Younity - Lessons from Ephesians
Good morning. Welcome. If you're new here among us, my name is Gene I serve here at C3 church as your pastor. And I want to begin with a dangerous topic this morning. We're talking about marriages. Today we're going to talk about relationships of all kinds, including marriage. So I want to start with a marriage story give you guys like kind of a window in right. So my wife and I, we've been married for a long time been together for over 20 years. I guess it's not a long time, some of you here, but that's another thing. But to me Long Time goes fast. So no extra jokes. So anything we help one another with certain things, or certain things that we're good at. And I just kind of like resigned myself to you. That's it. I won't do it. You do that, right. So for me, it's grocery shopping. Like I'm very bad at that. Apparently, I'm not very good. At groceries. I spend way too much money. And it's like, you'll come back with like a whole cart of breakfast cereal, right? There's no real food, according to my wife. So she does all my meals. She does all my meal. Except for lunch on the weekends. That is where I have my cheat meals, right? I make it for myself. And I go nuts, right? So it's hot dogs and pizza and all kinds of stuff like that. Right? So my wife in very observant notices that after said cheat meals, I usually have stomach problems. And I'm like, Yeah, because you're only supposed to eat like that if you're a 15 year old boy. Right? So that's, that's it? And if you're 15 years old. Yes, you are. Right. So. So anyway, you know, that's the only time anybody's supposed to like that. So I'm like, whatever. So she says, look, we got to do a sensitivity check. I'm like, Why, like, again, I told you, I know, I'm not it's a cheat meal. The operative word is the first word cheating is never good. Right? I get it. So sensitivity, check all this stuff going on and on. And so finally I'm like, Okay, what do we got to do? She goes, I'm going to need seven hairs. Now, let me just translate, like, if you're 15 years old, you don't understand what was just said. Right? So it was just suggested is that we removed seven very valuable members. From your rapidly shrinking team. Like, no, no, you cannot have them, right. So some time goes by, you might say, well, you don't think I have a problem yet. 30 years ago, this was a thick, beautiful mane of rock'n'roll hair. Right? So anyway, that that for another time, and I'm not embarrassed to the pictures. It was awesome. Back then we rocked. Alright, so before I get off on a tangent, what happens is she comes up to me and she's like, did the test results come in like this several days later? And I'm like, I forget, I forget a lot of stuff lately. But the first thing I think is Did she really steal my team members in my sleep? I can't trust this woman anymore. Like did that happen? And so because like, it's like Jesus, she reads my mind or Jedi mind trick, or because we've been married for a long time. And she knows what I'm thinking. So she says, no, she answers me. Right? Like, it's like Jesus. She answers me my question. And she said, No, I got them from around your sink. And yeah, and the first thing I think I'm much cleaner than that. How did she do this? But then the pastor and he's like, Well played, when she worked this whole scenario pretty well, right? She got what she needed for my hell, all the stuff that you know, damn, they already quit the team. So it's okay. You know what I mean? Like, it's all good. Right? So let's say well done, but then a part of me. Felt like, Why do I feel like I'm under investigation for something? It's kind of weird. Oh, and yes, it's sensitivity. Cheese. I can't have any cheese. Now. Is that going to stop me from putting cheese on my pizza? Absolutely not. So whatever. There we go. We help right. So we help one another. But sometimes it doesn't work out. So we're going to talk about unity in relationships and your part in it. Right? So you Nitze so we're following Paul, I thought that was such a clever title. But you know.
We're following Paul through the book of Acts. So we arrive at Ephesus. And so we saw the riot. And that's the big thing there between acts 19. And 20 was like the commercialism of religion, right? So you have them selling the trinkets right at the temple, and they're making money Paul disrupts that. So they want to kill Paul, they have the riot there, right? So he leaves kind of that gives a speech and my latest to the Ephesian elders emphasis. And he warns them about this stuff, they're going to be false teachers are looking to build a following okay, you know, get money or it's so more commercialization. So we looked at what a biblical church should look like, aka see three church and Naples, right. So why we're trying to do what we're trying to do. today. We're going to look at your part in that a little bit more. That's really what Ephesians talks about. Now. Ephesians is a really interesting letter a lot. I like big high theology in Ephesians. Really beautiful, but it has a simple reason for writing think Romans, same thing. Like everyone's like, Oh, Romans theological work. Yes. But the reason for writing is unity and disunity. So the Jews and the Gentiles, you go back and watch that I won't give the whole story again. They're all Christians, but they're Jews or think like these ethnic breakdowns, right? ethno religious breakdowns, and they're fighting over the Gentiles and the Jews. So that's the reason unity. Now Ephesians if I visualize it, I kind of visualize it like these concentric circles, like, take a pebble or a rock and throw it in the water. And that kind of radiates just like that makes that sound out. Except it goes inward. And so focus on it was a big, big theology, right? No Jews or Gentiles, Christ, the body of the Body of Christ the church, then it focuses a little bit more on you and your personal relationships until it gets right down to it like that. Right? So that's kind of how it works. We want to keep in mind as we read this, I'm going to encourage you to read it on your own. I'm going to do key parts of Ephesians. But read it on your own right. So I tell you all the time, don't believe anything any man says like this, you believe that? All right? There's going to be interwoven prayers. Keep in mind, Paul is in prison, or at least he has been detained. We'll see that as we move through x. So he's a prisoner. Some say Rome, but he might just be detained. So anyway, he's in prison. Think of it that way. Let's hop right in Ephesians, one, one, there's letters from Paul chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, I'm writing to God's holy people in Ephesus, who are faithful followers of Christ Jesus, may