The Ephesians Message: Who Are You?

New Life - Ephesians 2:1-5 ...you were dead in your transgressions and sins...Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.... But God, beingrich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved.

Question: If you really believe that God brought you from death into life because He loved you, how would you live your life differently?

New Community - Ephesians 3:6, 2:14-16

This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.... For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed inordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.

Question:  How has this view of the church - a group of people who are otherwise enemies brought together by Jesus' grace - challenge the way that you have typically thought about and treated the church?

New Standards of Behavior: Ephesians 4:1-5:21

I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received...For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light ...Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need....

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you....

Question: Which ones of these things do you personally need to work on the most, and which ones does your Christian community need to work on the most?

New Reality - Ephesians 5:22 - 6:24

Question:   In your daily life, where do you need the most help in living out your faith?

Closing Prayer from Ephesians 3:14-19:
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted andgrounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.