Do you like to receive letters? Are you a letter writer? What is lost and gained as
(almost) instantaneous electronic mail becomes more available? Will it replace snail mail?
How often do you compliment someone? How do you respond when you are complimented?
Do you like to get free stuff? Do you look for the catch? What's your philosophy on
Do your plans usually work out? What causes your plans to go awry?
How does it feel to be included? to be left out? Who gets left out?
What does it mean to be faithful? Where do you show the greatest faithfulness? the
least? How can our faithfulness be improved? Where is our greatest need today? How is
"faithfulness" related to "faith"?
What is your definition of "saint"? Are you a saint? Do you know any saints?
How does one become a saint? Why should we keep the designation "saint" as
"for internal use only"?
Paul was an apostle (one who is sent as a representative of another; commissioned). Who
sent him? Why? Where and when did he receive his commission? How did he see his job? How
did he do it? Is there a sense in which you have been sent? What is your job? How
is it different from that of Paul? How is it the same?
Paul altered the standard greeting in Greek letters to "Grace and peace to you from
God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ". What is real peace? Where does it come
from? How can it be fostered? What is life like without peace? What is life like with
peace? What steals your peace? How can you get it back? How can you help a brother or
sister who is lacking peace
I love verse 3. Let's make a list of our spiritual blessings in Christ. Is there any
significance that the blessings are in the heavenly realms and not necessarily in the
What is our destiny as children of God? How does the Father help us achieve it? What is
our part? What parts are we unable to perform so that we must rely on the Father? How does
it feel to be an adopted child of God? How does God feel about it? What is grace and what
does it have to do with all this?
Last week we talked about our destiny as children of God. We are to be holy and
blameless. We are adopted children of God, by his pleasure. What is grace and what does it
have to do with all this? How is grace to be appropriated? How can you earn grace? How can
you pay God back? What's the catch?
What are the four gracious gifts Paul reminds his readers of in verses 7-8? Do you like
to be in on a secret? What is the big secret which God has let us in on? Who is the
surprise for? What is Paul talking about when he says "when the times will have
reached their fulfillment"? When will that be? What will happen then? What are the
advantages of having been in on the secret?
According to verses 11-12, what is the purpose for which "the first to hope in
Christ" were chosen? Who were "the first to hope in Christ"? Who is in
charge of the plan? What does the one in charge do when something goes awry with his plan?
What or who can cause the plan to fail?
How does someone become "included in Christ"? What is "the gospel"?
How is the message delivered? How must it be received? How did you receive the message?
What was your path of response to God?
What two functions of the Holy Spirit are mentioned? What is the practical effect of the
involvement of the Holy Spirit? What is our inheritance? When will we receive it? What is
Let's talk about our missionary or evangelistic responsibilities and opportunities. How
can we best deliver the message? What part do we, ordinary Christians, play in world
evangelism? Why is it sometimes easier to send money for getting the gospel in New Guinea
than to tell our next-door neighbor about Jesus?
One of the obvious themes already established in this letter is that of praise.
When we praise God, what changes occur in us? How is God affected? What is your favorite
way of praising God? It's easy to praise him in church; how can you praise him in everyday
Another obvious theme is that of Christians being in Christ (1:4,7,11,12,13). Do
you think this is just a figure of speech with Paul? How does Paul mean for his readers to
understand the concept? How does it affect you to think of yourself as being in Christ?
What are some of the other themes of the letter to the Ephesian church which you can
detect in this opening passage, or which you may have discovered as you scanned the entire
What did you inherit from your parents? What are you planning to pass on to your family?
What are you thankful for? How do you usually express your thanks?
If you could receive any gift from God, what would you want?
What is your fondest hope?
What is it that you know and you know that you know?
What was Paul's two-fold response when he heard about the faith of the Ephesians? What
else had he heard about them? What is this business of "love for all the
saints"? What does it have to do with faith? What does it have to do with being a
Christian? Of all the Christian characteristics Paul could have focused on, why did he
choose these two?