God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace, and peace. So common opening for Paul, you see that grace and peace this should be setting the tone for you. Grace and peace, right. So this is how it goes, Why the blank this is really interesting nerd only like nerd glasses with tape on him when I do this nerd glasses on. So if you want to nerd out with me, for me, it was really interesting and original, or I shouldn't say original, some of the early manuscripts, it's blank. It doesn't say emphasis there at all. But it does and some other ones and you're like why Pray tell might that be? Well, we'll see tickets delivers the letters of Paul prisoner, he's not going to deliver the letters. So he's sending people with these letters, Guy delivers it, but it's what I like to call a regional letter. So it's a letter that goes out to this region, we're going to get to Colossians. And we're going to see that it's like half of it is like the same at the same exact verses. Right? So that is also to that region. So that's what we're going to do this Ephesians, Asia Minor, this, this this area, we're going to now do a whole bunch of those letters to the area first, and second, Timothy, Colossians, and Philemon talks about the same people in the same general space. So what Paul would be able to do then, and say, hey, you know, when you give it the letter to this place close by, or this place, fill in the city name, I'm going to say the same thing, just like he doesn't galoshes, the collages. He says basically the same thing, it's just a little bit shorter. Alright, so it's really interesting if you read your Bible a lot. So notice that the end of Colossians it says, Read the letter to Laodicea. And then you note and count on you for that. You notice that right? And you're like, wait a minute. There's no Laodiceans in my Bible, except I know revelation. But that's not we're talking about from Paul, the letter I wrote, so. So a lot of people think Ephesians is also that missing letter to the Laodiceans. Okay, I'm done. So Paul talks about spiritual blessings and God's mysterious plan, right? And this is the plan at the right time, you will bring everything together under the authority of Christ, everything in heaven on earth, right. So that's what then he chose us in advance and he makes everything work out according to His plan. God's purpose was that the Jews who were first to trust in Christ would bring praise and glory to God. And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth. The good news that God saves you unity, right? So Unity, you're going to, here's where it a lot. Paul's inter woven prayers, if I didn't mention that a lot of prayers just inter woven through Ephesians, constantly praying through the whole thing. First one we get I pray for you constantly, he prays for spiritual wisdom, and he continues Ephesians 118, I pray that your hearts will be flooded with like literally the eyes of your hearts, having been enlightened so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those who call this holy people or saint, same word, who are rich and glorious, his rich and glorious inheritance. Again, he prays, I also pray that you understand the incredible greatness of God's power for those who believe him. God has put all things under the authority of Christ in his native head over all things for the benefit of the church. And the church is his body. It is made full and complete by Christ who fills all things everywhere with himself. So we talked about the body of Christ and this is going to talk a lot about the body of Christ right so we the church Ephesians two, one, turn the page. Once you're dead because of your disobedience in your many sins. You used to live in sin just like the rest of the world obeying the devil, the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the Spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. All of us used to live that way following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature, we were subjected God's anger just like everyone else. But God is so rich in mercy. And he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, He gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead, is only by God's grace that you have been saved, for He raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of His grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all his he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus, God saved you by His grace when you believed and you can't take credit for this, it is a gift from God, salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done. So none of us can boast about it. For we are God's masterpiece, he is created as a new in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Okay. So, So, important theology. I talked about this all the time, right? Grace, we are saved by grace, right? Through our faith in Jesus. That's it, right. But keep reading, so that we can do good works like that's very important. Those are the evidence of our salvation, right? Judge a tree by its fruit, those other works. So we've talked about that a lot. That's all I'm going to say about that. Right there. Good theology there. Again, remember that? Second Corinthians four, we talked about Satan being the god of this world, very interesting. So here it says that right? And those who obey Him what they have this like the spirit of the devil in their hearts, right? So they don't have the Holy Spirit. They have the spirit of the devil. We saw Second Corinthians six, those two cannot have fellowship together. That's it. If you're filled with the Holy Spirit, you are not filled with Satan, period. You're not filled with demons or anything like that. Right? So that whole deliverance ministry talked about is for people who are not Christians. And so just remember that when you hear about the spirit of the devil spirit, the devils in you, you do not have the Holy Spirit and you are not saved. That scary, right? So no, if you are saved, you're sealed with the Holy Spirit. So Paul continues, he talks about oneness and peace in Christ like so before you were living apart from him, but now you have been nice is it again, united in Christ Jesus. So, united, United key here fusions 214, For Christ Himself has brought peace to us this word occurs a lot, he united Jews and Gentiles into one people, when in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us. He did this by ending the system of law with his commandments and regulations, he made peace between Jews and Gentiles by creating in himself one new people from the two groups together as one body, Christ reconciled both groups to God by means of His death on the cross, and our hostility toward each other was put to death. So one, people, we