Life Together Resources [Ephesians series] http://lifetogetherchurches.com/life-together-resources/feed.html?series=5 Articles and Bible Studies from Life Together. en-us Ephesians Wrap Up: Go and Claim It! http://www.solapublishing.com/life-together-resources/ephesians-wrap-up-go-and-claim-it/a79.html Thu, 01 Dec 11 00:00:00 -0700 Questions for the Ephesians Wrap Up:

1.       What do you think the response was from the Ephesian believers when they heard Paul’s letter read to them?

2.       Remember some of the characteristics of Ephesus in the 1st century: major port city, business center, religious pluralism (i.e., lots of different religions / beliefs to choose from), Greek philosophy, etc. In what ways is the place and time that you live in similar or dissimilar to ancient Ephesus? How does Paul’s letter to the Ephesians apply specifically to where you live?

3.       What has been the most meaningful and significant part of our Ephesians study for you?

4.       If there is one passage in Ephesians that you could memorize, what would it be?

5.       Drawing on the story at the end of the video, how does Ephesians speak to our inheritance and the mandate to go and claim it? (Hint: Think about the two halves of the letter.)

6.       What concretely will it look like for you to go and claim the inheritance that is yours in Christ?

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Ephesians - 6:10-18 http://www.solapublishing.com/life-together-resources/ephesians---610-18/a78.html Mon, 21 Nov 11 00:00:00 -0700
Discussion Questions
  1. What do you usually do when you have a really bad day? How do you cope?
  2. What are the "schemes of the devil"? What are some of his strategies?
  3. Discuss what you think the various parts of the armor are for. How do you put each on?
    • Belt of Truth
    • Breastplate of Righteousness
    • Gospel Shoes of Peace
    • Shield of Faith
    • Helmet of Salvation
    • Sword of the Spirit - the Word of God
    • Prayer
  4. Which piece of the armor are you most in the need of right now?
  5. It wasn't discussed in the video, but verse 18 reveals how important prayer is in spiritual warfare. Read verse 18 and note how many times the word "all" appears. Discuss this verse with your group.
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Ephesians - 6:1-9 http://www.solapublishing.com/life-together-resources/ephesians---61-9/a77.html Tue, 15 Nov 11 00:00:00 -0700
Discussion Questions:
  1. As a son or daughter (child or adult), what does it mean for you to honor your father and mother?
  2. What does it mean to raise children “in the training and instruction of the Lord”?
  3. What are your biggest challenges / struggles as a parent?
  4. When and where are you under the authority of others? And the inverse: in a position of authority?
  5. How would your workplace be different if everyone took these words to heart?
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Ephesians - 5:21-33 http://www.solapublishing.com/life-together-resources/ephesians---521-33/a75.html Sun, 11 Sep 11 00:00:00 -0600 Discussion Questions:
  1. What does it mean to submit or be subject to someone?
  2. What does the fact that Jesus submitted to God the Father say about the person who is doing the submitting?  (i.e. Jesus is equal with God and yet he submitted to the Father)
  3. Husbands are called to love their wives like Christ loved the church.  How did Christ love the church?  What does this tell us about the role of the husband toward his wife?
  4. In your own words, how would you express the goal of Christian marriage? (see v. 31)
  5. What do you think about the statement made about men more needing respect and women more needing to be loved?  Do you agree or disagree?  Why?
  6. What counter-cultural principles from Paul can you work on to help you be a better spouse (or potential spouse)?
  7. Bonus Question:  When you play “Rock, Paper, Scissors” which do you most often pick and why?

