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Ephesians Study: Abundantly More

[Ephesians 3:20-21]

“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” [ESV]

God is alive. God is active. God is at work.

This is a Doxology written by Paul. A doxology is defined as “an expression of praise to God, especially a short hymn sung as part of a Christian worship service.” It often appears at the end of psalms and hymns.

To Him be glory

  • All members of one body, like mirrors, reflecting the glory of God.
  • We allow for an area for God to move—where the work of Christ Jesus can take place for all to see

To do far more abundantly

  • Abundantly – super abundance in quality and quantity (doesn’t just mean more)
  • In the church God can do more than we ask for or imagine.

Verse 19 – Love of Christ for the church goes beyond what we can know

Verse 20 – Power of God over the church goes beyond what you can think

God says, “I can do more.”

1 Kings 3 – Solomon’s request

  1. 9 – “Give me an understanding heart so that I can govern your people well and know the difference between right and wrong. For who by himself is able to govern this great people of yours?” [NLT]
  2. 13 – “And I will also give you what you did not ask for–riches and fame! No other king in all the world will be compared to you for the rest of your life!” [NLT]

Because we struggle to imagine & believe God can do great things through us, we don’t ask Him to do them.

Our prayers are so little, so limited. How do we compliment God when we ask for small things? No prayer is too big for our God.

 

  • Remember who you are in Christ (Ephesians 1:1-14 – Sons and Daughters)
  • Ask for help for your unbelief (Mark 9:14-29 – Jesus heals boy with unclean spirit)
  • Ask for more & expect more

Bible Study Questions:

  1. The main passage we are studying focuses on the glory of God. How is God’s glory displayed in the Church?
  2.  How does God get glory when there is harmony and unity in the church? How can we strive to be more united as a church? What can be a stumbling block to this harmony and unity in the church?
  3. How does God get glory when we as a church are obedient to His leading? What can we do to be more obedient? What can be a stumbling block to this obedience as a church?
  4. How can you be a disciple who lives for the abundantly more for the church?
  5.  How can we be a church who lives for the abundantly more for the church?

 

This is one part of a 12-week Sermon Series and Bible Study focused on Ephesians. The 12 weeks include:

1- Sons and Daughters

2- Immeasurable Greatness

3- God’s Workmanship

4- Our Cornerstone

5- Least of the Saints

6- Love of Christ

7- Abundantly More

8- Unity of the Body

9- Anger Management

10- Exposed by the Light

11- Submission

12- Prepared for Battle

Colossians Study: Godly Living

[Colossians 3:18-21]

As we run with Jesus, we continue to build godly relationships.

Godly living starts at home. If you aren’t living godly at home, you won’t succeed in godly living outside of the home.

Paul speaks about the importance of godly relationships in numerous letters.

  • Husbands & wives
  • Parents & children
  • Masters & slaves

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”

– Ephesians 5:21 [NIV]

  • 18 – Wife put your husband first
  • 19 – Husband love wife
  • 20 – Children obey parents
  • 21 – Parents don’t be hard on children

Husband and Wife (Colossians 3:18-19, Ephesians 5:22-33)

Loving leadership equals mutual respect – Ephesians 5:21

Husband sacrifices (Christ like sacrificial leadership by husband will keep the ultimate good of his wife in view at all times)

Wife submits (honors & affirms his leadership, helps him exercise role in family)

He loves her. He wants the best for her. She knows this and she submits.

  • Wife does not practice absolute surrender – that is only to Jesus.
  • Wife is not naturally or spiritually inferior

Parents and Children (Colossians 3:20-21, Ephesians 6:1-4)

  • Children obey parents in everything as it pleases the Lord
  • Parents don’t provoke less they become discouraged and give up
  • Parents parent with firm loving guidance – not dictatorship
  • Parents encourage – children obey

Bible Study Questions:

1) Read Ephesians 5:31-33.

What does verse 31 say husbands should hold fast to?

Verse 33 says that the man shall ________ the wife and the wife shall __________ the husband. What does this passage mean?

Which command is harder or are they both equal?

2) The Bible says that the man is to love his wife and the woman is to honor her husband. How does love and honor go hand in hand?

3) Regarding parent child relationships, both have responsibilities. Parents are called to ____________ their children. Children are to _______ their parents.

4) How does encouragement and obedience go hand-in-hand?

