Sermon December 2, 2006 : Ephesians 4

Posted in Sermons
  • Presenter: Dr. Roberto Miranda
  • Date: December 2, 2006
  • Location: Congregation Lion of Judah, Boston MA

Book of Ephesians which I am sort of working through as the Lord gives me the opportunity to do so. We’re in chapter 4 and I just want to take the first section of chapter 4, verses 1 through 16 and work through as much as we can that passage tonight.

And it says in Chapter 4, I’ll tell you what, let’s do something a little bit more creative. Anybody wants to lead, come up here and read just two or three verses. Quickly, don’t hesitate, come on right up and help me out here and maybe we can have a little variety here. Great! How are you, brother? Just take four or five of those verses.

Ephesians 4. “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that you walk worthy of the vocation wherewith you are called, with all loneliness and meekness, with long suffering forbearing one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one spirit even as you are called in one hope of your calling. One Lord, one faith, one baptism. One God and Father all, who is above all, through all, and in you all”.

Who’s the next person who’d like to read four or five verses? Come on up quickly. Come on. Don’t make yourself, don’t make me beg you. There you go, come on right up. Was that the King James version? Yes, the King James version, we have such a beautiful translation. My God. All right, so you begin up here in verse 7, read about three or four verses.

“….. But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. This is why it says: when he ascended on high, he led captives in his train and gave gifts to men. What does he ascended mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions? He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.”

Ok, so there it speaks about Christ’s ascension and descent or his descent first and then his ascent. Somebody else, come on up. Let’s give a little variety here. Who would like to be next? Let’s see. Ven por acá. You have it there. Come right up.

“It was he who gave some to the Apostles, some to the prophets, some to the evangelist and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”

And then I will finish in verse 14, it says “…. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming, instead speaking the truth in love we will in all things grow up unto him who is the head that is Christ, from him the whole body joined and held together by every supporting ligament grows and builds itself up in love as each part does it work.”

It occurs to me that we just did here is in a sense illustrative of the content of this passage which is, we had different people come up and read this one text and sort of add their own flavor, their own translations, and their styles and so on and so forth and that’s the beauty of the body. And this is really what this text is all about. It’s about the unity that there should be in the church of Jesus Christ, the harmony, I think it’s a nice word, harmony, because harmony presupposes different voices, different streams sort of coming together and producing one pleasing, lovely melody. And this is really the essence of this passage. It’s unity in diversity almost.

So, if we just said unity I think we would be missing an important part of the Apostle thinking inspired by the Holy Spirit. It is unity in diversity, unity in variety of gifting and callings and so on and so forth.

Last time I shared with you a couple of weeks ago I spoke about the fact that the book of Ephesians is divided in two, like two sections: the first three chapters comprise one section and the last three chapters comprise another section, and the emphasis on each of those two sections is different. In the first three chapters you have this wonderful revelation of God’s work through eternity in the church, the mystery of Jesus Christ, all the way the church has been called, all the inheritance that has been received, the power that has been given to us, the gifts that we have access to through the spirit of God. Those first three chapters give us sort of an insider’s view on God’s action in the universe and in the church. It’s a bird’s eye view. It’s a wonderful, sublime revelation of God’s work and it is almost spoken with tones of reverence and the special nature of what is being spoken, so the tone is grandiose, the tone is major notes.

And all of a sudden it changes, when we get to chapter 4. The Apostle Paul goes theology and revelation to ethics, to behavior, to how we walk in the Christian life. You know, the tone becomes a lot more humble, a lot more quotidian to use a big word, dealing more with daily life and the way we should relate to each other, the way we should behave in the Christian walk. And we have said that the second part depends of the first part and the first part leads to the second part, so this is why in chapter 4 Paul says, as a prisoner for the Lord then, in other words, as a consequence of what I have just said, I urge you to etc.

In other words, in the light of what we have just understood, this is the way that we should act, we should live. And I have always said that theology without life and ethics it’s really truncated, it’s incomplete, it’s an aberration. And so, this is why the next three chapters are going to be so important for us to look at very carefully, because it is a call to us.

In the light of all these wonderful things that God has done let’s live in such and such a way. And by the way it’s very interesting, and I have found that a little bit intriguing because I haven’t seen this in any of the commentaries that I have read, I just found that it’s like my own little secret. I’m sure somebody has seen it because there’s so much stuff written that there’s nothing new in the world any more.

