Sunnyside Church of the Nazarene
Sunday January 31
  • Song
  • Let The Praises Ring
  • Friend Of God
  • Who You Say I Am
  • Good Good Father
  • Open Bibles to Eph. 2, and 2 Tim. 3.
    Next Sunday we’ll start making our way through the letter to the Ephesians. This morning, however, I want to introduce the upcoming classes -
    Artiōs Class
    Begins Feb 13. 10am at Sunnyside & Zoom
    (please let me know if you are attending - handouts for you). I'll explain what artiōs means later, but right now I want to answer two questions: What are these classes and who should attend.
    Curious - have you ever asked, wondered or struggled with or known someone who has with any of the following questions or similar?
    × Who am I? Especially when you strip everything away - career, money, title, position, relationships etc. Who am I?
    × Why do I do the things that I do? Why am I _____ - this way? E.g. - why is it hard for me to make a decision in tell people what I want?
    × Why does he or she think that way or behave that way? How can they think that way? Why is that person always …?
    × How come people don't see the world the way that I do?
    × What are my strengths? What do I have to offer? What do I bring to the table?
    × Where can I serve and make a difference? What can I do?
    × Now this next one seems to be unrelated, but it is very related. Ever wonder what it really means to love God with all your heart, soul, and mind and to love your neighbor as yourself?
    We could go on, but I’m certain all of us have asked those types of questions. In my life and in conversations I’m having with others, I am discovering that a lot of people are asking those questions. And what I’m discovering is that
    People are asking questions that are centered around three critical life issues: Identity, Strengths and Service.
    What does that mean?
    1) Identity: Called to Know.
    See, people are asking, “Who am I.” Young and old, Christian and non-Christian,
    People are searching for identity.
    Talk about a pandemic - people are either searching really hard or giving up. This lack of knowing our identity is a global problem - specifically, the lack of knowing and embracing our identity in Christ. This issue of identity is a serious issue. So much hinges on identity. This lack of identity, I believe is at the root of nearly every relational disorder or problem we face. We can trace almost all of our personal problems and our social problems to the issue of identity.
    God calls us to know who we are. So, these classes are designed to help us discover our identity in Christ. For some, it’s about increasing our knowledge of who we are in Christ.
    2) Strengths: Called to Be.
    Now, the focus here is more on
    Personal design - how each person is wired. Recognizing, appreciating, and understanding how God has designed each one of us.
    We’ll talk about what is at the root of our personality, what are the strengths of how we’re wired and how do we manage our wiring, and even expose the good, the bad and the ugly.
    So this class is all about design - about
    Not only will we discover a lot about ourselves, but also will discover a lot about other people and how they are wired. And ultimately this will help us love our neighbor as ourselves.
    3) Service: Called to Do.
    Once we know our identity in Christ and how we’re wired and how others are wired, what do we do? What do we do with what we’ve been given? We’ll
    Exploration of how can we best serve and love others according to our design.
    What’s my place in the world? In the Body of Christ?
    So, we’re going to explore Identity, Strengths and Service over a 3-to-4-month timeframe - this is a journey - I’m not the guru - I’m on the journey with you. It’s one class each month with a little bit of homework in between that's designed to further the learning - to take the information from the head to the heart and into how we live .
    Ephesians 2:10. Now the context of Ephesians 2 is about becoming alive in Christ. In our sins we were dead, but God, who is rich in love and mercy made us alive through Christ. So the context is about salvation, but understand salvation is so much more than merely skipping hell and going to heaven. Salvation is so much more than attending church.
    Salvation is about new life and a new way of living and having a new purpose in this world.
    That's the context.
    Ephesians 2:10 ESV
    For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
    This is one of the key verses for my classes. In this verse we find an allusion to Identity, Strengths, and Service. How so?
    We are what? God's workmanship - His creation
    - created in Christ Jesus. That's all about identity. If we don’t know who we are in Him we’re going to struggle in life, in relationships, in marriage, in career, in ….
    How well do you know your identity in Christ?
    We were created for what? Good works.
    Good means beneficial. We were created -
    We were designed to do that which is beneficial to others.
    This is about our design and strengths and spiritual gifts which God has given us.
    How well do you know your design, strengths, and spiritual gifts that God has given you?
    How self-aware are you of the good and the not-so-good and how it effects other people?
    What should we do with our strengths - our design? Walk in them.
    To “walk in” means to live - this is about conduct and behavior. This is about everyday living.
    Because of our identity in Christ and because God has designed us with certain personalities, strengths, and gifts, He expects us to conduct our lives accordingly. Each person has been designed to do Kingdom work - to do work that is beneficial to others - and ultimately that enables people to come to a saving relationship with Jesus Christ.
    Titus 2:13–14 ESV
    waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.
    It’s critical that each follower of Jesus Christ understand who they are, what they’ve been given and what to do with it. Identity, strengths, service.
    So what is this word artiōs? Flip over to 2 Tim. 3:16.
    2 Timothy 3:16–17 ESV
    All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
    Artiōs means complete. This is our mission - or maybe it’s just mine - helping people reach their potential in Christ - reaching their artios - their completeness in Him.
    Being complete (artiōs) means being well fitted for a function or purpose or being capable or proficient or able to meet the demands of the task.
    God has given us an identity. He has given us strengths and spiritual gifts. He has a place for us to do Kingdom work, and according to this verse He has promised that through His Word, we can be fully capable, fully equipped, fully proficient - artiōs - to be who He has called us to be and to do what He has called us to do.
    If God has a good work for you to do, and He does, then God has equipped you for that good work, or He will lead you to become equipped for that good work.
    So let me ask you, do you really know your identity in Christ? Do you really know how you were designed and how other people are designed? Do you really know the good works to which God has called you to do? And if so, are you doing it?
    One more verse:
    Ephesians 4:11–12 ESV
    And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,
    What is ministry? Good works - that which is beneficial to others.
    Every Christian, every saint is called to ministry. And every saint can be equipped for the ministry to which they have been called.
    “To equip” - katartismos in Greek. The root word? Any guesses? Artiōs. God provided apostles and evangelists and pastors to help bring His saints to completion - to help perfect or to make adequate.
    So let me ask you something - why would God tell us that we can become complete, capable, and adequate if it were not so? Why would God tell us that through the assistance of apostles and teachers and pastors etc. and through His Word that we can become artiōs - complete and equipped for Kingdom work if it were not so?
    So, who should attend these classes?
    Some questions to walk away with:
    Do I really know who I am in Christ?
    Do I really know how I’m designed?
    Do I really know my strengths and gifts and how to use them for the benefit of others?
    Do I really know where to serve in the Kingdom? Do I even want to?
    Feb 13 - 10am.
      • Ephesians 2:10ESV

      • Titus 2:13–14NLT

      • 2 Timothy 3:16–17ESV

      • Ephesians 4:11–12ESV

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