SS 11-15-20 Ephesians 3

SS 11-15-20 Ephesians 3

Audio Lesson

Today, we read Paul’s testimony—not about his salvation, but about his calling. Let’s pick up his story in Acts 9:15.

The Lord Jesus had set Paul aside to be His spokesman to the Gentiles. Under ordinary circumstances, how would Paul have taken this news? Being visited by the Lord as had happened to him, how did he respond? How about us? If we have truly met with the Lord Jesus, how do we respond when He invites us to join Him in His work?

Let’s read Ephesians 3:1-3, 4-6, 7-9, 10-13

1. The mystery of Christ- what is this mystery that is mentioned in chapter 2?

2. What is the promise mentioned at the end of chapter 6? Hint: 1:18

3. “Though I am the least of all the Lord’s people”-read 1 Corinthians 15:9 and 1 Timothy 1:16. If Corinthians was written near the beginning of his ministry, Ephesians written in the middle of his ministry, and Timothy written near the end of his ministry, what is the progression of these three verses?

4. To whom was this mystery made known (v9-10)? What is the significance of 1 Corinthians 2:8?

5. Through what Christ has accomplished for us, how may we approach God (v12)?

6. What about verse 13?! What’s that all about?

Read Ephesians 3:14-17a (finish sentence), 17b (Pick up with new sentence)-19, 20-21.

1. Read Hebrews 4:16, Revelation 6:9-11, 7:9-11. Getting a better idea about the throne of God?

2. Our last name is His name!

3. Where does Christ strengthen us? How does He do that?

4. Dwell- Abide, live, rule. By what? What’s another word for it?

5. The Love of Christ—Read Ephesians 1:4-8. What do you think?

6. Let’s read verse 21 along with Ephesians 6:12. Who has our back? Who’s gonna win?

7. V.19- Filled to the measure—overflowing!

8. V. 20 How much can you imagine? It’s far beyond that!

9. The Church- How does Christ receive glory?

Conclusion: Since we are part of this mystery (the church), we have the same mandate to share it with others. What is this message? That Christ came from heaven to pay for our sin debt so that we can be reunited with the Father! Let’s live this message so that when we share it, we will have our lives as testimony to its authenticity.

Around the tables:

1. According to Galatians 3:28, what is the outcome of this mystery?

2. When approaching the throne of grace, how do you feel? What does God’s Word say about approaching His throne?

3. If God can do “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine,” then why don’t most of our prayers get “answered?”

SS 11-8-20 Ephesians 2:19-22

SS 11-8-20 Ephesians 2:19-22

Audio Lesson

This morning, we begin with Hebrews 13:20-21 concerning the eternal covenant. Let us keep this eternal covenant in mind as we discuss this morning’s passage in Ephesians.

Read Ephesians 2:11-13, 14-18, 19-22

  1. We are no longer foreigners and strangers (v.12).
  2. We are fellow citizens with God’s people and now members of His household (v.19).
    1. He has made the two groups one (v.14).
    2. How? Through His flesh (v.15).
    3. He has fashioned one new humanity out of two (v.16).
    4. We are reconciled together through the cross (v.16).
    5. The Key: Access to the Father by one Spirit (v.18).
  3. We are being built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets.
    1. Apostles- read 1 John 1:1-4
    2. Prophets- read Isaiah 9:1-2, 6-7
    3. Jesus Christ is the Chief Cornerstone- Read Luke 20:17-18, Acts 4:9-12
  4. The whole building is being built to become a holy temple in the Lord (v.21).
    1. The New Jerusalem- read Revelation 21:9-11, 22-24, Ephesians 5:25-27, 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, Jude 24, and Revelation 21:11 again
    2. God’s Temple- read Galatians 4:6, 1 Corinthians 3:9&16, 6:15-17, 19-20
  5. We are being built together to become a corporate dwelling in which God lives by His Spirit (v.22). Read Galatians 3:28, Hebrews 3:6, Matthew 18:20.

So, through Christ’s flesh and because of His sacrifice on the cross, we who were far away and those who were near were joined together to create a new humanity, the Bride of Christ, and we are individual temples, but also a collective temple in which God lives. One day, Christ will come for His Bride. O, what a glorious day that will be!

We end like we began, with Hebrews 13:20-21, “May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

Around the Table:

  1. Was any of this material new to you?
  2. How does it change your view of the church? You and your place in Christ?
  3. Is this good news? How might you share it with other people who are Christians? Who are lost?

