We are all building something
Have a choice as to what build
And how well we build
What kind of building we turn out to be
How closely we are building to God’s design – or not
1. New Identity, v19
Nothing more fundamental
Identity theft serious
Something exciting to explore
Still understanding implications of new identity in Christ
vv4-22 – what has been done for us by Christ
If you want meaningful life, need to be born again
If you want to grow in 2019 make developing your sense of identity in Christ a priority
Use a passage like Eph 2 to explore your new identity – make it a source of study and meditative prayer
The work of God is to give us a new identity
Our work is to grow into this identity and enjoy it more fully
2. New Foundation, v20
““To the angel of the church in Ephesus write:
These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands. I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.
Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. But you have this in your favour: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.” (Revelation 2:1–7 NIV11)
Make time and space for the teachings of Jesus in your life.
Basing your life, your new identity life, your kingdom life on him
Following King Jesus as a disciple
3. New Purpose, v21-22
We have a new purpose – Eph 2.10
To become a new dwelling for God – collectively!
What does that mean?
A. Pay attention to personal relationship with God
Walking with God
Walking the kingdom way
“Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”” (Matthew 4:4 NIV11)
We connect with God through the scriptures
We gain strength from God’s word
““Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.”” (Luke 6:46–49 NIV11)
We can be that well built house as a church
A church that glorifies God needs members who devote themselves to God
Cannot cut corners here
“Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” (John 15:4 NIV11)
Good fruit, that lasts depends on us being connected to Jesus
We cannot bear fruit by ourselves, we need Jesus
We are only as strong as our relationship with God
Two-way connection enjoyed by ourselves and Jesus
B. Pay attention to relationships with others in church
“you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 2:5 NIV11)
“Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” (Ephesians 4:15–16 NIV11)
Not superficial, but real
Using gifts as a sacrifice to help others
Process continues as we enter our next year as a congregation
Because of new identity
On a new foundation
With a new purpose
To God’s glory
Please add your comments on this week’s topic. We learn best when we learn in community.
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