We have several new Christians in our own church. Are you thankful for them? How do you
express your thankfulness? Do you pray for them? When you pray for them, for what do you
ask? Does your thankfulness concerning new Christians extend beyond the boundaries of our
church? Do you pray for new Christians outside our church?
How can one encourage growth in another Christian?
How do you know when a "new Christian" has matured? When is it OK to stop
praying for them?
What is the best part of your prayer life? What is the part that needs work? What prayer
techniques have been helpful to you? What advice would you give to a young Christian?
Let's list the elements of Paul's prayer for the Ephesian Christians in verses 17-23.
How does Paul's list of items compare to our usual list? What can we learn from Paul's
How do you balance out the vertical relationship (with God) and the horizontal
relationships (with others, especially Christians)? How are the two relationships
connected? How are they the same? How are they different? What happens to your
relationship with God when your human friendships are messed up? Vice versa? What happens
if they get out of balance? What activities do you use to nourish the vertical
relationship? The horizontal ones?
Paul says in verse 17 that he "keep[s] asking". If God is good, why should we
have to keep asking? If God knows all, why should we have to ask at all? Why is
persistence an element of our prayer life? How do you know when to either trust and stop
praying or to persist and keep praying?
Paul's seems to be most concerned that the Ephesians would know God better. How much of
the burden for getting to know God better falls on us? How much of the responsibility
falls on God? How does a believer get to know God better? How do we know when we know God
well enough? How well do you know God?
The goal is to know God better. What is he like, according to this passage?
What is "hope" to the Christian believer? How is Christian hope different from
What is God's power like? How has it been displayed in the past? Have you seen it in
What was the motivation behind Paul's prayer for the Ephesians? How important is it to
tell someone "I'm praying for you"?
How do you organize your prayers? How do you organize your prayer life? How have your
prayer habits changed over the course of your walk with Christ? What do you pray for? How
does God usually answer your prayers? Do you often get discouraged about praying? What
Let's list the specific things Paul prays for. How does Paul's list of items compare to
our usual list? What can we learn from Paul's prayer?
What is the inheritance Paul talks about here? How important is your inheritance in your
daily walk with Christ?
What did God place under Christ's control? What is Christ's relationship to the church?
Who can you pray for this week? How might God want to use you this week to help another
It has been mentioned a few times in our group that a Christian is either progressing or
regressing. How can you make sure you are progressing?
For you, how is 1997 going to be different from 1996? Think about 1995, 1994, 1993.
Concerning spiritual things, is your general trend going up or down?
What would you do if you were as wealthy as Bill Gates?
Have you ever felt helpless and hopeless? How did you escape from your helpless,
hopeless situation? Did you learn anything from the experience?
Extra Credit Question : How many parallels can you find between Ephesians Chapter
2 and the Parable of the Prodigal Son as recorded in Luke?
In verse 1, how is Paul using the word "dead"? How do you know he is using the
word figuratively? How would you define spiritual death? How does one become spiritually
dead? How can recognize spiritual death in someone? Can spiritual death infect the church?
What are transgressions and sins? How are transgressions and sins related to the
activities described in verse 3?
Animals aren't sinning when they follow their natural desires. Why is it sometimes sin
for man to do so? Why did God design us so that we desire to do wrong and have to fight
How does it feel to be an object of wrath? In verse 3, whose wrath is Paul talking
about? How serious is the wrath of God? What is the logical result of God's wrath? In the
past, how has God expressed his wrath? In the future, how will God express his wrath?
What other "passions" exist in God alongside his wrath? Have you ever
experience wrath and love commingled? If a person is well-balanced, how does he balance
wrath and love? When love and wrath are in the balance, and love weighs more, what's that
How is a sinner saved? Who does the work? How does he do the work?
THEOLOGICAL MISTAKE #1: I can make up for my bad deeds by doing good deeds. If
I do enough good deeds, they can outweigh my bad deeds, and I'll be OK. Why is that a
mistake? Why do people make that mistake? How easy is it to make this mistake? What forms
of this mistake have you seen? What is the truth concerning this mistake? Isn't it a big
relief to know that this is a mistake?
