Ephesians 4:17-5:21 Discussion Guide


Ephesians 4:17-5:21 Living as Children of Light

Note: Terry summarizes where we are in Ephesians like this: Eph. 2:8,9 You have been saved by grace through faith, not through your own good works. Eph. 2:10 You are God’s handiwork, created anew in Christ Jesus to do good works. Eph. 4:1 I urge you, go live a life worthy of the calling you have received. This is the summary of Ephesians up to our study this week, and it answers three big questions of the human heart. Can I have real peace? Yes, you can have peace with God, peace with self, peace with others if you place your faith in the grace of God revealed in the gospel. 2. Can I live with a lasting purpose? Yes. You cannot fail to have a purpose if you pursue faithfulness. God himself has included you in his plans, his grand purposes. 3. Can I live with real passion? I mean, can I bring my whole self along? Yes. In fact, you must. This is love/passion with all your heart, mind, soul, strength. God is eternal passion, and if you stay connected to him, to his power, you can move through life with his passion–but you have to keep connecting to.

Group Discussion Questions:

  • As you reflect on the sermon this week, how did the Holy Spirit speak to your heart?
  • Was there a verse/passage that jumped out to you? Share why the verse or passage struck you.
  • How does the passage for this week help us see what it looks like to live with the peace, purpose, and passion God gives us in the gospel?
  • How can these three P’s serve as “check engine” lights to recognize if we’ve become unplugged from the Spirit’s power? (Think back to the example of the Samaritan woman at the well.)
  • Terry wrote in his devotions for the week, “When you have come unplugged from the reality of God in your mind and mouth…plug back in. Then bring the reality of God back into your life and your words.” How might you go about doing this? What are the implications for you if you do?

Read and discuss verses 4:17-5:21.

  • Verses 17-24 contrast the differences between the way nonbelievers and believers live. What are the differences and what are the implications for believers?
  • Verses 25-31. What are the vises given in this passage? How are believers to counter these vises?
  • What interesting fact can we learn about the Holy Spirit from 4:30? What are the implications of this information?
  • 26 “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold. How are we to live this verse out? How can nursing our anger give Satan an opportunity to divide believers? Are you angry with someone?
  • Verses 5:8-10, “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord.” How can might this statement change the way you think about living for Christ? What is most challenging thing for you to walk as a child of light?
  • Why Does Paul exhort us to be filled with the Spirit? How does this help us to live in the realm of his power? How does this serve to help us know when we’re not living in the realm of his power?
  • Are you plugging in and continually being filled with the Holy Spirit and experiencing his peace, purpose, and power in your life?
  • Worship, as expressed in verse 19-21, is an important role in our lives. why?
  • Verse 21. How does putting the interest of other before our own position us to live with peace, purpose, and passion? What are the implications for you personally?

Pray for River Ministry Partner: Youth Horizons / CAYM

This week let’s pray for two ministries that serve kids through mentoring programs. In addition to operating the boys’ ranch and building a similar facility for girls, Youth Horizons has a mentoring program that pairs adult mentors with kids. CAYM (Christian Association of Youth Mentoring) helps organizations like Youth Horizons launch and run mentoring programs. Both of these organizations are led by River members: Robert Garner is president of YH, and Donnovan and April Karber work with CAYM. Some of the kids who benefit from mentoring programs are fatherless or motherless kids, those whose parents are in prison or kids who are at risk of making poor choices. Here’s how we can pray for each ministry:

  • Youth Horizons continues to raise funds toward the construction of Wren House, a residential facility for girls, and also is in need of mentors (especially men) to be matched with kids on their waiting list.
  • CAYM is working to launch mentoring programs in churches across rural Kansas. Pray that God will bless their efforts and provide mentors for all kids who need them.
  • And pray that God would use the work of both organizations and their mentoring programs to serve kids and point them and their families to Jesus.

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