• How would you recap who God is and what He has done according to Ephesians 1:3-14?
Paul’s prayer is essentially pleading, “God, reveal yourself to them through the scriptures so they would know who you are…give them wisdom so when they live their life, they look like Christians who know what you have first done for them.” It is a good prayer that focuses upon seeing and feeling. Many times we equate seeing something with reality and feeling with emotion, but here Paul wants our “seeing” to move us to the place that we feel it…one leads directly to the other. This is about taking the mystery of the Gospel and making it known.
• How have you tasted and seen that the Lord is good—truly experiencing Him beyond mere knowledge?
• What aspects of walking with Jesus do you want to “feel” more real?
Paul will now, as a follow-up to the first 14 verses, tell the Ephesians how he prays for them…with an emphasis on clarity.
Read Ephesians 1:15-23.
Clarity #1: Hope (v18). Biblical hope is certain. One definition is: a life-shaping certainty that hasn’t happened yet, but you know is going to happen. That means what God has determined to do, He will do…it is settled forever. What has God settled? Everything spoken about in Ephesians 1:3-14. God has set His love on us from all eternity and He is never turning back. Paul says, “I pray that you will be able to see the certainty of that and know the value of it.”
• What do you tend to hope in? (If you are in a group, you may be able to speak into each other’s lives here!)
• What is the basis for the certainty of hope in Jesus?
Clarity #2 Inheritance (v18). God has an inheritance…what is it? The saints. God has adopted us into His family in the Gospel. When God saw us, He saw everything—all of our flaws and shortcomings, and chose to love us anyway. God has deemed to make us His inheritance and that cannot be taken away.
• What does it mean to be God’s inheritance?
• What would change about your daily life if you embraced this reality?
Clarity #3: Power (v19-21). Resurrection is the greatest power imaginable; it brings life out of death. God is not only powerful enough to create good stuff out of nothing; He is able to create good things out of our sin.
• Why do you think Paul uses resurrection as an example of power?
• Do you live as if the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead is within you?
Clarity #4: Jesus’ rule over, in, and through the church (v22). Jesus has a plan and a purpose and nothing can stop His ultimate purpose(His glory and our good). He dwells and works in us, His people (the Church), making us into people who love and resemble Him.
1. What is your source of hope/worth?
2. Take a look at your everyday life…what are you living for?
3. Do you realize how much power is available to you?
May we understand the Gospel in such a way that we have the clarity of what Jesus has done and live in that understanding…no longer hidden in mystery, but seen clearly.