SS 20 Ephesians- Verses 3-14 “The Plan”
- Ephesus was/is a port city and was very worldly.
- Home of Artemis, the goddess of fertility
- Paul spent three month in the synagogue and then split off and formed a church.
- Ephesians has six chapters, three doctrinal and three of application.
- The letter to the Ephesians was probably a circular letter.
Chances are the churches had heard everything written in Ephesians firsthand from Paul. The problem is that we only retain a small portion of what we hear. We do much better when we hear the same thing several weeks in a row, when we read something over and over again, and when we commit something to memory. We do best when we teach it because we have to explain it as well as present it. So, let’s start learning so that we can eventually teach it to others.
There is one stipulation. Read 1 Corinthians 2:12-14, 15b. These things are spiritually discerned. We must submit our minds and wills to the Father and commit ourselves to following these truths in order to be able and open to receiving what He has for us. Even as we discuss the material, the Father/Jesus/Holy Spirit is speaking truth to your spirit. Cool, huh?
The Gospel: The Good News of Jesus Christ–unto salvation
Our Passage: The background and details of the Gospel
Read Ephesians 1:3-6, 7-10, 11-14
Verse 3 is an expression of praise.
- To the God and Father of our LORD Jesus Christ
- He blessed us in the heavenly realms–what’s that about? (see chapter 2)
- With every spiritual blessing in Christ. Let’s name some spiritual blessings:
Verse 4 is a humdinger of a statement!
- The Timing-Before He created anything, He chose us.
- The Blessing (v5)-To be holy and without fault in His eyes and to adopt us into His own family.
- The Gift of Grace (v6)-”freely bestowed on all who believe”
- The Plan (v7)-Through Jesus Christ
- Redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins
- Lavished and showered (v8) with ALL wisdom and understanding
- Mystery of His will (v9-10): To bring everything together under the authority of Christ
- Our inheritance (v11)-Heaven, a throne, all the saints (see verse 18), eternal life. Read Colossians 1:9-13 (one of my favorite passages)
- The Purpose (v12)-To Trust in Christ
- The Good News that God saves you
- Included in Christ (v13), Identified as His own when we heard the message of truth, the gospel of our salvation, and responded to it. “When we believed” is huge. It indicates that we have a choice in the matter, and we chose Christ.
- The Mark: (v14) The Holy Spirit, God’s Guarantee and Seal
- Promised- Ezekiel 36:26-27
- Purchased- 1 Peter 1:18-19, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
- Praise- Back to verse 3!
Next week: THE PRAYER
Questions around the table:
- Is it important that we understand God’s timing on everything? What IS important?
- How might reading these verses help us to better understand God’s plan for us?
- Would you commit to reading verses 15-23 each day for next week’s lesson?
- Read verse 18-19a and discuss its meaning.