Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 57

6 TEACHINGS

ACTION PLAN ON CD & DVD

P E R S O N A L S T U DY G U I D E PERSONAL
STUDY GUIDE

EPHESIANS
BOOKLET

A BIBLE STUDY
of
EPHESIANS
Knowing Who You Are in Christ and
Learning How to Live in Him

FROM BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF BATTLEFIELD OF THE MIND


One of the things that most impacted my life is studying the Bible. I
have spent more than 40 years studying Gods Word, and I can honestly
say it has totally changed everything!

Romans 12:2 says, Let God transform you into a new person by changing
the way you think. Then you will learn to know Gods will for you, which is
good and pleasing and perfect (NLT). This scripture explains why Im so
passionate about teaching the Word of God: Its literally the key to
experiencing the abundant life Jesus died to give us!

Over the years Ive focused on helping people learn how to practically
apply the truth in the Bible to their lives in areas we all struggle with,
like the mind, mouth, moods and attitudes. But Im so excited to do
something Ive never done beforestudy a specific book of the Bible in
great detail with you. In this study of Ephesians, Ive included material
that will help you walk through each chapter and sometimes, verse by
verse. With this approach, its like were doing a personal Bible study
together.

I chose the book of Ephesians because I love that it is easily broken


down into two distinct sections. The first three chapters explain our
relationship with God and how much He loves us, while the last three
chapters focus on our behavior as Christians.

When we know who we are in Christ and how much He loves us, we will
fall deeper in love with Him. And when we fall deeper in love with Him,
changing our behavior is something we want to do because of His great
love for us.

As you watch and listen to the CDs and DVDs in this Bible study, I
encourage you to use the pages of the study guide as an added benefit
in your personal study time. Answer the questions, take notes and
journal about what God shows you through this study.

My prayer is that this will encourage you to spend more time with God,
both in prayer and by studying His Word. He loves you and wants a
deep, intimate relationship with you. And I can tell you from my own
experience that if you commit to studying the Word of God, youll see
amazing changes in your life too!

5
HISTORY 5

EPHESIANS CHAPTER ONE 8

EPHESIANS CHAPTER TWO 17

EPHESIANS CHAPTER THREE 25

EPHESIANS CHAPTER FOUR 38

EPHESIANS CHAPTER FIVE 46

EPHESIANS CHAPTER SIX 50

6
A BIBLE STUDY
of

EPHESIANS
HISTORY

This letter was written by Paul. In all likelihood, he


wrote it during his two-year imprisonment in Rome
(about 60 A.D). This may have been a circular letter
intended for a large number of churches.

The apostle Paul addresses two classes of people in his


letter. He writes to the saints who are at Ephesus and
the faithful in Christ Jesus. All believers are referred to
as saints because it is a position given them by virtue
of being in Christ; but being faithful is something we
choose, and it brings great glory to God.

Not all saints are faithful!

The first three chapters of Ephesians are about our


relationship with God through Jesus Christ, and what
that means to us. They deal with Gods unconditional
love, and what it means to be in Christ. They also cover
salvation by grace rather than works, the mercy of God
and other subjects. The last three chapters deal more
with what our behavior should or should not be as
believers in Christ.

It is important to have a solid foundation of who


we are in Christ before dealing with behavior!

7
CHAPTERS 1-3

OUR
RELATIONSHIP
WITH GOD

9
EPHESIANS

CHAPTER 1

VERSE 1 | By the Will of God

Paul, an apostle by the will of God

EPHESIANS 1:1

Paul, an apostle (special messenger) of Christ Jesus (the Messi-


ah), by the divine will (the purpose and the choice of God) to the
saints (the consecrated, set-apart ones) at Ephesus who are also
faithful and loyal and steadfast in Christ Jesus.

It is important for us to be in Gods will if we want to be successful


at what we do.

How much time do you spend seeking the will of God? How
convinced are you that you are in the will of God?

10
VERSE 2 | Enjoying Gods Grace & Peace

Paul often greeted the people with grace and peace


be to you.

EPHESIANS 1:2

May grace (Gods unmerited favor) and spiritual peace [which


means peace with God and harmony, unity, and undistur-
bedness] be yours from God our Father and from the Lord
Jesus Christ.

We will not enjoy peace unless we understand Gods grace, which


is His undeserved favor and His enabling power!

Grace is God enabling us to do with ease what we could never do


on our own with any amount of struggle or fleshly effort.

How is God's grace helping you enjoy a life of peace?

Life cannot be enjoyed without an understanding of Gods grace!

VERSE 3 | Receiving by Faith

EPHESIANS 1:3

May blessing (praise, laudation, and eulogy) be to the God and


Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) Who has blessed us
in Christ with every spiritual (given by the Holy Spirit) blessing
in the heavenly realm!

11
We should believe (receive) by faith that God has already supplied
us with everything we need to live a blessed life. In Gods kingdom,
we must always believe before we see lasting change! We have
wisdom, righteousness, peace, power, etc.

We are far richer than we realize!

God has provided everything we need. List some of the things


God has provided for you.

VERSE 4-5 | Gods Love

God chose us before the world began to be holy and


consecrated (set apart for His use), and to stand before
Him blameless and above reproach. This is all made
available not by our merit, but by the grace of God.

EPHESIANS 1:45

Even as [in His love] He chose us [actually picked us out for


Himself as His own] in Christ before the foundation of the world,
that we should be holy (consecrated and set apart for Him) and
blameless in His sight, even above reproach, before Him in love.

For He foreordained us (destined us, planned in love for us) to be


adopted (revealed) as His own children through Jesus Christ, in
accordance with the purpose of His will [because it pleased Him
and was His kind intent].

12
VERSE 6 | Gods Acceptance

We are made accepted in the Beloved.

EPHESIANS 1:6

[So that we might be] to the praise and the commendation of His
glorious grace (favor and mercy), which He so freely bestowed on
us in the Beloved.

How has God made you feel accepted? Cherished? Special?

He has adopted us to be His own children because it pleased Him.