are one body now. So let's just break down we've talked about before of all these ethnic divisions, there's no like races or identities, not anything but Jesus. And that's what unites us all when our identity is 100% in Christ. That's it, right? That's what we need. It's notes on the law. So did you notice that this is really not what Ephesians is all about? More like Galatians? Right? So we are not under the law. It's another false teaching as some people give that somehow we could even still do that. No, ended the law. That's it right. So now we have Christ, a temple for the Lord comes up as a theme we've talked about that also. You are members of God's family together we are his house. And also what extend into like, let's say First Corinthians 12. Like we are temples of the Holy Spirit as individuals. Continued theme comes up the mysterious plan. They'll talk about as we go into chapter three, more prayer. When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything and heaven on earth. I pray them as glorious, unlimited resources you will empower you with inner strength, the spirits, more prayers, and then we under Chapter Four Ephesians, four, one, therefore, high a prisoner for serving the Lord begging to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle, be patient with each other, making allowance for each other's faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the spirit binding yourselves together with peace. These things come up again and again. For there is one body and one Spirit just as you've been called to one glorious hope for the future. There's one Lord one faith, one baptism, one God and Father over all, who was overall and all in living through all 111 unity, peace, right? So are we seeing it now is interesting. However,
he has given each one of us a special gift through the generosity of Christ. Let's get ahead just a little bit Ephesians 411 What are they? Now? These are the gifts Christ gave to them. hurts the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God's people to do his work and build up the church, the Body of Christ. Keep reading, this will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God's Son, that we will be mature in the Lord measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ. Alright, so we have all these special gifts, but they are for what purpose? Us? bragging, right? No, they are for unity. They're for togetherness for the building up of the church, right? One was, we got to keep reading that right? Because people will run with this. If you've been in church for a long time, you might have heard about the fivefold ministry. And this is where it comes from. But to me that is selling God shorts. It's putting God in a box. Why? Because if you look at the full council of God's word, you see that Romans 12 talks about way more gifts, right? It's a more definitive list actually, it's like first apostle, second. So that might be a better list. But I still wouldn't use that I go to Romans 12, as well, lots of different gifts there too. Right? So this is really like a churchianity. You know, make a program and type of things so we can sell your books. Like that's what the fivefold ministry is. It's just when we just fall short of the full council of God's Word say nothing else. Well, when we divide and become prideful of our ministries, we miss the whole point, we have to read that next verse, right? What's the purpose of what I do right now. It's to bring it's a build up the church bring you all together into Unity until we reach maturity, where we don't even care about these things anymore. That should be the attitude everybody has, from you know, the Rockstar worship leaders to the Rockstar pastor. Like we're trying to get you guys to move forward and stop looking at me so much and stop focusing on Jesus right so that's the point so let's not do the these other ministries and then what did they do the people jump into the roles and I'm a prophet I'm an apostle I'm it isn't, it's like, and you miss the whole point, right? There's trash that Ephesians 413. This will continue again, I'm just picking up off that last line until we come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God's Son, that we will be mature in the Lord measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ, then we will no longer be immature like immature children or immature like children. We won't be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies. That sounds so clever. They sound like the truth. I talked about that last week. Instead, we'll speak the truth and love growing in every way more and more like Christ who is the head of his body, the church, he makes us whole the whole body fits together perfectly sorry, my tablet just decided to do something really crazy. As each part does its own spiritual work. It helps the other parts grows. The whole body is healthy and growing. Full of love. No, I do not want that right now Mr. Tablet. I want the scriptures or tablets trying to sell me something. I forgot to take it off the Wi Fi. So anyway. Technology. All right, so let's not get sidetracked by me unity. Again, unity, right? Each part comes together in unity right? For what? Church Health for a healthy body of Christ. Right. So we're all different parts? No on the false teachers, right? Why is there so clever that sound like the truth so he talked about that last week, not to be immature children as he continues to be like children of the light. So there's light versus darkness thing. Throw off your old sinful nature and instead, let the Holy Spirit right renew your thoughts and attitudes. That's the idea here. Put on your new nature created to be like God talks about stop telling lies. Let us tell the neighbors the truth for all parts of the same body again. So it all comes back to Unity. So remember that anger we talked about Ephesians 426. And don't sin by letting your anger control you. Don't let the sun go down on your anger or while you're angry for anger gives a foothold to the devil. Not good right? So he continues if you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for hard work. Then give generously to others in need. Don't use foul or abusive language. But everything you say, be good and helpful so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. Jump Ephesians 431 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead be kind to each other tender hearted forgiving one another just as God through Christ has forgiven you. Stop and look at that. Where we should all look at that. rage Harsh words slander and anger are all evil behavior. Right a lot of Christians out there you need to see that right? Maybe just put that on your monitor of your computer before you go on the