What the Church Should Be

6/2/2019 - 7/21/2019

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About the Series

Our desire is to dig deep into Scripture to determine what the New Testament Church should look like, act like, and be doing. For this series, we will focus in on Ephesians 4. We know we are not the perfect church, but we will continue to push to live out the call God put on us.

       

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In This Series

Introduction:

• Good Morning If you don’t know me I’m DJ Grick. I’m the youth and operations pastor here at MCC.

• We have a couple more weeks until Pastor Bill, our senior pastor, is back from Sabbatical. I’m so thankful as a church we are positioned where our Pastor can take a few weeks off and really be refreshed, spend time personally growing in his faith, and spend time praying for a vision for the future of MCC.

• So it seems like everyone has their “thing” they start their messages with.

o Matt has star wars jokes…that I never get because I never watched Star Wars.

o Jason is doing random fact-like 4 sitting presidents have been assassinated. What he didn’t tell you was 4 others died of natural causes bring it to an 18% chance you will die in the office while president. Almost 1/5

o Pastor Bill tells corny jokes…

o Something I don’t always do but have is youth group style games.

o So to get us started today I want to do a game called “Nailed it or Failed it”

o Nailed it or failed it: Game

• What the Church should be…

o We are in a series called “What the church should be”

o This isn’t us saying “We are what the church should be” this is us looking at scripture for to see how the church was designed to operate and then taking what we learn and attempting to apply it as a church.

o And many of you have probably noticed although the series talked about the whole church…the action steps really fall to us.

o Because if you are a believer you are part of the Church. And if you regularly attend MCC you are part of this church.

o So if we (as a whole) are going to be what the church should be, each of us as individuals needs to make sure our part of the church is what the church should be.

• Today’s passage is Eph 4:31-32.

Eph 4:31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

• Before we dig into this passage I make sure you see that phrase “one another”.

o This is an idea that shows up all over the new testament. There are 100 one another passages in scripture….you know we can’t do a single one of them alone!

o And this whole series started with checking our hearts and minds but everything else was all about how we treat one another.

• To be What the Church Should Be we must take the “one another” passages seriously.

• To be honest I believe when Jesus judges the local church this is what we will be judged on.

o Not our building, ministries, program, staff, and outreaches…Not how many seats we filled…

o Jesus will judge us first on if he was our first love, and second on how we loved one another…

o When we are individuals stand before the almighty God will we be known as people who loved one another?

o Seriously as Christians we love God, and beyond that we have one job. Love one another.

o So we need to check our self. Are we nailing it? or failing it?

• Today we are going to talk about an area that will probably bring some things to the surface for many people that we don’t like.

o We aren’t playing in the kiddy pull we are going to wade out into a little deeper water.

o Some of you will disagree with me.

o You will believe your situation is unique and the principles don’t apply.

o I’m going to ask that you really look at each word in today’s passage.

o Don’t take my word for it. Take scriptures. And decided even if it’s hard, even if I don’t like it, even if part of you doesn’t agree, say I am going to follow what Scripture says.

o I’m not asking you to follow what I say…follow what scripture says.

• So today we are going to really need to assess how you are doing at forgiving people.

o And I know in a room this size there are people who have hurt you in ways you feel like no one will understand.

 You feel like what was done to you is unforgivable.

 The hurt is too great

 The wound is too large.

o And you are right…I don’t know. And I probably never experienced what you have.

o But God.

o He knows.

Psalm 56:8 (NLT) You keep track of all my sorrows.

You have collected all my tears in your bottle.

You have recorded each one in your book. (Projection only)

 God knows the pain, he knows the hurt, he knows what they are or what they did.

 So as we get into forgiveness it’s getting into trusting God with our hurts.

 Any many times we think about a person who hurts us “but they have it so good now…and I have it so bad”

 A Psalm that really helped me with this is Psalm 73. Asaph starts out saying he almost slipped.

• He was looking at how evil people have “good lives” they have what they want, the act like God doesn’t have a clue

• The whole time he is struggling.

• And when he is about to give up on trusting God he says “I entered your sanctuary and recognized their destiny”

• He recognized that God is in control.

