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Introduction

This morning we are having a look at book of Ephesians,

The section of Ephesians before this passage, chapters 1-3… those chapters are mostly focused on theology.

But now the focus shifts.

Now, something that’s important to remember is, that when Paul wrote this letter to the Ephesians here...

So he writes this passage that we are looking at today, knowing it is because his commitment in Jesus that he is in this state.

Hence why he urges these people he writes to here…

Paul says here in our first verse;

“I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.”

So having established the theology of their salvation in the opening chapters.

And we get in this small passage here…

The first one is…

Now of course this point gets really fleshed out a lot more in the next few chapters that we are not going to be looking at.

So that’s the first thing we will look at today. The character we are to have once we now have our faith in Christ.

And the second thing this morning… is going to be understanding…

And those two big points,

But before we go any further, how about I pray;

 

Body

Point 1: How we are to live

The first point,

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.

As here we get a list,

As mentioned at the start,

We cannot just continue to live like those who have not be regenerated through Christ.

So looking at the list now…

Now this goes completely against, the cultural norm of the time.

This was when Christians were living in a culture where;

During this time… Humbleness wasn’t something that got you ahead in life.

And while this was the culture of the time 2000 years ago on the other side of the world…

Certainly more and more,

But this behaviour,

One thing easily forgotten when we think about Jesus… is that Jesus was in fact the most powerful man this world has ever seen.

Jesus is the most power person in history, because after all… He is God.

And yet…

Despite being the most righteous man on earth,

Jesus was even the one who brought life into the world… Yet He was willing to let the world take his own life.

Jesus lived a life that did not fit the attitudes and culture of the world at all.

And this means that,

We can’t follow the prideful ways of the world if we are true followers of our humble leader.

It is Jesus that is the example to be followed in life.

And that means that we need to see our weaknesses…

See, one of the things we find in the Bible is,

They believed that their salvation was secure because of how righteous they were…

Sadly,

But the true follower of Christ does not talk about their own righteous,

And likewise,

Because if a person has to remind everyone of how godly they are.

If they feel a need to keep telling people this because they think people just don’t see it, then it is a safe bet it’s because they don’t act it.

And that is why we must show these other traits listed here as well, if we are to be living the life we have been called to.

So let’s quickly look at those things now.

So the next thing is Patience… this is a virtue that should be seen in followers of Christ.

Because the instant gratification we see in our society today is the very opposite of what it means to be patient.

By not being able to wait or say “no”,

But…

Likewise, bearing with one another in love.

But we are to live with each other’s weaknesses, just like they live with ours.

We love others the way Jesus loves us.

We have been called into God’s family. So we now live as one of His children.

So that’s the first thing we are looking at this morning.   

We must now live a life that follows in the steps of Jesus who has called us.

Point 2: Why we live this way

Now that leads us to the second point this morning,

And the answer is, because this is how we get… unity!

Without humility,

Without these things then there will be no unity in the church,

The cross of Christ, is the gift from God that we all share in together.

That is why we see here in verses 3-6,

It says here;  

“Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called;one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”

 

The spirit that we each have in us once we are saved in Christ,

And this means that;

There can only be the one thing that brings us all together. And that has to be God, and his Spirt working insides of us.

One of the things we see very clearly throughout the new testament, is how the church breaks down all social divisions because of this.

These things that may divide us in this world… they mean nothing when in the body of Christ.

What matters instead,

The spirit of God that we now all have, binds us all together under Christ.

And that is why it is important that churches don’t lose sight of this.

See a group of Christians that meat together and go… for example… surfing,

This is a fine thing to do… …but it’s not church.

If you were to limit church to that kind of meeting, then you have limited the people who can be a part of it.

See, the thing that binds that group together is the surf first… and then God second.

Now that doesn’t mean that such a group has no purpose.

Something like that would work great as an outreach group.

They come to surf…

Likewise, it’s a great way for Christians who all like to surf,

But if you were to make a group like that the Sunday’s church service…

then you have simply limited the body of Christ to people who have the same taste as you.

And that example can be replaced with anything.

When people come just to eat.

We can use these things to bring people in.

If we search for unity in anything but Christ, we will not find it.

There will not be one body in one spirit…

And whilst this is an easy mistake to make, it’s an even easier thing to test.

If the answer is yes, then it was never about Jesus.

How about if you remove the surfing from the surf group… do you still have a group then?

When you can remove Jesus from the group and still have a group meeting,

And that same test could be done with any other group…

The test is,

That is why we see, that God’s people, when they meet…

Only when everyone is meeting for him,

 

Conclusion

 

So to finish up today. There are a few quick points to remember.

Firstly, remember the unity we have in spirit.

We are by our sinful nature, tribal. We seek out those who we share things with in common.

The unity we are to have is not common interest.

We must remember that the thing that brings us together is not of this world.

Which is the second point… focus on Christ.

What divides churches is when Christ no longer becomes the focus of the body.

But if we each make Jesus our focus in life…

When we are humble,

And when we are then living like Christ,

But one last point this morning.

See when we see a verse like verse 3;

“Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”

A big mistake is to think that peace comes from agreement.

That unity can only happen when everyone is on the same page… on all matters.

But true unity cannot come from pretending the issue isn’t there.

Politeness is the easiest way to destroy a church. Everyone bottling it up until it eventually explodes.

Likewise,

Some of the biggest divisions can be created in the name of unity.

Peace can only come from remembering what it is, that binds us all together.

Only when we remember that,

So with all that in mind, let’s now finish by praying for these things.