He has done all of this that we might be examples of His glorious
grace, favor and mercy.

VERSE 7-13 | In Christ

We have been offered an amazing life, and few realize what


is ours in Christ! When we believe in Him, we are in Him
as far as the way God views us. That means that we receive
freely what He purchased with His death and resurrection.

IN HIM we have redemption we are bought back from the


dominion of darkness with the blood of Jesus Christ.

IN HIM we have the forgiveness of our sins (not according


to our merit) but in accordance with the riches of His generosity.

13
IN HIM we have wisdom and understanding (intelligence)
in natural and divine things. We are given the grace to understand
things that were hidden from other generations who have desired
to know about the mystery of Christ. Even angels desired to know
what has been revealed to us and they did not.

H.A. Ironside stated that the divine revelation of Christ, and the
things that are to come, should so grip our souls as to lead us to live
here as pilgrims and strangers, knowing this is not our home. We
should look forward at all times to the return of Christ!

MYSTERIES GOD SPEAKS ABOUT IN HIS WORD:

1. The mystery of Christ (See Ephesians 3:4.)


2. The mystery of the kingdom of God (See Matthew 13:11.)
3. The mystery of the ages that is Christ in us, the hope of
glory (See Colossians 1:26-27.)

4. The mystery of Gods will (See Ephesians 1:9.)


5. The mystery of the rapture of the church
(See 1 Corinthians 15:51-53.)

6. The mystery of lawlessness (See 2 Thessalonians 2:7.)


7. The mystery of Christ and the church (See Ephesians 5:31-32.)
8. And many others

NOTE: Sometimes I think about what I believe, and it amazes me that I


believe so many things that I have never seen! Truly God gives us grace
to believe!!

God has a purpose and He has a plan! He is going to unify all


things. Christ will be the head of all things. No more division!
Everything unchristian will be put down. Everyone and
everything will recognize the authority of Christ.

14
What are some ways you are enjoying true unity in your life?

IN HIM we obtain an inheritance! Jesus paid for what we are


freely given!

IN HIM we are stamped with the seal of the Holy Spirit.

We are owned and approved of by God!

Products we purchase have a little seal that tells us the product


is good. The manufacturer stands behind it and says that he
approves of it!

This sealing is only mentioned two times in Ephesians and once


in Corinthians. These were two centers of the lumber industry in
Pauls day. When logs were brought in on the Black Sea and held
on rafts in the harbor, lumber firms sent their representative to
choose and mark (seal as their own) the logs they had chosen.

They might sit in the harbor for long periods of time, and yet
everyone knew to whom they belonged. They were separated for
that specific lumber company. A small fee had been paid as earnest
money. The Holy Spirit that we have is our earnest deposit of the
good things to come.

On the great day of our final redemption when Christ returns, He


will take out of this world all who have been sealed with the Holy
Spirit. He will know they belong to Him.

15
VERSE 14 | Gods Guarantee

The Holy Spirit is the guarantee of our inheritance.


His presence in our lives is the down payment of the
good things to come in happy anticipation of its full
redemption.

EPHESIANS 1:14

That [Spirit] is the guarantee of our inheritance [the first fruits,


the pledge and foretaste, the down payment on our heritage], in
anticipation of its full redemption and our acquiring [complete]
possession of itto the praise of His glory.

How often do you think about your inheritance and the day of
the Lords return?

Paul encouraged the church to think of it often as an exercise in


hope! What we have now is not all that there is, and we should not
behave as if it were.

VERSE 15-20 | Pauls Prayer

1. That we might know God


2. That we might know the hope of our inheritance and
our calling, or that we might know who we are in Him

3. That we might know the power available to those who


believe

The same power that raised Christ from the dead dwells in us. (See
Romans 8:11 and Luke 10:19.)
16
Do you know these things or merely know about them?

We will know if we desire to know and study. God said that if we


would seek Him, we would find Him.

VERSE 21-23 | Christs Authority

Christ is far above all other authority or rule, not only in


this age, but in the world and age that are to come.

Everything is under His feet. He is the Head of all things and we


are His body; therefore, all things are also under our feet. We have
the wonderful gift of authority and power, and we certainly need to
learn to use it.

We are His body, and in that body lives the full measure of Him!

The church is the completeness of Christ!

Each of us has a part, a responsibility, a function, a gift and ability;


and as we employ them for the good and benefit of all, Christ is
complete in the earth.

He said, You will do what I have done and greater things shall you
do. (See John 14:12.)

17
The Good Dinosaur movieThe baby dinosaur lost his father and
lived in fear. He was being chased by critters and he wanted his
dad to come back and take care of him. But his dad wanted him to
know that he already had inside of him what he needed to meet
any challenge. There was one statement in the movie toward the
end that I took for myself!

Son (daughter), you have me in you and much morego get that
critter!

In what ways do you feel strong in God? How are you


experiencing the power that is yours in Christ?

18
EPHESIANS

CHAPTER 2

You might say that Ephesians, Chapter 2, reveals the Christians past,
present and future. It speaks of who we were before accepting Christ,
who we are now in Christ, and who we are foreordained to become as
we continue growing spiritually and walking in the good plan of God.

VERSE 1 | Who We Were Our Past

These verses talk about who we were when we were


following the ways of the world and were under the control
of Satan.

We obeyed the passions of the flesh and the impulses of the


mind.

We followed our own thoughts.

2 Corinthians 10:4-5 Satan does battle with us on the battlefield of


the mind!

For the weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh
and blood], but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and
destruction of strongholds.

[Inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and reasonings


and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true]
knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away
captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).

19
Our lives were filled with every kind of misery.

Describe a time before receiving Christ that you were


miserable. As you do, you will be very thankful that you have
a new life in Him.

I was unhappy, had no peace, drifting through one day after


another, finding fault with everyone and everything. I was
filled with bitterness and resentment because of the difficulties
of my life.

NOTE: I actually had received Christ, attended church regularly and


followed the rules of Christianity as I was taught them, but I was living
in who I was instead of who I am in Christ.