This is one part of a 12-week Sermon Series and Bible Study focused on Colossians. The 12 weeks include:

Gospel Truth
Will of God
Lord of All
Ministry to Maturity
Foolish Philosophies
Men of Rules
Realities of Heaven
Taking Responsibility
Godly Living
Worship Work
Good Words
True Forgiveness

Colossians Study: Realities of Heaven

[Colossians 3:1-4]

He is your life

So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective. Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life—even though invisible to spectators—is with Christ in God. He is your life. When Christ (your real life, remember) shows up again on this earth, you’ll show up, too—the real you, the glorious you. Meanwhile, be content with obscurity, like Christ. [MSG]

  • Christ Raised (v. 1) – Raised along with Christ, raised to life with Christ
  • Christ Ruled (v. 1) – Christ rules at God’s right side
  • Christ Focused (v. 1-2) – Think about what is up there, not about what is here on earth]
    • Set your heart on what is in heaven – Seek the things above
    • Think – phroneó – Direct your mind to, seek for, observe, care for
  • Christ Hidden (v. 3) – You died, your life is hidden with Christ
    • You died – apothnéskó – dying off (separation / away from)
    • Life – both physical & spiritual (present & future)
    • Hidden kruptó – concealed, secret, hidden
  • Christ Glory (v. 4) – Christ gives meaning to your life, and when he appears, you will also appear with him in glory. Glory (doxa– “dox’-ah”) – praise, honor, glory, high renown, splendor

Bible Study Questions:

Seek the things that are above (v. 1) and set your minds on things that are above (v. 2)

These things make the subject of CAREFUL REFLECTION

Think on these things – Give them weight in your decision. Allow them to shape you.

1) In Philippians 4:8, Paul wrote, “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise” (NLT).

This is to be our FOCUS. This is part of seeking and setting your mind. What do these words mean? How does the world derail us from focusing on these things?

TRUE
HONORABLE / HONEST / NOBLE / WORTHY OF REVERENCE
RIGHT / JUST
PURE / AUTHENTIC
LOVELY / ACCEPTABLE / LOVABLE
ADMIRABLE / GOOD REPORT / KIND AND GRACIOUS
EXCELLENCE / VIRTUE / VIRTUOUS
WORTHY OF PRAISE / PRAISEWORTHY

2) What can we do to follow Proverbs 4:23 command to “watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life”?

This is one part of a 12-week Sermon Series and Bible Study focused on Colossians. The 12 weeks include:

Gospel Truth
Will of God
Lord of All
Ministry to Maturity
Foolish Philosophies
Men of Rules
Realities of Heaven
Taking Responsibility
Godly Living
Worship Work
Good Words
True Forgiveness

Colossians Study: Ministry to Maturity

[Colossians 1:21-29]

1) Must stay DEEPLY ROOTED and FIRM IN FAITH (v. 23a)

2) Must NOT GIVE UP HOPE received (v. 23b)

  • Warn every man
  • Teach every man all wisdom
  • Present every man mature in Christ

3) Must PREACH COMPLETE MESSAGE (v. 25)

plērōsai (play-ro’-o) Fulfill, complete, to make full, full to individual capacity

  • In its fullness [NIV]
  • Entire message [NLT]
  • Fully carry out [NASB]
  • Fully known [HCSB]
  • Fully deliver God’s message [Weymouth]

Our task is to make the Word of God known – to EVERYONE

Verse 28 says EVERYONE 3x’s – “each one”– emphasizing Christian teaching for all

WHY I work so hard?

Christ followers will GROW & MATURE

Goal (v. 28) – Present every man COMPLETE IN CHRIST.

How is it possible?

HIS POWER mightily works within me. (v. 29)

Bible Study Questions:

1) In verse 22, Paul wrote that God lets you stand in His presence as people who are holy and faultless and innocent.

What does it mean to be holy?

What does it mean to be faultless?

What does it mean to be innocent?

2) The passage notes that this “message was kept secret from everyone, but now it has been explained to God’s people” (v. 26). The word “mystery” is used (v. 27).

What was the word mystery referencing?

Why was the message kept secret? Why was it now explained? (v.27)

3) The goal is “all of Christ’s followers will grow and become mature” (v. 28). How is this accomplished?

This is one part of a 12-week Sermon Series and Bible Study focused on Colossians. The 12 weeks include:

Gospel Truth
Will of God
Lord of All
Ministry to Maturity
Foolish Philosophies
Men of Rules
Realities of Heaven
Taking Responsibility
Godly Living
Worship Work
Good Words
True Forgiveness

Colossians Study: The Gospel Truth

[Colossians 1:1-8]

The Gospel is…

  • Good News of God (v. 5)
  • The Word of Truth (v. 6)
  • The Message of God’s Grace (v. 6)
  • Centered in a person – Jesus (v. 4)
  • Universal – It is for the whole world (v. 6)
  • Humanly transmitted (v. 7)
  • Productive – Multiplies (v. 6)

People believed. People were discipled. People were faithful in Christ.

