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Ephesians 1:1-23 Discussion Guide

By September 12, 2021Small Group Study Guide


Ephesians 1

Ephesians gives a cosmic view of God’s plans for the world, explaining the mystery of the gospel. Because of Jesus’ death, all people can receive the gift of forgiveness for their trespasses against God and others (Eph 1:3–10; 2:1–8). Through the sacrifice of Christ, God has brought believers in Jesus—Jews and non-Jews alike—together as one new humanity (2:11–18). God shows no partiality (6:9).[1]

—Chapter 1 in a Nutshell—

Chapter 1 opens with a greeting, followed by a hymn and a prayer. In this chapter we’ll see that, “Spiritual blessings rest on the will of God to provide grace and peace to his people… God the Father chose us and adopted us as his spiritual children…God the Son redeemed us, forgave us of our sins, enlightened us to know his will, and has given us an eternal inheritance…God the Son redeemed us, forgave us of our sins, enlightened us to know his will, and has given us an eternal inheritance… Christians need to be spiritually enlightened so they may understand the hope of God’s calling, the riches of their inheritance in Christ, and the greatness of God’s power. toward us… Through the ministries of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Christians have been given every necessary spiritual blessing.”[2]


Read and discuss verses 1-14.

  • Can you see the Trinity at work in this passage?
  • In these verses, we see both Devine Sovereignty and human responsibility. How can both be true at the same time? How can we hold these two in the proper tension?
  • How did God bestow his grace on us, and what does it tell us about our involvement?
  • How does God’s complete salvation help you to rest in God’s love?
  • Read verse 5. What is adoption? What are the implications for our adoption to sonship through Christ Jesus?
  • The gospel has been lavished upon us. What implications does this fact have on our worldview? How does the truth of the gospel shape us?
  • The Holy Spirit assures Christians of their inheritance. What is the inheritance?
  • What does it mean that the Holy Spirit is our “guarantee”? What are the implications?

Read and discuss verses 15-23.

  • What do can we learn about prayer from Paul’s own prayer? What were the three things Paul prayed for? What are the implications for you personally and our group corporately?

Application: How did the Holy Spirit speak to your heart today? What personal implications can you make? What do I need God to do in me or through me as a result of today’s discussion?

Pray for Ministry Partner. 

Missions—Please pray the following for Sara Hughes. Pray for encouragement, language skills, and faithfulness.


[1] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[2] Anders, M. (1999). Galatians-Colossians (Vol. 8, p. 94). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

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