THE NEW TESTAMENT ONE ANOTHERS: VI. Build Up One Another Romans 15:1 7

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1 November 18, 2012 THE NEW TESTAMENT ONE ANOTHERS: VI. Build Up One Another Romans 15:1 7 Introduction: Our series on the New Testament one another commands. We are the church of Jesus, His P P in this world. Ephesians 1:23 We are all called to do works of M for the good of the whole body. Ephesians 4:16 We have studied three one anothers to date: 1.) L one another 2.) F one another 3.) E one another These commands have to do with godly, wholesome, and deepening relationships in the church. Today we study our fourth one other command: B U one another. I. Building Up One Another A Working Definition: Romans 14:19 and 15:2, I Corinthians 8:1, Ephesians 4:29 and 4:16 Our words are to be loving words that build up our brothers and sisters. We are to refrain from words that T D or D the heart and soul of another follower of Jesus. We cannot give what we do not have. We must be being strengthened daily in His presence: Paul s prayer for the Ephesians, chapter 3:16 19 He pours His strength into us when we faithfully and regularly get alone with Him When He is strengthening us we grasp and know the L of God that S K. Building up one another in the faith involves three significant parts: 1.) 2.) 3.) II. We Belong to One Another: Ephesians 4:16 and Romans 15:5, 6 We are combined together as M of one another We are called to understand the P of all B I Peter 2:5 and 9 We also need a right understanding of the G of the S, that we employ them and live them out with each other. What the enemy does to sow lies about the gifts III. Love is the Key: Love Builds: 1

2 Ephesians 4:16b, I Corinthians 8:1b, and Romans 15:1, 2 A major ingredient in the heart and life of the builder and edifier is the L of God poured out into our us, longing for the H G of the recipient. His agape in my heart moves me to actions that are not self-focused His agape in the heart of the believer moves them to S and S -E actions. Paul s prayer for the Philippians chapter 1:9 11 Ways to pray for people in your sphere of influence IV. We are Built Up when we Minister to Others: Ephesians 4:16 and Romans 15:1 3 Building up a person who has failed in the past The truth is that we are built up through doing W of M Romans 15:1 7 three edifying ministries that we can give to each other: F L A Conclusion 2

3 Discussion Starter Questions for Home Groups 1. When you think about the Church being the fullness of Jesus in the world today, how do you think we are doing in representing Him? 2. What were your thoughts as you heard the things that happen in our lives of being strengthened with His power, from the study of Paul s prayer for the Ephesian Christians? 3. Why is it so important for all of us to do works of ministry in keeping with the spiritual gifts that God has placed in our lives? 4. Why do you think love (agape from god s heart) is such a key thing in building up other people? 5. What were you thinking when you heard the teaching on the three things that we are called to do in speaking edifying words to others; forgiveness, love, and acceptance? 6. Read together aloud Romans 14:23 33 and discuss insights that you have regarding working to strengthen others, to build others up despite differences between you. 7. Read together aloud Paul s two prayers for the Ephesians chapter 1:15 23 and 3:14 21 and discuss insights you have regarding how Paul prayed for them to be built up and strengthened. 8. What ways is the Spirit of Jesus speaking to you about needing to be strengthened in your own heart and life? 9. Are there people in your sphere of influence who need you to build them up and strengthen them? When and how will you do it? 3

4 November 18, 2012 AM Pastor Ken Hepner THE NEW TESTAMENT ONE ANOTHERS VII. Building Up One Another Romans 15: 1 7 Introduction: As study the Scriptures together, we are returning to this incredible theme of what it means to be a New Testament Church family today. This series is designed to enable and encourage us as attendees of Cedar Grove to aspire to have Jesus-honoring, healthy relationships with one another. As we study what it means to live in Christ s community, we are looking at the one another commands and imperatives in the New Testament to see what it really means when we say we are members of the body of Christ. We are the church of Jesus Christ, which is His Physical Presence in this world. We are His body over which He is the Head and into whom He has poured out His holy love by His Holy Spirit. Paul wrote a tremendous word in this regard to the Christians who lived in Ephesus, in Ephesians 1:23 the church which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills everything in every way. Each one of us who has responded to God s call to repentance and salvation has become members of the body of Christ, joined together to each other by Jesus himself! As individual members, we each have a function, work, or ministry to perform, for the good of the whole body. And as individual members, when we each do what Christ has gifted and assigned us to be and do, the whole church body is made more wholesome and healthy. Ephesians 4:16 From Him the whole body joined and held together by every supporting ligament grows and builds itself up in love as each part does its work. I believe that God is at work in the church in might and power, moving her, shaping and transforming her to be the fullness of Jesus Christ in the world. Because I believe that, I believe we have incredible potential to do great things together that will bring honor to Jesus in our sphere of influence. Isn t that His promise for the church? Before Jesus died on the cross for us He gave us an incredible promise regarding our church life together: and greater things than these will you do because I go to the Father. When we say we believe in the church, we are really saying we believe in God s people who are committed to serving Jesus first. We believe that each of us is choosing to place ourselves at the Lord s disposal to do ministry for Him. We believe that each of us is choosing in selfless, sacrificial love to promote health in His body at Cedar Grove by finding ways to bless and strengthen our brothers and sisters. We ve looked so far at three of these one another imperatives to seek to learn from them what it means to function in wholesome and healthy relationships with each other. We ve looked at: 4