FAITH in Jesus and LOVE for God’s people that spring from HOPE stored up in heaven (v. 4-5)

HOPE…

God’s way = the best way

How blessed is everyone who fears the LORD, Who walks in His ways. (Psalm 128:1 NASB)

God’s way = the only real peace

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7 ESV)

God’s way = the only real joy

I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! (John 15:11 NLT)

God’s way = the only true and lasting reward

So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. (Hebrews 10:35 NIV)

Bible Study Questions:

1) How does Paul introduce himself to the Colossians? How does he address the Colossians?

2) Paul wrote that he was thankful for the Colossians. What specifically made Paul thankful and excited for this church in Colossae? (see v. 3-8)

3) Paul never met the people in Colossae. Who shared the Gospel with these people? How is he described?

4) What is the Gospel? Read Acts 2:22-24, Acts 16:30-31, and 1 Corinthians 15:3-4.

5) One of the unmistakable characteristics of the Gospel is God’s grace in all its truth. John 1:14, 17 says: “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth… For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (ESV).

How do you define grace?

How do you define truth?

How can you share God’s grace?

How can you share God’s truth?

This is one part of a 12-week Sermon Series and Bible Study focused on Colossians. The 12 weeks include:

Gospel Truth
Will of God
Lord of All
Ministry to Maturity
Foolish Philosophies
Men of Rules
Realities of Heaven
Taking Responsibility
Godly Living
Worship Work
Good Words
True Forgiveness

More Than A Story: Obedience

[The Vineyard Workers: Matthew 20:1-16]

Isaiah 1:19 – “If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good things of the land.” [HCSB]

God uses EVERYONE obedient to Him – Peter asks “WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME”?

“Then Peter chimed in, ‘We left everything and followed you. What do we get out of it?’ Jesus replied, ‘Yes, you have followed me. In the re-creation of the world, when the Son of Man will rule gloriously, you who have followed me will also rule, starting with the twelve tribes of Israel. And not only you, but anyone who sacrifices home, family, fields—whatever—because of me will get it all back a hundred times over, not to mention the considerable bonus of eternal life. This is the Great Reversal: many of the first ending up last, and the last first.’” – Matthew 19:27-30 [MSG]

“Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous? So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”- Matthew 20:15-16 [NIV]

1) This parable is not about salvation or eternal life

Salvation is not earned by works

Ephesians 2:8-9“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” [NASB]

Titus 3:5-6He saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior.” [NLT]

2) This parable is not about rewards for service

God rewards differently

1 Corinthians 3:8 – “He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor.” [ESV]

LABORERS WHO BEGAN AT 6AM FAILED TO BE THANKFUL – SELF-SERVING ATTITUDE

We all will receive great rewards for following Jesus (see Revelation 22:12)

OBEDIENCE – act of obeying, words or actions denoting submission to authority, dutifulness

  • Obedience expresses faith in His wisdom and love. (Hebrew 11:6)
  • Obedience expresses hope in a future blessing. (Mark 10:29-30)
  • Obedience expresses love (John 14:15, 2 John 1:6)
  • Obedience glorifies God (Matthew 5:16)

Bible Study Questions:

1) In this parable, we read about a Landowner, Laborers, a work day, a Vineyard, and the end of the work day. What do you think these people/things represent?

Landowner –

Laborers –

Vineyard –

Day of work –

End of the work day –

2) Those who were hired last were unworthy of what they received. They were receiving a day’s wage despite working less than a day’s work. They were paid first. They were treated equally.

How does this resemble God’s grace?

What reminds us of our unworthiness?

3) Those who were hired first were paid last. It was their opinion that they were treated unfairly though they were paid an equal amount and given exactly what was agreed upon.

Why was it difficult for these workers to accept God’s grace towards others?

What made this an unfair transaction (from their vantage point)?

4) Before this parable, Peter asks what the disciples will gain for leaving everything behind. Jesus twice speaks of the Great Reversal. Those who are first will be last; those who are last will be first. It wasn’t about the difference of the reward. We should all be thankful.

How can we obey with an attitude of gratitude? What does this look like?

What should be our motivation of service?

more than a story

More Than A Story is a 12-week Sermon Series and Bible Study focused on the parables of Jesus.

Richness
Forgiveness
Persistence
Fruitfulness
Obedience
Humility
Compassion
Responsiveness
Repentance
Readiness
Faithfulness
Kingdom-Focused