Scenario: You are witnessing to someone with whom you work about your walk with Christ
with the intent to eventually ask him to come to Christ himself. After several promising
impromptu sessions, he pulls out some form of Theological Mistake #1. How do you respond?
How can you communicate true grace and mercy to your friend?
THEOLOGICAL MISTAKE #2 : Since I've been saved by grace, it doesn't matter
what I do. Even if I sin, God's grace covers my sin. What is wrong with that way of
thinking? How can Christians fall into that trap?
Scenario: You are helping in the discipling process with a young Christian in your
church. You are pleased with the progress so far, when suddenly, after several times
together, she comes up with the idea that grace has made her immune from the results of
sin. How can you help her see the truth? Where did she come up with that one?
Do you believe that most errors have an element of truth? What do you do to make sure
that you are thinking and living right, not slipping into error on the slippery slopes
which border the narrow way? "Orthodoxy" is "correct worship". Are you
orthodox? How do you know? What is the measuring stick? How often do you measure yourself?
Concerning works (good deeds), what is the impact of verse 10? Why is the idea of doing
good works important, even if we can't be saved by what we do?
According to verse 2, when we were disobedient, the spirit of the world (whom we
identified as Satan) was at work in us, and we did evil works. Now that we are expected to
do good works instead, what kind of help can we expect?
In verse 8, what difference does the phrase "through faith" make to the Paul's
statement? If that phrase and the truth behind it were removed, how would it change the
plan of salvation? Isn't faith a form of "works"? Where does faith come from?
How is faith expressed?
How do you know faith when you see it? How do you know unfaith? Is there a gray area
between faith and unfaith? How does one travel from unfaith to faith?
What is the best example of real faith in God you have observed?
How much faith does it take to be saved? How is faith measured?
If we had only this passage of scripture by which to know God, what would our picture of
God look like? Notice these words: wrath, love, mercy, grace, kindness. How do you feel
about God as you think about how he "feels" about us?
What is it like to be "alive with Christ"? Do you realize that in some sense
we participate in Christ's resurrection and ascension (verse 6)? What do you think about
that? What difference does Jesus make in your life?
You are God's workmanship. That word really implies that you are a work of art, even a
masterpiece. Have you ever thought of yourself as a work of art? What are the implications
for real life of knowing that you are a masterpiece of God?
How does it feel to be excluded from a group you want to be part of? What does it
usually take to work your way into a group? Have you ever made it in and then wondered why
According to verse 12, from what three things were those who were Gentiles by birth
separated or excluded? What was the result of those exclusions?
Today, who is without hope and without God in the world? Do those who are without hope
and without God know it? How can we inform those without hope and without God about their
dangerous state? Do they want to know?
Who provided the bridge to God? How did he do it?
Try to remember when you were without hope and without God. What are the big differences
between then and now? How do those who are still without hope and without God manage to
survive in the world?
What were the two purposes which Christ had in his work, as stated by Paul? Which of the
two is more important?
Why was there previously no peace between Jews and Gentiles? In what ways did the bridge
to God also provide a bridge between the Jews and the Gentiles? Which side was most in
need of a bridge? Are Jews and Gentiles unified today?
Let's talk about reconciliation in general. What does it mean? How is it accomplished?
Why is it needed?
Now let's talk about reconciliation to God. How big was the gap between God and men?
What is unique about Jesus that qualifies him to bridge the gap? What is the benefit of
reconciliation? What is the result for those who refuse to be reconciled? How does one
take advantage of the offer of reconciliation?
What difference has it made in your life, having been reconciled to God?
Now let's talk about human reconciliation. How big a problem is division outside the
church? Inside the church? Does reconciliation with God automatically fix these divisions?
What forces are at work against reconciliation? How can we protect ourselves from those
adverse forces? What does reconciliation cost? What does it cost to ignore the need for
Do you like mysteries? Do you try to figure out "whodunnit"? Do you ever cheat
and skip to the end of the book?
