Date: April 5, 2020
Bible Text: Eph. 4:11-13 | Pastor Stephan Bauer
Series: Growing Freer Series
John 8:31-32 - 31To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
I. Freedom is the Inner State of being Able to Attain our Created Potential to Worship God and Serve Others in Holiness, Humanness and Happiness (John 8:31-32).
Eph. 4:11-13 - 11It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
II. There is Glorious Beauty in the Uniqueness of Individual Members of the One Church (Eph. 4:11).
III. Believers are Called to Love and Serve One Another as God’s Plan for Growth (Eph. 4:12).
IV. The End Goal is Spiritual Unity in which Believers Know God and possess Christlike Character (Eph. 4:13).
A. Significance comes from focusing on things that make an eternal difference.
B. Security comes from focusing on things which have eternal Kingdom value. “I no longer need preeminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I don't have to be right, or first, or tops, or recognized, or praised, or rewarded. I live by faith, lean on His presence, walk by patience, lift by prayer, and labor by Holy Spirit power.” From “The Fellowship of the Unashamed”
C. Belonging comes from our adoption into God’s family which endures eternally. Questions for further study and review: 1. How does the world define freedom? Give examples of how some have fought for freedom. Does this actually bring freedom? How do you define freedom? 2. Read John 8:31-32. What does Jesus mean by freedom? Would you agree with the definition for freedom in Point I above? Why or why not? How would you improve this definition? 3. Read Eph. 4:1-13. In your own words, what is the general context of the verses leading up to vs. 13? Do you agree with points II and III above? Why or why not? 4. In your own words, what is the goal and purpose of our journey in life as believers in Jesus (cf. vs. 13)? What does this look like to you? What did it look like in the person of Jesus? Why is Jesus the source and model of this kind of freedom? 5. How do you meet the three needs discussed in IVA, B and C? How did Jesus have these needs meet? Do you agree with these? Why or why not? 6. If you have time this week, look up “The Fellowship of the Unashamed”, part of which is quoted above. In what way(s) has the writer resolved the basic human needs for significance, security and belonging? Discuss. 7. Take time to reflect and act upon this week’s questions: Who can I tell this week
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