This message was preached by Ian Portwine at Word of Grace Church on March 6th, 2016. To listen/download the audio please click here.
We are an apostolic group of people because we want Jesus message to spread to the whole earth.
I. We have been CREATED in Christ Jesus. This refers to our recreation/regeneration in Christ. God imparts a new Spiritual life to us. Nicodemus was told “you must be Born again”. Nicodemus must have been confused. But this is a spiritual birth that we need to go through. WE play no active part.
Ephesians 2:1 We were dead in our sins. Something needs to be done from the outside and what God does is a work of God, we cannot boast. Some things we can boast about but when we are dead we are dead.
We are born again and adopted into his family and this in happens within a flash.
How does all this happen? What happens in regeneration is a mystery to us –Wayne Grudem. We will never understand because it’s a work of God and pushes me further into worship because its incomprehensible.
II. We are CRAFTED
Eph 2:10 – “Handiwork”. Greek Phoema i.e masterpiece. The English word “Poem “comes from this. He is fashioning us, putting his love in our hearts and making us a thing of beauty.
I asked a Literature professor to describe the crafting of Poetry to me. Here is what she said. “In a good poem there are no insignificant elements, nothing is too small to be important. Every full stop, comma, capital letter should be there for a reason. Every mark of ink on a page is significant. Even the white spaces around the words are important. They all represent choices that are made by the poet.”
I asked my friend who is a watercolor artist to describe his craft “When planning my painting I need to consider a range of things, composition, perspective, choice of colors, tonal contrast” and so on.
The Father is the master craftsman developing a work of His art. The fingerprints of God are all over you and he lovingly shapes and develops us. Our identity in Christ is a thing of beauty. At new birth we are given our identity. The rest of our lives we have God shaping and molding us.
WHAT HAPPENS TO A MASTERPIECE
Several things can happen to a masterpiece.
1. It can get damaged. Being a Christian does not insulate us from trouble. Jobs are lost, crimes are committed, relationships destroyed but it’s important to be in community to be encouraged.
2. It can go unrecognized. A person used a big vase as an umbrella stand. Till one day a friend came along and gasped stating that vase was worth half a million dollars!!!
We can feel like that – left in the sidelines, undervalued . But God has crafted you and He has a plan.
3. It can be stolen. Jesus speaks about the parable of the sower. Weeds can stop us from getting to where we should be. But God is in the restoration business.
4. Displayed. Its admired, written about. If we put ourselves in a place where we do nothing its uless. WE need to work into society and tell people about Jesus. WE are a masterpiece not a museum piece.
Pope Francis prefers a church that is bruised, hurting and dirty rather than a church that is unhealthy from being confined to itself.
Why is it good work? Because, it has been given by God. WE have been placed in certain areas to do good work. WE need to bring Christ to people around us. God has given us good work to do.
We are the aroma of Christ so we can affect those around us. God has a calling in your life and he has placed you in the right place where you should be. You are on God’s mission in your place of work. All work is good because we have a purpose.
We have been empowered by Grace to go into the world. There is no secular sacred divide. We are on an adventure. AS we take baby steps of faith who knows what new things will open us?
From this church you have a unique and wonderful position to affect the world as people get flung to different corners of the world from Word of Grace
Now God does not meet our work, He is sufficient in himself, but our neighbours do.
WE may think we need to build up credit with God. That maybe true for other religions. Christianity is also a religion of works. BUT it’s not our works but JESUS’ WORK by which we are saved. This is a work of God.
Jesus does a work of salvation- a gift from God. God dos a word that is everlasting
Good work does not lead us to Christianity but Christianity leads us to good works.
We are not saved by works but saved for works
WE have a new life in Christ and he has crafted us with such tenderness as a thing of beauty. He has commissioned you with purpose and meaning to go into the world of Christ glory!! Amen!
Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again), Spirit filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking church in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that have people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the Great Commission into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service. To know more about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.
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