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SERMONS

The body and the Head (Ephesians 4:1-16, Psalm 68:1-19)

Christine Williams, 20th November 2022
Part of the Church series, preached at a Sunday Morning service

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Ephesians 4:1–16 (Listen)

4:1 I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore it says,

  “When he ascended on high he led a host of captives,
    and he gave gifts to men.”

(In saying, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth? 10 He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.) 11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 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, 14 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. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 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.

(ESV)

Psalm 68:1–19 (Listen)

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David. A Song.

68:1   God shall arise, his enemies shall be scattered;
    and those who hate him shall flee before him!
  As smoke is driven away, so you shall drive them away;
    as wax melts before fire,
    so the wicked shall perish before God!
  But the righteous shall be glad;
    they shall exult before God;
    they shall be jubilant with joy!
  Sing to God, sing praises to his name;
    lift up a song to him who rides through the deserts;
  his name is the LORD;
    exult before him!
  Father of the fatherless and protector of widows
    is God in his holy habitation.
  God settles the solitary in a home;
    he leads out the prisoners to prosperity,
    but the rebellious dwell in a parched land.
  O God, when you went out before your people,
    when you marched through the wilderness, Selah
  the earth quaked, the heavens poured down rain,
    before God, the One of Sinai,
    before God, the God of Israel.
  Rain in abundance, O God, you shed abroad;
    you restored your inheritance as it languished;
10   your flock found a dwelling in it;
    in your goodness, O God, you provided for the needy.
11   The Lord gives the word;
    the women who announce the news are a great host:
12     “The kings of the armies—they flee, they flee!”
  The women at home divide the spoil—
13     though you men lie among the sheepfolds—
  the wings of a dove covered with silver,
    its pinions with shimmering gold.
14   When the Almighty scatters kings there,
    let snow fall on Zalmon.
15   O mountain of God, mountain of Bashan;
    O many-peaked mountain, mountain of Bashan!
16   Why do you look with hatred, O many-peaked mountain,
    at the mount that God desired for his abode,
    yes, where the LORD will dwell forever?
17   The chariots of God are twice ten thousand,
    thousands upon thousands;
    the Lord is among them; Sinai is now in the sanctuary.
18   You ascended on high,
    leading a host of captives in your train
    and receiving gifts among men,
  even among the rebellious, that the LORD God may dwell there.
19   Blessed be the Lord,
    who daily bears us up;
    God is our salvation. Selah

(ESV)