Where was Paul when he wrote to the Ephesians? What motive could he have had in pointing
out and emphasizing his location? How did he help the Ephesian Christians deal with it?
Paul spoke, in verse 2, of his assignment from God as "grace"? Have you ever
thought of grace in terms of an assignment from God? It's one thing to bask in God's
amazing grace and to know we are blessed with salvation; it's quite another to move on to
the realization that there is an obligation which comes from the grace. How has God's
grace affected you?
Because of this grace, Paul said in verses 8-9, he had been given a two-fold job. How
are the two parts of the job similar and how are they different? How does one lead to the
Your assignment: to declare the unsearchable riches of Christ to a neighbor.
Where do you start? Where do you end up? What are your main points? How do you prepare?
What is your goal? What is your style? How do you answer the inevitable objections?
What is the mystery Paul was talking about? How is this mystery different from most
mysteries? This mystery has a surprise ending; what is it? Who revealed the ending? How
did he do it?
Paul said that part of his job was to "make plain" that God accomplished his
eternal purpose in Jesus Christ. Do we have the same task? (If you answered
"No", check out verse 10.) How shall we get it done today? How do we get people
to listen? How do we get the truth across to them? What are some of the hindrances to
executing this responsibility?
Verse 12 is really the boiled-down statement of the message Paul which was communicating
to the Ephesian Christians and which he expected them to communicate to their world. We
now have access to God. What are the two conditions which are required before we may
approach God? Why did God make access conditional? How would you feel approaching God
without having met these two requirements? Where can we acquire the ability to meet these
Do you approach God with freedom and confidence? Or are you timid and bound up when you
come to God? What are the implications for real life of this way of approaching God? What
difference does access to God make in your life? What kind of conversations with God are
allowed and what is disallowed? How does a Christian's prayer life affect his observed
How important is your name to you? How does your name have to do with who you are?
What kind of things do you typically ask God for? Do you always get what you want?
What is the best way to show children that they are loved? What are the parallels to the
methods God uses to show us we are loved?
Paul is praying to the Father. Jesus taught us to pray to the Father. How did God get
the name "Father"? What are the characteristics of God which are like those of a
At the end of last week's passage, we read, "In him [Christ] and through faith
in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence" (Eph. 3:12). Is that
consistent with the picture of God as Father? How can Paul have the audacity to approach
God? How can we have the audacity to come to God?
The first item on Paul's prayer list is that the Ephesians (and us) might have inner
strength and power. How would you define this strength? From where does it come? How does
it come to us? What is its purpose in our lives?
If Christ resides (in some sense) in the Christian, why does Paul pray for strength so
that "Christ may dwell in your hearts"? Where is your "heart"? Who is
in control of it?
What is a Christian like who doesn't have inner strength? What is the church like when
its members don't have inner strength? What is the remedy?
What is love? How does one become rooted (like a plant) and established (like a
building) in love?
What are the two things Paul wants these young Christians to know?
Knowing can be in the head or in the heart. Explain the difference between
head-knowledge and heart-knowledge. Which is Paul talking about here?
It takes one to know one. How does this apply to verses 17-19? Do you see the cycle? How
does one know when he has completed the cycle and finally knows enough about the love of
What are some of the characteristics of Christ's love? ? What are some of the tools we
can use to increase our knowledge of Christ's love?
What is to be the result of this quest for knowledge of the Christ's love? How full of
God are you? How can you get fuller?
How do you usually end your prayers? In verses 20-21, Paul got blessed again and did a
little praise explosion at the end of his prayer. What was Paul's desire? How can the
church be a source of glory to God?
How does God do his work? For what purpose is God's power at work in us?
As a child, did you play well with others? When and how did you learn that basic skill?
Are most of your friends like you or different from you?
When did you grow up? How did it happen?
Paul has just finished praying for the Ephesians, and now this. What is the relationship
between his prayer and this passage? Is God responsible for their spiritual life, or are
Do you think of your life as a "calling"? What calling have you received? What
kind of life is worthy of your calling? What kind of support do you require to live a life
worthy of your calling? Where are some of the problems? How do you feel after a victory?
