Given on 07/18/2021
God is building unity in His Church ---- and one of the ways that He does that, is by giving out spiritual gifts or “Gifts of the Spirit”
If we keep reading in chapter 4 we can see a list of some of them, but for today, were going to stay here in verses 7-8
The biggest gift of all, beyond any in the list in the next few verses, is the gift of His “Saving Grace”
The grace that saves us
Free to us - but cost Christ everything
This “saving grace” that was given to us, resulted in Christ leading “captivity captive”
Captivity was captured
He came to Earth to save us from the consequences of our sins
Not to make us rich and comfy and happy
Christians will experience the exact same life changing, life defining highs and lows that everyone else will experience
When it says that he led captivity captive, it is talking about the chains of our sin.
The bondage that our own evil and immoral choices have forced upon us
The slavery of sin that holds us down
He captured that
That is why the God of all creation voluntarily clothed Himself in human flesh, and lowered Himself to the level of a servant:::::
So on that day, when we stand face to face with the judge of all the cosmos---
when everything in our life is laid bare before Him----
When we are called to give an account for every thought that we have had----
When every action we have ever taken is placed on the witness stand to testify to our guilt----
When we are called to stand before Him who is clothed in unapproachable light to give account for the life we have lived------
Will we argue and banter?
We will make excuse after excuse?
Will we blame our wicked thoughts on our parents or families?
We will blame our culture or our nation?
Will we say: “its not my fault i lived that way…. I didn't know you were real!”?
That action wasn't my fault
That thought wasn't my fault
I only thought that because of this
I only did that because of that
Ill tell you today, the only thing that we can say is:
“Have mercy on me, a sinner. Your Son died and without Him I would be lost.”
The God of all Creation---
The second person of the Trinity---
God in human flesh--- Died the death that I deserve
The reason Jesus Christ came to Earth was to lead captivity captive----
And He did so by living a perfect life, and accepted the wrath of God that all who believe in Him justly deserve
Repent of your sins and believe in Him, and be saved in the great and terrible day of the Lord.
No only did God show us His “Saving Grace” He gave gifts to men
This whole book has been about building His Church
In the first few Chapters we got the big, up in the sky stuff
The high theology
The deep profound truths of predestination and the surety of our salvation
Then here in chapter 4 he starts to get into the practical, down to Earth stuff
And he does so, by telling us there is one Church, one Body, One spirit uniting all of us, one faith, one Baptism, one God who is father of all and above all, and through all, and in all of His children
And this same God led captivity captive and gave gifts to men.
Each of our gifts ---- and if you are a believer hearing me this morning, then you have a “Spiritual Gift” a gift of the spirit.
And it was a gift, specifically, intentionally, given to YOU
Psalm 139 teaches us that each and every single one of us were made on purpose
You ----- were made
With perfect forethought God wove you together within your mother’s womb
God gave YOU a gift, because He knows that you are the one who can use it how He wants you too.
Well then, that brings up the question, how does God want me to use my gift?
If we take a sneak peak at verse 12 He tells us:
“For the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,”
God gave gifts to His children so that they can make His bride ---- the Church
Able to withstand the storms that this life is going to bring against it
God is bringing unity ---- true, honest, pure unity
Not unity through bloodshed
Not unity through a democratic voting process
Not unity through bulldozing peoples uniqueness ------
But unity because of that uniqueness
The only way a human can be who they truly and honestly are -----
Is not through hours of counseling ---- though that is not a bad thing
We can't find out who we truly are, by taking mountains of mind altering drugs. Killing our ego, and freeing our mind
Who we are isn't found through the wonton indulgence of sexual pleasure
The very essence of who you are as a person, is someone intentionally made by God.
And when you repented of your sins and believed in Him ----- He gave specific gifts to you ----- to use in the building up His Church
To use to bring glory to His name
To use to spread the Gospel to the ends of the Earth
My family and I are working through the Westminster Shorter Catechism, and the very question is:
“What is man’s primary purpose?”
“To glorify God and enjoy Him forever.”
We exist to glorify God
And only through a personal relationship with Him, can we ever realize a purpose beyond the here and now
Beyond the pain
Beyond the joy
Beyond the hurt
Beyond the love
Only through Jesus Christ can we find the very reason why we exist.
You see, God did so much to bring unity to His Bride, the Church
He predestined every single member
And He sent His Son, to die the death that they deserve