I am currently preaching a sermon series on Sunday mornings at Wildwood Community Church called “Packed” – based out of Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians. During this series, I am using my blog to post study prompts, devotionals, sermon audio/video, and discussion questions to help facilitate personal or group study of this book. NOTE: At the bottom of this post, I have a set of links to previous resources in this series.
Ephesians 2:1-10 – Study Prompts #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 2:1-10
- Ephesians 2:8-9 are two of the most memorized verses in the New Testament (for good reason). In just a few words, Paul answers one of the fundamental questions of humanity . . . “what must we DO to be saved?” In your own words, how would you describe how Paul answers this question?
- According to this passage, we are saved “by grace.” The word “grace” means “an undeserved gift.” By stating that we are saved by grace, Paul is declaring that our salvation is nothing we earn, but is something given to us. What is your attitude/understanding of “salvation as a gift and not something that we earn.” Is this a concept you currently embrace, or is it new to you? When did you come to understand that our eternal hope was nothing we could earn, but could only be given to us by God?
- Like any gift that is given, in order for the recipient of the gift to experience its blessing, the gift must be received and opened. Receiving and opening the gift of salvation in Christ is something that is done “through faith.” Faith is believing in something to the point that you would act on it (see James 1-2 if you need more vivid biblical detail on the definition of faith.) What does it mean to place your faith in the gracious gift of salvation offered in Christ? Have you ever placed your faith in Jesus work on the cross as the sole payment for the forgiveness of your sins? If you have not, what is keeping you from opening and receiving God’s great gift of salvation?
- Salvation is truly a gift that God has given us, therefore, our salvation should not make us spiritually prideful. We are not saved because we are better than others, or because we are spiritually smarter than others, or because we are from the right country/family/ethnicity, or because we earned it through our hard work. If salvation was about our identity or achievement, then we might be tempted to boast, but it is not! Salvation is a gift from God, therefore, we cannot boast about our salvation. What are some ways you (or others around you) are tempted to be spiritually prideful about the gift we have received in Christ? How does this passage keep you humble and grateful before God?
- Rather than the Christian life being about the work we do for God, Paul says that we are in fact God’s “workmanship.” This word (2:10) could just as easily be translated God’s “masterpiece.” We are God’s work of art, especially crafted by Him for His good purpose. Specifically, we are called to walk (or live out) the works that God has prepared for us. This indicates that God has a purpose for our lives today. Do you live each day with a sense of destiny; knowing that God has prepared that day for you to live, follow Him, and make a difference for His kingdom? How would beginning each day with this reminder change the way you live this week?
- Of this passage, John Stott said, “What Paul does in this passage is to paint a vivid contrast between what man is by nature and what he can become by grace.” What is the lasting impact this passage (2:1-10) has on your understanding of humanity? Of God? Of salvation?
For more resources related to this study of Ephesians click on the following links:
- Packed – Series Introduction
- Eph. 1:3-14 (Study Prompts #1)
- Eph. 1:3-14 (Study Prompts #2)
- Eph. 1:3-14 (Study Prompts #3)
- The “In Crowd” (Devotional/Sermon Preview)
- Packed Sermon Discussion Questions
- Packed #1 Sermon Audio/Video
- Eph. 1:15-23 (Study Prompts #1)
- Eph. 1:15-23 (Study Prompts #2)
- Eph. 1:15-23 (Study Prompts #3)
- It’s a Wonderful Christian Life (Devotional)
- Packed #2 Sermon Discussion Questions
- Packed #2 Sermon Audio/Video
- Eph. 2:1-10 (Study Prompts #1)
- Eph. 2:1-10 (Study Prompts #2)