• And he needs to trust God to deal with them.

o Forgiveness isn’t saying “you did nothing wrong”.

o Forgiveness is saying I’m not going to let it affect me anymore.

• Eph 4:31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

o As we look at vs 31, we have bitterness, rage, anger, brawling, slander, and malice.

 All of them come from the same place. We would call them all offence.

 We live in a culture that’s always offended.

 Everyone is upset about everything.

• Nike can’t print shoes with a flag on them because people are offended…but they also can’t not print shoes with a flag on them because people are offended.

 Our emotions are king.

o This passage starts with the phrase “Get rid of”

 Now the series we are in Paul started out telling the Ephesians they are people in Christ.

 He then told them there are some thing they needed to take off and put on…using a clothing imagery.

 But bitterness, rage, anger, brawling, slander, malice…they are not just things we take off….they are things we place out of reach.

 Think of them like tools in your emotional toolbox of life. Paul says “remove them from your toolbox.” You don’t use them anymore.

 We put them away. We got rid of them we are people who don’t operate in offence.

• If you walk away with nothing else today I want to understand

Body:

1. Offence is not just something we avoid, it’s something we place out of reach.

i. As Christians we make the decision not to be offended.

ii. Now some people might feel like if we give up or right to offence then people will walk all over us…that’s not the case.

1. We can still address issues.

2. We just do it differently.

3. Rather than always responding out of offence (which is a self-centered emotional reaction) we respond based on facts.

iii. Responding out of emotion leads us us to look to punish people

iv. Responding based on facts positions us as problem solvers.

v. I want to pause here and say if someone hurt you in a way that is illegal. Taking legal action against them is not responding out of offence.

1. Because the truth is if they receive a punishment for their actions it’s not use punishing them. It’s our government (which romans says God instituted the government to punish law breakers).

2. If you don’t take legal actions in most cases you are making it easier for them to hurt someone else, or hurt you again. Which when looking at it from a fact’s perspective…is not loving one another.

vi. So if you have been abused do not hear “just take it”. I would never say that. Seek legal help. Let the law do the punishing. And seek spiritual help: let the church help you help.

vii. So we need to make sure we understand the difference between offence, and situations that need dealt with. But once we get that if we want to put off offence we need to…

a. We identify every form of offence in our lives:

i. This is identifying the ways offence manifests itself.

ii. When I say “Form” I’m not saying you need to identify every offence you have against someone… We identify the typical ways be respond to offence so we can break that pattern and put it ways.

iii. So we have bitterness, rage, anger, brawling, slander, and malice.

iv. I know for me personally rage was one I had to deal with a long time ago. Malice is the one I am still sometimes struggle with today.

1. Hopefully as you walk out today you know which one or ones you need to “put away”.

v. Each of these are different ways we respond to offence.

1. In English we are missing a little word meaning behind each that the Greek had so we are going to slow down and really understand each.

i. Bitterness: unforgivness, living in the pain of a past hurt.

a. The greak word here for bitterness is also a word used for pain.

b. The idea is that you are keeping a wound open and preventing its healing.

c. The person is probably not hurting you currently…the just did at one point.

i. Right now you are hurting yourself.

ii. As we hold onto the pain, as we dwell on the pain, as we focus on what happened we hurt our self.

d. The person who hurt or offended us may not even still be in your life…but the scab still is, because just like a 1st grade boy you can’t help but peal it off, feel the pain, and watch it bleed again and again and again.

e. Bitterness does nothing to hurt the other person. This response to offence just hurts you.

f. Question: Who in your life are you holding something against, and in doing that you are hurting yourself?

ii. Rage: Explosive anger.

a. This is a big response to an offence.

b. For me early on in my Christian life I had to overcome rage.

c. I still remember a youth leader encouraging me to checkout James 1:19-20. Which I memorized to help me deal with the rage I would sometimes feel.

James 1:19 My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.

i. For me there was some things I had to forgive to be able to live in freedom from rage.

1. As an elementary school student who struggled in school and ended up in learning support classes I had been told many times I was stupid, I would never amount to anything, or the worse was that I was retarded.

