Growing Up

By The Will of God, A Study Through Ephesians   •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  57:11
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Growing Up

When I was young, all I wanted to do was to get out of my parents house. I wanted to live my own life. Do my own thing. The problem, as I would soon learn, is that the world is not my parents. It did not care for me the way my parents did. The world tossed me back and forth between entitlement and responsibility. Between knowing the answer and searching for the answer. Each time I though I had a handle on what I was doing, the world would change and off and running I was again. I suddenly realized, “I don’t want to grow up”. I did not want to have to learn for myself. I did not want to be responsible for myself or for my actions.
Thank the Lord that maturity helps us to stop being so thrown about.
Ephesians 4:11–16 ESV
And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.
Ephesians 4 one through 16 is all about unity.
So why does he, Paul, emphasis doctrine here in these unity passages.

Paul issues one of the most memorable clarion call’s for doctrinal fidelity and precision in all of scripture.

Paul knows it is necessary for unity and growth to be centered around sound doctrine.

Unity happens due to common beliefs

There needs to be some common ground. Some middle we can all rally around. That is why the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 was so important to me as a believer.
When I read it, I knew there were others who I could agree with and do ministry with.

Growth together relies on unity

This does not mean we will agree on all things. It means we are willing to agree on these things.
Titus 1:9 ESV
He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.
Titus 2:1 ESV
But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine.
1 Timothy 4:16 ESV
Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.
Why is this so important? Because Paul knew that there will be a time
2 Timothy 4:2–4 ESV
preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.
Some people would have you to believe that “Doctrine Divides” but it doesn’t.

The Five Solas are:

Sola Scriptura (“Scripture alone”): The Bible alone is our highest authority.

The Scriptures are our ultimate and trustworthy authority for faith and practice. This doesn’t mean that the Bible is the only place where truth is found, but it does mean that everything else we learn about God and his world, and all other authorities, should be interpreted in light of Scripture. The Bible gives us everything we need for our theology.
Every word of the 66 books of the Bible is inspired by God’s Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit also helps us to understand and obey Scripture.
2 Timothy 3:16–17 ESV
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
1 Corinthians 4:6 ESV
I have applied all these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, brothers, that you may learn by us not to go beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up in favor of one against another.

Sola Fide (“faith alone”): We are saved through faith alone in Jesus Christ.

We are saved solely through faith in Jesus Christ because of God’s grace and Christ’s merit alone. We are not saved by our merits or declared righteous by our good works. God grants salvation not because of the good things we do, and despite our sin.
Galatians 2:16 ESV
yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.

Sola Gratia (“grace alone”): We are saved by the grace of God alone.

God graciously preserves us and keeps us. When we are faithless toward him, he is still faithful.
We can only stand before God by his grace as he mercifully attributes to us the righteousness of Jesus Christ and attributes to him the consequences of our sins. Jesus’ life of perfect righteousness is counted as ours, and our records of sin and failure were counted to Jesus when he died on the cross.
Ephesians 2:8 ESV
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,

Solus Christus (“Christ alone”): Jesus Christ alone is our Lord, Savior, and King.

God has given the ultimate revelation of himself to us by sending Jesus Christ, 
Colossians 1:15 ESV
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.
Only through God’s gracious self-revelation in Jesus do we come to a saving and transforming knowledge of God.
1 Timothy 1:5 ESV
The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.
Because God is holy and all humans are sinful and sinners, 
1 John 1:1 ESV
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life—
Hebrews 7:25 ESV
Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.
Romans 8:34 ESV
Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.
Neither religious rituals nor good works mediate between us and God.
Acts 4:12 ESV
And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
by which a person can be saved other than the name of Jesus. 
Hebrews 7:23 ESV
The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office,
and his sacrificial death alone can atone for sin.

Soli Deo Gloria (“to the glory of God alone”): We live for the glory of God alone.

Glory belongs to God alone. God’s glory is the central motivation for salvation, not improving the lives of people—though that is a wonderful by product. God is not a means to an end—he is the means and the end.
The goal of all of life is to give glory to God alone: “Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (
1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
 As The Westminster Catechism says, the chief purpose of human life is “to glorify God and enjoy him forever.”
These doctrinal beliefs will unite a people. They will unite us if we commonly believe them. If we collectively believe them.

Unity is found in common belief

Ephesians 4:14–16 ESV
so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.

My Prayer is that we “Grow Up” In Him, In Christ.

Opening Up Ephesians Our Fidelity to Biblical Truth (vv. 13–16)

When it comes to the balance between love and doctrine, Christians must not take an either/or approach! Both are necessary, and neither is inimical to the other: love and truth, practice and doctrine, relational warmth and theological light. In the first few verses of Ephesians 4, Paul’s emphasis is on the former—love and peace. In these more recent verses, he stresses the latter—fidelity to the truth of Christian doctrine. Indeed, Paul highlights the importance of biblical truth in more ways than one. Not only does he say, in verses 13–14, that we must be united as to what Christian truth actually is, but in verses 15–16, Paul also reminds us that Christian truth is in fact the instrument by which unity is created in all the areas of practical church life and ministry.

It is as we begin “speaking the truth” to one another “in love” (v. 15a) that the people of God grow into maturity and the body of Christ begins to conform to the image of Jesus, its head (v. 15b). Then, as the members of the body begin taking cues from the head, the various joints and body parts (v. 16) begin to work in unison. Note that process well. The synchronization of the various members of Christ’s body (v. 16) is dependent upon their Christlike spiritual maturity (v. 15b). And that Christlike spiritual maturity is fostered as Christians speak “the truth” to one another in love (v. 15a). Christian unity, therefore, is achieved not only by holding certain truths in common, but also by applying them to one another in love!

Unity, diversity, and fidelity—in Christ!

Finally, let us be sure to notice, in yet another portion of his letter to the Ephesians, Paul’s continuing emphasis on the person, work, and centrality of Jesus Christ. If we have unity with fellow believers, Paul says, it is largely because we belong to “one Lord” (v. 5). If any of us possesses a spiritual gift, it is “Christ’s gift” (v. 7). If we understand the Christian faith, our understanding is, in large part, “the knowledge of the Son of God” (v. 13a). If we are maturing in the faith, we are merely growing up “to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ” (v. 13b). And if we are, indeed, fulfilling our little part in the body, it is because we are led by “Him who is the head, even Christ” (v. 15).

Paul is simply consumed with the supremacy of Jesus! Surely we should be the same! Jesus is, after all, the one whom God has blessed and honored “so that he might fill all things” (v. 10)!

Lets us grow together into the fullness of Him who saves us!

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