Savior who redeemed us!
Our freedom that we enjoy is a gift from many who gave their lives so that we could enjoy a free life. Today I want us to remember them and their families prayerfully and thank God we live in a country where men and women are willing to die for our freedoms!
These men and women did this because they knew if they didn’t… these freedoms could be lost and taken away. They set aside themselves for their country! They willingly submitted themselves for training to serve where they were placed. They rec’d instruction and then went out and did what they were trained to do…
Over the past several weeks, we have been looking at how we must ‘train’ as a believer! The 1st sermon in this series was that we need to stop ‘trying’ and start ‘TRAINING’!
This entire series has focused on the discipline of growing in Christ! Our focus has been on 2 foundational disciplines that every believer must establish: a solid Bible study and a vibrant prayer life.
This is because Bible study and prayer undergird all other actions of the Christian servant! These spiritual disciplines give us the foundation for anything we are called to do in the kingdom of Christ!
I pray that you have started applying these two foundational discipline into your life! That you have a grounded Bible study and that you have a vibrant prayer life! If you are not willing to establish these 2 foundations in your walk with Christ, you cannot grow as a believer!
AND…if you are not growing as a believer, God will not use you in His kingdom! He wants to use you and knowing this, as your pastor, it is my spiritual duty and responsibility to see that you are learning and growing in Christ!
However, I want us to all understand I don’t do this out of a sense of superiority or with any thought I am somehow better or above anyone… I do this out of obedience to Christ!
Over the past few weeks we learned about growing as a believer…This morning I want us to take a step BACK. I want us to look at a broader picture.
I want us to look at God’s plan for the church! As we look at this overall plan from God we must keep in mind everything we learned so far because it is vital to the overall picture!
Let’s look at God’s overall plan for the church. Turn with me to Ephesians 4:11-16 [read entire passage here]
11And He personally gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, 12for the training of the saints in the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ, 13until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of God’s Son, growing into a mature man with a stature measured by Christ’s fullness. 14Then we will no longer be little children, tossed by the waves and blown around by every wind of teaching, by human cunning with cleverness in the techniques of deceit. 15But speaking the truth in love, let us grow in every way into Him who is the head—Christ. 16From Him the whole body, fitted and knit together by every supporting ligament, promotes the growth of the body for building up itself in love by the proper working of each individual part.
Now Jesus sets forth a plan in theses verses, but I want us to 1st look at WHO is to lead in this plan…look at v11
11And He personally gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers,
Jesus is the He in this verse… His gifts given thru the H.S. are given to the leadership within the church.