I. Our Calling
A. Our vocation is a calling
1. God directs us to our job
2. Vocation also refers to our ministry
3. Everyone has a specific calling leading to one goal - hope of calling (Ephesians 4:1)
B. Walk worthy of the calling
1. By being humble in it. Not proud of the work we have done, but what he has done through us. (pride goweth before a fall)
2. Meekness (shall inherit the earth) is humility with power. Power of the Spirit of God. These are his fruits.
3. Longsuffering is being patient with people who could care less.
4. Forebearing is putting up with people who may be cursing/hurting you. That means letting the hurt go, not just hiding the hurt, as in bitterness/unforgiveness. (Hebrews 12:14) "Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: 15) "Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;"
C. Paul was writing this from a prison. (Ephesians 4:1)
II. Unity of the Spirit is our Power1. He was a living-sacrifice, proving that we can forgive others.
2. We can succeed even if God calls us to "inside prison ministry."
A. Unity is defined as...
1. The state or quality of being one; singleness.
2. The state or quality of being in accord; harmony.
3. The combination or arrangement of parts into a whole; unification.
4. Singleness or constancy of purpose or action; continuity: "In an army you need unity of purpose" (Emmeline Pankhurst). Unity prevents FRIENDLY FIRE.
5. An ordering of all elements in a work of art or literature so that each contributes to a unified aesthetic effect.
B. How powerful is the Spirit of God?
The Spirit is The Holy Spirit inside each and every believer. (Romans 8:9-14) We are all equipped for all situations of life with the Holy Spirit's power. Power of the resurrection is power over death – power over the works of the dead man / flesh / self. Being led by the Spirit is evidence of His indwelling and our salvation from eternity in hell. (Ephesians 1:17-23) We can, in the Spirit's power, walk a tightrope stretched over hell without fear. In His Power, we can storm the gates of hell, bring out the captives (the lost) , and win!
vs. 17 – the knowledge of Christ must come first.
vs. 18. The hope of his calling – That we may understand God's will and our future in Christ.
vs. 19 How great is his power to each and every believer.
vs. 20 It is the same power that raised a dead man.
vs. 22 That power is "to" the church. Each member of the church is unified to compose the church, each part fit together in the glue of "peace" has that resurrection power.
vs. 23 That body is the fullness, the completeness of Christ. He is not complete without the church, no more than a groom is complete without his bride.
(Ephesians 4:4-6) The trinity is one inside each believer. The Spirit gives each part a ministry in the church. Each ministry is for one purpose, to build up the church.
vs. 13 "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, " This means demonstrating faith in Christ (depending on him) in our daily life, and understanding the doctrines of the Bible – not the opinions of man. "and of the knowledge of the Son of God, "…having an intimate relationship with Christ, experiencing his presence in our lives moment by moment. "unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ:" …till we become mature Christians, Till we are "filled up" with Jesus Christ.
vs. 14. True doctrine does not change. Truth is the same. Only opinions change. Being mature is distinguishing between truth and opinion.
vs. 15. Opinion presented as fact is never done so in "love" but in "pride."
vs. 16. The entire church is tightly compact with a perfect fit, like two pieces of wood joined with a dovetail joint. You can't fit a round peg in a square hole. Each person has a place that fits. EFFECTUAL: Each fit is measured so that it is fit into the best possible position in the church for that member. GOAL: so that the entire church is strengthened, comforted, and becomes an example of Christ's love – demonstrated on the cross.
vs. 17-19. Avoid walking in the way of the natural man, greedy for material wealth.
vs. 20-21. He doesn't say "about Christ" but simply "Christ." He is the lesson, not just the teacher. The Spirit (John 16) teaches us the Christ-life.
vs. 22-24 "Put off" the old man and "put on" the new man. We have to choose to listen to the indwelling Spirit, and leave the old way of life behind, before we can live the Christ-life. He won't force us. This is true love. Like a father leads his children, the children must choose to follow. RENEWED IN MIND: The battleground is in our mind. Pamphlets dropped in psychological warfare in Iraq were very successful. They surrendered.
vs. 25-32 Forgiveness is the reason for the Cross. It is the proof of Christ's love. We should demonstrate the Christ-life through forgiveness. This is the method to obtain peace. And peace is the glue that will hold this church together.
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