Facebook. Right. So watch it, watch it and that goes for everybody. All ages. All right. Ephesians five, one. imitate God therefore in everything you do, even on the line. You do because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love followed by the example of Christ, He loved us and offered Himself as a sacrifice for us a pleasing aroma to God. He talked about those sacrifices. That's what it says, like in the Old Testament, so he's bringing it in there. Let there be no sexual immoral and morality, impurity or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God's people. I'm seeing stories, foolish talk, of course, jokes, these are not for you. Sorry to let you hear that right? You're disappointed. And instead, let there be thankfulness to God, you can be sure that no immoral, impure or greedy person will inherit the kingdom of God, for a greedy person is idolatry, worshipping the things of this world. So we are to be like that pleasing aroma, Romans 12 We are to be a living sacrifice. That's our true worship, singing, just an extension, living as a sacrifice being like Jesus Philippians two, make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus who died for you, he's the ultimate sacrifice. We're not called like, walk away from that we're called to be sacrificial like him. That's the point. Right? So again, this is like Galatians five, the sin list here and you won't enter the kingdom of God. It's like, if this is not scary, you don't have a mirror. So this should be scary. This would be like, what? And so the greedy people is right up there with sexual sin. There's no delineation here. And then he doubles down on the greed, right? For greedy prisons and idolatry worshipping things as world. Oh, so we really need to do this as a Christian community. We're not talking mostly you guys hear you're cold. Right? What First Corinthians five says you do not judge others outside the church judge those inside the church outside that they don't know. God will deal with them? How are we supposed to win them over? peacefully, gently, lovingly, right? Like we're all perfect? No. So we got to be very careful before we cherry pick our favorites and to pick on and then pick it, right? No, the greedy person was working on that near the Ephesians five, six, don't be fooled by those who tried to excuse the sins that were here that for the anger of God will fall on all who disobey and don't participate in the things these people do. For once you are full of darkness, there's a theme but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light, for the light. For this light within you produces only what is good, right and true. Carefully determine what pleases the Lord, take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness instead, expose them get children of light. We talked about how to expose them this week who should be exposing them? Right? Like leaders, teachers, right? People like that expose the bad teachers that's important. And people excuse these sins. Ever hear that insurance? Oh, that's not a big deal. That's not what I see. Here. I see it as a very big deal. All even playing field. Right? So, reasons 515. So be careful how you live. Don't live like fools but like those who are wise, make the most out of every opportunity in these evil days. Don't act thoughtless, leave and understand what the Lord wants you to do. Don't be drunk with wine. Because that will ruin your life. So instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit singing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts. And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. So, I opportunities right and we see that all throughout the New Testament all throughout the Bible we're supposed to use, like these people are struggling in the outside world as opportunities and also what among one another in the body opportunities, right? So when we have the opportunity to help one another, what did it say in Galatians, therefore, as we have the opportunity, right, you got to do good to those, especially in the household of Christ opportunities. So now this next section, this is where these circles get smaller, right? So it's like verse, it starts getting smaller. Here's a now right all this big stuff, right? Jesus the church got about Jews and Gentiles, these ethnic groups, now it's going to be you right? So it's going to come right down spirit guiding relationships as and further and you got to pay attention submit to one another, out of reverence for Christ. For wives. This means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. Amen. We're done for today. That's it, I'm good. But that's what a lot of people do. Right? Have you heard that? As a lot of people do. Okay. For husband is the head of the wife just as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body. The church is the church submits to Christ so your wives should submit to your husbands and everything.
And keep reading dangerous territory. The word of God tells us what that looks and sounds like. For husbands. This means love your wives just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God's word. I like that. washed by God's word. So it continues a little bit on that and in the same way, husbands to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. No one hates his own body but feeds it and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church. So then there's the one flesh teaching and all that so you can't be united, right? If one side is doing all the doing the other side's doing all the pulling or the being the aggressor, you can only be united if you're both doing the same thing like loving one another. So it continues there's no chapter breaks in the original relationships and families children and parents, right Children, obey your parents. Because you belong to the Lord I can't see that far. But anyway, she's around here somewhere, but and fathers do not provoke your children to anger, by the way you treat them rather bring them up with the discipline instruction that comes from the Lord. Both slaves and masters I've told you this before that when we see the word slave in the Bible, it's not racism it's commerce back in that day, right so you can be the same race and have a slave so don't think of it like that Think of it like employers and employees right so employees work with enthusiasm what says slaves literally as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people? That's how you should work. Really like First Peter is a lot like First Peter as we go into two then three, a lot like it like for speed or expands I think on it quite a bit. But and masters treat your slaves in the same way. Don't threaten them. Remember, you both have the same master in heaven. And he has no favorites. Peter actually says like slaves if you're mistreated, whatever you know, so as Christ, I don't repay insult for insult. So it goes a little farther. But anyway, we see balanced when we look to the full council of God's word, remember, the theme is what? Unity right so Paul wouldn't be saying, Why have you just obey your husbands and husbands? Do whatever you want, right? No, the theme is unity you both Jews and Gentiles right now wives and husbands, slaves and masters, parents and children. Same thing over and over and over again. Peace. Ephesians extend a final word. Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on all of God's armor so that you will be able to stand firm against the strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh and blood enemies but against evil rulers and authorities in the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world and against the evil spirits in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on every piece of God's armor so you'll be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle, you will be standing firm, stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth in the body armor of God's righteousness for shoes, put on the peace that comes from the good news so that you'll be fully prepared. In addition to all of these hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil put on salvation as your helmet and take the sword of spirit which is the word of God. You're not fighting against flesh and blood enemies couple that with the anger you're not supposed to be around right? No. What is the context? Unity not this unity not fighting the armors for defense. What are you standing your ground in? Cole Haan shoes she got them on sale. Awesome. No, she was a piece right? She was a piece trying to wake you guys up and this piece you're wearing here's a piece when you stand your ground. Alright, so the weapon here. Alright, so the Bible right? Could be Jesus the sword Judgment Sword that comes from his mouth, he's going to come back and do the judging. We don't do that. Right. So or the Bible, the Word of God, which tells us what? To be peacemakers. That's what it tells us, right? Not physical weapons. So when we were in second Corinthians, you get that from Second Corinthians 10. We don't fight with weapons like manmade weapons of the world. But instead, he says pray in the Spirit at all times on every occasion. Stay alert, and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere and pray for me to have a break peter out of jail annex. They pray them out, right? They didn't go with like swords and clubs and things like that. No, they pray them out. Tickets will give you a good report or a full report on how I'm doing what I'm doing when getting along. So it talks about the guy who delivers the letter and this is how it ends peace. Be With You dear brothers and sisters, and may God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you love with faithfulness. May God's grace be eternally upon all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ. Grace and peace full circle. So, last week, we talked about things that divide the church, or things that cause disunity, we got to denominations a lot of people don't realize that. That that is like one of Paul's worst nightmares. Unity that the church would ever divide over what fancy terms is called secondary doctrine. For example, Romans 14, one as you meet sacrifice sounds too complicated. If you don't know. I can talk about a Bible study if you haven't heard it bless you. The other one is the Sabbath. Right? So some people were saying you need to keep a Sabbath you need to do that. Pause like whatever one person thinks that there is Hollywood don't divide over. But yet what do we have today? People who say there are churches who say if you don't worship the Sabbath on the seventh day of the week like we do, you can't come here and be in peace with us disunity. We're going to start our own church over there. And it continues, and it continues any denomination, I'll take that secondary doctrine that's not primary. That's not the gospel and say, You know what, we can't be brother and sister in Christ because of that. What? It's not a sin. And I'm talking about simple things. We just see this a little differently. Now. The Gospel, who Jesus is what he did for us, that's a hell I'm going to die on. Right, like, but even in that case, I know of some unbelievers that come to our church and their faith is lacking. They don't really believe you are welcome here. Let me see you can't eat really? That's what I'm a Pharisee. Yes. That's what these people are so denominational, a bunch of Pharisees, right? If you don't believe in things exactly the way I've got it. That's it. You know, you're not righteous, you're not holy, you're not reading. Okay. And you have churches today and Naples across the street from one another saying they're not saved. They're not saved. What do you think, Paul? Do you believe the gospel? Yes. What do you think Paul is saying about that? A rebuke every view. So are part in the disunity. So let's start thinking about that. Like, maybe it's not the denominational stuff. So it's really funny. Like, I don't realize this, there are those in the church who are very self reflective, you know, but even those people at times when I say things about certain sins, like somebody else will come to mind. Then there are those that are sitting there, like maybe like ribbing, their spouse, and I write it to you is talking about you. He's so preaching trick, right? Because people are like, wow, you go hard on everything. It's like, I know, because a lot of people are thinking about someone else. You can. So today, if that's you, if you have a tendency to do that, I want you just to think about, yes, now I'm talking about you, right? So. So, especially, so I want you to think about your part in this and all these situations, right? Because that's what we're supposed to be doing self reflecting. Alright, so we are the body of Christ, you want to look at our parts in unity. We all have special roles, right? But they all come together in unity. Now, on that, there's one step we have to take, right? So have you ever noticed something? It seems like seems like this could be me. But it seems like it's not just this church just everywhere. It seems like the people that are doing all the criticizing are the ones who don't have their stuff together. They're noticed that like it's like projection, you know, that there's always something like glaringly wrong, you know, and I mean, like Jesus says, you know, like take the log out of your eye it's supposed to be hyperbole, right to get the guy to see like you have this log on your