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Lesson 1: Ephesians 1:1–14

on Mon Dec 18, 2017 12:51 pm
Okay let's start the first lesson - Ephesians 1:1-14. If you haven't already, please watch the video by JD Grear (LINK) and then respond to the questions below.


  1. What were the last three things J.D. mentioned—three things we can take away from this text?
  2. According to Ephesians 1:3–10, what has God done, what is He doing, or what will He do?
  3. According to 1:3-10, what do we “have”? What blessings has He blessed us with?
  4. What does adoption mean when God is doing it?
  5. How would you define grace?
  6. What “riches” has God lavished on us?
  7. What’s mysterious about God’s will?
  8. According verse 10, what is the mystery?
  9. According to Ephesians 1:11–14, who are we?
  10. What does our identity as Christians mean to you? How can we bring Him praise?
  11. If you began to see bringing Him praise as your purpose in life, how would that change things?
  12. How are you doing with bringing Him praise?


Please respond by Monday 12/25. Let me know if you need more time. I want to establish a pace that is reasonable but will keep us moving through the material.
Also, please send me any suggestions you have to improve how we conduct this study.
Thanks!
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Re: Lesson 1: Ephesians 1:1–14

on Sun Dec 24, 2017 8:14 pm
1. Assurance because salvation is a work of God. Hope because God is sovereign over all of His creation. Boldness in evangelism because God has promised to save some.

2. God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing, chose us before the foundation of the world, predestined us to adoption, freely bestowed His grace upon us, made known to us the mystery of His will, and God will sum up all things in Jesus.

3. God has blessed us with son-ship, redemption, forgiveness, and the knowledge of His will.

4. When God adopts us, it is a call to be set apart from the world, to be sons of light rather than sons of darkness.

5. I would define grace as favor or good-will towards the undeserving.

6. God has lavished us with the riches of his grace (favor to the undeserving); this has brought to us redemption by the blood of Christ and forgiveness of our sins.

7. God's will is sometimes hard for us to understand. We know that God is sovereign, yet the world is full of sinful actions that God hates. The only way this could be is if God wills for things to happen that He hates. An example of where God's revealed will seems opposed to His providential (permissive) will is in the case of Pharaoh and the Exodus. God's revealed command to Pharaoh was to let the Israelites leave Egypt; at the same time, we see that God hardened Pharaoh's heart so that he would disobey God's command (Exodus 7:2-3).

8. The mystery is that God's plan is for all things to be subjected to Jesus Christ. Though the world now seems lost and the events of our lives often do not make sense to us, God does have a plan and God will bring His plan to completion. The completion of His plan is this: to "put all things under His [Christ's] feet" (v. 22).

9. According to Ephesians 1:11-14, we are heirs of God, predestined, sealed with the Holy Spirit, and the reason for all of this is so God's glory will be praised.

10. As Christians we should act as Christ's representatives to the world. We can bring God praise, not only by our praising Him, but by giving cause for others to praise Him. We do this by telling who God is, what He has done, and by doing good works so that people will praise our Father who is in heaven (Matthew 5:16).

11. If we consistently remembered our goal of brining God praise, our cares and concerns regarding temporal, material things would grow strangely dim. We would fix our eyes on things that have significance, eternal significance, as opposed to things that only have fleeting value.

12. Though I do praise God, I feel as if I am not doing as much as I should to inspire and encourage others to praise God.
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Re: Lesson 1: Ephesians 1:1–14

on Mon Dec 25, 2017 11:13 pm
1. Assurance, hope, boldness in evangelism
2. He has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in Christ. He choose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. Predestined us for adoption to sonship. We have redemption through his blood. Forgave our sins, made known to us the mystery of his will.
3. He has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in Christ: adoption to sonship, forgiveness, redemption through his blood.
4. It is a legal act of God on our behalf by redemption through his blood.
5. I think that grace is when God looks at us with compassion and forgiveness.
6. In him we have redemption through his blood, forgiveness of sins and with all wisdom and understanding, he has made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure.
7.
8. The mystery is to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.
9. We are people that are predestined to bring Him praise.
10. We can bring Him praise by being mindful of whom we represent and what He teaches us. We can also think of how we want the world to look at us and whether or not it is in accordance with God.
11. If I thought that my purpose in life was to praise Him, I would start by changing my routines and spread his word to more people, get more involved with the ministry and such.
12. I don’t think I do much to help others find their way to God and give Him praise even though I praise Him when I can.
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Re: Lesson 1: Ephesians 1:1–14

