Saturday, August 1, 2009

Knowing Where You Live - A Broken-Down House

Last Sunday I reintroduced us to the book of Ephesians (since we have been away from there for a while) by setting the context of chapters 4-6 where I will begin in two weeks.

Where do we live? This is an important question to answer and remember. Here are some very challenging questions given by Paul David Tripp (in Broken-Down House).

Let me ask what may seem like a stupid question. Do you know where you live? No, I don't mean your street address. I want you to see the most deeply spiritual and profoundly personal implications of this question.
Do you bring to each day the realistic expectations that come from a cogent understanding of your life, yourself, and your world? Still confused? Then let's break it down a little.
Is there anything that is disappointing you right now? Is there a relationship or situation that is leaving you hurt and confused? Are there personal problems that you simply have not been able to solve? Do you ever feel alienated, alone, or misunderstood? Have you had to deal with mistreatment or injustice lately? Have you been hurt, angry, fearful, or discouraged? Is there any place in your life where you feel like giving up or giving in? Does your life ever seem much more complicated than it should be? Does it seem like you are always having to deal with obstacles of one kind or another?

Do you wish you didn't have so many problems on your plate? Does it bug you that even the easy things in life don't turn out to be nearly as easy as you thought they would be?

Are there problems in your past that still haunt you? Do you regularly face difficulties you have sought to solve, but which still lie open and festering? Have you ever envied someone else's life? Have you ever wished you could start over in some area of life, but you know you can't? Have you ever felt too weak and too unqualified to deal with what is confronting you? Does your life seem to move too fast for you ever to be able to catch up? Has there ever been a day in your life that was fundamentally problem-free? (23-24)
Here are my three points from last week:
  1. We live in a broken down house because of sin.
  2. A gracious Restorer has come to this house with the promise of restoration.
  3. We are called to live a restoration lifestyle.
Ephesians 4-6 is about living a restoration lifestyle based on the fact that the RESTORER has come and promised great things. This restoration lifestyle is not a me and my personal project that God is going to do in my soul (although he does work on individuals). He is working a restoration on us as a church--a community. He intends to transform individuals as well as groups of individuals who realize that they were made for more than themselves. This means we are called to live in a "broken-down house" together which can be quite messy. Apart from the Spirit's power we have no hope. However, Christ has promised to be with us and work in us through His Spirit to make us One Body.

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