2. I stored up these offences and for me it brought me to the pace in 5th grade where I had a really short fuse.

3. Between 5th and 8th grade I wasn’t called restarted a single time where I didn’t respond in rage – every single time punch the person in the face immediately.

ii. Rage goes Boom.

iii. The Greek word is thomos. It’s almost sounds explosive.

1. For me I had to forgive some teachers, and a whole lot of classmates.

2. And God did a word to speak truth into my life.

iv. Still today I cringe when I hear people use the word retarded…but it’s no longer because of pain I have…it’s me feeling the pain for others (We will come back to this).

d. Question: Do you ever explode on people? What causes it? What past hurt needs healed to move on?

iii. Anger: Slow building, brewing anger.

a. The Greek word if you care is orge. Rage or thomos in many times is a fire cracker. It’s got a short fuse and goes boom quickly. If it’s in your hand it’s going to sting.

b. Orge is like a tank on a boiler that doesn’t have a pleasure release.

i. The temperature keeps going up, and up, and up until the pleasure is too great and theirs a huge explosion.

c. The word Orge is the word used to describe God’s wrath.

Rom 2:5 But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.

i. God doesn’t zap us for each mistake. But if we die apart from him, not knowing Christ we receive the full vent of his anger stored up for us.

ii. This is offset by God’s love and grace

John 3:36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.”

d. God makes our position clear. We are either under wrath, or under grace.

e. But he also makes clear that wrath is something beyond what we can understand or have the right to.

19 Do not take revenge, my 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. (Rom 12:19-21)

i. This verse reminds me of MLK’s quote. “Darkness can’t drive out darkness. Only light can do that. Hate can’t drive out hate only love can do that”.

ii. So anger or wrath is not the solution to your problem.

f. Someone living in anger is lying in wait. Waiting until it’s the right time to explode.

g. When will they hurt the person the most?

h. How can they make the person pay the best?

i. But the entire thing is unhealthy and production.

j. Question: do you have anyone in your life who you are letting your anger build against with the thought that soon I will…?

iv. Brawling: Screaming like a fool.

a. You aren’t necessarily trying to hurt anyone…but you are making your offence known.

b. When I hear brawling I think bar fight but that’s not what this word is. Many other translations use the word “Clamor”

c. Any parks and rec fans?

d. This is Craig.

i. It reminds me of the scene where he is trying out to recommend wines at Tom’s bistro and keeps walking into the back room screaming.

e. In the original language this is the word Crooke…

i. It’s an onomatopoeia.

ii. Think of the sound of a raven just screaming. Crooke, crooke, crooke…..

iii. That’s the source of this word.

iv. Just loud or obnoxious reactions.

f. Question: are you a screamer when you are upset? Or do you feel like every time anything effect you emotionally you need to make it know?

v. Slander: speaking against the nature and character of a person

a. We slander when we go around sharing how someone hurt us with everyone we can.

b. We make sure the world knows how bad they are.

c. We make blanket statements about their character.

d. The other newer form of slander is attacking them publically on social media trying to get a mob behind us on how horrible the person is.

e. Anytime we are using our words to hurt someone it falls under this category.

f. I want to make a distinction again that words can be used to correct, or used to hurt.

i. So you are in the breakroom at work and a co-worker spills coffee all over the counter and they start to walk away.

1. If you say “hey Bob, do you mind cleaning up your coffee spill?” Bob might get offended but as long as you tried saying it in grace you can feel fine about it.

2. If you say “Hey Bob, don’t be a jerk…get back here and clean up your mess”. You are speaking against the nature/character of bob and using words to insult him. That would fall under this category.

g. Question: Do you speak or type about people with the intention of hurting them?

vi. Malice: evil actions against a person

a. This is the end of Paul’s list. Malice is interesting if you look because it’s sitting on its own.

b. I don’t know if Paul almost forgot it or really wanted to emphasize that we need to put off malice.

c. So Malice is slander in action. It’s causing trouble for a person.

d. So you pull into Walmart and someone is parked right on the line between two spots, and you are alone so you park your passenger door inches from their driver door. That’s malice. You see someone doing something you dislike so you act to punish them.

