Rev. Peter Shared from Ephesians 4:1-16 about Maturity and Unity. Due to a power failure, the service was recorded on Rev. Peter’s cell-phone.
Trinity Sunday is always for me a picture of ultimate unity and maturity where the Father – Creator, the Son Jesus – Redeemer and the Holy Spirit – Sustainer are powerfully working together to bring us together.
1 Peter 1:2 According to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you.
Pictures from the last week which has been chaotic with storms, floods fires and pain.
1.Living a life worthy of the calling YOU HAVE RECEIVED.
4 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.
There is a calling on our lives that we have received and if we are rooted and established in love we will respond to this call without being manipulated by others. The words “ you have received is so critical” because at the point of you receiving the Lord into your heart something changed and you have a testimony – share this with conviction and live your life out of it.
- Living in humility is ultimate maturity.
2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
Christian maturity should be constantly moving us to humility. I have discovered that my journey with Jesus makes me more aware of how little I know and how much more I need to know.
Gentle and patient are words that need to describe us more as we move towards maturity in Christ. I have found in my life that it seems that sometimes people get scary when they become so called “mature Christians”/ People don’t find that they are approachable and we become more judgmental in attitude thinking of ourselves as more superior rather than humble.
- Bearing with each other in love.
Bearing with one another in love was so evident at our prayer meeting for the fires in Knysna and Plett and the Cape Town storms we had a group from Phambili shelter children who came to pray in their pain and through their pain for those in pain. It touched me so deeply that these people were bearing with one another. Bear with each other is forgetting differences and anything else to unite in a common goal. Are we together ? The love part is so critical in our day and it’s strange how a crisis can really bring us to love.
- Maturity and unity go hand in hand.
3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
When we are secure in our faith then we are able to build unity and remember it is of the Spirit. Churches coming together in prayer are such a powerful voice to the Lord – last Sunday’s Pentecost prayers.
- Maturity in understanding portions of grace
7 But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. 8 This is why it[a] says:
“When he ascended on high,
he took many captives
and gave gifts to his people.”[b]
9 (What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions[c]? 10 He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.)
So much grace has been given by Jesus to us not for ourselves but to others. I can remember portions very well in earlier years during my years in boarding school and then being a non-combatant objector to war with our portions. Food and water was so precious and we cherished the small amount that was given to us. 1 litre of water was enough for a whole day and lids were counted to ensure that you had enough to last till the night and into the next day sometimes. Grace is a portion given to us. Water is a portion given to us. One is spiritual and one is physical, but God help us if we do not cherish both and look after both as incredible gifts which he can only give to us – no-one else.
- Not titles but servant roles -Those who equip for maturity are given roles and responsibility to equip for works of service:
Fivefold ministry which is critically needed by the church but so abused because they have become titles and not servant responsibilities to equip.
11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until 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.
I am so concerned that in our day and age we have allowed ourselves to be sucked up into thinking that these are titles and that therefore some are more superior than others. It is a deep sadness for me to see my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ being caught up in this and as much as I am not able to judge, I do believe there is room for correction when these become more about titles than servant roles so that the body can be equipped for works of service – servant hearted leaders are what the Lord want today more than anything else. We can easily hide behind our titles but we will be seen by our humble servant roles.
I learned a funny little thing to remember what we need to do :
THE FIVE-FOLD / Fingers of the hand
The little finger represents the teacher, one who highlights the details of the Lord’s Word. This is the finger which gets into the “ear” best. The teacher is connected with and works in close proximity with the pastor finger, which is
The ring finger. The pastor is married to the church and loves the church and serves the church and the community in humility.
The third finger represents the evangelist. It is the longest finger and reaches out to the world. The evangelist must work together with the prophet and pastor to bring the good news of hope and love to the world.
The second finger represents the prophetic finger. This finger points the way, being a corrector and a director and one who unveils the rhema will of God. This again can either be prophetic or pathetic depending on how much we are sharing from the heart of the Lord in relationship with Him and how much is just what we think we should be saying. Examples of this
The thumb is the lowliest finger of all. It is intimately connected with all of the fingers, working along side and enabling and strengthening the other fingers to grip and function. This represents the apostle finger and is a foundation to the working of the entire hand.
We are all called to be sent ones and the first apostle was Mary, a woman who was sent by Jesus to tell the disciples that he had risen from the dead John 20:18 – go and tell what you have experienced.
Apostles – sent ones not entitled ones
Prophets – speaking ones
Evangelists – One’s who bring good news.
Pastors – people who care
Teachers – those who bring instruction.
- Spiritual maturity ultimately gives us stability and security so that :
14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.