We continue our sermon series entitled ‘Unity’, with preaching from Nathan Gordon and our (virtual) service led by Brian Dickson.
Scripture reading: Ephesians 4:4-16
Although the church is one unified body, each of its members has a special ability to be used for the good and growth of all. No one is overlooked; everyone is important to building up the community. Throughout the letter to the Ephesians Paul’s important phrase “in Christ” or its equivalent appears about 35 times, more than in any other New Testament book. Paul emphasises the importance of church unity in light of the variety of spiritual gifts distributed to each believer by the grace of God.
Every member of the Body of Christ should ask for and seek the gift that God specifically wants to supply so that their part within the Body can be fulfilled and complete.
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. – James 1:17
Spiritual Gifts in the Bible
- Word of Wisdom: I Corinthians 12:8; Luke 6:9.
- Word of Knowledge: I Corinthians 12:8; Luke 18:22.
- Faith: I Corinthians 12:9; Acts 3:6-7
- Gifts of healing: I Corinthians 12:9, 28; Acts 28:1-10.
- Working of miracles: I Corinthians 12:10; Acts 6:8.
- Prophecy: I Corinthians 12:10; I Thessalonians 5:20-21; Ephesians 4:11.
- Discerningof spirits: I Corinthians 12:10; Luke 8:29.
- Tongues: I Corinthians 12:10; Acts 19:6.
- Interpretationof tongues: I Corinthians 12:10; 14:13-33.
- Helping: I Corinthians 12:28.
- Administration: I Corinthians 12:28; Acts 6:2-3.
- Grace: Romans 12:6; Ephesians 3:7; 4:7; I Peter 4:10-11.
- Ministry/service: Romans 12:7; II Timothy 1:16-18.
- Teaching: Romans 12:7; Ephesians 4:11-14.
- Encouragement: Romans 12:8; Hebrews 10:24-25.
- Giving: Romans 12:8; I Corinthians 13:3; Acts 4:32-35.
- Leadership: Romans 12:8; Acts 13:12.
- Mercy: Romans 12:8; Luke 5:12-13.
In light of the variety of gifts distributed amongst the body of Christ, and the different personalities, likes and dislikes within the church, can we all live one for and all for one? can we display unity even in diversity?
- We are ONE in spirit and calling – verse 4
- Through Christ, we have been adopted into the family of God
- There is only ONE body of Christ
- The infilling of the Holy Spirit brings unity within the church
- Learn from the perfect example of the GODHEAD – verse 5-6
- There is unity within the Godhead
- Monotheism = Belief in one God
- The Trinity (Father, Son & Holy Spirit) despite their different roles are ONE in being and relationship.
- The ultimate purpose for gifts is UNITY – verse 7-16
- The varied gifts amongst the church are utilised to edify the body of Christ
- To build each other up in the faith and knowledge of Jesus Christ
- To facilitate spiritual growth and maturity
- Seven times in Ephesians 4:1-6 Paul emphasizes the word “one.” In what ways does having a singular focus on one Spirit, God, body, faith, and hope help create a unified body of believers?
- We live in a society that emphasizes strength and power. How is it possible to be humble, gentle, patient, and bearing with one another in such a self-centred, power-driven society?
- What steps can you take when you have a difference of opinion with a fellow believer? At what point does a difference of opinion become disunity in the Spirit?
- What are the challenges of “preserving the unity of the Spirit” for you as an individual?
- Thinking beyond our local church, how can unity be expressed amongst the wider body of believers? How can we maintain unity amongst different denominations and Christian groups? When is it appropriate to not align with other groups?
Sermon Title: Can we live with “One for all, All for One”?
Bible Reading: Ephesians 4
Preacher: Nathan Gordon
Worship Leader: Brian Dickson