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. These posts will run in conjunction with the sermon series and help you study God’s Word on your own throughout the summer. In case you missed it, here are the previous three posts in this series:
Ephesians 1:3-14 Study Questions Part 3
- Take a moment to pray. Praise God for His Word and ask Him to teach you its truth, just as the psalmist prayed in Psalm 119:12-16, “Praise be to You, O Lord; teach me Your decrees. With my lips I recount all the laws that come from Your mouth. I rejoice in following Your statutes as one rejoices in great riches. I meditate on Your precepts and consider Your ways. I delight in Your decrees; I will not neglect Your Word.”
- Read Ephesians 1:3-14
- In Ephesians 1:3, we are said to have been “blessed in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.” The remainder of this section enumerates many of those blessings. Take a moment to write down all the specific ways we are blessed according to this section.
- One of the blessings mentioned is that we are made “holy and blameless” in Christ (vs. 4). Given what you know of yourself and other people who are “in Christ” how radical is this statement? How do you reconcile the fact that Christians do not live perfect lives, yet are declared “holy and blameless” by God? If you need further help, read 2 Corinthians 5:2 and Colossians 2:13-15 (among other New Testament passages.)
- Another blessing mentioned is that we received “redemption through His blood (vs. 7).” Redemption is a word that speaks of our deliverance from something . . . in this context namely sin. Our freedom from sin is purchased through the blood of Jesus. In what way are Christians free from sin? If you need further help, read Romans 6:1-23.
- Yet another blessing we receive in Christ is that we get to know the “mystery of His will (vs 9-10).” Mysteries in the Bible are things that would not be known by humanity if God had not revealed them to us. The idea is that people who are living today, who are “in Christ” understand a part of the cosmic story of God’s relationship with the earth that others who have lived in other generations or who do not know Christ simply do not understand. Based on the context of these verses, what is the “mystery” that those “In Christ” get to know about?
- A final blessing is mentioned in 1:13-14, and that is the “guarantee” of our salvation. The Greek word here translated “guarantee” is the word “arabon.” This word was used frequently in ancient Greek writings talking about business transactions. It was somewhat of a downpayment. If I were to agree to purchase your house, I might give you something valuable of mine (like my son, or the deed to my families land) as a guarantee that I would eventually make full payment for the purchase. In other words, if I defaulted on that payment, you would get to keep the guarantee I gave you. What is the “arabon” that God has given to those “in Christ” showing His intent to secure our eternal salvation/inheritance?
- Who does the Holy Spirit “seal” and when does the Holy Spirit seal them according to 1:13-14? What does this tell you about the presence of the Holy Spirit in the lives of Christians everywhere? What does this tell you about the presence of the Holy Spirit in your life?
- Of the spiritual blessings mentioned in this week’s study, which are most impactful for you today?
- Why do you think it is important for us to examine the blessings God has already packed into our lives? Why is it so easy for us to forget/not believe that we are really blessed in these ways?