How did my new understanding of reconciliation help this week?
How did I share that with someone this week?
The theme of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is found in the phrase “in Christ.”
Theme verses: 2:8–10
Ephesians 2:8-10 (HCSB)
8 For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God's gift— 9 not from works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are His creation—created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.
How many times do I find that phrase (“in Christ”) in Ephesians (or similar phrases, i.e. “in Him”)?
What is Paul trying to say by this emphasis?
Ephesians 4:20-24 (HCSB)
20 But that is not how you learned about the Messiah, 21 assuming you heard Him and were taught by Him, because the truth is in Jesus: 22 you took off your former way of life, the old man that is corrupted by deceitful desires; 23 you are being renewed in the spirit of your minds; 24 you put on the new man, the one created according to God's [likeness] in righteousness and purity of the truth.
In these verses Paul contrasts the “old” and the “new”.
What stands out in these verses for you?
What is that new self like?
What does it mean to “put on the new self”?
Ephesians 4:25-32 (HCSB)
25 Since you put away lying, Speak the truth, each one to his neighbor, because we are members of one another. 26 Be angry and do not sin. Don't let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and don't give the Devil an opportunity. 28 The thief must no longer steal. Instead, he must do honest work with his own hands, so that he has something to share with anyone in need. 29 No rotten talk should come from your mouth, but only what is good for the building up of someone in need, in order to give grace to those who hear. 30 And don't grieve God's Holy Spirit, who sealed you for the day of redemption. 31 All bitterness, anger and wrath, insult and slander must be removed from you, along with all wickedness. 32 And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ.
Paul addresses specific issues that affect Christians in their walk “in Christ.” Notice that these are in relationship to other Christians.
What are some of these issues?
What is the connection between talking and relationships (v. 29)?
How do I grieve the Holy Spirit?
Ephesians 4:32 is the key verse. What stands out for me in this verse?
What is the hardest part for me?
What is the key point in beginning or restoring relationships?
How can Ephesians 4:32 help me?
Am I putting on the new self in Christ?
Do I look at relationships as flowing out of my reconciled life?
Purpose: How are my relationships with others? Spouse? Children? Parents? Siblings?
Paul addresses these areas in Ephesians 5:22–33, and 6:1–4 and flow out of this text.
What does Romans 12:19 say to me about our life together at our congregation?
About relationships with others in the Church? Outside the Church?