VERSE 4 | But God!

EPHESIANS 2:4

But Godso rich is He in His mercy! Because of and in order to


satisfy the great and wonderful and intense love with which
He loved us.

BUT GOD! He graciously and freely interrupted our misery and


fallen state.

Acts 7:9 Josephs brothers hated him, BUT GOD was with Him.
And the patriarchs [Jacobs sons], boiling with envy and hatred and
anger, sold Joseph into slavery in Egypt; but God was with him.

Genesis 50:20 Josephs brothers meant evil in their treatment

20
of him, BUT GOD meant it for good. As for you, you thought evil
against me, but God meant it for good, to bring about that many people
should be kept alive, as they are this day.

John 10:10 The devil comes to kill, steal and destroy, BUT JESUS
came that we might have and enjoy life. The thief comes only in order
to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life,
and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).

What situation do you have in your life that you need to trust
God to interrupt and work it out for good?

Prayer is an interruption into the plan of Satan!

VERSE 5-6 | Saved by His Grace

EPHESIANS 2:5-6

Even when we were dead (slain) by [our own] shortcomings


and trespasses, He made us alive together in fellowship and in
union with Christ; [He gave us the very life of Christ Himself,
the same new life with which He quickened Him, for] it is by
grace (His favor and mercy which you did not deserve) that you
are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of
Christs salvation).

And He raised us up together with Him and made us sit down


together [giving us joint seating with Him] in the heavenly
sphere [by virtue of our being] in Christ Jesus (the Messiah,
the Anointed One).

21
We have been given the very life of Christ!

Now we are saved by His grace.

He has raised us with Him and seated us in heavenly places.

Gods rest is ours!

How would you say you are living in the reality of who you are
now in Christ? Have you entered into Gods rest?

VERSE 7-9 | The Gift of God

EPHESIANS 2:7

He did this that He might clearly demonstrate through the ages


to come the immeasurable (limitless, surpassing) riches of His
free grace (His unmerited favor) in [His] kindness and goodness
of heart toward us in Christ Jesus.

He did this to clearly show that His grace has no limits! God will go
to any extreme to redeem His children.

EPHESIANS 2:8-9

For it is by free grace (Gods unmerited favor) that you are


saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christs
salvation) through [your] faith. And this [salvation] is not of
yourselves [of your own doing, it came not through your own
striving], but it is the gift of God.

22
Not because of works [not the fulfillment of the Laws demands],
lest any man should boast. [It is not the result of what anyone
can possibly do, so no one can pride himself in it or take glory to
himself.]

We are saved only by grace, not by our own works or striving!

Are you still trying to earn and deserve what God has given
freely? Explain.

VERSE 10 | Gods Masterpiece

EPHESIANS 2:10

For we are Gods [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated


in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works
which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking
paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in
them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready
for us to live].

God recreated us in Christ that we may do the good works that He


has predestined (planned). He desires us to take the paths that He
laid out. We walk in them and live the good life that He has made
ready for us.

1. God created us. Satan, sin and the world damaged us, but
God recreated us and made us new!

2. We are partners with God. He has provided a good life for


us and we are told to choose to live in it.

23
Are you making choices that allow you to live the good life?
Are there any choices you need to make right now that will
help you do more good works and live a better life?

VERSE 11-12 | Remember...

EPHESIANS 2:11-12

Therefore, remember that at one time you were Gentiles (hea-


thens) in the flesh, called Uncircumcision by those who called
themselves Circumcision, [itself a mere mark] in the flesh made
by human hands.

[Remember] that you were at that time separated (living apart)


from Christ [excluded from all part in Him], utterly estranged
and outlawed from the rights of Israel as a nation, and strangers
with no share in the sacred compacts of the [Messianic] promise
[with no knowledge of or right in Gods agreements, His cove-
nants]. And you had no hope (no promise); you were in the world
without God.

We are reminded again of what we were.


1. Separated from God
2. Walking in the flesh
3. Rejected and criticized
4. We had no knowledge of Gods promises, and no share
in them.

5. We had no hope and were in the world without God!

24
(Think about what a terrible condition we were in, and many
are still in.)

VERSE 13-16 | But Now!

But NOW in Christ, we have been brought near.

Christ is our peace.

Dividing walls have been broken down in Him.

No one is above us or beneath us. We are all equal in Christ.


No need to compare or compete.

Galatians 3:28 No one is superior. No male or female, Jew or


Greek, slave or free. There is [now no distinction] neither Jew nor
Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is not male and female;
for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Do you feel inferior to anyone? Do you suffer with insecurity


or a lack of confidence? If so, keep growing in knowing who you
are in Christ!

VERSE 17-20 | We Belong to Gods Household

Paul expounds more on what is ours now in Christ.

The people of God, collectively and individually, are a


temple for God to dwell in. That temple is continually being
built up and is rising higher and higher.

25
Matthew 18:20 Where two or three are gathered, there I am in the
midst of them. For wherever two or three are gathered (drawn
together as My followers) in (into) My name, there I Am in the
midst of them.

You are special, set apart for Gods use! All believers in Christ are
your family!

We are being built up for a temple in the Lord! Jesus was a


carpenter by trade and He is building you into His image.

What are you doing to grow? How are you growing


spiritually? Do you realize that you are the home of God,
and that you are part of something absolutely amazing?

You are part of Gods temple, and He is the chief cornerstone!

26
EPHESIANS

CHAPTER 3

VERSE 1-5 | Suffering for Christ

The apostle Paul mentions again that he is a prisoner for


the Lord, for the sake of the Gentiles. He was called to
preach to them, and he was willing to suffer any type of
persecution in order to fulfill his call!

How much would you be willing to suffer in order to fulfill the


call of God on your life?

In our western culture, we are not good at being uncomfortable or


even inconvenienced. Perhaps we need a new mindsetI will
suffer rather than fail to please God.

1 Peter 4:1 So, since Christ suffered in the flesh for us, for you, arm
yourselves with the same thought and purpose [patiently to suffer
rather than fail to please God].

The reason why people walk in the flesh is because of an


unwillingness to suffer (be uncomfortable).

Colossians 3:1-5 Kill the flesh! (Ouch!)

27
VERSE 6 | Fellow Heirs

The Gentiles are to be fellow heirs with the Jews.

EPHESIANS 3:6

[It is this:] that the Gentiles are now to be fellow heirs [with the
Jews], members of the same body and joint partakers [sharing]
in the same divine promise in Christ through [their acceptance
of] the glad tidings (the Gospel).

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

The Gentiles becoming fellow heirs with the Jews was a cultural
shock to Jew and Gentilemore than we can even imagine!

The Jews had worked hard and followed the rules for centuries, and
now the Gentiles who had never done that were to be given the
same benefits as the Jews.

Example: The oldest child in a family often feels this way about the
baby who has it easier than the oldest child ever did! They
frequently say, He gets everything handed to him, but I had to
work for everything I got!

Matthew 20:1-15 The parable of the master who hired workers at


various times of the day, but paid them all the same amount.

John 1:17 The law came through Moses, but grace and truth came
through Jesus! For while the Law was given through Moses, grace
(unearned, undeserved favor and spiritual blessing) and truth came
through Jesus Christ.

Why give the law? Why not just start with grace?

The dispensation of the law/The dispensation of graceBoth were


long periods of time in which God interacts with His people in
different ways.

28
NOTE: The law had to be given so man could discover that he could never
keep it! He needed God and His help.

Man had to face that he was a sinner in order to accept a Savior!

Jesus came full of grace and truth.

ADDITIONAL SCRIPTURES

Romans 5:6 While we were yet in weakness [powerless to help


ourselves], at the fitting time Christ died for (in behalf of) the ungodly.

Romans 5:20 But then Law came in, [only] to expand and increase
the trespass [making it more apparent and exciting opposition]. But
where sin increased and abounded, grace (Gods unmerited favor)
has surpassed it and increased the more and superabounded.

Galatians 3:10 All those who seek to be justified through


depending on the law are doomed to disappointment! And all who
depend on the Law [who are seeking to be justified by obedience to the
Law of rituals] are under a curse and doomed to disappointment and
destruction, for it is written in the Scriptures, Cursed (accursed,
devoted to destruction, doomed to eternal punishment) be everyone
who does not continue to abide (live and remain) by all the precepts and
commands written in the Book of the Law and to practice them.

THE LONG-RANGE PLAN OF GOD

After Adam and Eve sinned, God waited to find someone to work
through in order to return things to His original plan. He planned
to get His man back and restore His authority.

See Luke 4:6 The devil told Jesus that power had been turned over
to him, but he was unaware that Jesus was prepared to take it back!

29
1 John 3:8 The reason Jesus came was to destroy the works of the
devil!! [But] he who commits sin [who practices evildoing] is of the
devil [takes his character from the evil one], for the devil has sinned
(violated the divine law) from the beginning. The reason the Son of God
was made manifest (visible) was to undo (destroy, loosen, and dissolve)
the works the devil [has done].

God works through people. We are partners with God! He worked


through Abraham, Moses, Joseph, Esther, Ruth, Daniel, the
prophets, etc.

See Genesis 12:1-3 He found Abraham and made a covenant of faith


with him that in essence said, You trust me (believe) and I will make
you great.

If God spoke to you, would you be willing to leave all and


follow Him, even if you did not know where you were going?

We cannot always follow what seems reasonable and experience


Gods best for our lives.

Abraham experienced extreme blessings, but he had no heir to


leave them to. (See Genesis 15:1-6.)

Describe a situation in which you are willing to believe what


is impossible with man, but possible with God.

30
Ultimately, Abraham and Sarah had Isaac, Isaac had Jacob,
and Jacob had Joseph who through a seemingly very unfair
circumstance, ended up in Egypt. Severe famine was in the land,
but God had Joseph (His man) uniquely positioned where the food
was to make sure His people were taken care of.

God arranged circumstances in such a way that He had Joseph


positioned right where He needed him at a crucial time in history!

Joseph had a dream.

His brothers hated him, and pretended he had been killed and sold
him to slave traders.

He was sold to Potiphar, whose wife tried to seduce him.

He resisted even though he went to prison.

Would you suffer rather than compromise your morals or


integrity? Explain.

Eventually the king had a disturbing dream and was told of Joseph,
who had ability to interpret dreams.

The dream revealed years of famine coming, and a plan to store up


grain to make sure there was enough food.

Joseph was put in charge of the plan.

When his brothers who had abused him came to Egypt for help,
they had no idea they would be asking Joseph for help.

Joseph helped them without reproach or faultfinding.

31
Joseph foretold before his death that the Israelites would be
delivered from Egypt, and gave a commandment that they should
carry his bones with them.

Once again, we see that God finds people to work through.

Moses enters the scene some 400 years after Joseph. He was
destined by God to deliver the Israelites from slavery in Egypt.

Many miraculous things took place in order for Moses to be


positioned to do that at just the right time in history.

The Israelites were growing in number, and there were more of


them than there were of the Egyptians. The king of Egypt gave
orders to the midwives that if a boy child was born, they were to
kill him. But the midwives feared God more than the king, and
they hid Moses when he was born. The Pharaohs daughter found
him and raised him as her own in the kings palace.

When it was Gods time for the Jews to be delivered, Moses was
in the right place at the right time, and God had already prepared
his heart.

John 1:17 The law came through Moses, but grace and truth
came through Jesus Christ! For while the Law was given through
Moses, grace (unearned, undeserved favor and spiritual blessing) and
truth came through Jesus Christ.

Describe a time when God had you in the right place at the
right time?

32
Do you believe that God has a plan for your protection and
deliverance, even though you dont know what it is? Explain.