face. You're talking about this other guy's a splinter. You know what I mean? So it's just so true. And especially true in a lot of churches, you know, where people are like mining everybody else's ministry, but they're all or most of the time not doing anything. Like not participating, right, but they got a problem with everything. The message, the pastor's message, the music. It's like the coffee this there's not a food, like, you don't do anything, right. So it's usually the case. And then the people who like have their stuff together, they usually don't if they're too busy, they're busy doing stuff like taking care of their own stuff. Right So yeah, we're saved by grace why so no one can boast why because we will. Like that's why now here's really funny thing and I'm going to control myself I will come Holy Spirit Self control, right? Have you ever had someone tell you think about your job know how to do your job? Who doesn't know how to do it? Right so for me right like this is like and you guys are awesome. So I'm not saying this about anyone here but you so we're friends. So no like but a lot of people who think oh pastor just works one hour on Sunday, right? That's it you know? Or there's like a bunch of people like telling me everything they know about a book that they haven't finished yet right? So it makes no sense right? But you know, maybe in your profession this happens I think about phony professions we talked about the doctor and like how we all lie to the doctor. And like imagine there being like an honest doctor or dishonest doctor and like you were actually honest.
So like, you know, that must be a really annoying job because like can you imagine going I mean, if you're a doctor you can I'm preaching to the choir, but like eight years I don't know how many millions of dollars you have to spend on college and all this other stuff right? To get all this stuff down then you have like the patient because why the internet and now they know everything right? So they come in and they just like they itself I think it's this pretty much I'm coming here just to get the script like you know, just to check the box. You can't possibly know what you're talking about. You know, I like I think that has to be a really annoying job. Lawyer has to be a really annoying job right because the intern All right. So this is what I think we should do. This is our legal strategy. Kitchen Table lawyers, right? Everybody's a lawyer, right? whenever anything happens to you, right? Does everyone comes around you with legal advice? Isn't that funny? Anything? Well, this is really what you should do. You need to immediately make sure that there's paperwork, and I got this and I'm like, like you. Like, get a lawyer, right? It's kind of what they're trained to have to pass the bar. Like, it's kind of difficult. I heard. Oh, my gosh, and the worst one has to be cops. Right? Cops, right. So you have this attitude. So like, they don't know why they pulled you over. It says, if they make a mistake, I think you'll do you know why I pulled you over. Don't ask that question, right? Because see already, they're like, oh, I can answer that question. No, I don't, you know, like, there's really no reason for you to pull me over, you know, not the stop sign I blew through because the other guy even look at the guy behind me. Do your job. The guy behind me also blew through the red light, right? They returned and then he was last? Why didn't you get him to do your job? Right? Don't I pay you? So it's got to be really annoying. But if this is you and your job? Did you like it? What do you think? Did it make you feel good? No, the answer's no. So then don't do it. There's your business. And then there's none your business. That's it. Right. So staying in your own lane. So kind of call it like staying in your own lane. This is critical to building up the church is critical to ministry. And when you question people just as a side thing, you know, you're saying to them, you don't know what you're doing. There's no intentionality to your plan at all. Really, you know, and if you've been here for a while, there's plenty of intentionality just because I'm not doing anything about it doesn't mean anything. Maybe I know more about that person situation, then you do. This plan, but it says like, you're kind of stupid, you didn't see that you're not. But that's how it makes us feel correct. So be very careful. And again, this church is really healthy compared to a lot of churches. I've worked at a church we used to be especially very healthy and not necessarily you, but it's a good reminder. Right? So nobody know. You didn't do anything. Right. But we just don't need those armchair quarterbacks, especially in church. Right? Really annoying. But here's the thing, side note, I'm going to tick off everybody who loves sports, which is like everybody but me. So. So this is the one place right when we get it, right, we can say we want. Because when you guys do it in front of the television, and you've never played the game, and you can't play the game, it looks ridiculous to me when you say we want I'm like, you have like ice cream popcorn soda, and you can't run like 10 feet to the fridge. Anyway, I'm done with that rant too. Alright, so cleaning up your so I'm so glad you guys laugh. Do you like sports? So anyway, cleaning up your side of the street, right? Just worry about your side of the street, there's probably a mess there. You know, union cleanup. Unless you are asked, right? Unless you're invited or asked mind your own ministry. Make sure you're doing your job. Right. Right. So each one of us has been given a special gift. That's it not all the same. First Corinthians 12, right, we don't have all the gifts, some have this somehow. Remember the process of OBC with the hand talking? Right? So the foot talk, and if you're not going to do so, alright, so he made that example to let us know some people are ears. Some people are mouth, some people hand some people are feet, right. They're all critically important to what we do here. So we want to build each other up and accomplish God's work in unity in this way. And so this isn't like, I'm just topical here. So it's not necessarily that we have a problem. Now, that's the church. And so there's outside the church, and that's where you might have a problem. So let's talk about Ephesians takes us into our personal lives, right? So the Bible talks a lot about servant relationships, right? So Jesus, right. So you think about what he's saying, right? Mark? 10, Matthew 20, right, the Son of Man came to serve not to be served. Right? And if we keep reading the Bible, you need to be like, Jesus tells us over and over and over again. What did Jesus do? wash feet? What does