What does victory look like?
There are iconic images of Winston Churchill making the “V for Victory” sign throughout WWII or the dancing in the streets on VE Day. More recently, there was the now-infamous footage of George W. Bush standing on the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln on May 1, 2003, to declare “Mission Accomplished” in Iraq.
The difference is that today, it isn’t easy to tell when a war has begun or when it is finished, unlike in Churchill’s day. Then, you knew the war was over because the armies returned home with parades to celebrate their victory.
The Bible tells us that Jesus won a victory: He defeated sin, and death, and the Devil. But how can we know that He won? We can say that Jesus got rid of death and guilt, but can we know for sure?
As Ephesians 4 shows us, Jesus triumphed. He went up, taking His prisoners with Him, and distributed the prizes of war to His army.
And we can see that in the Church He established. It may not look victorious, but we have the treasures He won. Here in Ephesians 4, Paul is particularly concerned with Christian unity. As one of those Jesus captured to serve Him, Paul urges us also to walk in that unity. He tells us how we can show it, what it is based on, where we get help, and what the result will look like:
- Shown in Our Love (v1-2)
- Based on God’s Unity (v3-6)
- Equipped by Christ’s Gifts (v7-12)
- Demands Growth in Maturity (v13-16)
If we experience this unity in Jesus Christ, not only will the Church be what it should be as a whole, but we as individuals members of it will be growing to be what God made us to be, and those who do not know Jesus will realize that He should be honoured by their obedience too.
Sunday 6th January 2019
- How do we know Jesus was victorious (v8-11)?
- Christian unity depends on _____________________ than on structure or organization (v1-3).
- Because the persons of the Trinity are united, Christians are one _________ (v6), with one __________, ________ & __________ (v5), built into one __________ (v4).
- How can I maintain Christian unity (v3)?
- How do people help us to grow in a way that supernatural power wouldn’t (v11-12)?
- Who does ministry (v12)?
- How do pastors and teachers equip God’s people (v12)?
- What is the Church for (v13-14)?
- Maturity looks like ______________________, expressed in ___________ & _________ (v15)
- A question I have:
- A truth to share:
- Something to pray about:
- How I should live: