Setting the example Jesus left for us to follow
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By Grace Through Faith, Brought Near by His Blood, Christ Our Peace, Christ Our Cornerstone
Our Weekly Bible Study begins with us reading the assigned scripture ahead of time and preparing our hearts for study and discussion. When we meet (virtually or in person) we first read the scripture as a group, and then take turns sharing and discussing what impacted us the most, and our general interpretation of what we read.
Making Notes as we go through Bible Study is always encouraged, as it helps to increase our understanding of what we have read, and also allows us to become more comfortable and familiar with the Bible.
To make participation easier and more memorable for our younger children, we will include a link to Storybook Bible images of the readings whenever these are available.
This week’s virtual Bible Study focused on Ephesians 2, the second chapter in our new study on the Book of Ephesians. After praying and reading through the chapters, we discussed the verses at length, and shared our personal views on what we had read.
The first three verses of this chapter paint a very dark, sad, scary picture, but then we get to verse 4: “But God….” and our hope is restored; we have been given new life!
Verse 1: We were like the ‘walking dead’ prior to being made new creatures in Christ. We were dead in our trespasses and sins, our spirits were dead.
Question: What is the difference between a trespass and a sin?
Trespass: You do something you know you shouldn’t do, but you do it anyway.
Sin: It is what we are born into- “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.” (Psalm 51:5, KJV)
Verse 2: We are triune beings- before Christ we were spirit dead, with bodies that seemed alive, and souls that were confused. A person like this is just wandering, lost, meandering, unsure of direction. Paul uses the word “once” indicating that this was our former status. We must ask ourselves, however, are we still there? Are we still wandering aimlessly according to the course of this world, or have we been quickened? (Ref. Psalm 119:37-“Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken thou me in thy way”). Paul also warns us that the prince of the power of the air (Satan) works in the sons of disobedience. This is why it is important to move away from disobedience of any type- disobedience to authority, to parents etc. If we do not move away from this, a spirit of disobedience will linger, and then it will become easy to also disobey God.
Verse 3: Again Paul uses the word “once”to indicate that we were there at one time. We must continue to question ourselves, are we still there?
Verse 4: “But God”-Despite how dead we were, God caused a redeemed experience, a resurrection, to take place within us, all because of His great mercy. When Christ makes us over, there must be a difference on the inside-in our hearts as well- it is not the type of makeover that occurs in the natural world, where there is only an outer change.
Verse-7: Paul refers to the “exceeding riches of His grace”, again reminding us how wealthy we are in Christ all because of His amazing grace.
Verses 8-10: God did all this by Himself, not of works. When we do good works, it is not even us really doing these things. It is God working in us that moves us to do good deeds.
Verses 11-12 In case the tendency to boast arises, we are reminded that we were at one time mere aliens-strangers without Christ, Gentiles, “having no hope”. This was a desolate place to be.
Verse 13: We have been brought near, into the inner circle, where we can have access to the throne of grace. We have received this privilege only by the blood of Christ.
Verse 14: He Himself is our peace. The only place there is true peace is in Christ Jesus.
Verses 15-16: There are many walls that have been built up in the world to separate brethren- Christ is putting to death the enmity and separation. Christ preached peace, and taught us that there is one Lord, one Father,one Spirit, one Baptism.
Verse 19: When we meet new brethren in the faith, we must learn to discern those who are true brothers and sisters in Christ.
Verse 20- Jesus is the chief cornerstone, we are lively stones, part of the body of Christ. The church is inside of us, we make up the Temple of the Lord. This is why it is so important not to defile the Temple by engaging in sinful acts and practices. Countries, walls and times do not separate us as we are all part of the one body. The forces of hell are constantly trying to separate the people of God- we must realize that together we stand and are strong in the one body, but divided we will fall.
As you read through this week’s Bible passage, ask yourself:
What are MY thoughts on what I am reading?
How can I apply this to MY life?
The Method of Salvation: By Grace Through Faith
As our mentees head back out to school, we take a moment to look back and reflect on our summer…