Summary: A sermon that reviews the importance of the church as the body of Christ
Ephesians 4:1-16 New International Version (NIV)
Unity and Maturity in the Body of Christ
4 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
“the members of a Presbyterian church in Waterloo, Iowa, have constructed a new church building out of a single large rock. Stone was scarce, and while looking about for a possible quarry their attention was called to this huge boulder which stood in the middle of a plain about eight miles from the town. This mass of rock was like an island in the midst of a vast sea. About eight feet of it projected above ground. The work of excavating this gigantic boulder was at once begun. When exposed to view, it was found to be twenty-eight feet high, thirty feet long, and twenty feet wide. On this monolith the workmen began their labors with drill, hammer, and dynamite, and the enormous rock was converted into building-stones, which were removed to the town and built into a beautiful church.”
What a beautiful metaphor for this scripture
. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
When you gaze around the church this morning just sneaking a look at those people around you might notice we are all different but the amazing thing is we have all been hewn from the same rock – we are the body of Christ together and every stone is important.
What is it that holds Christians together?
We have been hewn from the same rock!
When Jesus Christ died and was buried and rose again 2000 years ago some words he had said echoed through the corridors of history down through the ages to this day.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but shall have everlasting life.
What defines you as people whether you are Christian or not will deeply depend on your resonse to these words of Jesus. As jesus said earlier that day: ” 3Jesus replied, “Truly, truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”
When you are born again you become part of the Kingdom of God and are no longer of the world – you are in it but not of it.
What is the church?
It is the people who have been hewn from the same rock.
It is the people who have chosen to be born again and pick up their cross and follow Jesus.
As we read in Ephesians this morning. 4 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.
I think in the end we must define the church of jesus as those who live a life worthy of the calling they have received.
Paul begins by saying as a prisoner for the Lord, then -------------------- His belonging to the church had ended up in prison. Why because he was living a life worthy of the calling he had received.
The call of Apostleship was strong on Paul’s life and expressing that call often ended up in trouble. The church is those who are attempting to live a life worthy of the calling they have received.
Systems and countries change, but neither Christ nor the Gospel nor the Great Commission will ever change!
Paul said 4 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.
Friends we belong to the same body of Christ – Paul urges us – from prison to live a life worthy of the calling we have received. Paul’s life was one of placing as absolute urgency living the life Christ requires him to live. That means sharing great fellowship with the body – Like there is great value in meeting together:- 1 Thessalonians
10:25 not abandoning our own meetings, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and even more so because you see the day drawing near. ©NET
The first thing we do as Christians – I believe is hang out together in grace with other believers. When we do remarkable things happen 11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.