VERSE 7-8 | Gifts, Talents & Abilities

Paul expresses that grace alone made him a minister, and


that Gods power gave him the gift. He says with humility
that he is the least of all the saints, making it clear that
he does not think himself to be better than anyone else
because of the revelations God has given him.

Do you fully realize that all of your gifts, talents and abilities
are gifts from God and should in no way make you feel
superior to anyone else?

It is very important that we never see ourselves as better than


others just because we can do things they cannot do.

Romans 12:3 Reminds us not to think more highly of ourselves than


we ought to, but each one according to the grace of God given to us.

33
VERSE 12 | Approaching God

EPHESIANS 3:12

In Whom, because of our faith in Him, we dare to have the


boldness (courage and confidence) of free access (an unreserved
approach to God with freedom and without fear).

What good news it is that we have free access to God. We can


approach Him at any time without fear, and boldly and confidently
talk with Him about anything and everything.

God is interested in everything about us!

Write a bold, courageous prayer to God.

VERSE 13 | Press On

EPHESIANS 3:13

So I ask you not to lose heart [not to faint or become despondent


through fear] at what I am suffering in your behalf. [Rather glory
in it] for it is an honor to you.

When things get difficult in life, keep these things in mind and it
will encourage you and enable you to press on boldly!

34
VERSE 14-19 | Pauls Prayer

1. Paul prayed, May you be strengthened with mighty power


in the inner man, by the Holy Spirit indwelling your
innermost being and personality!
Wow! A spirit-filled personality!

2. That we would be rooted deep in love and founded


securely on love.
Knowing the love of God makes us secure in a world filled
with insecurity.

3. Paul wanted us to experience the love of God rather than


merely having knowledge of it.

4. He prayed that we would be filled with God, and become


bodies wholly filled and flooded with Him.

These are the types of things we should be praying for instead


of simply asking for more and more things, or relief from our
troubles.

How are your prayers like Pauls? Should you perhaps pray
more for your inward life and less for your outer
(circumstances)?

35
VERSE 20-21 | Greater Things

EPHESIANS 3:20-21

Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power
that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and]
do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or
think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts,
hopes, or dreams]

To Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all


generations forever and ever. Amen (so be it).

NOW, (after we know the love of God and the strength of God that
is ours)

He is able to do more than we could ever dare to hope, ask, think or


imagine according to His power that works in us. Unconditional love
gives us courage to pray boldly!

God intends to do greater things than you could imagine through you
not just for you, but through you.

Think big, hope aggressively, ask for the impossible, and let your
imagination run wild with the things that are possible with God!

Do you pray, plan, ask, think and imagine big? Explain.

36
RECAP

One of the keys to experiencing Gods great plan for our life
is knowing who we are in Christ and how much He loves us.
Studying these first three chapters of Ephesians has shown
us what that truth looks like and how to put it into action in
our own life.

We also learned about the importance of Gods grace and


peace in our life. When we know how to receive Gods grace,
it will help us experience Gods peace. We cannot enjoy the
life Christ died to give us until we understand and accept
Gods grace.

But because of his great love for us,


God, who is rich in mercy, made us
alive with Christ even when we were
dead in transgressionsit is by grace
you have been saved.

EPHESIANS 2:4-5 (NIV)

37
CHAPTERS 4-6

OUR
BEHAVIOR
AS BELIEVERS
IN CHRIST

39
EPHESIANS

CHAPTER 4

VERSE 1 | An Appeal to Believers

Paul appeals to (begs) the believers to live with behavior


that will be a credit to God!

EPHESIANS 4:1

I therefore, the prisoner for the Lord, appeal to and beg you to
walk (lead a life) worthy of the [divine] calling to which you have
been called [with behavior that is a credit to the summons to
Gods service.

If we are going to call ourselves Christians, we should purpose to


behave as He did.

The fig tree with only leaves and no fruit.

Matthew 21:18-19 In the early dawn the next morning, as He was


coming back to the city, He was hungry.

And as He saw one single leafy fig tree above the roadside, He went to
it but He found nothing but leaves on it [seeing that in the fig tree the
fruit appears at the same time as the leaves]. And He said to it, Never
again shall fruit grow on you! And the fig tree withered up at once.

40
What fruit of the spirit is evident in your life that backs up
your claim to be a Christian (Christ follower)?

Do you examine the fruit of other people, or are you merely


impressed by what they say? Explain.

VERSE 2 | Attitudes That Are Proper for Christians

EPHESIANS 4:2

Living as becomes you] with complete lowliness of mind (humil-


ity) and meekness (unselfishness, gentleness, mildness), with
patience, bearing with one another and making allowances
because you love one another.

HUMILITY

MEEKNESS (unselfishness, gentleness, mildness)

Matthew 11:29 The reason Jesus came was to destroy the works
of the devil! Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle
(meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and
ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls.

Philippians 2:5 Let this same attitude and purpose and [humble]
mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus: [Let Him be your example
in humility:].
41
He willingly laid aside His divinity and took on humanity. He made
Himself a servant. He washed His disciples feet!

Example: The CEO should at times lay aside the importance


connected to his position and identify with the factory worker!

PATIENCE Patience means putting up with (enduring) some things


in people that you dont like because of love!

Luke 21:19 By your steadfastness and patient endurance you shall win
the true life of your souls.

Self-control requires having control of your soul!

*Being patient with the timing of God in our lives is the foundation
for being patient with all other things.

Very often bad behavior in our daily lives has roots in a deeper
problem! When I am content in my soul, I tend to be more content
with life in general.

Ecclesiastes 7:8 the patient in spirit is better than the proud in


spirit.

The proud man always thinks he deserves more than he has. He


does not think he should have to wait. He is too good and too
important to wait!

James 1:4 But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full
play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and
fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing.

The patient man is perfect and entire, lacking in nothing! The


patient man has fully developed character.

Do you study and seek the fruit of the Spirit regularly?

42
VERSE 3-6 | Unity & Oneness

We must seek unity within diversitywe are all very


different!

Psalm 133 Where there is unity, there is anointing and blessing!


Therefore, I can assume that where there is no unity, there is no
anointing and no blessing!