But, if you look at Romans, this chapter 4 of Ephesians is extremely related to chapter 12 in the book of Romans. Ephesians chapter 4 and I encourage you to do a study on your own later on in your house, and see how the same units of thought can be found in Ephesians, chapter 4 as in Romans chapter 12. And it’s interesting that Romans follows the same kind of procedure. The first eleven chapters, are chapters on God’s work and major theological truths that are being expounded for the benefit of the readers in Rome. And then in chapter 12 the Apostle Paul very interesting, says something very similar to what he says in Ephesians, chapter 4.

Here in chapter 12 of Romans he says, therefore, see, I urge you, brothers in view of God’s mercy to offer your life, your bodies as a living sacrifice…. It’s the same idea of then, therefore…. And I urge you…. in the light of the great things that God has done to live in such and such a way.

And then he goes on, very interestingly, using the same kinds of ideas which leads me to you know, something that I think that is very important for you to know, as you read the Bible you know, many times critics of the Bible particularly those who are more rationalists in the way of looking at things, when they have seen like two miracles that seem very similar but have slight differences, or words of Jesus that have slight variations in one section or another, there led sometimes to think that these were written by two different authors or gathered together by different authors, or that there’s contradiction in the Bible and often what there is, is simply variety in how truths are being presented.

And you know, here Paul is doing what a lot of us preachers do, you know, most preachers we have certain truths that we cut and paste and we kind of put together in different sermons. I mean, anybody who has done significant amount of preaching can say that. You know, many times I mean we are given like a repertoire of principles and things that we have gleamed from the word of God and then you know, we might preach in a Sunday and might bring out something of that truth and then three months later, we might say something very similar but in a different way. But it’s really the same content. And then, three months later we might take another piece of that first sermon and put it into another sermon. It’s not contradiction, it’s simply variety.

And the Apostle Paul evidently, there were some truths that were really important for him and that keep cropping up in his writings time and time again. And here, he’s speaking about one of the most important things that he stresses and that the Bible stresses as a whole, and that’s the unity of God’s people, the harmony that must exist among us, whether it is in a congregation or whether it is in the bigger picture of the church universal.

God calls us to be one family. And you remember that last week we talked about this God from whom all the families in the world, remember get their name. I don’t remember where exactly that is in the book of Ephesians, but you know, there is this idea of God, the Father, unifying us. Jesus bringing everybody together, Greeks and Romans and Jews and believers and … it is Jesus become sort of the unifying element of all of creation.

And if he is the unifying element of all creation, how much more so should he be the unifying element of the church, God’s people. You know, this is so important that we understand this because the Bible leads to think that the Holy Spirit will not manifest its blessing in a body, in a family of believers that is not united, in a family of believers where there is strife, secret resentments, things that are not being resolved, pickering, and in fighting and gossiping about each other, and criticism of each other and competition and unforgiveness, and manipulation and imposition of each other’s agendas and rights.

You know, that has an amazingly neutralizing effect on the blessing of God. And so, there’s a negative side which is that we should avoid at all costs disharmony and division in the body of Christ because it has a deadly effect on the blessing of God.

On the other hand, where there is unity, where there is love, where there is an effort to keep the unity of the body of Christ and to keep harmony, the blessing of God comes. You remember, that psalm, I think it’s psalm 127 maybe or 126, 133, ok, somewhere around there, 133. I got a feeling…. Where it says, “……behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together and then in the ends it says, because there God sends his blessing”.

That’s in the Old Testament, imagine this. There’s this idea of the unity and if you see the way that God spoke to the people of Israel time and time again about taking care of each other and not exploiting each other economically. You know, a Jew should lend money without taking interest, taking care of the weak and the poor and the widows. There was all this kind of stuff about the Jews to take care of each other and to bless each other because why? Because they inhabited a very hostile environment. They were surrounded by unbelief and so they need to stick together and besides that they had one Father, one common heritage.

I think believers retain that same call for similar reasons because we are surrounded by an unbelieving world. We are also surrounded by a hostile enemy who will give no quarter and will have no mercy upon us and we need to watch out for each other. We are like soldiers in a war, the bullets are whizzing by us and we are in a trench and we need to give each other the courage, we need to watch each other’s back and we need to complement each other’s eyes so that we can protect each other and preserve our lives.

In that same manner believers are called to exercise that same ethos, that same ethic of unity and closeness to each other. Besides that the Israelites had been called to give testimony to the unbelieving tribes around them about the superiority of life under Jave, under the one true, living God. They were called to show the light, to be a light on to the nations and to convict and convince the surrounding cultures of the beauty and the superiority of the revelation that they had received through their God by the quality of their life and by the way that they related to each other.

And it is the same way that we, as believers, are called to exercise the same kind of unity, that same kind of harmonious living because as the world sees the beauty of our relationship and the unity that is not possible out there, no matter how much men try to keep unity, it keeps falling apart time and time again. There has never been in the whole history of the world, more knowledge about diplomacy, about cultures and I would say, more respect also about the diversity of the human race in our time. Read all the books, you know, everything is an exultation of respect for different cultures and different ethnics groups, ethnicities and so on, and yet ironically, it is the time of most division and strife in the history of the world as well.

We thought that with the fall of the Iron Curtain so much would be resolved. You know, people spoke, oh the great opportunity for all this money that’s not going to have to be spent in missiles now to be used for social programs and for educational programs and all kinds of… they said, man, this is it! This is the millennium. Peace, finally, you know, everything is ok. The big, evil empire has been destroyed. Hey, there was another enemy just waiting around the corner: fundamentalism, terrorism. And look where we are, right back, facing an even worse enemy than before.

Why this ironic result? Because unity is not possible by using unifying elements that come from the mind of man, on the contrary what we have today is this clash of civilizations, with a book written by a Harvard historian, Samuel Huntington, about this idea that really the world now is divided along the lines of different cultures, different civilizations, different sort of clusters of civilizations and cultures and religions.

And as we attain to the unity that only Jesus Christ can make possible, it is an incredible apologetic, it is an incredible argument for the fact that, guau! I mean, this can only be possible because something supernatural is happening.

As I look at you here tonight in this relatively small group of people, I see Portorricans, and I see second generation Bostonians, and I see Anglos and Africans and you know, Dominicans and all kinds of different groups of people, Brazilians, and all kinds of different people here. I got it right, and Colombians and it is this beauty in different classes, different levels of socio economic level and academic attainment. You know, this kind of harmony, this kind of beauty is only possible because the spirit of God makes it possible.

And so, there’s this call time and time again in the Scripture to value that unity, to realize its huge importance and to defend it and cultivate it at all costs. You know, I’m not talking about some very kind of ethereal, poetic quality in the life of the church, I’m talking about something that’s very, very important, as important as holiness, as important as the gift of the spirit, as important as the gifts of healing or all kinds of other things.

Unity, the preservation of the unity of the body of Christ is so crucial. This is why Jesus in his priestly prayer of John 17, in his last moments on earth, before going to his crucifixion, the Apostle John led by the Holy Spirit gives us kind of a close up of Jesus alone, probably in a moment surrounded by darkness, praying for his followers that were to come, and for those that were already with him, saying, Father, make them one, enable them to be one. My prayer is not for them alone, those who are now with me, he says in John 17:20, I pray also for those who believe in me through their message.

He was looking centuries ahead, “…that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me”. Guau!

I mean, we could spend a lot of time just breaking up that passage: may they be one in the same way that you and in….. that level of intimacy, that level of mutual submission, or rather Jesus submitting to the Father but that enabled an intimacy to come about us. We submit to each other as Ephesians also says in chapter 5, later on. In that element of submission there’s unity, there is intimacy and then when that unity takes place in a body, when it is cultivated, when it is worked on, the world begins to believe.

What is one of the biggest obstacles when we preach the gospel to people out there, to unbelievers, particularly in this cynical time that we live in towards the church and towards Christianity? When are you guys going to get your act together? I mean, who am I going to believe, am I going to believe the Christian scientists, the Adventists, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Catholics, the Protestants and even the Protestants can’t get their act together because there’s so many of them, so many different denominations, and so many different groups and on, and on and on.

And then you look at history you see the religious wars of the 16th century…. I was in the Czech Republic years ago and I got to go to a museum in a small town that I was staying in, and I got to see some of the incredible weaponry that was developed during the 16th century in order for Christians to kill each other because of the religious wars. And the amazingly creative ways and violent, cruel ways that they designed these weapons to kill and mane and wound and destroy fellow believers in Christ, boggles the mind.