Having urged the Ephesians to live worthily, Paul then begins to list characteristics
which are important in the Christian life. First on the list is "humility",
coupled with "gentleness". Would you list these two first? Why? How would you
define "humility"? "Gentleness"? Why are these two characteristics
important in the church? Isn't there a danger that Christians who are humble and gentle
will also be weak and wishy-washy? Can you recognize false humility when you see it? What
does it look like?
Next, Paul lists "patience" and "bearing with one another in love".
How do these two work together? Why are they important? How does one develop patience? How
does one develop the ability to put up with others?
These virtues together have been called the "four graces of unity", and unity
does seem to be Paul's aim here. How do these graces foster unity? Why is unity in the
church referred to as "the unity of the Spirit"? If these characteristics
nourish unity, then would their opposites bring about disunity? What are the opposites of
these four positive traits?
What is the foundation of unity in the church? What causes a lack of unity? If the
church lacks unity, what is the result? What are the symptoms of the disease? How can the
damage be repaired?
Why does unity seem to require so much effort? Why is the "bond of peace" a
rare commodity? What has caused the church to be sidetracked from its true calling?
Why does Paul only ask the every effort toward unity be made? What are the limits of
that effort? What aspects of church life are more important than unity?
Unity does not mean we carbon copies of one another. From this passage, in what ways are
we different? How can people who are essentially different become unified?
What happens to the well-oiled machine when one part fails to function properly? Why do
so many in the church today fail to do much at all toward the real goals of the church?
What is the goal of Christian leadership? Who is to be involved in Christian ministry?
What kind of equipment do Christians need to do works of service? What kinds of service
should Christians be performing? How does this lead to the building up of Christ's body?
In what ways should the church be being built?
What are the ultimate goals of this spreading Christian ministry, as listed in verse 13?
How can unity of what we believe be accomplished? Are we making progress on that goal?
How is maturity measured? How can you tell the difference between a mature Christian and
an immature Christian? When it comes to Christian maturity, against whom should we measure
ourselves? What are the specific things which help a baby Christian grow up into Christ?
What are some of the "wind[s] of teaching" and "cunning and
craftiness" and "deceitful scheming" which are prevalent today, which may
be traps for immature Christians? How shall we warn folks about these snares? How can you
help someone who is caught in one of these forms of false teaching?
When it comes to "speaking the truth in love", which is more important: the
truth, or the love? Speaking the truth in love is sometimes dangerous. What are some of
What is your role in Christ's body, that is, what body part are you? Do you take your
orders from the Head? Are you growing at the same rate as the rest of the body? Are you
doing your job?
How difficult is it for you to change? As you get older, does change get easier or more
In Ephesians 4:17-19, what are the characteristics of the person who is not living God's
way? Where does that path lead? Where does satisfaction come from in that life? When does
the satisfaction come to an end? How does a person lose sensitivity?
How accurate is Paul's picture, in which he is speaking about first century Ephesus, as
a description of the twentieth century western world? How much of today's situation can be
blamed on ignorance? What is the cure for ignorance? How do we effect the cure?
According to Ephesians 4:20-24, the Christian is to be different from the world. What is
the basis of that difference? Where does the change take place?
List the major differences between someone who lives for Christ and someone who lives
for self, between the old self and the new self.
How much pressure do you feel when you read a sentence like "You were
taught to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and
holiness."? How does one live up to that standard?
Let's make a list of negative traits which Paul considers to be the old self, and which
must be put off.
Are there any surprises on the list? What are some of the more troublesome items?
Now let's make a list of the positive traits which are appropriate to the new self,
which must be taken on.
In the 2000 years since Paul wrote, how has human nature changed? What proportion of the
lists we made are no longer applicable? Which of the items on our lists are particularly
appropriate to our own society? In our society, how easy is it to talk about sin? What is
the best method for talking about sin in a world which is guided by self-determined
In 5:8-14, Paul uses the analogy of light and darkness to explain the change in the
Christian. Having come out of the darkness, what is our responsibility concerning the
deeds of darkness? How is this responsibility best carried out?
