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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 5:1-21 – 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 5:1-21.
  3. Paul begins 5:1 with another “therefore.”  Most of the time a “therefore” appears, it is drawing a conclusion from what PRECEDED it (i.e. based on the truth shared in 4:17-32, THEREFORE . . . ).  However, here, “therefore” is used in close association with what FOLLOWS.  In other words, SINCE you are God’s “beloved children,” THEREFORE imitate your heavenly Father.  How have you seen children act like their parents?  Do you see any parallels with believers in Jesus Christ acting like our Heavenly Father?
  4. Read 1 John 4:8.  How does this verse connect with Paul’s commands in Ephesians 5:1-2?
  5. When God calls us to love, He calls us to love other people LIKE HE LOVED US.  This love was demonstrated by the way God showed His love to us in Christ Jesus (5:2).  What is the kind of love that God has for us and what would it look like for us to love others the way Christ loves us?
  6. In 5:1-2, the Ephesians were admonished to love as God loved.  Now in 5:3, they are charged to NOT exhibit “love” in ways God forbids.  One of the ways people demonstrate “love” in inappropriate ways is through sexual immorality.  The Greek word here translated “sexual immorality” is the word “porneia.”  Porneia is the root from which we get our word pornography and refers to ANY sexual activity outside of marriage.  This would include adultery, premarital sex, consuming pornography, homosexual activity, etc.  As people who are created in the image of our loving God, we have a longing to both give and receive love.  However, this longing is corrupted by our selfish desires and displayed through many wrong channels.  What are some common temptations people you know have to be tempted sexually?  What temptations do you yourself struggle with in this area?
  7. Paul also talks in 5:3 about covetousness.  At first glance, the only thing coveting and sexual immorality have in common is that they are both sins.  However, on further examination, both of these sins are appetites that have run out of control.  In both instances, we prefer something (a sexual experience or a prized possession) over what is best for someone (i.e. we either use someone’s body or steal someone’s thing, in both cases hurting them).  Is coveting a sin that you struggle with?  How would seeking to love others around you as Christ loved you help you NOT to covet their possessions?
  8. Reflecting on Ephesians 5:4, Warren Wiersbe said, “Two indicators of a person’s character are what makes him laugh and what makes him weep.  The saint of God sees nothing humorous in obscene language or jests.”  As we live in a world that constantly is laughing about vulgar things, how is a Christian to respond?
  9. In 5:5, Paul mentions that there is “no inheritance” for people who practice sexual immorality or covet.  However in Ephesians 1:11, Christians are ALL said to have a significant inheritance in Christ.  Since all Christians have sinned since coming to Christ (many sinning in the sexual or coveting area), how do you reconcile Ephesians 1:11 with Ephesians 5:5?
  10. STUDY NOTE:  I believe that when Paul speaks of the sexually immoral and coveters NOT having an inheritance (5:5), he is pointing out that those behaviors are not consistent with God’s plan for all Christians.  His emphasis appears to be on encouraging Christians to abandon these evil practices and obey God in this life . . . living now consistent with the inheritance we have to come.
  11. In Ephesians 5:6, Paul says that there will be some who come along trying to downplay the “evilness” of sin.  With winsome words they will try to convince you that sin is not that bad.  This was true in Paul’s day, and it is also true in ours.  Have you ever heard someone try to convince you that sin is not “all that bad?”  How does Paul respond to that line of thinking in 5:6b?
  12. What are some of the ways God deals with sin in the life of Christians?


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


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