Matthew 5:9 Blessed (enjoying enviable happiness, spiritually


prosperouswith life-joy and satisfaction in Gods favor and
salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the makers
and maintainers of peace, for they shall be called the sons of God!

Makers and maintainers of peace are mature (sons).

In what areas of your life do you feel peace? Why?

VERSE 7-14 | Grace for Our Place

We all have different gifts, and God gives each of us grace


for our place.

These gifts were given when Christ ascended on high and


led captivity captive.

H.A. Ironside, in his commentary on Ephesians, stated:


our blessed Lord in His triumph over death led captive him
who had the power of death up to that time, that He might deliver
those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to
bondage (Hebrews 2:15). In other words, our mighty enemy, Satan,

43
is now a conquered foe. He has been led captive at the chariot wheels
of Christ, and our Lord has now ascended as Man and taken His
place upon the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, and there from
His exalted seat in glory He gives these gifts to His church for its
edification and blessing. 1

1. H. A. Ironside, Ephesians: An Ironside Expository Commentary, Kregel Publications,


Kegel, Inc., Grand Rapids, MI, 1937, 2007, p. 107.

Apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor and teacher are given for the
perfecting of the saints that they might do the work of the
ministry, growing into maturity and perfection of character.

VERSE 15-17 | Grow Up!

EPHESIANS 4:15-16

Rather, let our lives lovingly express truth [in all things, speaking
truly, dealing truly, living truly]. Enfolded in love, let us grow up
in every way and in all things into Him Who is the Head, [even]
Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).

For because of Him the whole body (the church, in all its various
parts), closely joined and firmly knit together by the joints and
ligaments with which it is supplied, when each part [with power
adapted to its need] is working properly [in all its functions],
grows to full maturity, building itself up in love.

Dont behave like the heathen.

EPHESIANS 4:17

So this I say and solemnly testify in [the name of] the Lord [as in
His presence], that you must no longer live as the heathen (the
Gentiles) do in their perverseness [in the folly, vanity, and empti-
ness of their souls and the futility] of their minds.

44
VERSE 22-24 | Change

1. Strip yourself of your former nature.


2. Be constantly renewed in your mind and attitude.
3. Put on the new nature, created in Gods image.

VERSE 26-27 | Controlling Our Anger

EPHESIANS 4:26-27

When angry, do not sin; do not ever let your wrath (your exas-
peration, your fury or indignation) last until the sun goes down.

Leave no [such] room or foothold for the devil [give no opportuni-


ty to him].

Anger is an open door for the devil! Dont give him the opportunity
to invade your life.

How is your anger affecting those around you? Are you


allowing deep rooted unforgiveness to remain in your life?

45
VERSE 28-29 | Our Behavior

EPHESIANS 4:28-29

Let the thief steal no more, but rather let him be industrious,
making an honest living with his own hands, so that he may be
able to give to those in need.

Let no foul or polluting language, nor evil word nor unwhole-


some or worthless talk [ever] come out of your mouth, but only
such [speech] as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of
others, as is fitting to the need and the occasion, that it may be a
blessing and give grace (Gods favor) to those who hear it.

VERSE 30-32 | Dont Grieve the Holy Spirit

DONT GRIEVE THE HOLY SPIRIT by whom you were sealed!

EPHESIANS 4:30

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God [do not offend or vex or
sadden Him], by Whom you were sealed (marked, branded as
Gods own, secured) for the day of redemption (of final deliver-
ance through Christ from evil and the consequences of sin).

More instructions on how to behave

EPHESIANS 4:31-32

Let all bitterness and indignation and wrath (passion, rage,


bad temper) and resentment (anger, animosity) and quarreling
(brawling, clamor, contention) and slander (evil-speaking,
abusive or blasphemous language) be banished from you,
with all malice (spite, ill will, or baseness of any kind).

And become useful and helpful and kind to one another,


tenderhearted (compassionate, understanding, loving-hearted),
forgiving one another [readily and freely], as God in Christ
forgave you.

46
NOTE: If we know who we are in Christ and understand that God views us as
righteous and that His love is not based on our behavior, then we will
welcome chastisement in our lives and we will love hearing and studying
scriptures that confront our behavior.

Hebrews 5:12-14 For even though by this time you ought to be


teaching others, you actually need someone to teach you over again
the very first principles of Gods Word. You have come to need milk,
not solid food.

For everyone who continues to feed on milk is obviously inexperienced


and unskilled in the doctrine of righteousness (of conformity to the
divine will in purpose, thought, and action), for he is a mere infant
[not able to talk yet]!

But solid food is for full-grown men, for those whose senses and
mental faculties are trained by practice to discriminate and
distinguish between what is morally good and noble and what is
evil and contrary either to divine or human law.

Follow Gods example, therefore, as


dearly loved children and walk in the
way of love, just as Christ loved us and
gave himself up for us as a fragrant
offering and sacrifice to God.

EPHESIANS 5:1-2 (NIV)

47
EPHESIANS

CHAPTER 5

VERSE 1-9 | Pursue Clean Living!

Because of the great work Christ has done in our behalf, we should
be imitators of Him.

Dont compromise!

Walk in love.

It requires daily vigilance because our flesh is selfish! The Holy


Spirit works with us reminding us to choose to walk in the Spirit.

1 Corinthians 13:1-8 Love can be seen and felt!

1 John 3:14-18 Love is not mere theory or words, but deeds and
actions.

In what ways could you improve how you treat people? How
do you treat people the way you would like to be treated?

48
Paul warns against:

Sexual sin Lustful, rich, wasteful living


Greediness Indecency
Coarse jesting Foolish, silly, corrupt talk

Instead, be thankful and voice your thankfulness.

People who practice these things have no inheritance in Gods


kingdom!

Dont make excuses or be deceived by them.

Dont associate with people who do behave in this way.

You are light, and light is seen in every form of kindly goodness,
purity of heart and truth.

VERSE 10-13 | Pleasing God

Learn in your experience what is pleasing to God and live


accordingly.

