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 4:17-32 – Study Prompts #1

  1. 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.”
  2. Read Ephesians 4:17-32.
  3. Before diving in to look at the specifics of Paul’s argument in Ephesians 4:17-24, it is important to first get a sense for the big picture of the point he is making.  If you were to summarize the general gist of 4:17-24 in one sentence, what would it be?
  4. We saw last week in Ephesians 4:1-16 that Paul first was urging the Ephesian Christians to unpack the unity they had in Christ.  In 4:17-32, he is making a more general call to a moral code or lifestyle among Christians.  This would call the Ephesian Christians (many of whom were from a Gentile background) to abandon their old lifestyle and live a new one.  What are some of the ways Paul describes the “Gentile” way of life (without Christ) in 4:17-19?
  5. For a moment, substitute your own culture in for the word “Gentile” in 4:17-19.  If you are American, sub “American” for Gentile, etc.  In what way is the lifestyle of our culture accurately described by Paul in 4:17-19?
  6. What/Who changes one’s lifestyle in Ephesians 4:20-21?
  7. STUDY NOTE:  When a person trusts Jesus for the forgiveness of their sin, they experience a radical change.  No longer are they the same sinner, but they are a new creation in Christ.  The old has gone and the new has come (see 2 Corinthians 5:17).  This transformation is more than just a legal declaration before our Divine judge, it is a change in who we are.  Of this change, Dr. John MacArthur says this: “When a person believes and confesses Jesus Christ as Lord and is thereby born again, a transformation takes place in his basic nature.  The change is even more basic and radical than the change that will take place at death.  When a believer dies, he has already been fitted for heaven, already been made a citizen of the kingdom, already become a child of God.  He simply begins to perfectly experience the divine nature he has had since his spiritual birth, because for the first time he is free from the unredeemed flesh.  The future receiving of his glorified body will not make him better, since he is already perfected; but it will give him the full capacity for all that eternal resurrection life involves.  Salvation is not a matter of improvement or perfection of what has previously existed. It is total transformation. The New Testament speaks of believers having a new mind, a new will, a new heart, a new inheritance, a new relationship, new power, new knowledge, new wisdom, new perception, new understanding, new righteousness, new love, new desire, new citizenship, and many other new things—all of which are summed up in newness of life (Rom. 6:4).”
  8. In light of this radical change that has transformed the Christian, it is now crazy to imagine a Christian to continue to live in their old manner of life.  Paul is not arguing here for spiritual perfectionism, but he is saying that if we know Christ, there will be a change in our lives that others will be able to notice.  Our faith not only impacts our eternal destination, but it changes our daily pattern of living, with Jesus now as our Lord.  We are called to “put on the new self” in 4:24.  What do you think it means for us to “put on” our new lifestyle in Christ?
  9. In 4:17-24, Paul employs an analogy for Christian living that looks like “taking off” old “clothes” and putting on Christ’s “clothes.”  In what way do you think that this clothing analogy is an apt description of Christian living?

 

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

Packed Schedule.001

27 thoughts on “Ephesians 4:17-32 Study Prompts #1

  1. Pingback: wildwoodmark.com

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