he tell him? Right? You're not greater than the master. So what should you do for each other? Like, get to the foot washing right? So we need to be like Jesus, and servant. So here's the thing, servant relationship sounds really difficult because our world our culture, we talked about this teaches transactionally like everything's transaction in our culture, not relationally. So what do I get? What do I get back? What happens if I serve that person? Because this is the way we're raised? This is the way we think this is the way the world which is evil trains us to think so we got to flip it if we want to be Christians, if that's what we're calling ourselves, being like Christ. Now, I will say something just to kind of get a head start like if you don't, if you're not serving a lot, you're not living a servant type of life. Nobody's Jesus, but you know, we're working on it all differently. I will, I will say something that serving others is very therapeutic. It's very therapeutic. And so what I saw as a pastor over the last couple of years was people isolating, isolating, and what happens when people isolate is, it's like, called getting in your own head, ever happens like, so if you spend too much time alone, this is what's going to happen. You start just thinking, you start off realizing, you start just thinking about your own problems, and then you start, like letting it grow into problems that don't even exist. They're not now problems. They're like future problems, that may not ever happen, right? But you're worried about them, and you start freaking out about it, and then you freak it out. But that's, you got like 10 million things that you're freaking out, because you're stuck in your own head. Right? And then a lot of people would get put on a pity pot, and they never get off of it. Right? So it's like, oh, woe is me. You know, and they don't think about anybody else. But this is what happens when we don't do life with other people when we are detached from the body of Christ. Of course, it's no good. When you detach yourself from the body of Christ, oh, you're not a part of it. And you're going to start becoming what? Selfish? But what does Jesus say, first requirements of being a Christian, deny yourself, pick up your cross, you could die, then you can follow me, read your Bible, he's pretty repetitive about these right? Now yourself. But what are you doing, you're in your own head, worried about your own stuff you're in your head worried about. That's what it does. That's what isolation does, too. So, so important, and get out of that isolation. So when you start serving others, you're not always thinking about yourself, you realize that, oh, my gosh, other people have problems too. It's amazing. And then you're going to find out the other people may have bigger problems than you. And you start becoming more empathetic, right. And in the beginning, you don't you may transference, you may think about you again, you just got to train yourself out of that habit. But think about them. It's very therapeutic, getting out of your own head and into someone else's. And this is a key to relationships, this is a key to serving, getting into what your spouse is have understanding the way they think. Right? Or your children or children, your parents, like, why are they doing what they're doing? And then being empathetic, not critical about it? Right? Have I done that? Have I done worse, like, Alright, let's start thinking about that person and serving them. So in marriage, it goes both ways, right? So I will say this with a disclaimer, I'm not talking about abusive relationships, I'm talking about fairly normative relationships, if there is such a thing. A spouse is treatment of you is often not in an abusive relationship is often a reflection of how you're treating them. Right. So in a fairly healthy relationship, things are going bad, you need to put the mirror up and go wait a minute. You know, same thing with parents and children. So that's a really annoying thing. If you have kids, right? You see you in the kid and you're like, Oh, I do that, or I say that, right? So we want to find ways to get in their head and understand them. Now, I don't espouse a lot of programs. I don't know if you couldn't tell already. Like this is the Program Guide. And I don't like these catchy things and people trying to sell me stuff. But there is one that I kind of like, especially for couples counseling, but it goes for relationships with friends, parents, children, five love languages, if you have done it, go revisit it, it's really good. You can do it online for free, you don't spend any money at all. So I met the author, a nice guy gave a great speech, I didn't feel from him like he was trying to get rich off of it. But basically, the idea is that you are giving love to your spouse, your friend, whatever it is your employer employee in a way in which they want to receive it, or they can receive it. Right. So your leveling is a typical example referred, guys. You know, so there's like, physical touch words of affirmation. That's the other thing. There's gifts acts of service, things like, so guys, like what they want what physical touch, right? So that's what guys want. But a lot of women don't always want that. Right? So if you go up to your wife, I almost said woman, which is fine. But if you go to your wife, and you're like physical touch, physical touch, physical, you know, and then she doesn't receive love like that doesn't want to do that right now. She's like, you don't want me? And then it's this terrible thing, right? And she's like, No, I'm just not now, you know, but you were supposed to buy me a gift. So here's the thing, if you know that her love language is gifts, right? It's not physical touch, it's not a thing, find the gift, and then get your physical touch. Right. So there you go. I just solved a big problem for a lot of people.
