Bible Study Recap – Ephesians 3 & 4

THIS BOOK IS MAKING MY HEAD HURT!

It’s safe to say that Ephesians is a much more theological book than some of Paul’s other writings.  I think most of us in my bible study had gotten use to Paul’s discourse on what it means to be in a Christian community and now we are trying to figure out what the heck he is talking about on deeply theological – and Christological – level.

Anyhoo, here are my notes.  Feel free to drop your thoughts in the comments!

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Ephesians Bible Study Weekly Recap
November 18, 2014
Ephesians 3 & 4

3:1-13

The plan from the beginning

  • Paul is preaching that there has been a secret for years and it is now coming out
  • He must feel that he has more people responding to the Church

3:10 – The rulers and powers in heaven

  • Sounds very non-Paul – he is not as into what we are doing on earth as he has been in other letters
  • More theological than practical
  • Perhaps this shows Paul’s growth – as he grew in Christ and in his ministry he realized that in order to do God’s work in the world / grow Christ’s church that we NEED to rely on God’s grace and the cloud of witnesses that came before us

3:12 – In Christ as have bold and confident access to God through faith in him

  • This shows Paul’s progression
  • Has the potential to put a barrier between us and God – this does have the potential to be misinterpreted that Christ is the ONLY way to have access to God

3:14-21

3:14-15

  • The “family” that Paul talks about – those who believed in God in the past, believe in God now and will believe in God in the future.

This was Paul’s prayer for the church. What are our prayers for the church?

  • Unity
  • Peace
  • Humility
  • Belief in Calling

4:1-16

4:1 – I encourage you to live as people worthy of the call you received from God

  • Paul is essentially smacking us upside telling us that we have to get over whatever our issues are and take seriously God’s call for us

4:8-9

  • Quoting Psalms, reinterpreting the verse
  • Not only did Christ descend down to earth, but he also died – this make the ascension that much greater

Are we still infants?

4:17-32

 4:17 – Paul’s reference to “Gentiles”

  • When Paul says not to live like Gentiles any more he isn’t make a statement about Jews vs. Non-Jews, he is just referring to a wider culture of corruption
  • Paul is saying to separate yourself from people who are doing wrong things – God has set you apart and you have to live your life as if you have been set apart

How are we supposed to witness the Gospel if we do not associate with people in the wider culture?

  • Paul is referring to people as infants – he did not think they were mature enough to be okay if they were associated with the wider culture

This whole passage is easier said than done – yes we have been changed by God through Jesus, but living it out is not as easy!

4:29-32

  • Paul is telling us how to live our lives
  • He never said it was going to be easy

4:32 – Be kind, compassionate, and forgiving to each other, in the same way God forgave you in Christ.

  • In the end, we have to remember the sacrifice that Christ made – it surpasses all human imperfections

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