Wanting to please God should be our goal and deep desire!

Colossians 1:10 That you may walk (live and conduct yourselves)
in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him and desiring to
please Him in all things, bearing fruit in every good work and steadily
growing and increasing in and by the knowledge of God [with fuller,
deeper, and clearer insight, acquaintance, and recognition].

1 Thessalonians 4:1 Furthermore, brethren, we beg and admonish


you in [virtue of our union with] the Lord Jesus, that [you follow the
instructions which] you learned from us about how you ought to
walk so as to please and gratify God, as indeed you are doing, [and]
that you do so even more and more abundantly [attaining yet greater
perfection in living this life].

49
When the Lord is pleased, we feel pleasure also because He lives in
us; and when He is grieved, we feel grieved!

What are some ways you try to be a God-pleaser rather than


a man-pleaser?

VERSE 14-17 | Make the Most of Your Time!

Dont be a sleepy Christian. Be alert! Be watchful! Live


carefully. Live with purpose!

Dont be vague!

What are some ways you wake up and seize each day? Are you
vague or decisive? Do you waste time or are you making the
most of it?

VERSE 18-20 | Maintaining a Happy Heart

Dont get drunk! If you stay filled with the Holy Spirit and
maintain a happy heart, you will be happy without that.

50
VERSE 21-23 | Husbands & Wives

The relationship between husbands and wives

Submit to one another.

Wives, submit and adapt to your husbands!

That does not mean women should be controlled and ruled by their
husbands. However, it does mean that for the sake of order and peace
when the two dont agree, the wife should adapt to her husband.

When a husband loves his wife properly, she wont resist


submitting to him.

When two are married, they become one!

A godly marriage is a great mystery and represents Christs


relationship with the Church.

What are some ways you feel you have submitted to authority
when it was difficult for you?

51
EPHESIANS

CHAPTER 6

VERSE 1-9 | Honoring Others

Here we have the finish of what began in Ephesians 5:22


regarding the Christian family and what their behavior
should be toward one another.

Honoring our father and mother is the first commandment with a


promise! We are promised that things will be well with us and we
will live a long life.

What is the reverse side of this? If we do not honor our father and
mother, it will not be well with us, and our lives could be shortened
as a result.

What if our parents are dishonorable? Are we then relieved of the


need to obey this command?

I think we then must do the best we can, and do it for the Lord.

VERSES 2 & 7 These verses urge us to do these things as a


service to the Lord.

EPHESIANS 6:2

Honor (esteem and value as precious) your father and your


motherthis is the first commandment with a promise.

52
EPHESIANS 6:7

Rendering service readily with goodwill, as to the Lord and not


to men.

VERSES 8 Our reward will come from Him.

EPHESIANS 6:8

Knowing that for whatever good anyone does, he will receive his
reward from the Lord, whether he is slave or free.

CHAPTERS 5:22-6:9 are pictures of what the Christian


family and Christian relationships should look like. When
modeled properly, this can be a great example to the world
around us.

H.A. Ironside, in his commentary on Ephesians, stated:


You will notice how intimately verse 22 is linked with verse 21:
Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. This is
a principle of Christian living which applies to believers in every
relationship of life, and now that the apostle turns to consider the
Christian family he shows that it applies there. Did you ever stop
to think what a wonderful institution the Christian family is? In
reading a letter from a missionary in a heathen land I was struck by
a paragraph which read something like this:

How we wish that some of our Christian people could come


and settle among us, even if not to engage in missionary work.
There are different ways by which one might make his living
among this semi-civilized people. For instance, we might have a
Christian dentist and his wife, or a Christian worker in leather,
a shoemaker, harness maker, and his wife and family. It would
mean a great deal to us to have a harmonious family here, for
we can conceive of nothing that could so commend Christianity
to our people as just to see a Christian family functioning
according to the New Testament. It would be so utterly different
from anything our people have ever known. A Christian husband
loving and honoring his wife, a Christian wife living in sweet and

53
beautiful subjection and loyalty in her home. Christian children
who really delight in obedience to their parents, parents who
love their children and seek to bring them up in the nurture and
admonition of the Lord. 2

2. H. A. Ironside, Ephesians: An Ironside Expository Commentary, Kregel Publications,


Kegel, Inc., Grand Rapids, MI, 1937, 2007, p. 157.

Do your family (relatives and friends) relationships look like


this? If not, what can you do to improve those relationships?

VERSE 10 | Be Strong in the Lord

EPHESIANS 6:10

In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [be empowered through your


union with Him]; draw your strength from Him [that strength
which His boundless might provides].

Our strength is found in Christ. Through oneness with Him and


time with Him, we are empowered for daily life and all opposition.

Do you spend regular quality time with God, seeking the


strength that is found only in Him?

VERSE 11-13 | Spiritual Battle

We are in a spiritual battle.

We are soldiers in Gods army.

54
God supplies us with armor to protect us, but we must put it on.

Do all each crisis demands and then stand (abide) in Christ. Do


what God assigns you to do and then wait, trusting Him to do what
only He can do.

VERSE 14-18 | The Armor of God

We are fighting a real enemy. We dont see him or his army with
our natural eye, but we do see and feel the results of their attack.
We are protected from our enemies by putting on the armor that
God gives us.

Revelation 16:15 Behold, I am going to come like a thief! Blessed


(happy, to be envied) is he who stays awake (alert) and who guards
his clothes, so that he may not be naked and [have the shame of
being] seen exposed!

Spiritual clothing! We dont see this clothing, but it is clearly seen


in the spiritual realm.

Put on Christ, love, mercy, and the full armor of God!

Judges 6:34 But the Spirit of the Lord clothed Gideon with Himself
and took possession of him, and he blew a trumpet, and [the clan of]
Abiezer was gathered to him.

Job 29:14 I put on righteousness, and it clothed me or clothed


itself with me; my justice was like a robe and a turban or a diadem
or a crown!

