"What We DO in Christ"
We fulfill our destiny in Christ by utilizing our strengths and abilities to advance God’s Kingdom and Glorify Him and by finding our place in Christ’s Church. We have seen that God has elevated each believer us to a lofty “standing” in His eyes due to the work of Christ. The first three chapters of the book of Ephesians are filled with benefits and blessings and Spiritual weapons at our disposal because we are children of God. I mentioned fifteen specific benefits in a previous message in this sermon series. The final section (chapters 4-6) of Ephesians explains how we as followers of Christ should conduct ourselves due to our standing in Christ. In other words, “We are king’s kids…so let’s act like it!”
WHAT WE DO IN CHRIST
Because we are born again, new creations, children of God, royal heirs, forgiven, wholly restored to God, instilled with talents and gifts, renewed in our minds, filled with the Holy Spirit, and so forth, then our conduct, actions, behavior, and speech should follow suit. Here are a few of the many lifestyle changes we will see when we commit our lives to Christ:
- 1:15 – We have “love for all the saints.”
- 2:10 – We are “created in Christ Jesus for good works.”
- All of Chapter two – Christ has broken down ALL divisions or barriers between us. We are all children of God and therefore brothers and sisters. We are to act like “family.”
- 4:1 – You are to “have a walk worthy of the calling with which you were called.” Do not settle for something less than a life of purpose and fulfillment in Christ.
- 4:2 – We are lowly and gentle and longsuffering and bear with one another.
- 4:3 – We endeavor “to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace.”
- 4:12 – God equips ALL “saints for the work of the ministry.”
- 4:13 – We grow in the “fullness of Christ” and are not blown to and fro by every wind of false doctrine. We are stable, firm, and steady.
- 4:15 – We speak the truth in love.
- 4:23 – You are “renewed in the spirit of your mind.”
another. What does this have to do with discovering our destiny in life? When we decide to follow Christ with our whole hearts, then our lives begin to be transformed by the Spirit of God. The Spirit will impact our entire being – body, soul, and spirit. It will affect our conversation, our goals, our actions, our beliefs, our dreams, our thoughts, and more. As we follow Christ daily our thoughts become more like His thoughts. We begin to act more like Jesus and talk more like Him. When we obey in the little things day by day, God’s plan begins to unfold before us. Remember, we rarely understand God’s grand plan for our lives until we begin to walk with Him day by day.
If the church had a “check-up” gauging its health and well-being based upon these Christian traits as revealed in Ephesians, what would the attending physician diagnose? Would we be tagged as altogether healthy and vigorous? Would we have a cold and a few ailments? Or would we be labeled weak and diseased?
Possibly the one verse which most clearly reveals the importance of the church is Ephesians 1:22-23. I believe “the Message” best interprets this verse, “At the center of all this, Christ rules the church. The church, you see, is not peripheral to the world; the world is peripheral to the church. The church is Christ’s body, in which he speaks and acts, by which he fills everything with his presence.”
Take some time to meditate on the last sentence, “The church is Christ’s body, in which he speaks and acts, by which he fills everything with his presence.” Recall that all of us together are “the body of Christ.” Jesus is the Head of the church, and He desires to fill His body (all of us) with His presence in order to win the world for Him!
We have established that each of us saved by the grace of God through faith in Christ has an elevated, lofty standing in God’s eyes. Additionally, we, the sons and daughters of God who make up the “family” of God, together are rocketed to outer space with our standing because we reach heaven itself and return to earth as Christ’s Spiritual body.
Let me repeat, the church is the place we learn to “live out” our faith with others. We learn to utilize our strengths and abilities to help others. We become a part of something far bigger and better than our own little self-centered plans and goals. As a matter of fact we gladly abandon our own selfish, short-term goals in order to make an impact on the world for eternity. We learn to give and receive. We learn to love and forgive.
Nevertheless, an alarming shift in America’s belief system regarding “the church” has occurred over the past several years. In a very brief, general summary statement, “The church is not nearly as important for Christians as it once was; therefore the church is losing its influence in our society.” This is a frightening proposition. Whenever the church loses its relevance in culture, undoubtedly another belief system is ready and willing to leap in and fill the void to our nation’s decrement.