on Tue Dec 26, 2017 5:26 pm
Cameron and Kevin

I really like all your answers. All well thought out. You have really grasped the essence and significance of this passage.
I really like JD Greear's story about the couple adopting the young child. It's so encouraging to me to think about God's excitement at choosing me for adoption to sonship. That is one of the greatest truth's of this passage to me. God chose me before I came into existence, not for any good in me but because of his marvelous grace and his desire to demonstrate that grace not only now but for eternity.
It's also really cool to me that God has revealed to us (the church) the mystery that has been hidden for ages, that in Christ he will reconcile all people to Himself and unite them together in him. All divisions will melt away and we will all have one head. I am so glad that head is the Lord Jesus.

thanks again for taking the time to respond to the questions...

Please feel free to share any other thoughts you have on this passage before we move on to the next section...
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Better late than never...

on Tue Jan 09, 2018 12:18 am
1. What were the last three things J.D. mentioned—three things we can take away from this text?

We can live with assurance in salvation because it’s God’s work and he won’t give up on us despite our shortcomings. We can have hope that God is working in our lives and molding us according to his will and to the praise of His glory. Lastly, we can have boldness in evangelism because God has already chosen people into salvation—we tell others about Christ and leave the conversion to God.

2. According to Ephesians 1:3–10, what has God done, what is He doing, or what will He do?

God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing, chosen us before the foundation of the world to be saved and adopted as sons of God through Jesus Christ. He freely gave us grace and redeemed us of our sins through the death of Jesus. God made all this known to us and unites us all in Christ on earth and heaven.

3. According to 1:3-10, what do we “have”? What blessings has He blessed us with?

We have redemption through Christ’s blood. We have been blessed with every spiritual blessing, including God’s grace which he has lavished on us.

4. What does adoption mean when God is doing it?

God is adopting us by choosing us to be His sons despite our sin and giving us His inheritance in eternity

5. How would you define grace?

The previous question is the ultimate example of grace. Adopting us and redeeming us of our sins even though we don’t deserve it at all. Favor that is freely given to us because God desires it and not because we have done anything to earn it.

6. What “riches” has God lavished on us?

The riches of God’s grace through redemption and forgiveness of our sins.

7. What’s mysterious about God’s will?

The mystery of God’s will refers to things that have not been revealed fully. In the video, J.D. mentions the mystery of how exactly God chooses or predestines us. It has not been revealed to us yet and complete understanding of this fact is not required to understand the important mystery that has been revealed (next question).

8. According verse 10, what is the mystery?

The mystery which was revealed is the plan of salvation and about how Jesus Christ is the cornerstone of salvation for all mankind. It was revealed that through Jesus, all of God’s children would be united.

9. According to Ephesians 1:11–14, who are we?

We are predestined children of God who have heard the Gospel of salvation and believed the truth which indwelled the Holy Spirit within us. The Holy Spirit was given to us as a “pledge” of our inheritance from God.

10. What does our identity as Christians mean to you? How can we bring Him praise?

Our identity as Christians means that we represent Christ to the world. We can bring Him praise by living a life for God and truly caring for others by witnessing to them and praying for them. We can bring Him praise by sharing Him with the world.

11. If you began to see bringing Him praise as your purpose in life, how would that change things?

The focus would change from selfish/worldly desires to bringing praise to God. Living this way means prioritizing God’s commands and telling other people about Him. Witnessing should not be something that happens on the side but it’s something that should be our primary goal.

12. How are you doing with bringing Him praise?

I believe I have a small part in bringing Him praise amongst other Christians and at church.  While I would like to do more in this aspect, I would like to do much more in terms of witnessing about Jesus. I have debated with my friends who were atheists since high school but back then, I was more focused on proving that I’m right (and almost consumed by apologetics) than doing it out of a desire to bring Him praise. More recently, I have tried talking to my co-workers/friends (one Muslim and another hardcore atheist) about Jesus and Christianity. Unfortunately, the conversation usually just devolves into fruitless debates, and it has been quite discouraging. However, this passage gave quite a bit of encouragement to keep trying because God has chosen his people and is the one doing the work in their hearts and our job is to tell others about Him.
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