THE BELT OF TRUTH

In battle, tighten the belt of truth! Hang on to Gods promises


in His Word more strongly than at any other time. Knowing the
truth is very valuable.

55
What are some things you do to regularly study Gods Word?

If you dont like your answer, then KEEP GROWING!

THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS

Romans 5:17 For if because of one mans trespass (lapse, offense)


death reigned through that one, much more surely will those who
receive [Gods] overflowing grace (unmerited favor) and the free gift
of righteousness [putting them into right standing with Himself]
reign as kings in life through the one Man Jesus Christ (the Messiah,
the Anointed One).

Knowing who you are in Christ and understanding how God views
you is vital to spiritual warfare!

What kind of relationship do you have with yourself? Do you


love yourself in a balanced and healthy way? Do you feel
guilty and condemned or forgiven and righteous?

If you dont like your answer, then KEEP GROWING!

EPHESIANS 1:17-19

Paul prayed three very important things for the church.

1. Know God.
2. Know what your inheritance is and the hope He has
called you to.

3. Know the power that is yours as a believer in Christ.

56
THE SHOES OF PEACE

Walk in peace at all times!

Philippians 4:6-7 Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything,


but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition
(definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants
known to God.

And Gods peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured
of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and
being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace]
which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard
over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

1 Peter 3:10-11 For let him who wants to enjoy life and see good days
[goodwhether apparent or not] keep his tongue free from evil and
his lips from guile (treachery, deceit).

Let him turn away from wickedness and shun it, and let him do right.
Let him search for peace (harmony; undisturbedness from fears,
agitating passions, and moral conflicts) and seek it eagerly. [Do not
merely desire peaceful relations with God, with your fellowmen, and
with yourself, but pursue, go after them!]

1 Thessalonians 5:6 Accordingly then, let us not sleep, as the rest


do, but let us keep wide awake (alert, watchful, cautious, and on our
guard) and let us be sober (calm, collected, and circumspect).

Be on guard to remain calm at all times.

How have you used peace as a powerful weapon against


the devil?

KEEP GROWING!

57
THE SHIELD OF FAITH

Habakkuk 2:4 Look at the proud; his soul is not straight or right
within him, but the [rigidly] just and the [uncompromisingly]
righteous man shall live by his faith and in his faithfulness.

Let faith be mixed with everything you do. Walk in faith.


Live by faith.

Lift up the shield refers to RELEASING your faith!

Faith is released by praying, saying and doing (actions and


attitudes).

EPHESIANS 6:16 Lift up OVER ALL the shield of saving faith!

Take a minute and think about what you are thinking about.
In what way(s) could you think more like God?

If you dont like your answer, then KEEP GROWING!

THE HELMET OF SALVATION

Think like a Christian.

Always be full of hope, especially in battle!

2 Corinthians 10:4-5 For the weapons of our warfare are not


physical [weapons of flesh and blood], but they are mighty before
God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds.

58
[Inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and reasonings
and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true]
knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away
captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One)

The mind is the battlefield.

Psalm 27:13 [What, what would have become of me] had I not
believed that I would see the Lords goodness in the land of the living!

How many things do you do without faith?

If you dont like your answer, then KEEP GROWING!

THE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT THE WORD OF GOD

The importance of speaking the Word of God cannot be


over-exaggerated! It contains power that is greater than we
may ever fully realize.

Hebrews 4:12 For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of
power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is
sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line
of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and
marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and
analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart.

Revelation 1:16 In His right hand He held seven stars, and from His
mouth there came forth a sharp two-edged sword, and His face was
like the sun shining in full power at midday.

59
Revelation 19:15 From His mouth goes forth a sharp sword with
which He can smite (afflict, strike) the nations; and He will shepherd
and control them with a staff (scepter, rod) of iron. He will tread the
winepress of the fierceness of the wrath and indignation of God the
All-Ruler (the Almighty, the Omnipotent).

Do you regularly speak Gods Word over your life and


situations? If you dont, you can start now!

COVER EVERYTHING WITH PRAYER

Prayer is the greatest privilege we have and contains power beyond


our imagination! If we really understood the power of prayer, we
would pray without ceasing!

James 4:2 You are jealous and covet [what others have] and your
desires go unfulfilled; [so] you become murderers. [To hate is to
murder as far as your hearts are concerned.] You burn with envy and
anger and are not able to obtain [the gratification, the contentment,
and the happiness that you seek], so you fight and war. You do not
have, because you do not ask.

John 14:13-14 And I will do [I Myself will grant] whatever you ask
in My Name [as presenting all that I Am], so that the Father may be
glorified and extolled in (through) the Son.

[Yes] I will grant [I Myself will do for you] whatever you shall ask in
My Name [as presenting all that I Am].

John 15:7 If you live in Me [abide vitally united to Me] and My words
remain in you and continue to live in your hearts, ask whatever you
will, and it shall be done for you.

John 16:24 Up to this time you have not asked a [single] thing in My
Name [as presenting all that I Am]; but now ask and keep on asking
and you will receive, so that your joy (gladness, delight) may be full
and complete.
60
How committed are you to prayer?

If you dont like your answer, today is the right day to make a
change!

NOTE: Ephesians gives a full picture of the Christians privilege, inheritance


and responsibilities. Study it often. I pray this series of teachings has helped you!

RECAP

In light of who we are in Christ, the last three chapters


of Ephesians teaches us about our behavior. We are
made to bring glory to God, so our behaviors are very
important. Changing our behavior is not a work of the
flesh something we feel like we have to do to get God to
love us, but its something we want to do because of our
great love for Him.

The truth is, you cant really change your behavior until
you know who you are in Christ. And we cant change
ourselves, but we can ask God to change us. Its only by Gods
grace and help that we are able to become who He says we
can be in Him.

59
For the word of God is alive
and powerful. It is sharper than
the sharpest two-edged sword,
cutting between soul and spirit,
between joint and marrow. It exposes
our innermost thoughts and desires.

HEBREWS 4:12 ( N LT)