e. I said earlier I struggle with this one still.

f. So an organization uses the church building and doesn’t clean their stuff up and I have to…the old nature in me wants to take that stuff and hide it…that will teach them to clean up better next time.

g. So to rewind again to Bob… it’s annoying he is always making that mess but you see his coffee cup sitting unstably on his desk and you bump it ever so gently hoping it “accidentally” falls.

h. Some might argue Malice would even be seeing it not stable and leaving it like that.

i. Malice is usually easy to hid. Peter knew that. He write about it:

1 Peter 2:16 Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God.

j. The word translated as “For evil” Is the word Paul used as malice.

i. Actually in context peter was probably talking about malice also. The verse before he said we can silence foolish talk by doing good.

1 Peter 2:1 Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind.

k. So rather than looking for the little ways we can make people pay…we do good.

l. Question: Do you ever allow or encourage bad things to happen to someone as a way of payback for problems they caused you?

vii. Now we covered all these different ways we could respond to offense. But how do we really put it away? How do we really stop being offered? How do we stop responding based off our negative feeling?

b. We work to become people who are compassionate

i. Verse 32 if you are in a paper bible feel free to circle the word “Be”

1. For us it’s just two letters.

2. But that word is our grace. It’s a command but it assumes a process.

3. We won’t be perfect at kindness and compassion…but we work to become more.

a. That’s a word for new beginnings or continual process.

4. Now let’s talk compassion.

a. Earlier I mentioned I cringe when I hear the word “retard” it’s because I know the pain being called that can cause. And I can easily see that pain in others eyes when someone calls them that.

b. I can feel their pain so to speak.

5. Compassion is a feeling. Rather than offence Christian work to see, feel, and love through the pain others have experienced.

a. Over the years in youth ministry here we have had some really rough kids.

b. I have had a few times parents at their wits end dropped their kids off as a last dich effort.

c. When that happens we have some rude, belligerent, disruptive kids on our hands.

d. Naturally I want to “put them in their place”. But by the grace of God I have had times where He equipped me to bring compassion.

e. But in those situations you know what is transformational?

f. When I sit down with them and ask “Do you want to be here or are you forced?” and then I listen. Maybe I ask some other questions.

g. Just making them aware that I knew where they were coming from, and I cared.

6. I heard a great exercise in compassion is going for a drive during rush house.

a. Someone pulls out in front of you- assume they just got the call from their kid’s school that their child broke a bone and needs to go to the hospital.

b. Someone tells you that you are number one – assume they have always felt insignificant and like they aren’t a 10 at anything.

c. A teenage burns out pulling away from a red light – assume their parents work all the time and they just want to feel seen.

d. We can go on with situations like this.

e. So often we don’t know.

f. We don’t know their hurt

g. We don’t know their pain

h. We don’t know what keeps them up at night

i. We don’t know the mistakes they don’t think they can be forgiven for.

j. We don’t know the insecurity, failure, and fear the is crippling them.

k. All we see is the mask they put on for the world.

7. What if we were a church that truly had compassion?

a. What if we were people who loved unconditionally?

8. What if we were kind…even when I makes absolutely know since? The world would know we follow Jesus.

ii. But to do this we have to be really good at forgiveness.

…forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

c. We forgive like Jesus did.

1. Jesus was our example of forgiveness. Think about this Jesus prayed on the cross. Hanging there “forgive them for they know not what they do”.

a. Talk about an example of compassion….

2. As we think about him as our example of forgiveness I want to point out 3 ways he forgave us that we can apply to this.

ii. Jesus forgave in advance

1. At the time of Jesus death and resurrection there where people whose past sins he forgave, but for the majority of the people who he was the atoning sacrifice for, the one who receives the punishment we deserve, he forgave in advance.

2. Jesus chose to forgive us for sins we had not yet committed.

3. The writer of Hebrews makes this clear.

Hebrews 9:28(a): …Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people…

4. Jesus knew what he was going to forgive and forgave in advance.

5. Now we don’t know what we are going to need to forgive. We can’t see the future. But we can follow Christ’s example.

a. We can choose to be a people who says “I am going to forgive.”