And we have that blood in our hands as a church. Jesus prayer still is waiting to be realized and I pray that it will be realized here among us as a body of believers. That we will overcome by the urgency and by the importance of the call of the word of God to cultivate a community that love each other, that bless each other, that support each other, that have patience with each other and that have tolerance for each other. It is a very, very difficult calling. It is not easy, but I hope that I have at least, helped to brand in your mind the concept of the importance and the urgency of unity in the Bible.

It is such a crucial, crucial element of the Christian life. Do not underestimate it because its blessings are huge and its negative consequences in its absence are also huge.

And this is why the Apostle Paul, he says here, you know, “…I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received, and then he develops that idea by saying, be completely humble, and gentle, be patient, bearing with one another in love, make every effort to keep the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace.”

In other words, look what he’s saying. He’s saying, all this stuff that I have spent time guided by the Holy Spirit, revealing to you about the nature of God’s actions in the church and in the universe, now demand that you life a life that is up to par, that is at the same level of that which has taken place.

And therefore, how do you live that? How do you carry out a life that is worthy of the sublime gospel that you have received? Well, by bearing with one another in love, by being completely humble and gentle and patient towards each other, by making every effort to keep the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace.

You know, he could have chosen a lot of ways of illustrating how we can live the Christian life at the level of what God has done to call forth his church in the universe and the first thing that comes to his mind, inspired by the Holy Spirit is the way to do that, is by living in unity with each other and by reflecting the character of Christ towards each other. That’s a powerful thing because it gives you the level of importance that this has.

And why is this so important? Because, I tell you, if we can learn to relate to each other in the way that that passage describes, then that means that there’s a whole lot of other things that will have been attained in the process, that are also part of the Christian life. And the power, the beauty, the quality, the sublimity of the Christian life is measured by how well we project and manifest the character of Jesus Christ, the fruit of the spirit.

You know, it is not so much the power that you have, the faith that you have, the knowledge of the Bible that you have, the charisma that you have, the energy that you exude, the money that you give for the furtherance of the gospel, how many people you convert. That’s not really what impresses God, that’s not what leads to blessing, that’s not what leads to powerful ministry, lasting ministry, effective transforming ministry. It’s none of that.

The Apostle Paul again inspired by the Holy Spirit in First Corinthians 13 took care of that. When he said, you know, if I had all the faith in the world in such a way that I cast mountains into the see, and if I have such generosity of heart that I give my body to be burnt up for people, and I give up all my money to others, and none of that is fueled and inspired by all consuming love, then whatever I do is of no worth and it doesn’t impress God at all, and it’s as if I had done nothing, because it is love which is the sum total of all the other qualities that make it up, which are the qualities of the fruit of the spirit that we see in Galatians, chapter 5 that really enables anything that we do to really make sense in the light of the gospel.

And so, when Paul calls us here in Ephesians, chapter 4 to be completely humble and gentle, patient, bearing with one another, what is he talking about? He’s talking about the fruit of the spirit. He’s talking about the character of Christ. He’s talking about those qualities that we need to make an effort to cultivate with the power and the grace of the Holy Spirit.

Only a church, a community made up of individuals that have been submitted to the process that creates godly character can dwell in harmony. A church that is made up of people whose flesh has not been crucified, whose character has not been submitted to God, whose wounds have not been healed and treated by the Holy Spirit, who have not been submitted to the breaking influence of the spirit as he takes us and scans us, and makes a diagnosis of what our needs, our wounds, our defects, our deformations of life, and then comes out with a treatment plan for the next 30, 50 years of your life, and says, I’m going to submit you now with your permission and your desire to a process to conform to the image of my Son. I’m going to take all the blemishes, all the distortions, all the twists, all the knots, all the deformations and I’m going to treat them one by one and I’m going to turn you slowly from a biological, earthly bound creature, to a spiritual, minded, other worldly, angelic being almost, through a process of work and treatment, breaking, suffering, blessing, learning, relationship and I’m going slowly turn you more and more into the image of my Son, Jesus Christ.

Only churches, only communities, only families that are made up of individuals that have allowed themselves to be treated thusly will be able to manifest that unity that is being spoken about here. It is the only way that we are going to produce that gentleness, that patience, that humility, that forbearance that we need to have towards each other.

