1 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.
2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
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.
At times in our lives we can get softer, lose convictions, can abandon the faith. Unless we constantly call ourselves back to God and his Word, we will fail to be God's movement. We need to be strong on the basics. God can use us when we have His words in our heart.
1. As Disciples We Got to Be Rooted in the Word of God
As disciples we need to have that "just say the word" heart. Whatever the Bible says is what we'll do. We've got to accept God's word, be rooted in it, and root out the denominational heart. The denominational heart produces attitudes and not action, a more comfortable view. It's so easy to say, "That bothers me. That upsets me. That offends me".
1 Peter 4:11
If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.
We always need to ask "What does the Bible say?" It's not a matter of who is right, but of what is right.
Jesus replied, "You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.
Are we rooted in the Bible? Are we taking a nibble here and a nibble there at the word or are we taking a full-course meal of the word, rooted and established, listening to every word?
Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'"
Jesus came to preach God's word, God's message and not his own. We need to preach God's message, not our own brand of discipleship, our own version. What helped Jesus in the hour of temptation was turning to the strength of the Scriptures. Many of us turn to emotions; we turn to our feelings when we are struggling. That leads us to compromise the scriptures. We got to be rooted in the word. We need to be prepared in season and out of season.
2. As disciples We Got To Be Riveted on Being One
I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name--the name you gave me--so that they may be one as we are one.
that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
Jesus was all about oneness. He was riveted on being one. How about us?
Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Jesus is the way, the truth, the life. He never had a problem with oneness. He stood on it
Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."
There's only one way to God. Jesus was riveted on oneness
He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters.
One Lord, one faith, one body, one baptism?.. We want our choices. One leaves us no choices, no alternatives. We feel limited. People love to have it their way. We want our choices. We don't want just one. We can have our choices on burgers or coffee, but not with God. One is all we need. Are we riveted on oneness?
As disciples we got to be rooted in the word of God, and riveted on being one. We only need one master. Jesus is Lord of our life, Lord of our schedule. He is everything we need, and we need to give Him everything. Jesus is Lord of our doctrine. Jesus needs to be Lord of our family, Lord of our job. Everything is His.
3. As disciples We Got To Be Resolved To Let The World Know
Jesus was resolved to let the world know about His father. We need to be resolved as well. We don't have to be in confusion. We don't have to be lost in a sea of many doctrines.
His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms..
We are the manifold wisdom of God. Can we believe that? If we entered the kingdom of God, we are God's dream, His manifold wisdom, and His church. And we need to get this message all throughout the world. If we are not converting people in the world then the world is converting us towards it.
God's kingdom is unbelievable. God wants to fill us with His spirit and His word, and use us to change the world.