This past Sunday night we covered the second half of Ephesians 4. Paul commands the church to not imitate the lifestyles of those who don’t know God. People that have no knowledge of God or those who have rejected Him live with blinded minds. Paul says that’s not how we are since we know Christ. We should be different because of Him… The key verse for our lesson was verse 23:
…let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. (Ephesians 4:23 NLT)
From there on, Paul turns his attention to addressing external actions. Therefore, everything we do is influenced by what/how we think.
Our minds our powerful instruments. They can influence everything about our lives. What we think determines how we act. So we encouraged our students to first change the way they think. Negative thoughts lead to negative actions… Lustful thoughts motivate lustful actions.
God doesn’t want our minds to be darkened like those who don’t know God. Rather, His desire is for us to allow Him to change the way we think.
We’re makin progress on our journey through the book of Ephesians during our Sunday evening student ministry time. This past Sunday, we covered nearly half of chapter 4. At the beginning of this chapter, Paul urges us to live a life that is worthy of the calling we have received from God. When I read a verse like that, I tend to start thinking of what it means to be worthy. I start thinking, “what did Paul mean by a worthy life?” or “how do I become worthy?” and try to apply to my life. Many times I can’t figure it out and just give up. However, something struck me as I was preparing this study… Paul tells us to live a worthy life, and then he immediately starts talking about how we should treat other people. I wonder if there’s a connection between living a worthy life and how we interact in our relationships? That’s the question we discussed with our students. Continue reading
For this past Sunday evening, we skipped ahead a little in Ephesians. We focused on Ephesians 3:14-21. Using the New Living Translation, our key verse for the night was verse 17, which says: “Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.” Continue reading
Sunday night was our first chance after BigStuf Camp to continue our study of Ephesians. We picked up in chapter 2 [one of my favorites in the Bible]. As you read the first few verse of chapter 2, things look pretty bleak. Paul is discussing our state before we met Christ. We were dead in our sins. We deserved the full measure of God’s wrath. We had no hope of doing anything good on our own.
However, things take a turn for the better in verse 4… two of the sweetest sounding words in Scripture show up: “but God.” God who is so rich in mercy saved us by His grace and raised us to life in Christ! Now that is good news.
We applied this to our lives by saying that God’s salvation is a gift to us. It’s not something that we earn. Many times, we want to try and work for our salvation. We think that enough good works will make God happy with us… That’s not what His word says. Salvation comes by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. It’s that simple.
We also looked at verse 10 which says we are the workmanship of God. He created us for a purpose, and we should do the things He wants us to do. This is where our actions come in… Good works don’t get us salvation, but they allow us to glorify and honor God through our lives, and enable us to further the kingdom of Christ.
We encouraged our students to move forward with Christ. They’ve been saved by grace and they are purchased with the blood of Jesus. The things of the past do not have power over them, so they should press forward (Philippians 3:13-14).
Walking through Ephesians 1 has been life changing for me. The content of that chapter is so deep, it is difficult to comprehend all that Paul is saying. Thankfully, the Holy Spirit is there to help make God’s word come to life for us. As I walk through these verses with the students in our ministry at Brookhaven Church, my goal is to explain the verses to them as well as I can as well showing them how it applies to their lives today. Continue reading
Ephesians week 2
Here’s the link to the YouVersion Bible app event for our second week in Ephesians.
Who am I in Christ?
This past Sunday night, we kicked off a study in our student ministry on the book of Ephesians. It is such a deep and profound book in the New Testament. It never ceases to amaze me how Scripture can continue to speak into our lives today. The Word of God is alive, and therefore it can speak into the lives of 6th through 12th graders in 2012. It is timeless…
The main focus of the first lesson was Ephesians 1:1-11. As one reads this passage (which 3-11 is one long sentence in Greek) they can see the issue of identity discussed in Paul’s words. In today’s culture, identity is a major issue for teens. So as I walked through these verses, I was burdened to share with my students how God views them. Everyone wants to belong. Everyone wants to be a part of something. Think of how nearly every part of our lives revolves around some sort of identification with a belief, style, music, etc. Continue reading