JS 5: Squad Goals

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Paul begins the second half of the book with leadership roles that serve the church family. Now he goes into specifics of what goals the roles help achieve. Paul tells the believers to take off the sins of the self and put on the good deeds of the new life.



Hello all, I am Will Atha, and I am a Zaxby’s addict. I only have class on Monday and always eat at Zbs for Monday lunch. At my Zaxby’s they have an art piece I am rather fond of, let me show you.
This is Liberty, 7-0, and ranked number 22 in the nation in only its second year of FBS football.
So I was running out of lunch money for school. I decided that I was going two weeks without eating Zbs. And I did it! I should get a round of applause! And to celebrate my success, I went and ate at Zaxby’s two days in a row last week.
Also last week we watched the movie “Signs,” that features a priest, corn fields, and aliens. I thought I should practice this whole running through corn fields thing in middle of the night, and I did! I camped with some friends here...
At this private pond at the end of a large corn field. And at midnight, we went out into the cornfield, without flashlights, to explore. We didn’t find aliens, but I did discover that it is much harder running in between the rows of corn than you would imagine. We were running aimlessly, which wasn’t a problem, until we all met up at the fire and found out we were missing someone. They had wandered into an entirely different field! Once again, wasn’t a big deal, but there have been times where it was a big deal, we had no where to be!
But that is not the case in life. Life is a big deal. What you do with your life is a big deal. And if you don’t walk life with intentionality you will look back and realize that with all your aimless wandering, you got no where. We have been talking about the bigger picture that God wants for our church family, a united, diverse, loving, Jesus Squad. To get there, we have to walk intentionally or we will wander aimlessly and never be the church family we and God want. You have to...
Bottom line:
Walk intentionally or you will wander aimlessly.
Open up to Ephesians 4. If you don’t know what that means, poke someone beside you for help.
Last week we studied grow roles, and we found that God’s word tells us in order for our Jesus Squad to grow up, we have to role-up. Role-up to ____ what? Grow up! We each have a function to play, a role to fill, a gifted ability and strengths to use, but we have to use it, we have to role-up to grow up. And last week we gave a couple examples of scenarios and asked how you could use your roles to help people. We are picking up on the same theme of growing up in the next verses.