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Ephesians - 4:25-32 http://www.solapublishing.com/life-together-resources/ephesians---425-32/a76.html Sun, 04 Sep 11 00:00:00 -0600 Discussion Questions:
  1. Paul says, “In your anger do not sin,” which seems to imply that anger is not always bad. What is “good anger”?
  2. Do you struggle with anger? How does it show itself in your life?
  3. When have someone’s words been especially uplifting to you?
  4. Imagine out loud what your workplace or home or school would be like if people only spoke so as to “benefit the listener”.
  5. Where have you seen examples of kindness and compassion in others? How does that inspire you?
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Ephesians - 4:17-24 http://www.solapublishing.com/life-together-resources/ephesians---417-24/a73.html Thu, 11 Aug 11 00:00:00 -0600 Discussion Questions:
  1. Where have you seen real change in your life since becoming a Christian?  How is your "walk" different now?
  2. What is one "old life" piece of clothing that you have that you are having a hard time "putting off"?
  3. What is the difference between asking yourself the question "what would Jesus do?" and asking Jesus "what do you want to do in and through me?"  How is the focus different? 
  4. Paul says we're to "put on" the new self.  What is the new self? 
  5. What is Jesus saying to you right now?
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Ephesians - 4:7-16 http://www.solapublishing.com/life-together-resources/ephesians---47-16/a74.html Mon, 01 Aug 11 00:00:00 -0600 Discussion Questions:
  1. What does this passage tell us about spiritual leadership?
  2. A major metaphor for the church is the human body. Why do you think that is?
  3. What kinds of spiritual gifts are there? What spiritual gifts do you have?
  4. What is one area where you have sensed yourself growing and maturing since you’ve been a part of this body (your Life Together Church)?
  5. What does your life look like as you grow “into the fullness of Christ”? What kind of outlook does that give you for your life?
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Ephesians - 4:1-6 http://www.solapublishing.com/life-together-resources/ephesians---41-6/a72.html Mon, 11 Jul 11 00:00:00 -0600 Discussion Questions:
  1. Read the text again as a group – Eph 4:1-6
  2. Reading between the lines, what problems do you think Paul was concerned about in Ephesus?
  3. What qualities ought to characterize “a life worthy of the calling”?
  4. What happens when believers live out these qualities?  
  5. How does each of the four qualities listed in verse 2 promote unity?
  6. Which of these four qualities do you need most in your life personally?  What relationships will profit from developing that quality now?
  7. How does viewing God as Father (not just as Creator or Judge) add to our unity?
  8. Anything else you think the Lord may be saying to you or to our group through this text?
(Note:  Most of the questions for this week was taken from the Serendipity Bible.  Copyright (C) 1988 by Serendipity House, Littleton, Colorado 80160)
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Ephesians - 3:14-21 http://www.solapublishing.com/life-together-resources/ephesians---314-21/a71.html Mon, 04 Jul 11 00:00:00 -0600 Discussion Questions:
  1. What does it mean for Christ to dwell in our hearts? What does it mean for the Holy Spirit to strengthen us?
  2. What do you picture when you hear words like boundless, fullness, surpassing measure or immeasurable, and magnitude? What does that tell you about how much Jesus loves us? About how much He loves you?
  3. What does it mean to live for God’s glory? How does that play out in day-to-day life?
  4. God is described as “able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” (verse 20). How would the Ephesians have been struck by this? (For example, think about the Jewish / Gentile context and the one family of God.)
  5. If God is truly able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, how does that impact your thoughts and prayers?
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Ephesians - 3:1-13 http://www.solapublishing.com/life-together-resources/ephesians---31-13/a69.html Mon, 20 Jun 11 00:00:00 -0600 Exegetical Outline

  1. This mystery was revealed by God to Paul: in Christ the Gentiles are fully included in God’s family. (1-7)
  2. The grace given to Paul was to proclaim Christ to the Gentiles and shed light on this mystery. (8-13)

Application Outline

  1. God wants to reveal Himself to us.
  2. God reveals Himself to us so we can respond to His direction for our life.

The Big Idea: God wants to reveal Himself to us so we can respond to Him in relationship.

Questions:

1. In your own words, what is “the mystery of Christ” that Paul is referring to?

2. Have you ever felt like God was a mystery, that He was hidden, or too difficult to understand?

3. How does God reveal Himself to us? How has He revealed Himself to you?

4. What do you think God might be revealing to you at this time in your life?

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Ephesians - 2:11-22 http://www.solapublishing.com/life-together-resources/ephesians---211-22/a70.html Mon, 13 Jun 11 00:00:00 -0600

1.       Imagine your life far away from Christ, “without hope and without God” (verse 12). Describe what your life might look like or feel like in that scenario. Considering the reality that you are actually near to God in Christ, what kind of response does that create in you – both vertically (toward God) and horizontally (toward people)?

2.       Where have you seen or experienced “dividing walls of hostility” in the world and/or in your own life?

3.       Are there people (groups or individuals) with to whom you’ve had a difficult time relating? Describe that and how this passage might speak to you about those relationships.

