THE ATTITUDE OF THE CHURCH
The Church as the Temple of God – Eph 2
By God’s sovereign will and His great love we have been called from a life doomed to destruction and made alive in Christ, Seated with Christ in the Heavenlies, given a new family, a new home and a noble purpose. We are the temple of God’s grace.
As Gentiles and Christians we should always remember what Jesus has done for us.
There is no one beyond the grace of God or the power of God to forgive. Get rid of all man made distinctions and call others to be a part of the one true church of God in Christ.
The church is a mystery unanticipated in the Old Testament but revealed in Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit to His apostles.
Do you want to know God’s will for your life?
Do you want to live out your role in the Church?
How are you expected to live out your faith in the world?
Today we are continuing with our theme concerning the church and will pick up in Romans 12.
Paul has spent 11 chapters explaining in detail what God has done for believers in bringing them to salvation
He spends 5 chapters detailing how both Jews and Gentiles are sinners in need of a savior and all have sinned and fallen short of God’s standard.
In chapters 6-8 Paul explains how we have been made alive by faith in Christ. He ends this section with the great truths that the same God who calls us has justified us, is sanctifying us and will glorify us and through Christ we are more than Conquerors
Chapters 9-11 are a kind of parenthesis explaining God’s sovereignty and right to choose as He sees fit.
This leads us to today’s text: We will learn that attitude is everything – three sections
What is the proper Attitude towards the God who has done all these great things for us?
How should we live out our new life in the church – The Body of Christ?
How our new life – as recipients of God’s Grace – is lived out in Grace towards others in the world
Section 1: Right Attitude towards God who Saved Us
1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. (Reasonable Service)
Phi 2:5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross
2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Ro 8:29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters
Section 2 An attitude of Humble Service in the Body of Christ
3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.
4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
An attitude of submission, gratitude and cooperation.
1 What is Paul’s first command? How is this worship or service to God? Who else did this?
Offer ourselves to God, Holy and pleasing
By offering ourselves to be used by God we acknowledge His ways are superior to our plans. He is worthy of our trust. This is the most reasonable thing we could ever do.
Jesus, whom we have pledged to follow, did just this.
2 What does it mean to be conformed (syschēmatizesthe)? How are we being transformed (metamorphousthe)?
Do not let the world fit you into its mold.
We are being transformed by God’s Spirit and His word. A new pattern of thinking based on God’s revealed will in the life of Christ, enlightened by His Spirit and His word.
Jesus is our role model and our forerunner.
3 What happens when we have an exalted view of ourselves over others? How should we see ourselves?
Competitive behaviors surface instead of relational behaviors
We should see ourselves as here purely by the grace of God – sober judgment moving in measured steps
4 Why would Paul use the body of Christ to describe the
in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others
The world should see Christ when it looks at the church
6 Where do the gifts for service in the body come from and how should they be used? What gifts does Paul mention?
The gifts are given by God
They are for the building of the body to maturity
Faith, prophecy, serving, teaching, encourage, giving, leading, mercy and hospitality.
9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.
11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.
12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
An Attitude of Love in Action In the World
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.
16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay, says the Lord.
20 On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
9 What is the ultimate relational attitude?
True relationships are developed in love where we grow in sincere appreciation (Highly esteeming) for others
We recognize that God has given us to each other as a gift to complete us
11 How are we to go about serving the Lord?
With all diligence, earnestness and bubbling over with passion (zeó: to boil, be hot). Out of both duty and love.
12 What other attitudes does Paul allude to in these two verses.
Joyful, hopeful, faithful, giving, open, intimate
14 What happens when we bless those who seek to does us harm? To them, to us?
They are disarmed
Those who observe are captivated
We are blessed, become Resilient, confident and on mission.
15 Affinity – empathy for, rapport with, sympathy for, accord with, harmony with, relationship with, bond with, fellow feeling for, closeness with/to, understanding of/for
16 Harmony – accord, agreement, peace, peacefulness, amity, amicability, friendship, fellowship, cooperation, understanding, consensus, unity, sympathy, rapport
17 relate do not retailiate, others are watching including God, and the angels
19 Not vengeful but trusting God to be Just
Love covers over a multiple of sins
20 What happens when we reach out to meet our adversary’s needs?
There may come a time when those who oppose us will need our help. Rather than taking the position, finally, he got his. We should see it as an opportunity to show the love of God
The burning “coals” means he is overwhelmingly blessed. Like a neighbor who asks for a single coals for the fire and you send them home with a pot full to carry.
21 Finally how do we stop evil?
Not Participating in it
Training ourselves in Doing Good
Summary of right attitudes for the Church of Christ:
Attitude Towards God:
We offer ourselves to God in Humble, grateful submission and cooperation; trusting God to use us for His own good purposes.
We gladly submit ourselves to be transformed into the image of Christ in mind and spirit
Attitudes In the “Body of Christ”, the Church.
Have a right (sober), humble view of ourselves as God’s children and recipients of His grace
We should seek to understand and use the gifts God has given us to bless others in the church and build the Body of Christ
Love is the hallmark of what we do together. We grow in love to appreciate the work of Christ in each others lives.
We diligently, passionately serve the Lord as we minister to each other.
Joyful, hopeful, faithful, giving, open, intimate
God honoring Attitudes we are to express in the World
Having practiced relationships in the family of God we show the same kind of love even to those who persecute us.
Affinity – we are willing to acknowledge our own failings and humanness and need for God
Harmony – We express truth without breaking fellowship, maintain accord with the lost.
We, like our Father, relate to others and don’t retaliate.
We seek peace and pursue it.
We look for opportunities to meet the needs of our enemies and astound them with our love.
We overcome evil with Good.