SS 11-1-20 Ephesians 2:11-18

SS 11-1-20 Ephesians 2:11-18

Audio Lesson

Let’s review 1 through 14:

  1. This letter is from Paul to the church in Ephesus, but also is a circular letter.
  2. We are blessed, chosen, holy and blameless, sons through adoption, all through the redemption we have received through the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son.
  3. The mystery: to bring all things under the authority of Christ, to unify heaven and earth.
  4. The framework of salvation was in place before the foundations of the world were laid. All who put their hope in Christ are for the praise of God’s glory.
  5. Those who believe are marked with the seal of God, the promised Holy Spirit, guaranteeing our inheritance until we are fully redeemed (glorified in heaven).

Now, let’s review 15-23:

  1. Paul’s prayer is our prayer for each other.
  2. That the LORD would give us spiritual wisdom and revelation,
  3. That the eyes of our heart may be enlightened in order to know
    1. The hope to which He has called us,
    2. The riches of His glorious inheritance in His holy people,
    3. And the incomparably great power for us who believe.
  4. Jesus is seated at God’s right hand over every name and every rule and authority.
  5. God has appointed Him to be head of the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills everything in every way.

Now, let’s review 2:1-10:

  1. We were dead spiritually because of our transgressions and sin.
  2. We followed the ways of Satan, gratifying the cravings of our flesh with no regard to God or His covenant and laws.
  3. We were by nature deserving of His wrath.
  4. Instead, because of His great love, He made us alive with Christ! Saved by grace!
  5. We are seated with Him in heavenly places.
  6. Examples of His incomparably rich grace, expressed through Christ Jesus.
  7. Saved by grace, not of ourselves, so that no one can boast.
  8. We are His handiwork, His masterpieces, created for His pleasure and His will.

Now, for the lesson, read 2:11-18. In order to set it up, let’s look at some other passages:

  1. Mark 14:48-49 Scriptures fulfilled
  2. Matthew 3:1-3, 4-6, 7-10, 11-12 Fire and winnowing fork = Judgment
  3. Malachi 3:1, 4:5-6 Repentance and judgment
  4. Mark 12:1-3, 4-6, 7-9, 10-12
    1. To whom was Jesus referring?
    2. What did He mean by “cornerstone? Read Psalm 118:22-23, 20, 25-27, Matthew 21:42-44
  5. Mark 11:12-14, 20-21

Let’s tie it all together. Christ Jesus came to bring salvation to all who believe in Him, but to bring judgment upon all who don’t. He expanded Israel to mean Himself rather than the nation or the land. Read John 15:1-2. He is the TRUE VINE. See how He ties in the fig tree? See how He ties in Israel? He expanded salvation to the whole world. Remember how God can raise stones up to be children? Remember how Jesus said at His Triumphal Entry that if the people didn’t praise Him, that the very stones would cry out in praise (Luke 19:40)? Those who believe in Jesus Christ are connected to the TRUE VINE: God has made the two one! “His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross…” Ephesians 2:15-16

Around the Tables:

  1. How do we have access to the Father (see Ephesians 2:18)? How do Jews have access to God (trick question)?
  2. Read verse 11. From which group do you hail (Jew or Gentile)? According to verse 12, where did we stand with God and Israel before Christ? Where do we stand now because of the blood of Christ (v13)?
  3. Why is “put to death their hostility” so important a phrase? How should we feel about Jewish believers?
  4. How should we feel and act toward those Jews who do not believe in Yeshua as their Messiah? About all unbelievers, whether Islamic, Buddhist, Atheist, Communist, etc?

SS 10-4-20 Ephesians 1:1-10

SS 10-4-20 Ephesians 2 1-10 “The Back Story”

Audio Lesson

We know from Ephesians 1:4 that we have been chosen by God to be made holy and blameless in His sight. This happens through what we read in verses 5 and 6, which tell us that the framework of salvation was established through Jesus Christ before creation. We know that it is through the cross. The veil was ripped, thus marking an end to the old way of entering God’s presence (see Matthew 27:51). His subsequent burial and resurrection were all part of the process of Him proving He was Who He said He was. His resurrection inaugurates our resurrection! He is the firstfruits of those who rise from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:20). 

With this process in mind, let’s read Ephesians 2:1-3, 4-5.

  1. Who is the “As for you” in this sentence?
  2. Before you were saved, did you have any idea that you were following the ways of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, Satan? Do you realize it now? Doesn’t the next phrase lock it down?
  3. Who lived following our sinful desires?
  4. What did we deserve?
  5. Why did God save us? What motivated Him?
  6. What specifically did He do for us (v5)? How have we been saved?

Let’s read verses 6-7, 8-9.

