As we read Paul’s practical instructions about walking in our new life in Christ (Eph 4:17 to 5:21), we consider in this first part of a two part message, what it means to ‘put off’ our ‘former way of life’ (v.22). To do so, we’ll look at the difference between salvation and sanctification, and how as new creations (2 Co 5:17) the power balance has changed within us, enabling us to live as God created us to. No longer ruled by body and soul, our newly empowered spirit is able to take control of our thoughts and impulses, in order that we may be transformed through renewal (Ro 12:2), from the inside out.
God is interested in our work lives, and he wants to be involved in it. Your work can make an eternal difference in the lives of those you work with, those you work for, those you manage, and those you serve through your work. Change the way you look at and do your work, in the light of His gospel and grace. We are redeemed by grace, let’s live out that grace in the context of your work. You may never look at work the same way again.
In Ephesians 5:18-20 Paul gives an instruction to the Christians in the church in Ephesus – to be filled with the holy spirit, to sing praise and give thanks. In this interactive message we look at what these phrases mean, the difference between a psalm, hymn and spiritual song, and we look at why it’s so important that we sing praise together.
God wants us to receive revelation! In fact the word says that He wants us to be continually receiving revelation. To understand the great mysteries of the word, to be empowered and to ultimately become more and more like Him. This morning we look at 5 keys and challenges to attain this goal here are the Five Challenges – that will develop revelation! People, books, experience, observation & thinking and pondering.
Towards the end of Ephesians 2 we read some familiar verses that describe Jesus as the cornerstone. In this message we unpack what this means and go through verses 19-22 phrase-by-phrase. We see how Jesus the Cornerstone is placed at the very centre of both the church and our lives individually, providing a strong and stable foundation that everything else can line up to.
Continuing our series in Ephesians, Paul turns his attention at the start of chapter 4 to the practical day to day living of the transformed in-Christ life he has described in chapters 1 to 3. He urges us to walk worthy of our calling together as the One New People of God, guarding our oneness in Christ. And he gives us just the right tools to help… a new wardrobe of designer-label garments. Dare to wear!
Jumping out of Ephesians chapters 2 & 4, in this episode, we think again about the contrast in the life of the believer before and after encountering Jesus. We explore how that change happened and then how in the church we work hard together to preserve the unity that Christ has won.
When God declared “Let us make man in our image” (Genesis 1:26) He was expressing not only His own ’three-in-one’ togetherness, but also His great purpose in creating men and women who would join together in unity and reproduce His image in all the earth! The story of the miraculous catch and the calling of the first disciples (Luke 5) is a powerful example of what can happen when we prepare for a new day, make ourselves wholly available, go deeper, join together, and help each other handle the great increase He wants to give us! This is the power and potential of churches working in partnership with one another…
“So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him.” It encompasses all that God is about, all that God feels about us, all that God feels towards us, all that God is. Because God is love. He is a father that loves you! This morning it is vitally important to know this: He is filled with “love and compassion” towards us, even if we are a “long way off”. We have a loving Father; He “sees” us, He is filled with love and compassion towards us, He will come to us – we walk, but He “runs” to us.
In part 2 of this message we are introduced to God as the master architect, who has a master plan – for his Kingdom be be extended and established on earth. How does he choose to do this? Through his people, the Church. We therefore learn that God’s plan for our lives is never independent of the Church. Actually we can only fully outwork his plan for our life in the context of church, because it’s the church that is his master plan. When we realise what the church is (which we find in the book of Ephesians), and who fills it, it stops being something that we attend. It starts to become part of our everyday lives, as we see His Kingdom established.
Ephesians 2:10 tells us that we are God’s ‘masterpiece’ – the pinnacle of creation, made in the image of God himself, declared to be “very good”. But this can sometimes be difficult to hear and believe. There are many lies that we hear about ourselves which are designed to stop us living in our true identity as God’s masterpieces. In this message we look at some of those lies and what the Word of God says about us instead.
The resurrection of Jesus on that first Easter Sunday is the centrepiece of the Christian message. In this all-age Easter gathering, Phil describes how the resurrection of Jesus allows people with no hope, no value and no power to know hope, know value and know power.
In Colossians 1:13 we read “For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son”. We often talk about “Kingdom”, and “the Kingdom of God”, but what does it mean and how does it affect us as children of God? The Kingdom of God is the fulfilment of God’s will on earth. We know this because Jesus prayed – “your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10) In other words, it is His will to bring heaven to earth. For all of us we have the ability to get off this planet, to be free from the past, and the issues that so easily pull us off track. We are all ready for launch!
As we continue to discover more about our identity as followers of Christ, now that we are new creations, we see that thankfulness is something that we can now have, and can see more of, in our lives. Colossians 2:6-7 tells us that thankfulness is actively grateful language, an act of worship, and something that can overflow in our lives, in order that we come into the fulness of Jesus! In this message Benj unpacks this and highlights 7 things that thankfulness does in our lives.