It looks as if the key to this change is found in 5:1-2. What are the hallmarks of one
who lives a life of love? Who is our best example? Who are some of your contemporary
Why do so many people want to stay in the dark? What can we say or do to affect them?
Paul admonishes his readers (including us) to live carefully. How do you reconcile that
with the admonition of Jesus to "take no thought for tomorrow"? What does it
mean to live carefully?
We can either be foolish, or we can find out what God's will is and do it. How do you
begin to understand what the Lord's will is? What is wisdom and how do you get it? What is
How do you react to humor based on husband-wife relationships and conflicts? Is that
kind of humor healthy? Why is marriage funny to us?
In Paul's instructions to the Ephesian church, where does he place the biggest burden
for maintenance of marital relationships?
Wives are instructed to submit to their husbands (verses 22 and 24) and to respect their
husbands (verse 33). Husbands are are instructed to love their wives (verses 25, 28, and
33). What are the similarities between the instructions to husbands and wives? What are
What does it mean to love my spouse? What does love feel like? Is Paul talking here
about how we feel about each other? Is it possible to love even in times when the feelings
What does it mean to submit to my spouse? Does submission mean blind obedience? Is there
ever a time when the wife need not submit to her husband?
What does it mean to respect my spouse? Isn't respect something which is earned rather
than commanded? How can we respect someone who is not worthy of respect?
The cycle of love, respect, and submission gives the picture of two people almost
stumbling over each other to be giving themselves to one another. Who wins in that deal?
Is there some kind of key to this marriage relationship? What model does Paul offer to
married couples? Does that model still make sense today?
Does the comparison of the marriage relationship to that of Christ and his church make
sense to you? How does this thought change your thinking about marriage? How does it
change your thinking about the church? What corrective does this comparison provide to the
husband who dominates his wife improperly?
It seems that an underlying principle here is that of giving oneself up for the marriage
partner. This is similar to other New Testament instruction such as "Be devoted to
one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves." (Romans 12:10)
What are the limits of this principle? How is the marriage relationship different from
other relationships? Why does the marriage relationship often suffer when other
relationships are given priority?
There is more than marriage counsel in this passage. What details do we learn about the
relationship between Jesus and his body (the church) here?
Paul quotes from Genesis 2:24 in verse 31. This is a two-step process: leaving and
uniting. Which step is more difficult? Is it possible to do one without the other? What is
involved in becoming "one flesh"? How does one's life change after marriage?
Assuming you are married, how would you do things differently if you could do them
again? Would your spouse agree with you? How do you think your spouse would alter the
chain of events? Is it too late to make some of the changes you would like to make?
Assuming you are unmarried, what are some of the mistakes you have seen which you would
like to avoid?
Describe the ideal marriage. Make sure it lines up with this passage.
Today's culture treats the concept of marriage flippantly. Marriage is entered into with
little commitment, and exited with little remorse. The prerogatives of marriage are
assumed by the unmarried, as though a trial run were normal. The concept of a single
life-partner is anomalous. What does God have to say about the concept of marriage in the
popular culture? What is our task as Christians in a post-Christian age?
When a person mistreats his spouse, he is mistreating himself. How so?
We are the bride of Christ. How are we preparing ourselves to meet him?
Were you ever exasperated as a child? How did it feel? What were the long term effects?
What motivates you in your work? What causes satisfaction in your work? Dissatisfaction?
What is the two-fold responsibility of children toward their parents? Why does Paul say
"this is right"?
At what point in life does the child have the right to disobey his parent? At what point
in life does the child have the right to dishonor his parent?
How does this picture change when parents mistreat their children? When is it right to
What is the two-fold promise which accompanies the command to obey parents? Why did God
make this promise when he gave the command (Deuteronomy 5:16)?
Can we assume that someone who has a difficult life has disobeyed the command?