So, if we allow that to take place, you see, that unity will simply be the byproduct, the result of a process whereby our character will be shaped and formed according to the values of the Kingdom of God. And this is what we need to aspire, my brothers and sisters. You know, our life, our Christian life should be a one big desire to be made more and more like Christ because in doing so we will be able to lose all those edges, all those sharp parts of ourselves that lead to conflict with our brothers and sisters.

What does the Apostle James say? Where did the wars come from in you? you remember that passage? Let me see if I can find it very quickly here. If somebody finds it even sooner, that’s even better for me.

“….What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask you do not receive because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures….”.

And then in verse 7 it says “… submit yourselves then to God…” so that’s how we can be made in such a way that then we can have the kind of character that enables harmony to take place.

“…Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners and purify your hearts, you double minded. Grieve, mourn and wail, change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will lift you up….”

And here it says, “…. Brothers do not slander one another, anyone who speaks against his brother or judges and speaks against the law and judges it,…..” on and on.

You see that the Apostle James’ mind is dwelling precisely on the relationship of brothers and sisters among themselves. And there’s a connection being made by the Holy Spirit that the conflicts that take place in the church of Jesus Christ are the result of those areas inside of us, those carnal impulses and areas of our lives that have not been allowed to be treated by the Holy Spirit of God.

And so, we need to understand that that unity which we are seeking, that unity which is all important in the Christian life needs to come as a result of our allowing ourselves to be treated and to be broken and shaped by the Holy Spirit. That is so important. It is so important that we live a life as open…. Lord.

Just be completely transparent, be humble, be honest with the Holy Spirit, be honest with your brothers and sisters, admit your flaws, admit your defects, confess, ask for prayer, seek forgiveness and say, Father, I want to be completely shaped by you that I may be a source of harmony and blessing when I move among my brothers and sisters, when I move at home, when I move in my marriage, when I move with my relationship with my friends and my colleagues at work. Be completely humble and gentle.

I don’t have time and I’m going to close up in a couple of minutes to exegete each of those qualities: be humble, gentle, patient, forbearing, that was the word that was used in the King James, bearing with one another in love.

In verse 3 it says, “… make every effort to keep the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace”. As I’ve said before, unity does not come spontaneously. Unity, harmony doesn’t happen by sort of spontaneous generation, just because…. You know, we get along great and that’s it. No, unity is always, particularly in a diverse group of people, the product of individuals making every effort.

In the Greek original, as I understand, the suggestion is “great effort, extreme effort to bring about something”. You know, the Holy Spirit will do his part but there’s a part that only we can do and it is make every effort to keep that unity.

You know, just today for example, I want to commend Greg, he called me this morning at home. We had an activity here in the morning that was sponsored by the Fellowship of Latino Pastors in New England and we had an activity here in the church and that meant you know, different churches, leaders from different Latino churches coming to hear a panel of speakers reflect on the subject of pastoral excellence and so on.

Well, Greg called me because he didn’t know until the last minute that this activity was taking place, because of his work with discipling and cell ministries and all kinds of other stuff. He had convened a gathering of leaders from our congregation on third floor on that same day and he was concerned about the fact that they could have been here and benefited a lot from this very same activity, but he was going to have a parallel apparently competing activity on the third floor. And so he called me to clarify, you know, and to seek my opinion as to whether I thought it was ok to have that activity parallel to this one. And you know just to communicate that he wasn’t aware until the last minute and if he would have known with enough time he could have planned to have them here.

Now, why do I mention that? Because many times harmony doesn’t come necessarily from being remedial and solving a problem or a conflict that took place and forgiving somebody or asking for forgiveness, or correcting a wrong. Sometimes, unity is sustained by our being preventive and by being so attentive to unity and harmony that we sort of foresee how our brother or sister may think in the light of an action that we are going to take, and we are ready to explain and to share our motives and to forestall and avoid any kind of unnecessary conflict or wound in the heart of our brother or sister, so that we are attentive. You see, we’re diligent about protecting the peace and the unity of the body.

And that’s so important my brothers and sisters, see because many times we’re thinking just in the defensive, ok, he did something to me so I have to forgive him. I did something to him, so I have to ask for forgiveness and all this stuff.

