What was your least favorite group project experience in school? Why?
This Sunday, we continued our series on The Book of Ephesians.
As mentioned in the Sunday sermon, chapter 4 marks a transition within Ephesians as Paul shifts focus from re-telling Christ’s story (chapters 1-3) to how we’re called to concretely live in response to it (chapter 4-6). Paul begins this new section by focusing on how the Church should corporately live together.
Read Ephesians 4:1-6. Here, Paul starts his ethical instruction by calling the Church to live together in unity & peace; which, he claims, requires them to grow amongst themselves the values of love, humility, patience, & gentleness.
Why does Paul start with these specific virtues (which were counter-cultural in the Roman world)? How might they equip a community to foster unity & peace together even in the midst of tension & upheaval?
Next, read Ephesians 4:7-16. Having called the Church to this upside-down way of life, Paul turns to this powerful image of a spiritually mature community that embraces & fosters unity in diversity under Christ’s Lordship; which he describes through the metaphor of a body being led by its head.
Why does Paul uphold diversity as being critical to the spiritual maturation of the community? How does it bring together diverse gifts to create a community that’s total is greater than the sum of its individual parts?
How would embracing this unity in diversity help the Church better reflect God’s character & make it a unique community in the world? How do the values of love, humility, patience, & gentleness help equip it to live into this reality?
Close by reflecting on how this passage speaks to you personally.
Where do you need to grow in your embracing of diversity within the Church? How might growing in love, humility, patience, & gentleness help you do so?
Where are you currently surrendering & using unique, God-given gifts to build up the Church (your unique strengths, experiences, time, talents, or treasures)?
Where are you struggling to use these for a purpose that’s bigger than yourself? How might Paul’s teaching encourage you to take a step forward in serving with the gifting you identified?
Getting Out of the Hole
Take time to reflect on the Sunday sermon & how this week’s section of Ephesians might speak into your daily life.
- Read Ephesians 4:1-16. Highlight & make note of key terms & images that stand out to you or speak to you in this season.
- Have you worked to identify, grow, & use your unique spiritual gifts at E3? If so, how? If not, why not?
- What steps can you take to grow in serving others through your unique giftings?
- Commit to taking a step outward in service during this season. Try to make it achievable & based upon one of your unique strengths!
- Re-read Ephesians 4:1-16 & pray over your answers to the previous questions.
Journal, reflect, & pray on how God might be speaking to you through each week’s teaching. Share your experience with your growth group next week!
A Journey Through Ephesus by David Gwartney
The Bible for Everyone: Ephesians by NT Wright
Coming Up This Week:*
Saturday, July 23rd: Join us next Sunday for week 8 of our series on The Book of Ephesians!
* Please see mye3.org for details.