“Building Up the Body”
Pastor David Moore
Old Testament reading: Isaiah 27:1-13
In that day, the Lord will punish with his sword— his fierce, great and powerful sword—Leviathan the gliding serpent, Leviathan the coiling serpent; he will slay the monster of the sea. In that day—
“Sing about a fruitful vineyard: I, the Lord, watch over it; I water it continually. I guard it day and night so that no one may harm it. I am not angry. If only there were briers and thorns confronting me! I would march against them in battle; I would set them all on fire. Or else let them come to me for refuge; let them make peace with me, yes, let them make peace with me.”
In days to come Jacob will take root, Israel will bud and blossom and fill all the world with fruit. Has the Lord struck her as He struck down those who struck her? Has she been killed as those were killed who killed her? By warfare and exile you contend with her— with his fierce blast he drives her out, as on a day the east wind blows. By this, then, will Jacob’s guilt be atoned for, and this will be the full fruit of the removal of his sin: When he makes all the altar stones to be like limestone crushed to pieces, no Asherah poles or incense altars will be left standing. The fortified city stands desolate, an abandoned settlement, forsaken like the wilderness; there the calves graze, there they lie down; they strip its branches bare. When its twigs are dry, they are broken off and women come and make fires with them. For this is a people without understanding; so their Maker has no compassion on them, and their Creator shows them no favor.
In that day the Lord will thresh from the flowing Euphrates to the Wadi of Egypt, and you, Israel, will be gathered up one by one. And in that day a great trumpet will sound. Those who were perishing in Assyria and those who were exiled in Egypt will come and worship the Lord on the holy mountain in Jerusalem.
Theme today: The maturing of a Christian takes place within the community of believers.
New Testament reading: Ephesians 4:1-16
As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called—one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. This is why it says: “When He ascended on high, He led captives in His train and gave gifts to men.” (What does “He ascended” mean except that He also descended to the lower, earthly regions? He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) It was
He who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 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 fullness of Christ.
Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into Him who is the Head, that is, Christ. 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.
1 John 4:12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us.
Being a Christian is not really a way of life. It is not about being nice and good and caring for the poor—although it can encompass all that. It is God living in us. ~D. Moore
All of the difficult callings, positions, are intended to prepare God’s people for acts of service. This process will result in maturing our faith within the community. ~D. Moore
Church leaders are to be equippers of developing the gifts of the community. ~D. Moore
Listing of Spiritual Gifts
Romans 12: encouragement, giving, leadership, mercy, prophecy, service, teaching.
1 Corinthians 12: administration, apostle, discernment, faith, healing, helps, interpretation of languages, knowledge, languages, miracles, prophecy, teaching, wisdom.
Ephesians 4: apostle, evangelism, pastor, prophesy, teaching.
1 Peter 4: serving, teaching.
Some people do their duty to God, every day, whether they feel like it or not, whether life is going well for them or not. Those folks have matured a little. They have endured, persevered and are steady in their life. ~D. Moore
If you are wise and discerning and spiritually matured, you will know Scripture. ~D. Moore
A couple of questions to ask yourself:
1. Are you humble, happy, more in self-control and at peace with yourself and God compared to last year?
2. Do you have the courage to ask someone their opinion if what you think is true?
Ephesians 4:14 We will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching.
I want to grow. I want to be better. You grow. We all grow. We’re made to grow. You either evolve or you disappear. ~Tupac Shakur
1 Corinthians 12:27 Now you are the body of Christ and each one of you is a part of it.
Nobody grows unless we are in a community of faith who have a balance of truth and love in the way we speak to one another. It is honesty but filled with sweetness and goodwill. ~D. Moore
Truth without love is brutality, and love without truth is hypocrisy. ~Warren W. Wiersbe
This week: dwell on what God has done for you; the God of truth and love. If we can hear truth and love, we can speak in truth and love in our Christian community. We are called to grow and mature, becoming like Christ. Christ is calling us all to become part of the growth in the lives of others and in your own life, in the Christian community.
God bless you!