5 a. Loving one another as a giving, self-emptying commitment we make to love Jesus more and to love each other; to work for the highest spiritual good and growth of the other person. b. Forgiving one another as a gift we give to one another of releasing him from our debts and so liberating ourselves of debt-collecting in the process. True forgiveness has everything to do with me and little or nothing to do with the offender. c. Encouraging one another walking alongside another to spiritually lift him, console, guide, entreat, implore him to be better for God than he was. It is to inspire or pour courage, words that bring life and health to our brother or sister, encouraging them to walk closer to the Lord as His follower. These four Scriptural commands have to do with godly, wholesome, and deepening relationships in the church. God gives us these instructions and places His Spirit in our hearts to empower us so that there might be harmony in the body. Today we study another one another that is God s will for His people, the church: Building Up one another. It is the Biblical concept of doing the good works of edifying, strengthening and maturing Christ s disciples to more faith-filled, trusting, devoted hearts and minds to live lives that are pleasing to Him. I. Building Up One Another A Working Definition: It is an imperative given over and over in the Scriptures: Romans 14:19 Let us make every effort to do what lends peace and mutual edification. Romans 15:2 Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. I Corinthians 8:1 knowledge puffs up but love builds up. Ephesians 4:29 Let no unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs that it may benefit all who listen. Ephesians 4:16 From Him the whole body grows and builds itself up in love as each part does its work. Taken together with these and other Scriptures on building one another up or edifying one another, God s Word teaches us that we have a deep responsibility before God as believers to work to strengthen and edify one another in Christ-like living. Our words are to be loving, encouraging, exhorting, admonishing words which build others up. And we are to refrain from speaking words that Tear Down or Diminish the heart, soul, and mind of another member of the body. It is too easy to find fault and criticize, calling that spiritual 5

6 discernment. But in the final analysis it is merely judgment causing the one who exercises it to feel superior to the one being judged. We are building on the principle that we cannot give what we do not have. It true of loving and forgiving and it is also true in building others up or edifying our brothers and sisters in the church. It takes people who are being strengthened by His presence in our lives. If we are not personally being strengthened by His power within on a daily basis, we re going to have nothing to give away to others. This experience with the Spirit of Jesus is exactly what Paul wrote to the Ephesians and told them that he was faithfully praying to God for in their lives. Ephesians 3:16 19: I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. --He pours out His strength into us when we faithfully and regularly get alone with Jesus in personal, private worship, a deepening prayer life, and time reading and studying the Scriptures. --And notice what Paul says will burn in our hearts and souls when we are getting alone with Jesus and He is strengthening us with His power in our inner being. He says we will grasp and know by experience the Love agape of God that Surpasses Knowledge! --The love of God in the human heart must be experienced to be fully understood. It is not something that we merely know about, and seek to explain in human terms. It is something that we are given as a gift from heaven that is deeply felt first. So let s be very clear that experiencing mutual edification, building one another up then in the faith is a three-fold admonition: 1. It demands that I be opening my life constantly to the deep inner well-spring of being built up in my own heart by God s Spirit working in me. 2. It demands that I open my life to being built up, strengthened by my brothers or sisters. 3. It demands that I open my heart up to others and seek to give them building and strengthening love. As I studied my way through this Biblical imperative to build up, edify one another, my heart was gripped by two passages of Scripture: Romans 15:1 7 and Ephesians 4:1 16. Each passage is written by Paul and is built on the central theme of edification. I found the same three truths about building up our brothers and sisters in each passage! 6

7 II. We Belong to One Another: Ephesians 4:16 From Him the whole body joined and held together by every supporting ligament grows and builds itself up in love as each part does its work. Romans 15:5, 6 May the God who give endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Paul helps us to understand a crucial truth about being people who can and will build one another up by showing us that we are combined together into one body as Members one of another. He tells us in Ephesians 4:3 we are to Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace because there s only one body and we are members of it together! --While we know this truth intellectually, I m convinced far too many believers have never really wrestled with the profound ramifications of what it means to function correctly as the body of Christ or that each of us is combined together to do one united work. To correctly understand the proper function of the body of Christ, and to work for its building up and edification, it demands that we have a right conception of the Priesthood of All Believers; that we all understand that as members of the New Covenant through the blood of Christ each member of His body is a priest of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Traditionally, for hundreds of years we ve believed in the priesthood of all believers, that is we can all pray for ourselves, we do not need a priest to confess our sins or offer our prayers for us, we can do it ourselves. And while this is true and does mean this, the priesthood of all of the people of Jesus means so much more. I Peter 2:5 You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. Verse 9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness and into His wonderful light. --Do you see the rich privileges that are yours and mine as priests before God? We each have been given the authority and the responsibility to offer spiritual sacrifices and declare the praises of God in Christ. We have been given authority and responsibility to be priests not only for ourselves but also for others too. --The work of edifying or building up the church is a collective responsibility that we all have as His kingdom of priests! Understanding how the church of Jesus functions as His body, with many very different members, all working together to do our part to build up and edify each other also requires that 7

