Packed ongoing.001

 

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 4:1-16 – Study Prompts #2

  1. As you prepare your heart for study, know that God desires to reveal Himself to you, and He has given you His Holy Spirit to guide you into truth.  Before you open in prayer, consider Jeremiah 9:23-24.  “This is what the Lord declares: ‘Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,’ declares the Lord.”  Pray for this understanding and knowledge of God with the Holy Spirit as your guide.
  2. Read Ephesians 4:1-16
  3. Biblical scholars have often called Ephesians 4:1-16 one of the strongest sections of the New Testament teaching about unity.  That this passage is about unity is clearly seen in 4:4-6 where the word “one” is repeated seven times identifying seven “unifiers” in the church.  Make a quick list of the seven “ones” in the space below.
  4. According to Ephesians 4:4, the church is united in “one body.”  The Ephesians (like many of us) would have been tempted to divide into various camps (namely Jew/Gentile), but Paul was reminding them of the shared identity they had in Christ.  Think of the church you currently attend.  In what way does your church do well at unifying as one body?  In what ways does it struggle?
  5. In Ephesians 1:13, 2:22, and 3:16, Paul reminds the Ephesians that the Holy Spirit is present and active in their lives.  In 4:4, they are reminded that this Spirit is “one.”  In what way does understanding this help facilitate unity in church?
  6. Paul continues and reminds them of a singular “hope” that they are called to (4:4).  To the best of your understanding, what is the believer’s hope for the future?  In what way will this hope be shared between all who are in Christ?
  7. Imagine a parade.  All who participate in a parade are following the same “leader.”  The leader of the parade marks the path and everyone follows.  Jesus is said to be the one Lord over the church (4:5).  How does following Jesus as our leader unite different Christians that you know?
  8. The word “faith” can be used to indicate trust and reliance upon something.  It can also be used as a noun indicating a body of truth that a group of people believe.  In Ephesians 4:5, it seems that the one “faith” mentioned here is the body of truth that the church believes.  How does doctrine provide unity in the church?
  9. STUDY NOTE:  There is much debate among biblical scholars about the meaning of the “one baptism” in 4:5.  Some believe this is referring to people’s water baptism.  Others believe it is referring to a “Spirit baptism.”  Still others see it as a general mention of people’s identification with Christ.  I think the main intention behind Paul’s statement here is to remind believers that regardless of who they were baptized by, where they were baptized, or who they were before they were baptized, they are now singularly identified in Christ.  They are no longer Jews or Gentiles, they are Christians.  They are no longer Ephesians or Palestinians, they are Christians . . . identified with Christ.  In this way, Paul is using baptism to speak of the sum total of a believer’s identification with Christ.  This would include their water baptism, but not be limited to it.
  10. The final “one” in 4:6 refers to the one Heavenly Father who is over all.  How does a good father unite the members of an earthly family?  In what way does having God as our Heavenly Father, unite followers of Jesus today?

 

For more resources related to this study of Ephesians click on the following links:

 

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25 thoughts on “Ephesians 4:1-16 Study Prompts #2

  1. Pingback: wildwoodmark.com

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