Living in the 'therefore'

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SUNDAY 17 JUNE 2018

Ephesians deals with topics at the very core of what it means to be a Christian—both in faith and in practice, it invites us to continue our journey of “Shema” - hearing and responding to the invitation and challenges God is placing on our hearts as individuals, households and as a community.

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Have you ever had a moment where you hear God speaking to you? Or you hear a sermon and it dislodges something in your heart? Have you ever got in a fight with someone and found some rage? A moment where you know something needs changing but you don't know how to change it.

Today we are going to look at the biblical pattern Jesus gave us to unpack moments like this, where we become aware of God speaking to us. We're going to look at this out of Ephesians but also from the gospel...

As a prisoner for the Lord, THEREFORE, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received (Ephesians 4:1)

Last week we wen't over the significance of the word THEREFORE. You may have heard this saying: “Whenever you see a therefore in the Bible, you need to stop and see what it is there for”.  This word serves as reminder that something significant has just happened - a flashing neon sign – flickering in the text saying PAY ATTENTION! PAY ATTENTION!

Everything said before the THEREFORE (chapters 1-3) shows the truth of God’s character, the way God deals with humans, and the Freedom and Love of Christ - the good news of the gospel.  After the THEREFORE usually sits the practical instructions and responses; but if we just look at the practical instructions without the first bit we miss the heart, the revelation of who God is and we can slip into behaving right to in order to earn favour - rather than out of God's truth.

We have moments where we know all the truths from the first three chapters - we are loved, redeemed, forgiven, adopted, chosen, freely given grace etc. - BUT - instead of continuing that with THEREFORE we say "but".

Where there is a 'THEREFORE' moment, a realisation of the call of God, or sense of being asked to step into something. There is a way that steps into our lives, through the pattern of repentance and belief (Mark 1:14-15).

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