Look: Read Ephesians 4:17-24 & Eph. 5:8-15

Ephesians 4:17–20 ESV
17 Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. 19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. 20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!—
What we are going to read soon is that Paul is moving from the squad grow roles we read last week to squad grow goals. And this is because Grow roles are for reaching grow goals. Paul is giving the Ephesians grow goals to see that they walk intentionally and keep from living like Gentiles who walk, verse 17, “in the futility of their minds.” Futility is purposeless or aimless. Now hold on, we learned a couple weeks ago that gentiles are anyone who is not a Jew and that the Ephesians are not Jews. So why is Paul telling gentiles to not walk - or better, live - like gentiles? Think of it like telling an American to stop living like an American. That is the point, because we no longer identify as American’s first, but as followers of Jesus in our Jesus Squad’s. We no longer have an aimless, purposeless, life, as believers God wants to see us grow. (The Bible term for this growth process is called sanctification.)
Last week I asked whether it is actually possible to see the love for God and one another amidst a church family the way we read about it in scripture? In the church of acts people were selling their homes, were risking their lives and careers, their reputation, because of their love for one another that came from their love for Christ. Is it possible to see unity amidst such di-versity? to tear down the walls of ad-versity and turn them into tables? It is is. But the price is not an easy one to pay.
Ephesians 4:21–22 ESV
21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires,
The price is this: yourself, or rather, your old self. The old self that didn’t care about God and only cared about others for what they could give, the old self that lived unconcerned about the bigger purpose. And Paul is saying we need to take off the old self that belonged to the worthlessly aimless way of thinking. But this is easier said then done right? These old clothes are what I am used to for starters. They are actually pretty comfortable! They fit me like a glove! And tell to the truth I can’t even notice the bad smell anymore. They were in style back in the day you see.
Who here is part of the office of grammar police? Come on, just own it! So in Eph. 4:19, depending on your translation, there is a word there, it’s the word callous. They have become callous the verse says. 10 bucks for who can spell for me callus, like a callus on a foot, within the next 20 seconds. None of you got it! When it is used as an adjective it is spelled c-a-l-l-o-u-s and means to be insensitive. But as a noun it is spelled c-a-l-l-u-s and describes a localized thickening of the skin.
So every year I go to the back woods of rural West Virginia - which happens to be all of West Virginia (just JK, I love WV!) - I go with a group of mostly Brazilian MK’s (missionary kids) like myself, to ride 4-wheelers and sideXsides, and it seems that on this last trip I picked up a virus. Not the kind that makes you have a runny nose, nor the kind that infects your computer, but the kind that grows on the bottom of your foot!
This is the beginning of a plantar wart. They are different from regular warts because they grow under the thick skin - or callus - that is on the soles of feet. They grow and are actually protected by the thick callus. For for the virus underneath to be killed by the acid you stick on, the acid has to first eat through the callus.
Let me warn you, tonight may hurt a bit, it may be uncomfortable, because you may have a callus that is protecting the virus of a sin you need to put off, and to get at the virus the acid has to cut through your skin first. But it’s the only way, and it’s worth it, not because of what we lose, but because of what we gain. Today’s message is called Squad Goals because a goal is not about what we stop doing, but what we start doing. Let’s read:
Ephesians 4:23–24 ESV
23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
Doing nothing is not a goal. We can’t just do nothing! So a goal is about what we are going to do instead, which is to put on the new self. I can’t just take off my old self, I can’t walk around naked! Not with out getting arrested and having my life ruined. You can’t just do nothing, so if you are going to stop sinning, the goal is what will you be doing instead? And it is the instead that is our goal. And the next twelve verse give us a list of grow goals where we take off the old self to put on the new. Let’s read through them.
Now you will notice that we don’t find goals like, ‘tell a friend about Jesus,’ or ‘read scripture every day’ in this passage. These are good goals, but here Paul is teaching on living together as a diverse but united church family, as a Jesus Squad. And quite honestly, the love one another goals can be hardest to face. It is harder to expose our sins against the people we live with than sins against people we don’t know or even sins against God.
For one, you don't want to upset the way things have been. If you confess that you lie regularly to someone you are around a lot, won’t they always be mistrusting you? And now you have to be around someone who doesn’t trust you?
Another reason it is hard to confess sins is because once you do, your excuses no longer work. For example: We say, "I don't want to go see my Uncles for Thanksgiving because they don't like me," but it’s just an excuse covering the truth that "I don't want to see my uncles because I don't like them." We say, "I get car sick so I have to ride in the front" because we don't want to say, "I don't care about what you want, I just want to ride in the front." We say, "I’m not comfortable doing this" instead of “I am too scared to do this.” We hide behind excuses like the virus of a plantar wart hides behind the callous, or like a kid who pretends to be asleep in hopes that reality just goes away! But read what Paul says:
Ephesians 5:8–14 ESV
8 for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), 10 and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. 13 But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, 14 for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”
Instead of closing our eyes and pretending to be asleep, God tells us to wake up to the new day, the new life and let the light we have been given as followers of Jesus expose the walls of sins that are dividing us from God and each other. If you are cheating, you got to face it. If you are being passive-aggressive all the time, exaggerating, you need to face it. If you are watching porn, you need to face it! But not alone. Read this verse:
James 5:16a “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.”
But confessing the wrong we need to put off is only the first step. We need that grow goal of what we are going to do instead right? Well check this next verse out:
Ephesians 5:15–16 ESV
15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.
In other words, we need to be intentional, to be wise about how we walk, or live, not wandering aimlessly but making the best use of our time. Because...
If we don’t walk intentionally we will wander aimlessly.


Here at PULSE we are committed to walking intentionally together, to help each other reach grow goals. Here is what we are going to do tonight: Instead of regular small groups, we are going to get into even smaller groups, we are going to get into grow groups.
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