Just as is the case with the previous instructions to husbands and wives, Paul gave
reciprocal responsibilities to parents, particularly fathers because of the culture of the
day. What two responsibilities did parents receive?
What kind of relationship between parent and child was Paul trying to foster? How might
that relationship have been different from the prevailing culture?
What is the prevailing culture today, where parents and children are concerned? Are Paul
instructions still valid today? How should the Christian home operate?
Which element of Paul's instructions to parents is more important, the relationship or
the training? Is it possible to have one without the other? What can happen if the balance
of relationship and training is wrong? How is training best accomplished?
What is "the training and instruction of the Lord"?
Paul also offered a corrective for the master-slave relationship. How did he change the
ideas of current culture in this area?
What were the responsibilities of Christian slaves? What were the responsibilities of
Most of us have no contact today with the slave-master relationship, but many of us fit
somewhere into the employer-employee relationship. How far should we go in applying Paul's
instructions to slaves and masters in our situation? What are the similarities between
slaves and employees? What are the significant differences? How are masters and employers
Verse 6 applies to all Christians: "slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from
your heart." How does one operate from the heart? How is that different from keeping
a list of rules? Once one determines to do this for Christ, how must one extend the
practice into his world?
How can verse 7 change your attitude toward work? Have you experimented with the concept
of work as worship? What are the rewards mentioned in verse 8? When are the rewards
How shall the master/employer treat his or her slave/employee? What should be the
distinguishing mark of a Christian boss?
Do you serve Jesus wholeheartedly? How would I know that you are serving him
Have you ever been a baseball catcher? How much did the equipment hamper your movement?
Would you rather catch without the equipment?
How long a trip are you willing to take without wearing your seat belt? Why?
Paul is finishing his instructions to the Ephesian Christians. What is the theme of this
final section? What are Paul's major concerns? Why is Paul concerned?
Spiritual warfare is a popular topic these days. What has brought about this revival of
interest in spiritual warfare? How often do you have thoughts about being in a spiritual
battle? Is it a real battle, or is Paul using figurative language to describe something
much less dramatic?
Who is the devil? Why does he care to scheme and to fight against believers? How can we
survive against such a strong enemy? What are some of the tactics the enemy uses against
us? Is there danger in the Christian life in spending too much time thinking about the
enemy and not enough time thinking about the one who provides protection from the enemy?
Verse 13 is the heart of this section. What "day of evil" is Paul referring
to? What is the "ground" the Christian is to defend? How can the Christian
manage to survive the ordeal and remain standing in the end?
Do you have a testimony about a time when you survived a Satanic attack and managed to
survive? How did you make it through? In the end, were you helped or harmed by the attack?
Paul gets pretty specific about some of the tools God uses in the life of the Christian
to help him survive the battle. List the specific pieces of armor. What is the
significance of each? For each piece of armor, what is the truth behind the figurative
language used by Paul?
If you were instructing a baby Christian in matters of practice, where would you
concentrate your advice? What should a new Christian spend his time doing? What should he
avoid? How much time should he spend in devotions or quiet time? What should he do during
that time? What are some of the danger signs he should be aware of? How much should he
listen to other Christians? How much should he listen to you?
In verses 18-20, Paul emphasizes the importance of prayer. What role does prayer play in
the life of a Christian? What do Christians pray about? What do Christians not pray about?
Why do public prayer requests tend to revolve around physical needs? What does it mean to
pray in the Spirit?
Knowing that the very God of the universe is waiting to speak with us, why do we not
pray more than we do? What can we do to improve our prayer life?
In verse 18, what is the connection between being alert and praying? How do you stay
alert? What fights against your staying alert?
In signing off, Paul blesses the Ephesian Christians, using words like
"peace", "love", "faith", and "grace". Are such
blessings a lost art today?
Paul's blessing is really an expression of confidence that God will bless, since it is
the Father and the Lord who provide the blessings. Do you have confidence in God's
blessings? How is such confidence gained? How is it passed on to others?
Can you testify to God's grace? How did you come to love Jesus with an undying love?