Eph. 4:15-16 – “Growing in Christ” Sun. Jan. 7th 2018 – Pastor Stephan Sermon Outline I. Bethel 3.0 will be a Journey of Discovery in Growing Deeper and Growing Freer. II. Growing in Christ is the Hope and Joy of all Genuine Disciples of Jesus (Eph. 4:15-16). A. Believers are not interested in a façade, but seek truth, i.e. authenticity and vulnerability, in love (vs. 15a). B. Growth in Christ requires loving vertical and horizontal relationships (vs. 15b). C. Spiritual growth occurs in communion with believers and is Christo-centric (vs. 16). III. The Christian Life is a Continuous, Passionate and Communal Pursuit of Christ. Questions for Study and Reflection 1. What words come to mind when you think of a plant or a physical human body growing? When and how have you experienced that kind of growth personally? 2. Read Eph. 4:15-16. What contrast is Paul drawing with the very first word, i.e. “instead”? 3. Does the thought of growing in Christ excite you? frighten you? bore you? What is the alternative to growing in Christ? 4. Is there a tension in the words, “speaking the truth in love”? What makes this difficult some times? Do you have difficulty getting the correct balance? How can that balance be attained? What practical steps need to take place to ensure that we “get it right”? 5. Do you agree with points II and its subpoints? Why or why not? 6. Reflect upon vs. 16 and specifically the analogy Paul makes with the body. What happens when parts grow at different speeds? What does that mean in terms of our responsibility to the other members of the body at Bethel? What is your role in this? 7. Reflect on how you are personally doing in terms of the Growing Deeper! Growing Freer! points on the reverse. What are you going to do this year to grow?