6. There is freedom in this decision. See the choice was already made.

a. A few months ago Stef and I went to a fundraiser event that had two food choices. What I didn’t know was that Stef had already RSVP’ed for me to say what I was going to have.

b. Both choices sounded good, both had their pros and cons. But as we walked in and sat down my seating placement already said what I would eat.

i. To be honest for me there was freedom in this. I didn’t need to choose. The choice was already made and I could free my mind for other things.

c. If you choose in advance to be someone who forgive (.) when you get hurt you don’t need to decide. The decision was already made. You can free your mind for other things.

iii. Jesus forgives consistently

1. Has anyone made it this far today without sinning? Can anyone really say today you “loved God with all your heart soul mind and strength and loved your neighbor as yourself?”

a. I know I can’t say that. I try to honor Christ…but I consistently fall short.

b. But Christ’s forgiveness is consistent.

Romans 8:38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

c. There is nothing you can do to be unforgivable to Christ. And once you are in Christ there is nothing you can do to lose your salvation.

d. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing can separate you from Christ.

e. Jesus does not have a red line for his followers.

f. And for people who don’t yet put their trust in him if there is breath in their lungs it’s not too late for them to receive his forgiveness.

2. What if we forgave like that.

a. So your brother borrowed money to buy a car, then crashed it drunk driving and will never pay you back…forgive him.

i. Don’t lend him money again…that would just be stupid…but forgive him

b. So what that co-worker made up a rumor about you because she was jealous. Forgive her.

iv. Jesus forgives completely

1. This is something we often struggle with.

Psalms 103: 12 as far as the east is from the west,

so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

2. God doesn’t forgive and then a week later rub our notes in the same mistake again.

3. Once it’s done it’s done.

4. When we are forgiven our record is not sealed…it’s expunged.

a. If you know anyone who has done either a sealed records still exists but requires special privileges to access.

b. An expunged criminal record is deleted from the system. It’s like it never happened.

5. As we learn to forgive, to live out the “one another” passages. To really love each other we need to learn to forgive completely.

6. Once we say “I forgive you” it never comes up again.

7. 1 Corinthians 13:5 says that “love keeps no record of wrong”.

Conclusion:

• Offence and forgiveness. These are hard topics to deal with today. As we wrap up I want to speak to two different groups of people.

o First to those of you who have never had a moment you put your faith in Jesus as your Lord and Savior, and second to the People who already have.

 If you have never accepted Jesus as your savoir I have to warn you that you are not living on God’s forgiveness. If you were to die in this moment you will receive the due penalty for your sins. It’s not a popular way to say it but scripture does make it clear Romans 2:5 warn that you are storing up wrath for yourself to receive from God.

• Scripture is also clear that if you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord and Believe in your heart God raised him from the dead you will be saved.

• I want you to know that God does love you, he created you, and me for a relationship with him

• And he never walked away from us. We left him. It was our sin that separated us from him.

• And I have tried being good enough on my own and failed every single time…and you are in the same boat. God’s standard is perfection and neither of us are close.

• But God loves us too much to leave us there. That’s why Jesus stepped in. He paid the price for you on the cross.

• But now you need to decide. Will you choose him? Or will you reject him? We already said what happens if you reject him…wrath

• But if you choose him not only do you have the promise of heaven someday…you receive a purpose here on earth. John 10:10 Jesus said I came that you may have life and life abundantly.

o Not a perfect life. Not all your hopes and dreams…but a life with meaning.

• Are you ready to follow him? In a few moments I am going to ask you to sit quietly. Reflect. Are you in Christ? If not what’s holding you back? If you are the prayer team will be around the room and I will be in the back ready to help you take that step of faith.

 Now to the Christians. What’s your action step? I have a feeling for most people I pocked something. In many ways today was like a doctor pocking around saying “does it hurt here…how about here…”

 You know where it was. So what are you going to do about it.

 Spend a few minutes with the Holy Spirit praying then at the bottom of your note write down your action step for the week. Not me telling you to do XYZ. This week I’ll leave that work to be done between you and the Holy Spirit.

• MY ACTION STEP THIS WEEK:

• pray