  1. We were raised from the dead, but where else were we raised to be? What does THAT mean? Read Galatians 2:20. How do the two relate?
  2. Someone read verses 8 and 9 from the New Living Version. 
  3. How much did we have to do with the act of salvation? Ask John-or someone- how much he had to do with his knee surgery. 

Now for verse 10 from the NLV: “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”

  1. What other words are used in other translations instead of “masterpiece”?
  2. Let’s look as some other passages that deal with the word (renew):
    1. Matthew 19:28
    2. Romans 12:2
    3. 2 Corinthians 4:16
    4. 2 Corinthians 5:17
    5. Ephesians 4:23
  3. Do you still think that salvation is an isolated experience? A one-time event?
  4. When did God plan for these good works? How are we supposed to do them? For that answer, go to John 5:19-20. Aren’t we supposed to be like Jesus?

In Two weeks, we discover that God has made one humanity out of two. Don’t miss!

Table Discussion:

  1. As we look back on our lives before Christ, we have many feelings. The one we are to focus on is gratefulness. In what ways are you grateful to the LORD?
  2. If I told you that our good works begin with finding out as much as we can about our heavenly Father, His Son, and the work of the Holy Spirit in us, would you believe me? What is the best way for us to accomplish this task? What would be second? What would be third? Fourth?

Key 1:

  1. We are the “as for you.” He was talking to everyone who read the letter, or had it read to them.
  2. The phrase, “the spirit who is even now at work in those who are disobedient,” tells us that everyone who is disobedient is being led by Satan. The NLV says, “the spirit who is at work in those who refuse to obey God.” It is the spirit of rebellion, that “I’ll do what I want” attitude. Oh, still have it? Pray that He will get rid of it for you!
  3. We all lived to satisfy our sinful desires. That was the point of sin.
  4. According to verse 3, we all deserved death, the wrath of God. What is spiritual death? Separation from God. How can we be separated from One who is everywhere? It’s a separation of relationship. To stand in the presence of God in our sinful state would make us most miserable. Ask Isaiah, “Woe is me!” To be exiled from His goodness but to feel His righteous anger forever would, indeed, be hell.
  5. God saved us because of His great love for us. His motivation was His mercy, in which He is rich.
  6. Through Christ we are born again. He raised us spiritually and made us alive in Christ. We have been saved by His grace! Nothing on our part added except our consent.

Key 2:

  1. We were raised to heaven and seated with Christ around His throne. Evidently, there is a trade: We go there and the Holy Spirit comes and resides in our hearts. Christ lives in us even as we live with Christ.
  2. (read)
  3. None. We give consent, just like a person having an operation. That’s all we do; the rest is up to the Surgeon, the Great Physician.

Key 3:

  1. Handiwork (NIV), of His making (CJB), workmanship (KJV)
  2. (read)
  3. Salvation is like the three states of (H2O): Solid, liquid, and gas, which are ice, water, and steam or vapor. We are saved (a one-time event), we are being saved (sanctification), and we will be saved (glorification). The Blood of Christ is eternal and so are we.
  4. The Father planned these good works in Christ Jesus when He established our salvation in Christ Jesus: before the creation of the world (see 1:4). John 5:19-20 is about Jesus commenting that He does nothing by Himself, but with the Father. We are to do the same. It’s all about the relationship.

Ephesians 1:3-14 The Plan

SS 20 Ephesians- Verses 3-14 “The Plan”

Let’s review:

  • 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.

  1. To the God and Father of our LORD Jesus Christ
  2. He blessed us in the heavenly realms–what’s that about? (see chapter 2)
  3. With every spiritual blessing in Christ. Let’s name some spiritual blessings:


Verse 4 is a humdinger of a statement!

  1. The Timing-Before He created anything, He chose us.
  2. The Blessing (v5)-To be holy and without fault in His eyes and to adopt us into His own family.
  3. The Gift of Grace (v6)-”freely bestowed on all who believe”


  1. The Plan (v7)-Through Jesus Christ
  1. Redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins
  2. Lavished and showered (v8) with ALL wisdom and understanding
  3. Mystery of His will (v9-10): To bring everything together under the authority of Christ
  4. Our inheritance (v11)-Heaven, a throne, all the saints (see verse 18), eternal life. Read Colossians 1:9-13 (one of my favorite passages) 
  5. The Purpose (v12)-To Trust in Christ
  1. The Good News that God saves you
  2. 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.
  3. The Mark: (v14) The Holy Spirit, God’s Guarantee and Seal
    1. Promised- Ezekiel 36:26-27
    2. Purchased- 1 Peter 1:18-19, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
    3. Praise- Back to verse 3!