8 we have a right theology of the Gifts of the Spirit and live what we believe. The supernatural gifts and enablings of the Holy Spirit are given to us, so that when we discover and employ them He uses each one of us in key works of ministry to one another. --There are many, many gifts of the Spirit: Preaching, teaching, leading, pastor/shepherd, prophecy, discerning of spirits, words of knowledge, tongues and interpreting tongues, serving, giving, showing mercy, faith, and on and on. --What we must understand is that God gives us gifts by His Spirit to combine us all together and form us and shape us into a whole ministry for Him as a local body. What that means practically is that every gift of the Spirit and every member is vital to the healthy performance of the whole body. --What our enemy Satan and his kingdom seek to sow in the church is lies about the gifts of the Spirit and how they work. There are several significant lies about how God s spiritual gifts function that are right out of Hell and smell like sulfur! 1.) My gift is my property and is to be used for my edification. 2.) My gift makes me superior to others because I have some special knowledge that He gives to me alone. 3.) Because my gift is not that gift over there that has greater prominence it is not important to the body. --If we believe either lie, we have been deceived and the body has been done great harm. We need to remember if we re going to build each other up and edify one another that we all are a kingdom of priests and are gifted together corporately to function as one whole. We build up and edify others in the context of being united together as members of His body, a kingdom of priests, gifted to serve! III. Love is the Key: Love Builds: Ephesians 4:16b From Him the whole body... grows and builds itself up in love. I Corinthians 8:1b... knowledge puffs up but loves builds up Romans 15:1, 2 We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. Since it is true that the major emphasis of building up of one another is that of working to grow and mature and edify, then it is also true that a major ingredient in the heart and life of the builder and edifier is the Love of God in Christ which longs for the Highest Good of the recipient! Agape love of God in the heart is a major issue for my being a builder, edifying others, because agape in my heart moves me to actions that are not self-focused, but others-focused. 8

9 --Love for others, agape from God, is the most significant key to unity of believers, edification of others, and proper and effective function of the body of Christ. --Paul says bluntly, knowledge in the head can puff us up, and tend to disunity and hairsplitting over opinions or doctrines, but agape in the heart lifts up, builds up and edifies. It s quite simple. The love of God in the heart of a man or women moves them to selfless, sacrificial, self-emptying actions. The love of God moves us to care, and work for the highest good of others, therefore, love by its very definition is a builder an edifier in the heart of a believer. --One of Paul s priceless prayers for the believers is Philippians 1:9 11 where he prays that love will cause them to build up and edify Christ s body. And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ. I don t know how that hits your heart, but I think that is an incredible way to pray for my brothers and sisters to be built up and edified. Imagine what our church would look like 6 months from now if we all found three people in our lives to pray these four things over: 1 His love to abound in their hearts 2 For them to discern what is His best for their lives 3 For them to walk in His purity and holiness 4 For them to be filled with the fruit of His righteousness IV. We are Built Up and Build Up When We Minister to Others: Ephesians 4:16 the whole body grows and builds itself up in love as each part does its work. Romans 15:1 3 We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For even Christ did not please himself, but as it is written: The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me. The whole spirit of that paragraph is that we give the ministry of compassion, grace, and mercy to a person whom we love deeply and who has fallen or failed in some way. Paul writes in verse 2 that in doing so we build him up. Reaching into the life of someone who feels that they have failed, giving them encouragement, compassion, and grace to start again is a wonderful way to build up another life! It is a truth we cannot and dare not escape, beloved, that the body of Christ is built up through Doing Works of Ministry, we are built up when we do works of ministry, and others lives are 9

10 built up we have performed ministry for them. Permit me to remind you that we are all priests of God as believers in the Lord Jesus. In Romans 15:1 7 we are told that there are three edifying ministries we can give: a.) the gift of Forgiveness, extending grace (verse 1). b.) the gift of reaching Love that works to meet our neighbor s need simply because he or she has a need (verse 2). c.) Acceptance of Jesus Christ that embraces the person as precious in the sight of God. Giving to others the acceptance we ve received from God in Christ (verse 7) 3. These ministries aren t just for the clergy; these words were written for the whole church. As priests of God, these are ours to give! So your assignment this week is to think of one person who could use someone in his or her life to build them up. Decide to write them a letter or go and see them and share with them life-giving words that build them up! 10

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