Sit. Walk. Stand- Week 5
What is this series about?
Through this series we will be studying the book of Ephesians and learning about our position in Christ, our life in the world, and our attitude toward the enemy.
Walk- Week 5
Scripture Reference: Ephesians 4:1-7
Big Idea: Living in response to God's extravagant love begins in humility that leads to an uniquely unified group of people.
Our experience of grace results in action. Or, as Paul writes in v. 4:1, it should result in "a life worthy of the calling we have received."
What does "a life worthy" look like?
Humility: God's love toward us transforms how we interact with other
- Humble & gentle
- Patient, making allowance for one another's faults
Unified: God's love toward us gives us a common purpose
- If you are humbled then you make every effort to pursue unity
- Unity happens as a result of seeing what we have in common, our common place with Jesus
Called: God has equipped each of us for specific contributions in that common purpose
- We each have a unique calling and gift from Christ
- A life worthy means you recognize your differences and act on those things
- This matters for our church body. This matters for our world.
Questions to Ponder:
What does this mean for us?
What is the difference between living a life in response to blessing as opposed to living in hopes of blessing?
Why does humility multiply when we consider the truths found in Ephesians Chapter 1-3?
Why is a worthy life identified as unified life?
How can our individuality and gifting serve to increase the unity of the church?
What is the end result of this unique oneness? (Ephesians 4:13-16)
Is the posture of your heart one of humility or arrogance?
- Do you have clear purpose in how you are using your gifts?
- Are you on the sidelines waiting for the "perfect" opportunity to serve? What is one thing you can start this week?
Calling and Community - The Light of the World
by Ben Kirksey
In Matthew 5:14 Jesus tells us, "you are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden."
I used to read these as two separate statements, but they are linked. The city on a hill - the community of Christ-followers -- is the light of the world.
Paul gets that - that's why he emphasizes unity in the body of believers. That's why "living a life worthy of the calling we have received" is centered on unity.
This is extremely counter-cultural. The messages we live under encourage self-desire, self-actualization, following your dreams, etc. That cultural message affects us in our church context -- we tend to think about my calling, how I can change the world.
But for us to be effective lights, we can't view our calling in me-centric way. We have to get the order of calling right.
The calling Paul is encouraging us to live a life worthy of is our primary calling: to be a follower of Jesus, part of his body. This is something we are and will always be. That has to come first.
Then we follow Jesus through our secondary callings: this is what we do, the roles Paul is encouraging us to play. This is expressed through our roles in family, our work, our local church and in the community we live in. These are the places from which God does his work of renewing all things, of making his kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven. That's why Paul reminds us that every role is valuable - every family unit, every service opportunity in the church, and every workplace is a place from which renewal can come.
When we get the order of calling right it gives us these things:
- Focus -- our pursuit regardless of the role we play is following Jesus, bringing the Kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven
- Freedom -- God is doing all the work, it doesn't depend on us; He is the one over all and through all and in all (Eph. 4:6).
- Flexibility -- God uses every vocation as part of his Kingdom story. When Paul writes that we "grow up into Christ in all things," (Eph. 4) or that "Christ is reconciling all things to himself," (Col. 1) or when John envisions that Christ is "making all things new," (Rev. 21) they mean...all things. Not just Sunday morning things. Not just "church" things. All things.
But these roles must be pursued with our family - our true family, the one body united by one spirit that supersedes space and time and ethnicity and nationalism and political identity.
And when Christ is pursued from all of these places with unity in that family? Then a light that the world desperately needs will shine brightly.