Summary: The church in Christ will grow in maturity towards Christ.
If you would like the powerpoint and word file for this sermon, just email me with the title in the subject line (firstname.lastname@example.org)
“The Church: Growing towards Christ”
The church in Christ will grow in maturity towards Christ.
Sunday Morning Sermon
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4QFKS4LzS4 (Title and Text)
Maturity in our church will take us towards Christ. We will not grow and become what God wants for us, together as the church, unless we see growing towards who Jesus is as a goal. How can we see growing towards Jesus unless we know where we are and know where he is? If I’m going to visit some place I’m not familiar with – it would be good to have a road map, or a G.P.S. device.
Paul’s desire to bring the church in Ephesus to maturity towards Christ is one of the main reasons he wrote the book. They had a solid foundation of Biblical teaching. He’s giving them the task of – the goal to grow towards Christ. The church (in general) does a lot of things – to gather the immature. Because we live in a very “me” centered society – it’s easy for the church to follow along – But God wants us to go into the opposite direction, towards him, towards maturity. (Advance)
Romans 12:2 (NIV) Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. If you were in a cave you wouldn’t put the guy with a flash light in the back of the group. If the church doesn’t stop being like the world – we will lose relevance. Growth is a process, but you won’t get there unless you start somewhere. Because it’s God’s desire for us to grow in maturity towards him – he is with us the whole way.
This morning it would be good for you to look at where you are – and where He wants you to be. Paul’s prayer for the church: (Advance) Ephesians 3:19 (NIV) and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Being filled to the measure of all the fullness of God is where we should desire to be, it’s repeated in our text – not that we are going to becomes gods (small g) – or that we can have equality with God – but that we can be like him, having his characteristics. This is the church together – this is us – looking like and growing towards Christ, doing what Jesus would do in this world. Instead of one guy having the flash light in the back of the group – The idea is the group (the church) would together be the light – Clear purpose – clear direction – and excellent focus on Jesus.
This is not something you get from first trinity, unity, community church of the United States. But you won’t get it here either without effort. While I can give you a word from God – I can preach well developed sermons – I can’t make you apply this to your life, your relationships, your friendship, your marriage – I can’t make you apply this to your job your finances or your free time. Only you can. The only way you will is by the grace of God – as you grow in maturity towards him. But this applies to all of us – together as the church – moving in the same direction.
If you have your Bibles turn with me to (Advance) Ephesians 4:13-16 (Read)
I see four things this morning – if we grow in these areas we will grow in maturity towards Christ
I. Faith & Knowledge (13-14) (Advance)
Hebrews 11:1 (NIV) Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
Proverbs 1:7 (NIV) The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.
Faith and knowledge don’t seem like they go together at first. I have books on my shelf from really super smart people, but their faith seems to lack confidence. Here in God’s word – they aren’t the same thing – they are just together. Because the fear of the Lord is the beginning of our knowledge – and our faith is HIM – there is
a. Unity – or oneness in the calling (Advance)
Ephesians 4:5 (NIV) one Lord, one faith, one baptism;
If God were many – there would be many ways – Because God is one – faith in him and knowledge in him is one. As we grow in our faith and knowledge as people, we do the same as the church – because there is unity – we have the same goal.