4.       Imagine a Jewish Israeli and a Muslim Arab-Israeli both becoming followers of Christ and now sitting in a living room next to each other for their Life Together Church. What would this passage mean for the two of them? Apply that lesson to our own Life Together Churches – what are the lessons we learn for our relationships to each other?

5.       Consider Paul’s metaphors of citizenship, family (i.e., household), and a building. How does each one of those metaphors describe the Christian life – both individually and in community?

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Ephesians - 2:1-10 http://www.solapublishing.com/life-together-resources/ephesians---21-10/a68.html Wed, 25 May 11 00:00:00 -0600 Discussion Questions:
  1. What was one of the best gifts you received as a child?  What made it so special for you?
  2. What does it mean to be "dead in sin"?  What caused this?
  3. What is the relationship between "wrath" and "love" (vv. 3-4)
  4. What is the relationship between "grace" and "works" (vv. 8-10)
  5. Spiritually, do you feel more dead or alive now?  Why?
  6. What has God prepared for you to be and to do?
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Ephesians - 1:19-23 http://www.solapublishing.com/life-together-resources/ephesians---119-23/a67.html Wed, 18 May 11 00:00:00 -0600 Discussion Questions:
  1. Read 1 Cor 12:4-31.  What impresses you most about this passage? 
  2. Paul lists a number of "spiritual gifts" that different Christians have (though his list is not exhaustive).  What spiritual gifts do you think you have?
  3. What gifts do you recognize in others in your group?
  4. How can your group function more as one body?  How should we be viewing one another?
  5. What is God saying to you right now?
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Ephesians - 1:15-19 http://www.solapublishing.com/life-together-resources/ephesians---115-19/a66.html Thu, 12 May 11 00:00:00 -0600 Discussion Questions:
  1. Do you ever struggle with discouragement or disappointment or depression?  What helps you come out of it?
  2. How could reflecting on the hope we have in Jesus both now and in the next life in heaven help?
  3. What do you need God's power for right now?
  4. How do we tap into God's power and use it? (Note to leader:  lots of potential answers here but guide the discussion onto the power of prayer)
  5. Spend time praying for one another.  Pray specifically for real needs - spiritual, financial, emotional, physical, etc.  Pray with confidence for one another knowing now that God's power is completely available to you.
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Ephesians - 1:3-14 http://www.solapublishing.com/life-together-resources/ephesians---13-14/a65.html Wed, 04 May 11 00:00:00 -0600 Discussion Questions
  1. Read the entire passage, Eph 1:3-14, but before you do, tell the group that when done you'll be asking the following question: 
    • What activities and descriptive words relate to the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit?
      (now read the passage and then go through each person of the Trinity below asking for descriptions of each - what each has done and how each are described)
      • Father
      • Son
      • Holy Spirit
  2. In your own words, describe the "blessings in Christ" (vv. 3-9)
  3. What excites you most about God's relationship to you?
  4. Knowing you are chosen and adopted, how will you view yourself and God differently?
  5. What changes in your lifestyle would help you live more effectively for the praise of God's glory this week?
  6. What is God saying to you right now?
 
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Ephesians - Introduction http://www.solapublishing.com/life-together-resources/ephesians---introduction/a63.html Mon, 25 Apr 11 00:00:00 -0600 Discussion Questions:
  1. Read Acts 19:11-20. 
    • Why do you think it was necessary for the new Christians in Ephesus to burn their magic books publicly "in the sight of everyone"?
  2. Read Acts 19:23-41.
    • Read verse 30 again. Why wouldn't the disciples let Paul speak to the crowd like he wanted to? What would have happened to Paul?
    • Paul sounds pretty brave, almost superhuman, like nothing phases him? Does that intimate you at all? Do you think you could ever be like Paul?
  3. Now Read 2 Corinthians 1:8-11 to find out how Paul actually felt the day he wanted to go in and speak to that angry mob.
    • Does Paul sound more human to you now?
    • Have you ever felt like Paul?  Have you ever despaired of life or felt the sentence of death like Paul did that day?
    • Read verses 9 and 10 again.  What did Paul learn through that experience?  Have you learned this same lesson Paul did, or is this something you still need to discover?
  4. What do you hope to get out of our study of Ephesians?
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