You know, when we are careful and attentive to unity, we will always be seeking out any situation that may contaminate my relations with my brothers and sisters and I will seek it out with vengeance and I will eliminate is as soon as possible. If I see anything that’s wrong in my relationship I’m going to go after that, I’m going to destroy it as soon as possible, because it is this idea, make every effort.

It is such an important value that we determine to protect it at all costs because God is pleased with it, God is blessed. And that requires humility. He doesn’t have to do that, I mean, he could say, well, that’s tough luck, you know, nobody told me about it. Let them find out what happened and so. It requires humility and meekness to come to somebody that you don’t really have to give him the time of day, you don’t need them, and to say brother, you know, I wont be able to attend your invitation because of this and this and that. Or, you know, forgive me, I passed you and then three minutes later I realize that I didn’t say hello to you so, I’m coming back to say, hi, how are you doing? I was just, my mind was some place else….

You know, it’s that attentiveness to keeping good relationships with people. That works in married life, it works with your children, it works with your friends, it works in the work place, it works with your neighbors. Make every effort to keep the unity of the spirit.

So, I pray tonight that there’s so much more that we can glean out of this passage and maybe I’ll come back to it in my next intervention. But tonight I want to encourage you and I to revisit that call of the Holy Spirit to make every effort to keep the unity of the body. That unity of the body will always take place in a context of diversity and variety. That’s the whole thrust of the rest of the Apostle Paul’s meditation.

In this kind of variety, diversity of people who are here. By the way, I welcome my two brothers who just walked in, God bless you. I’m so glad to have you tonight. Welcome.

You know, it is in that context of diversity and of difficulty and of threat to unity t… tendency of the universe is toward chaos. That’s very well stated in one of the laws of physics. This tendency to greater disorder, to greater inertia, the stopping of things. That’s the natural course of the universe, this sinful fallen world is toward conflict. That is the consequence of the fall: conflict, competition, criticism, infighting.

We are a counter cultural people. We don’t live according to, necessarily we are submitted to the laws of the universe of course, but in Christ we are called to live in a higher plain, in a higher order. And so we counteract the natural tendency of the world and of human relationships to conflict and chaos, and deterioration as happens in the world.

You know, as friendship grow older and older, they grow more sameness and you know, monotonous. They go towards silence and separation. As believers it should be the opposite. As we get to know each other, as we interact with each other, rather than wearing out each other’s patience and tolerance for each other, and sort of familiarity breathing contempt, it should be the very opposite. It should lead to greater harmony, greater love, greater intimacy, more friendship, more honesty, more transparency, more brotherhood, sisterhood.

That is the call of the spirit. That is the mark of the presence of God in a community. May that be the distinguishing mark of whatever group we inhabit, whatever unit we may be a part of, particularly of this church, this community that is emerging now. May the Lord give us that grace, that wisdom, that self control, that power to live as members of one family, one God, Father, one spirit, one Jesus Christ, the Son, unifying in one faith and one baptism, one lordship, one confession.

Father, we release your word back to you. You have allowed us to handle it for a while and we do so with such reverence, Father, with such fear and trembling, because it is such a high privilege and your word has entered our lives and it has left its sediment within tonight. We want to treasure that. We want to hold on to it, Lord. We want to hold on to its message as it reverberates inside of us. We want you to seal your call to be an instrument of unity and harmony in this world that is so characterized by the very opposite. Enable us to glorify that Jesus Christ, to glorify that Father, that spirit of God which is so wonderful by living lives that speak to the harmony and the beauty and the oneness that there is in your kingdom.

I bless each of my brothers and sisters here tonight. Father any of us who are entangled in relationships that are conflictive or any area of resentment in our lives or any kind of attitude in our temperament that makes us a source of conflict in our relationships right now, Father, we release that to you and we pray for the infilling of your Holy Spirit, the specific treatment of your Holy Spirit in that area of our lives. We want to be like Jesus. We want to be like you, Lord Jesus Christ. We bless you tonight. We pray for your peace in our families, our churches, our city, our neighborhoods, our places of work and may the world be a little bit more harmonious because we are in it. We thank you for your word, Father. It will return to you but it will have done its work because it never returns to you void. And we bless you for that. We honor your tonight Holy Spirit, and we honor your word in Jesus precious name we pray. Amen. Amen.

God bless you my brothers and sisters.


Sermon delivered by Dr. Roberto Miranda taped December 2, 2006 at Congregation Lion of Judah Listen | View (100K) | View (400K)

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