We are journeying with many others using the #LongExpectedJesus resource by the Foundry Community (NPH). This season of Advent is all about waiting and preparation with an expectant hope that Christ has come and that Christ is here, and that Christ will come again!
In this series, we want to be open and honest about money, giving to the church, what Jesus has to say, and what it means to worship through giving. In our culture, the worship of other things is common, but also subtle and hidden behind often good things. We want to view money, treasures, and wealth through the lens of generosity. A radical generosity that uncommon. A radical generosity that reflects a good, loving and generous GOD!
We all have gifts. King Jesus gave gifts to His Church so that the fullness of God might continue after His ascension. These gifts are for the building up and strenghtening of the church for works of service so that we, as the Body of Christ, might be healthy, grow, and mature! What is your gift?
Apostle - One who is sent (church planter)
Prophet - One who speaks the truth of God into places of power and injustice.
Evangelist - One who naturally tells the story of the Gospel in a compelling way, having people join the cause - the Kingdom of God!
Shepherd - One who cares for a local people, making sure there is health and safety in a specific place. (This is often the role of a local pastor.)
Teacher - One who opens up the Scriptures and explains what they mean. One who connects the heart to the mind so that the Church can know God more fully.
All of these working together creates a healthy Church. All are necessary and not ONE single person can fulfill all of them!
Ephesians 4 is a turning point in this letter to the Church. It switches from prayers and theological statements of who God is to the practical instructions that Churches are called to be and do!
Our next sermon, 4:7-16, goes into even more detail about the gifts and graces each of us has as we grow into a healthy & mature body of Christ!
The Church is a dwelling place of God where differences and distinctions no longer define us through the power of Christ. In Christ there are no strangers or foreigners. This is where we all begin. It's easy to put up walls and defend ourselves, but Jesus saving act on the cross tears down all walls. The Temple curtain itself was torn into signifying the availability for ALL to come to God!