Next week: THE PRAYER


Questions around the table:

  1. Is it important that we understand God’s timing on everything? What IS important?
  2. How might reading these verses help us to better understand God’s plan for us?
  3. Would you commit to reading verses 15-23 each day for next week’s lesson?
  4. Read verse 18-19a and discuss its meaning.

Ephesians Intro 1:1-2

SS 9-13-20 Ephesians- An Overview

History- Ephesus was a port city on the west coast of Turkey. It was founded in the 10th century B.C. and was the home of the temple to Artemis, the goddess of, among other things, fertility, which allowed–and even called for– all kinds of sexual immorality as part of their feasts and rituals. It was certainly an evil place by Christian standards.

Paul spent three months striving with the Jews at the local synagogue, then he split off and began the church to which he writes this letter. We must note that the letter is rather informal and has the earmarks of a circular letter, meaning that it was circulated among the churches in the area. We can consider our church as one of these.

The letter itself has six chapters. The first three are doctrinal teaching, meaning that they explain what God was up to and how our salvation happened, and the second three are applications of what we learn in the first three.


Chapter 1 explains God’s overall plan for us from an eternal perspective.

Chapter 2 describes who we were before Christ and who we are in Christ from an eternal perspective. It also goes into detail about God’s plan to create one new man out of two: Jews and Gentiles.

Chapter 3 expands the plan for the Gentiles and includes Paul’s powerful prayer for his readers.


Chapters 4, 5 and 6 are chocked full of descriptors for the Christian life based upon who we are in Christ according to the first three chapters.


Chapter 4 includes our call to be humble and patient (v2), our oneness in Christ (v4-6), the equipping of the saints (v11-16), the put-off/put-on passage (v20-24), and how we should interact with others (v25-32).

Chapter 5 includes following Christ’s example (1-2) with no hint of immorality (v3-7), how to please the Lord as children of light (v8-17), being filled with the Spirit (v18-20), and submission to one another (v21-33).

Chapter 6 includes commands for children, fathers, slaves, and masters (v1-9), the battle and the armor of God (v10-20), and a final greeting (v21-24).


We begin with verses 1 and 2:

Read Ephesians 1:1.

  1. Paul is the Paul of Acts. He is an apostle of Christ Jesus because of his Damascus Road experience. He revealed something neat in Acts 26:16-18. Let’s read it. Anyone have the NLT?
  2. By the will of God- What was God’s will for Paul according to what we just read?
  3. Saints- Christians, holy ones.
  4. “In Ephesus” is not in the most ancient texts, which gives weight to the idea that it was/is a circular letter. 
  5. The faithful in Jesus Christ- “in Christ” is used over 10 times in the first 13 verses and over 130 times throughout the epistle (in Him, in the Beloved, etc). Most of the time, we think of Christ being in us (Col. 1:27). What do you think it means to be “in Christ?”

Read Ephesians 1:2.

  1. Grace-unmerited favor (does someone have an Amplified Version?)
  2. Peace of God- Jesus gives us His peace (John 14:27)
  3. Our Father- That’s BIG.
  4. The LORD Jesus Christ- “The LORD” or “Adonai” is the OT reference to God. Paul is calling Jesus “God.” Any self-respecting Jew would get this reference. Gentiles, on the other hand, might think of slave owners as “lord.” Still, if they sat under Paul’s teaching any at all, they would come to understand very quickly that Jesus is God (see Phil. 2:5-11).


Next week, we will be studying verses 3-14. Want to know what God was up to before the creation of the world? Come next week and we’ll talk about it!


Around the tables:

  1. Why study the Bible?
  2. What would understanding God’s plan mean to you?
  3. Is there a “best” version from which to read?
  4. Would you commit to reading at least the first 14 verses of Ephesians this week? Every day?


Ephesians Is Coming!

This Sunday in Sunday’s Cool (Sunday School), we will be starting the study of the book of Ephesians. It is a MUST-READ for every Christian!

I invite you to be a part of the study in one of three ways:

  1. Attend! We meet in the Fellowship Hall and have plenty of room for social distancing. We are 2nd Sunday School, so we meet right after the service.
  2. Facebook Live. Go to Kelly Anderson’s Facebook page and join us for the class or whenever you are available. It’s recorded.
  3. I will be posting the class through Remind for easy access and will include the notes that we follow.

Please commit with me to read Ephesians. It’s six chapters that are chocked full of doctrine (what we believe) and application (how we live it out).

Looking forward to Sunday!