Ephesians 3:1-21 Study Guide

Chapter 3 in a Nutshell

In chapter 3, Paul informs the Ephesian Christians: God has revealed to me a great mystery, namely that both Jews and Gentiles are united as one in the body of Christ, and he has called me to proclaim this message. For this reason, I pray that you might be strengthened with power through his spirit in the inner man so that you might mature spiritually, be able to comprehend the magnitude of God’s love, and be filled with the fullness of God.[1]

Group Discussion Questions:

  • As you reflect on the sermon this week, how did the Holy Spirit speak to your heart?
  • What do we learn about God from Ephesians Chapter 3? Was there any “aha moment” for you?
  • Was there a verse/passage that jumped out to you? Share why the verse or passage struck you.
  • Was there a hook or a phrase Terry used that helped you to grasp God’s Word?
  • Terry talked about living either plugged-in or unplugged from God’s power. Talk about what this looks like in your own life.

Note: In Terry’s sermon on Ephesians 3, he said revelation and power were two themes that stand out in the chapter, and both are very important to our lives. Be careful not to over-spiritualize either theme. To do so could make them impractical in your life. Words tied to the revelation theme are: mystery, unsearchable, hidden and revealed. Power is simply ability. God’s power means that we can do what we could not if he did not give us the ability. Power over sin, power to know, power to love, power to believe or understand, power to endure…this is all about “ability.” God has given us the ability to access the power available in him.

Read and discuss verses 1-13.

  • What does Paul say is the mystery revealed?
  • The mystery revealed is that Jesus has always been God’s plan for the salvation of the world. Jesus alone redeems all people, and He alone, dwelling in his people, is our hope. What are the implications for you personally? What does it mean for you at the heart level?
  • What are the unsearchable riches of Christ? How do these riches bring joy and hope to you personally?

Read and discuss verses 14-21.

  • What are some of the examples Terry gave of God’s power in your life?
  • If power is ability, then what are some of the ways God’s power gives us the ability to live God’s eternal purpose now? As you think of your answer, what are the implications for you personally?
  • How does God strengthen us in our inner being? What role do we play in the process?
  • Terry stated that this power is “so that God gains glory through our lives.” What does this look like in action?

Terry stated that, “Power is the ability to be strengthened on the inside, as we live trusting (by faith) in Christ. It’s living now, in line with what is eternally true, and believing what has been revealed regardless of what I currently feel, or what others say or think that doesn’t align with what God has said.” Do you live with this kind of power in your life? Do you sometimes feel tossed back and forth by the waves of culture? What is something you could do to access the power available through the Gospel that is found in Paul’s prayer?

Conclusion/Application:

  • The realm of God’s will for my life is the realm of God’s power for my life. Revelation: God has told us his will for us. It takes effort in community to understand it, but we can. Power: God enables us to live inside his will for us. It also takes collaboration by us, in community, with God.
  • Let’s pay attention! Our ongoing prayer should be, “God, please, help me pay attention to you.” Pray continuously that the Lord would strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, that Christ would dwell in your hearts through faith, that you would grasp the love of Christ, and be filled to the fullness of God.[2]

Pray for River Ministry Partner: Embrace

Today we’ll pray for one of River’s ministry partners called Embrace, a clinic that helps women who are pregnant and need love, care and support. This week, Embrace is holding its biggest fundraiser of the year. Pray for the success of the event and for the generosity of donors, which keep Embrace’s services free or at low-cost for clients. God loves every child, and we pray for the health and safety of the babies, moms and dads blessed by Embrace.

 

[1] Anders, M. (1999). Galatians-Colossians (Vol. 8, p. 126). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[2] Anders, M. (1999). Galatians-Colossians (Vol. 8, p. 134). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

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