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26 th June 2011 Cell Questions Imitating Christ

We continued our series on “Practising Resurrection – growing up in Christ”, looking together at Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. At the core of the Christian walk is becoming like Christ and Paul’s letter to the Ephesians explores this. So in the first 3 chapters we looked at God’s call on our lives and in these final 3 chapters our walking in response to that call. When these two are in balance then we are living lives that are whole and mature. The passagewe studied on Sunday is a passagethat has caused lots of problems over the years – especially the 2nd half. But often the problems come about becausewe haven’t read the problem passagein the light of the rest of the passageand the rest of scripture. The key to understanding this passageis the first verse read out to us. Paul wants us to imitate the love of God as dearly loved children. When you see this happen it transforms the passage. Firstly, Paul puts boundaries on our behaviour by pointing out that the things he talks about, sexual immorality, greed etc, lead to idolatrous behaviour and are not based on love (putting something else in the place of God). He then looks at how we need to live as children of life. This requires each other. We are called to live in community and we need each other to support us to grow in our life of faith. This requires us to use wisdom (and the wisdom of others as well) and Paul gives us some ideas by pointing us to a life of worship and thanksgiving. Paul then comes to relationships. Here he believes that the relationship between husband and wife needs to be based on love and mutual submission (remember I mentioned that the word submit/subject isn’t actually in the original greek in v22 – it should read “Wives to your husband as to the Lord”). None of this is about power and control. Read Ephesians 5:1-6:9 1. Which person is the best influence in your life? Why is that? 2. As you look back over your life since becoming a Christian, what has made the biggest difference in growing in Christ-likeness? 3. How might a life of worship and thanksgiving help us in our walk with God?How can we help each other to achieve this more? 4. Are you more drawn to living a life based on principles or do you prefer rules and regulations? Paul wants us to live out of the life of love of God – when you see the household code this way how does this change how you read the wife/husband; child/parent; slaves/masters parts of the passage? Note: Do remember that tickets for Feast in the Field are now available so that you can invite family, friends, neighbours, colleaguesto this great fun day (you can book them online)

cell notes 26 june  

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