WEEK 5: Ephesians 3:14-17 Talking Together What was your relationship with your father like? Did you come from a Christian home? What kind of influence did your family have on your spiritual life? How was your physical father like or unlike the spiritual Father you have in God? Observing the Text Mark up the highlighted text (Eph. 3:14-17a) with your observations and questions. Also make note of any connections you see with the highlighted text and the rest of the passage below.
Ephesians 3 (New International Version) 7
I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God's grace given me
through the working of his power. 8Although I am less than the least of all God's people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. 10His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, 11according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. 13I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory. 14
For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15from whom his whole
family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit
in your inner being, 17so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19and to know this love that surpasses knowledgeâ€”that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Interpreting and Applying the Text What was the theme of last week’s study?
What stood out to you from last week?
Paul begins in verse 14 with “For this reason…” Tying his prayer back to Ephesians 2:1. Looking at the previous verses for context, what truths in the previous section is Paul using to build his argument in the following verses?
What are some implications of every family deriving its name from God the Father?
Notice how Paul prays. What does he appeal to as the basis of his prayer? Our prayers should be informed by our understanding of God. Why would the ‘riches of God’s glory’ affect how I pray?
Paul also prays for power through the Spirit in our inner being – notice that Paul is not necessarily praying for power in our physical bodies. Why is that important to Paul?
God avails us of his riches in glory for our inner beings. He empowers us for a specific purpose that Paul explains in verse 17. What is it?
Pulling It All Together Faith is the currency of the Christian’s life. Faith is what God seeks to develop and strengthen in our lives. What do these verses say about the importance of faith to our spiritual lives?
1 Peter 3:1-5
As Christians, the power and resources of God are at our disposal. His Spirit works to strengthen and empower our spiritual lives – Take some time as a group to pray for those who may need to be spiritually strengthened in their inner being. Applying the Text Read Eph 4:29. How can you build up and encourage those in need of spiritual strength?
Prayerfully consider how you think God wants you to apply a truth or command from this week’s lesson. What is one practical way that you will live this out this week? Be specific.
Making It Stick Share how you did in applying last week’s lesson.
Share how you are going to apply this lesson.
Pray for 1-2 persons in each other’s “oikos” list. (Your “oikos” list is composed of people in your circles of influence (family, neighbors, co-workers and friends) who need Jesus.)