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Ephesians 4:2, 32; 5:19
Taylor Mendoza, Pastor of Students and Young Adults
Overview: For three whole chapters, the apostle Paul has been laying out God’s vision for world history. Through Jesus Christ, who died for sinners and was raised from the dead, God is creating something entirely new. All of humanity, as enemies of God, are reconciled in Christ, a fractured humanity is united in Him, and a new humanity—a new creation, the church, is being created (Ephesians 2:8-10; 14-16; 19-21). Chapter 4 begins Paul’s teaching of what is to be expected in the church. God calls the people of God to be patient and forgiving of one another when they are provoked and sinned against, and He calls them to be thankful for their brothers and sisters. Patience, forgiveness, and thankfulness should lead the church to love one another better, prioritize gathered worship, and confront the cultures of favoritism, bailing, and skepticism.Outline:
1. Maintain the unity of the church by being patient with one another (4:2).
2. Apply God’s forgiveness of your sins by forgiving one another (4:32).
3. Out of your own reverence for Christ, be thankful for one another (5:19-20).
1. What did you hear from the sermon that challenged or comforted you? Feel free to share.
2. What does Ephesians 2:14-21 teach us about who the church is? What themes or truths about who the church is challenges your thinking about the church the most?
3. Out of patience, forgiveness, and thankfulness, which one do you struggle with most? Why? (Take a moment to acknowledge that no one is perfect when it comes to patience, forgiveness, and thankfulness.)
4. How is the unity of the church the root of patience? What do you think of the statement, “We work from unity, not towards unity?” (See Ephesians 4:1-5 for help.)
5. How is your ability to forgive one another an indicator of how well you understand the kind of forgiveness God has for you?
6. How does your reverence for Christ lead you to be thankful for others?
7. How do patience, forgiveness, and thankfulness apply to the way you approach worship and the cultures of favoritism, bailing, and skepticism?
For Further Reading: Scott Sauls, A Gentle Answer: Our “Secret Weapon” in An Age of Us Against Them (Nashville: Nelson Books, 2020).