Beginning this Sunday at Wildwood Community Church in Norman, I will be preaching a 12 part sermon series out of the book of Ephesians called “Packed.” Here, throughout the summer, I will be posting bible study prompts, devotionals, and group discussion questions to my blog related to the passage we are studying that week. A few thoughts:
- If you are looking for a Bible Study tool to help you study God’s Word on your own this summer, this blog could be a helpful resource for you. I will be posting bible study prompts and devotionals several times each week related to the passage I will be preaching on that Sunday. Check back often or subscribe to this blog to receive the posts in your email inbox (you can subscribe to this blog by clicking the subscription button found in the footer of this webpage on the far left.)
- If you are not going to be in Norman, this study could still be valuable for you. In addition to the study questions posted here, I will also be posting video of the previous Sunday’s sermon so you can keep in the loop.
- If you are so inclined, you can gather with some friends to further the conversation about the great truth in Ephesians by utilizing the discussion questions I will post each Sunday related to the message. Your “small group” could be your family, friends, or an existing group you currently are a part of.
The hope in all this is that we all grow in our relationship with God this summer. I hope these resources are helpful!
That said, here is the first installment of the study questions related to this week’s verses:
Ephesians 1:3-6 Study Questions
- As you pray for your study today, ask God to use His Word in your life as the writer of Hebrews prayed in Hebrews 13:20-21: “May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing His will, and may He work in us what is pleasing to Him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.”
- Read Ephesians 1:3-6
- STUDY NOTE: In the original language (Ephesians was originally written in Greek) verses 3-14 are one long sentence! In fact, this sentence is considered by some scholars to be one of the most complex in the entire New Testament. The sentence is a long flowing statement of praise to God for the many ways He has blessed those who believe in Jesus.
- 1:3 begins with a call for God to be “Blessed.” The word “Blessed” carries with it the idea of “speaking highly about another.” According to what you see in 1:3 why would Christians be motivated to “speak highly” of God?
- What is the basis for the blessing of God according to 1:3? (In other words, “in whom” is the blessing of God found?)
- STUDY NOTE: Notice that 9 times in Ephesians 1:1-14, and 36 times in the book of Ephesians, the Apostle Paul mentions that the believer’s source of life and blessing is found “in Christ.” Their physical setting may have been in Ephesus, but their spiritual setting is found in Christ. Ephesus was a wealthy city – a leader in the ancient banking world. No doubt living in their physical setting made them rich materially (much like being an American today has led to our material abundance). Paul wanted to begin this letter to this wealthy church reminding them that they are not just rich materially but spiritually! And they are not blessed spiritually because they are in Ephesus, but because they are “in Christ”!
- Paul lets us know that we are blessed with “every blessing.” He gives two modifiers of that blessing, however. He says that these blessings are “spiritual” and that they are found “in the heavenly places.” To the best of your understanding, what do you think it means to have “every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places”?
- Throughout this section of Ephesians, God is seen as a God who blesses His people. This is common vernacular to Christians, but not to all people. In Ancient Greek writings, the phrase “blesses” is never used of the Greek god Zeus. Their gods were not gods who blessed their people, they were gods who demanded things from their people. The Greek gods were receivers not givers. However, the true God – the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ – He is a God who blesses us! He is a God who gives. In the Old Testament alone there are over 400 different statements of God blessing His people. We know the God who blesses. What is your current understanding of God’s character? Do you think of God as a receiver who we must perform for, or as a giver who loves to bless us?