Thabiti Anyabwile on Ephesians 4:1-16January 18, 2007
For this week’s Workman Watch its Thabiti Anywabwile. This sermon was preached on October 26th 2006, and I especially selected it as it includes some important teaching on the church. Take time, if you can, to listen to the sermon and compare notes.
By the way, I couldn’t find a picture of Thabiti big enough to post – so instead here’s a snap of a beach in the Caymen Islands where he ministers. Thabiti, if you ever need pulpit supply you know where to find me!
What was the opening sentence? “Have you ever applied for a job you thought sounded really great; really excited about it, right down your alley?”
What was the introduction about? Spoke about the importance of job descriptions in the corporate world of society, but just as much in the corporate world of the church. It raised the question, “what is our job as a member of the gathering of Christ?”
What was the structure?
1. As Christians we are called to preserve the unity of the church
2. As Christians we are calledto serve the church until she is mature
Conclusion – an evaluation (how are we doing on these two points?)
– are we completely humble? (v 2)
– are we completely gentle? (v 2)
– are we making every effort to maintain unity? (v 3)
– are you maturing (v 13,14)
What was the main point? The main responsibilities of every church member is to preserve unity in, and serve the body of Christ.
What illustrations were used? An opening illustration about applying for a job, which immediately engaged the congregation’s experience. The brief illustration: are you a porcupine Christian (on the point of gentleness) was very memorable.
What were the applications? Two general applications about unity and service, and a some pointed challenges at the end about applying humility and gentleness.
What aspects of the preacher’s style did you find helpful? One of the aspects that most stuck out was Thabiti’s dialogical style. He very naturally converses with the audience, constantly asking questions, and responding to them. On several occaions he raised the very question that had popped into my head. I also appreciated the sermon structure: a slightly unusual but effective approach of dealing with the general trends of the text first, before having an extended conclusion which came back to several pointed specifics. Finally,
What will you remember a week from now? Thabiti’s contention that the main way provided in the NT for the growth of a Christian is through service in the Christian community. That while quiet times are no where commanded in the bible as essential to our Christian growth, all across the NT especially, service is commended.
What is one thing that you will incorporate into your own preaching after listening to this sermon? I learned so much, its hard to choose. I guess the way Thabiti included non-Christians in what was primarily a sermon aimed at Christians was most exemplary. For example, in the middle of the first point about unity, several minutes were taken to explore a non-churched person’s perspective on the lack of unity in the contemporary church. The common objections were raised and dealt with.