Series: Experiencing the Riches of Christ
WALKING WORTHY IN OUR DIVERSITY
(Eph 4:1) I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
“Worth”: value: Is God getting what He paid for
- Walk with a Godly Attitude (Humility, Meekness, Pateience)
- Walk in Unity (Because God is Unity)
When I think of Unity I think of Team (Together Everyone Achieves More)
Unity/togetherness is the very core for team success. Nothing brings certain failure any quicker than disunity/conflict within the team.
When I think of Team, I think of Diversity. For a team to be successful it must have diversity within its members to accomplish the diverse tasks needed.
Example: Diversity of a football team with big linemen and smaller quicker running backs.
I. WE ARE DIVERSE IN OUR CALLING BECAUSE OF THE GIFTS OF CHRIST
1) Christ’s gifts are given to every believer. (7)
But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.
(1 Cor 12:7) But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
a. Christ’s gifts are a work of His Grace
Grace is Christ’s enabling power to do that which we cannot do ourselves.
- Our ability to be saved is by the power of His grace
- Our ability to serve Him is by the power of His grace
b. Christ’s Grace/gifts is given to all
(John 1:16) And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.
(Eph 2:8-10) For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
***** Everyone that is saved is saved for a purpose and that purpose is to serve Christ. Christ’s empowers each one of his children to serve him through his gifts of grace
2) Christ’s gifts are given according to His pleasure/will (8-10)
Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. 9(Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)
(Ed Taylor: Spiritual Gifts, Eph 4’7-16.Sermon Central)
NOTE: The Psalm describes a king’s conquering return…
· He descends into the battle and ascends on high up Mt. Zion into the streets of the Holy City…
· He brings behind him prisoners and marches them through the streets showing all who watch that he has won on their behalf.
· But in the Psalm… it describes the king receiving gifts…
· But Paul turns it around in reference to Jesus ‘giving’ gifts.
· In the OT the conquering king demanded and received gifts.
· In the NT the Conqueror Jesus offers and gives gifts to men.
- Christ Won the Victory
- Christ Divides the Spoils as He Sees Fit
Christ alone is qualified to bless us, His people with His own special gifts through his works. He descended from heaven to the lowest parts of the earth spiritually (through his humiliation) and physically (through his death and the grave) to win the victory over his foes. Therefore, when victory was won he ascended on high in triumph leading/parading his captives and then giving his spoils of victory to those whom he chose; just as David descended from Mt. Zion to win the victory and then ascended again with the spoils of victory.
3) Christ’s gifts are diverse in their nature and scope. (11)
11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
(1 Cor 12:4-6) Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.
4) Christ’s gifts are given for the purpose of Completing His Work (12)
12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
The gifts of Christ are for the purpose of fulfilling His Glorious Plan
* Fulfilling His Work in the Life of the Believer
* Fulfilling His Work in the Life of the Ministry
* Fulfilling His Work in the Life of the Body
Illustration of 80/20 Rule: Vilfredo Pareto was a brilliant Italian mathematician, sociologist and economist of the last century. He came up with what has come to be known as the 80/20 rule. Simply stated it says that "80 percent of the result will come from 20 percent of the events". In church 80 percent of the work gets done by 20 percent of the people; 80 percent of a company’s sales come from 20 percent of its products; 80 percent of the outcome of a football game will be the result of 20 percent of the time spent on the field.
So let’s be realistic in our expectations on involvement and not too disappointed with the bench or, should I say, Pew Warmers!
II. THE DIVERSITY OF OUR CALLING IS TO BRING UNITY TO THE CHURCH
1) We All Come to Oneness in the Unity of the Faith
...Till we all come in the unity of the faith,
“Faith” the belief system set forth in the Gospel that salvation comes only through the work of Christ and not the work of man. Therefore, Christ alone deserves the glory, our worship and our devotion as we are nothing without Him
(John 14:6) I am the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by Me.
2) We All Come to Oneness in the Knowledge of the Son
...and of the knowledge of the Son of God,
Until we know and understand the Son for who He really is we will never give Him the glory and worship that He is due.
Christ is All Man and yet He is All God
He is our Creator and Sustainer
He is our Substitute and our Sacrifice
He is our Servant and our Savior
He is our Rescuer and our Redeemer
He is our Lowly Shepherd and our Great High Priest
He is the Lamb of God and Lion of Judah
He is our Advocate and our Righteous Judge
He is our Companion and our Counselor
He is our Comfort and our Shield
3) We All Come to Oneness in the Maturity in our Walk
...unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
a. Mature in the Word
14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;15 But speaking the truth in love
b. Mature in our Unified Service
...may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: 16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
CONCLUSION: Importance for the Church Fulfilling Its Gifts
Chuck Colson has observed that when the Communists took over Russia in 1917, they did not make Christianity illegal. Their constitution, in fact, guaranteed freedom of religion. But they did make it illegal for the church to do any "good works." No longer could the church fulfill its historic role in feeding the hungry, educating the children, housing the orphan, or caring for the sick. What was the result? After 70 years, the church was largely irrelevant to the communities in which it dwelt. Would the community weep if your church were to pull out of the city? Would anybody even notice if you left?