Doesn't make sense, right? A funny example. Makes sense, right? So all the ones who can get all these gifts, like Master gene, right? So anyway, but it goes both ways, right? So you're trying to serve your spouse, you're trying to not think about your head what you like or you, you're trying to get out of your own head and understand what the person likes. So take the quiz. Like if you don't know your spouse yet, and then it'll kind of, you know, understand, like, she wants the gifts. He wants the house to be clean, like, whatever it is, right? So that's the key here is understanding the person you're trying to learn And what they like. Same thing with parents and kids, as I said, Now, especially if we have unbelievers in the Family First Peter again, that's where it goes into this a little bit. First Corinthians seven, right? So if there's unbelievers in the family, this is how you do it. This is how you do it in the Bible tells us this, and so on wives in first Peter three, right? So you serve your husbands, and then maybe the unbelieving spouse will be won over by your good deeds by your good behavior. Right at First Peter seven is so sorry, there's no seven. First Corinthians seven. It talks about your spouse may be saved through your like, how's that possible? Only Jesus said, no, no. Meaning put it together with First Peter three, that they're going to be won over by your good deeds and then come to Christ. What is this? What Christian is I want to be one. Right? So again, parents and children is a big thing. Fathers is a big emphasis there, right? Don't provoke your children to anger. So again, we're supposed to be Christ like to win over our kids if we have kids, right? So it's just a fact, right? Children are either a reflection of you, or they run from you. That's it. Right? There is a reflection of you or the erosion of the reflection can be good or bad, pick it or they're out. And if you know, my story is not to dishonor my father, I've been very open about it. I was out, right? Because he was just a very churchy type of Christian if my whole family was like, very involved in church when he was a choir director and the organist and everything. Right, but and he would do the churchy thing, but then when he got home, he was a totally different person. That abusive language that anger, like all that was there. And I was like, What is going on? If that's what it is to be a Christian, I don't want to be one. That's exactly what happened. And so I ran from the faith ran other Christians that are hypocrites that look as well, all men that I knew were right, the family were the only be talking trash about one another. It was like crazy. I was like, this is a lunatic. Like, I just want to be out of here. It's nuts. Like these you owns I became a hippie eating pizza. And so I you know, I experimented with every other kind of worldview. Right now, all but a lot. Because what a bad example, that if I was like, my dad is just like, the nicest guy in the whole world. Like, I can't believe it, you know, that's really cool. And eventually the door would have been open to come around, right to him. And when I needed help, but I didn't, I knew I was just going to get a beating. You know, that was it. There's nothing else for me in that relationship. So that's why rent in the workplace, you want to win your employer over? And the employees do you want to treat if you have employees, treat them nicely, show them what it is to be a Christian, but you want to win over my goal, when I'm working for anyone. My goal is to be never be asked, like to do something like I got my PD. And that's all I need. Good. I'm good. Like my goal. You never, because if you ever employed anybody, like I have, isn't that annoying? When you constantly have to chase the employees around to do their job, right? That is not a Christian? No, Chris, sir, Christian is a servant there. Someone was like, I'm going the extra mile and, and by the way, selfish side of it. That's how you get promoted. You do like 200%. And everything you do, you're just on it. I hate when I'm in charge of people having to ask people to do that. Why? Because I have my own job to do. And now I have to monitor you. So nobody likes that. I said, Don't do that. Like think about your PD and just get it done with and the Bible tells us no complaining. Get another job that like no complaining, Christians don't do that. We're not called to do that. That's what the Bible says. Alright, so it can be hard. And so here's the thing. You might have been tempted to ask the wrong question. One that didn't come from Christ. Again, what if they don't reciprocate? What if they don't reciprocate? Well on the web, they're not a mirror. This isn't working this Christianity isn't working. Ephesians six, seven, work with enthusiasm as though you are working for the Lord rather than people. Remember that the Lord will reward each one of us for the good we do, whether we are slaves or free like so. Don't miss the context. Everybody has a Jesus. The Bible basically teaches that your enemies are Jesus like When did you see me? Poor naked heart that what you did to the least of these? You did it to me? Goats? It's not a good thing. Right? So work is that you're working for the Lord? That is the practical answer in case you're having some spiritual malady this morning. No, we want to work in the shadow of cross we want to be mindful that what Jesus has done for us right, like how our lives were. So it just be mindful that but it's got to travel down to the heart. We have to let the Holy Spirit do the work. That's ultimately what we want to do. That's where we want to get you want to Paul's prayers. He says he will empower you with inner strength of the spirit. it, then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in Him, your roots will grow down into God's love and keep you strong, then you will understand right? Then you will be made complete, then you will be able to love just unconditionally. And with that love, you're going to understand that we are not at war with our flesh and blood enemies. We are trying to win them over the ultimate solution to the problem, love. And so we have this spiritual armor for defense. And this is why Paul closes with that. And I hope you can see the context of these verses that are used a lot in church. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth, and that truth is also about yourself. Put on the body, alright, God's righteousness for shoes put on peace. That is what we're wearing, where we stand our ground, hold up the shield of thing. Stop the fiery arrows and the devil. Put on salvation as your helmets. You're always mindful of what you're saved by who you should be like Grace, you should have that for others as God had that for you. It's undeserved. Take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God question every Christian should be asking themselves. Are you equipping yourself with this as the Bible commands you to? Are you being it sort of the Spirit move forward in your calling in Christ. When I want to pray, one of the prayers for Ephesians As I close, I pray from God's glorious, unlimited resources. He will empower you with inner strength of the Spirit, then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust him. Your roots will grow down into God's love and keep you strong. And you have the power to understand as all God's people should, how wide how long, how high and how deep His love is. May you experience the love of Christ. Though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. In Jesus name, Amen.