Summary: Ephesians Series #11 God is calling all believers to walk in unity. It is time for us to lay down our differences and embrace one another. Paul gives us the steps how.
A Walk That Is Worthy Part 11
Unity: An Open Door Before Us
Text: Eph 4:1-5
This morning I would like to continue on with our examination of the book of Ephesians.I have entitled the series “A walk that is Worthy” This morning in our text we read these words…Paul said “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received” As we have been going through the book of Ephesians we have been looking at exactly how we are to live our lives in light of what has been given to us. You can really split this book in half at this point. Paul took the first three chapters and told us what God has done for us.
His Grace, Our Position, His immeasurable Blessings.
Now based upon these incredible things, Paul begins to speak to the practical ways in which we are to live up to that calling. Unity, Marriage & Family, Work, Spiritual Warfare.
Remember now the audience of this letter was the CHURCH in Ephesus. This was not a general letter to be posted for unbelievers to read.Paul was speaking directly to Christians. We find him specifically addressing the area of unity in our text this morning.
A little 5-year-old boy one day was playing with his 2-year-old brother when the 2 year old reached up and yanked his older brother’s hair. He screamed in pain, and his mother came rushing in. He cried and said that his younger brother had pulled his hair. His mom said, “Well, he’s only 2 years old and he doesn’t know what its like to have his hair pulled.” The mom left and seconds later she heard a scream from the bedroom, but this time it was the 2 year old screaming in pain. She rushed in and asked what had happened, to which the 5 year old explained, “You said he didn’t know what it felt like, well now he does.”
I titled the this message…”A Door Standing Before Us”
We have an incredible opportunity before us as a body of believers. This morning I want to speak of the doorway of unity that stands wide open before us. If we are willing to do what He asks us to do, there is going to be a harvest I believe like has never been seen before.But we must step through the door that is before us. So many times when a message on unity is preached we think…”Man I need to get the tape of this sermon…so and so needs to hear this” This morning I want you to apply each of Pauls encouragements to yourself. If your focus shifts to other people, I want you to take those thoughts captive. The thoughts I am going to share are to be personally applied…not force fed to someone you know.
This is the nature of Pauls encouragement to the believers in Ephesus, a deeply personal challenge that affected to whole church. Lets look specifically at what that 5 fold challenge is.
4) Bearing One Another in Love
Now we are going to take a quick look at this list this morning. But I would like to start with the last one and work our way to the top. Each one of these builds upon the other.
Paul told the Ephesian believers that he wanted them to make ever effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. This is a challenging statement.
At the end of their first date, a young man takes the girl back to her home. Emboldened by the night, he decides to try for that important first kiss. With an air of confidence, he leans with his hand against the wall and, smiling, he says to her, "Darling, how ’bout a good night kiss?" Embarrassed, she replies, "Oh, I couldn’t do that. My parents will see us!"
"Oh come on! Who’s gonna see us at this hour?"
"No, please. I would just die of embarrassment if someone saw us."
"Oh come on, there’s nobody around, they’re all sleeping!"
"No way. It’s just too risky!"
"Oh please, please, I like you so much!!"
"No. I like you too, but I just can’t!"
"Oh yes you can. Please?"
"NO, no. I just can’t."
Out of the blue, the porch light goes on, and the girl’s sister shows up in her pajamas, hair disheveled. In a sleepy voice the sister says: "Dad says to go ahead and give him a kiss. Or I can do it. Or if need be, he’ll come down himself and do it. But for crying out loud tell him to take his hand off the intercom button!"