Pastor Shane Ham : God’s Holy Church

The Creed · 1:04 · Recorded July 25, 2021

God’s Holy Church

Acts 20:28 (NIV) Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.

Hebrews 13:20 (NLT2) Now may the God of peace— who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, and ratified an eternal covenant with his blood—…

Ephesians 1:3-7, 9, 13-14 (NLT2) 3All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. 4Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. 5God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. 6So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. 7He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins… 9God has now revealed to us his mysterious plan regarding Christ, a plan to fulfill his own good pleasure… 13And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago. 14The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him.

Three truths about his church:

1. Those who are in the church are chosen.

Ephesians 2:8-9 (NLT2) God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.

2. Those who are in the church are being changed.

Ephesians 2:19-22 (NLT2) 19So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family. 20Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself. 21We are carefully joined together in him, becoming a holy temple for the Lord. 22Through him you Gentiles are also being made part of this dwelling where God lives by his Spirit.

3. Those who are in the church are charged.

Ephesians 3:10-11 (NLT2) God’s purpose in all this was to use the church to display his wisdom in its rich variety to all the unseen rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. This was his eternal plan, which he carried out through Christ Jesus our Lord.

Mark 16:15-16 (NLT2) And then he told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone. Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned.”

Talk It Over
  • In Acts 20:28, Paul tells us (the church) to “keep watch.” What does that mean to you? Refer to 1 Timothy 4:11-16 and talk about this in your small group.
  • The book of Ephesians is just 6 chapters long. Spend time in it this week as you reflect on today’s teaching and our individual roles in God’s Holy Church. Chapters 1-3 focus on doctrine, specifically, the new life and society God has created through Jesus. Chapters 4-6 focus on ethics – the new standards and new relationships expected of believers. What do you learn through your personal study time? Share it with a friend!
  • Of the three points Shane made, which of the “C’s” is most impactful for you? Which do you or have you struggled with?
  • How do you know that you are “chosen”? How does knowing you are adopted change your view of yourself and God? How do you feel about the quality of love of the One who has chosen you? How does this affect your love for others?
  • Parents, talk to your children today about what it means to be CHOSEN by God. Break down Ephesians 2:8-9 with them and help them understand what grace is, how we accept God’s gift of salvation, and why we choose to live holy lives in response to God’s gift, not as a way to earn it. Each of these are foundational principles that will help your child build his or her life with Jesus.

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