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Ephesians Study: Prepared for Battle

[Ephesians 6:10-24]

“We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9)

“He put on righteousness as a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on his head; he put on garments of vengeance for clothing, and wrapped himself in zeal as a cloak.” (Isaiah 59:17)

11, 13 – Put on the WHOLE armor of God – Don’t walk around half-dressed, under-dressed or naked

WHY? You put on the whole armor of God TO STAND AGAINST THE SCHEMES OF THE DEVIL (v. 11), to WITHSTAND IN THE EVIL DAY & TO STAND FIRM (v. 13) [SATAN]

12 – The battle is not against flesh and blood. It is against: rulers, authorities, cosmic powers over present darkness, spiritual forces of evil in heavenly places [DEMONS]

14-18 – The Whole Armor:

  • Belt of Truth (v. 14) – Ephesians 4:14 – “As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming.”
  • Breastplate of Righteousness (v. 14) – Righteousness of Jesus – Romans 3:22 – “We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.”
  • Shoes of the Gospel of Peace (v. 15) – Inner peace and readiness – Confidence of God’s union with – Ephesians 2:14 – “For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us.”
  • Shield of Faith (v. 16) – Trusting God – walking in faith – Hebrews 11:1 – “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.”
  • Helmet of Salvation (v. 17) – Salvation through faith in Christ – Great hope of salvation – 1 Thessalonians 5:8 – “But let us who live in the light be clearheaded, protected by the armor of faith and love, and wearing as our helmet the confidence of our salvation.”
  • Sword of the SpiritWord of God (v. 17) – Countering deception and accusation – Hebrew 4:12 – “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
  • PRAYING AT ALL TIMES (v. 18) – 1 Thessalonians 5:17 – “Pray without ceasing.”

With JESUS – VICTORY [STANDING FIRM]

But it’s not automatically passed down – must take possession. Even after conversion Satan can still defeat you if you disobey God.

Resist the devil and he will flee from you (James 4:7)

Stand firm – “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.” (1 Peter 5:8-9)

 

Bible Study Questions

The Helmet of Salvation (v. 17) is crucial for battle. A soldier does not enter battle without proper headgear, just as a football player would not run on the field without his helmet. A helmet is crucial to life, protecting your head from fatal blows. Why is the Helmet of Salvation crucial to battle?

Read Ephesians 6:16. This verse speaks of the flaming darts (fiery arrows) of the devil.

  • What are the flaming darts?
  • How does the shield of faith stop them?

Righteousness is important. We cannot be righteous. We clothe ourselves in the righteousness of Christ. We are called to put on the Breastplate of Righteousness for battle. Read Colossians 3:2 and Philippians 4:8. What does this have to do with putting on the Breastplate?

The Shoes of the Gospel of Peace are the footwear for battle. The Bible reminds us that because of Christ we are at peace with God. God is for us. Through Christ we are no longer separated from God. How do the Shoes fit us for battle?

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

 

 

 

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Ephesians Study: Anger Management

[Ephesians 4:17-32]

25) Don’t lie

26) Don’t act in anger – James 1:20 – Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires. [NLT] Anger motivated by pride. Anger that lingers.

27) Give no opportunity to devil

28) If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need. [NLT]

29) Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift. [MSG]

30) Don’t grieve God. Don’t break his heart. His Holy Spirit, moving and breathing in you, is the most intimate part of your life, making you fit for Himself. Don’t take such a gift for granted. [MSG]

31)

  • Bitterness, harshness, embittered resentful spirit
  • Wrath, passion, rage, bad temper
  • Anger, resentment, animosity
  • Quarreling, brawling, clamor, contention, shout
  • Slander, evil-speaking, abusive or blasphemous language
  • Malice, spite, ill will, evil behavior, wickedness, vicious disposition

Proverbs 29:11 – A fool always loses his temper, But a wise man holds it back. [NASB]

Proverbs 29:22 – An angry person stirs up conflict, and a hot-tempered person commits many sins. [NIV]

Proverbs 30:33 – For the churning of milk produces butter, And pressing the nose brings forth blood; So the churning of anger produces strife. [NASB]

1 Timothy 2:8 – Therefore, I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or argument. [HCSB]

Holy Spirit – common to each believer – Spirit of God ties each of us together

Acting in a negative matter breaks the binding of the Body. It is the opposite of unity. Anger can divide a church (2 Corinthians 12:20)

Never let anything bring division to His Body. Speak life. Look out for the best interests of others…

Bible Study Questions:

Ephesians 4 focuses on the unity of the body of Christ, the Church, and living as children of Light. What are some of the items Paul tells us to refrain from to promote unity and righteous living?

Ephesians 4:27 says not to give the devil an “opportunity” or “foothold” or “place.” What does this mean? Why is this so important?

The passage says, “Be angry” but in some verses we read that a fool loses his temper, commits many sins, and stirs up conflict. Where do we draw the line? How can anger be okay?

What Fruit of the Spirt do you think is important to live out these words Paul has written in this passage? (read Galatians 5:22-26)

Why does Paul spend so much time talking about unity?

What have you seen be most divisive in the Body?

What can you do to promote unity?

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

 

 

 

Ephesians Study: Immeasurable Greatness

[Ephesians 1:15-23]

The Power of God – Omnipotence (all-powerful)

  • Parted the Red Sea & the Jordan River
  • Reattached the ear of the soldier
  • Raised the dead – Resurrection Power!

God’s power is GREAT – God’s power is UNABLE TO BE MEASURED

  1. 19 “And what is the immeasurable greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might.” [ESV]
  2. 21-22 “Now He is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else–not only in this world but also in the world to come. God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church.” [NLT]

All things under the feet of Jesus

He is above

  • All authorities
  • All powers
  • All dominions
  • Every name named in this age & the age to come
  • The Church

 

  • God raised Jesus – defeated death / broke the power of death (v. 20a)
  • God seated Jesus at His right hand – and we are seated with Him! (v. 20b)
  • God set Jesus over all demonic powers (v. 21)
  • God gave Jesus as head over all things to the Church (v. 22)
  • Where God rules, we believers rule (v. 23)

The Apostle Paul is praying in this passage. He wants us to know three things:

  • The hope to which He has called you
  • The riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints
  • The immeasurable greatness of His power toward us who believe

Paul is saying…

  • You have the calling
  • You are heirs – you have an inheritance
  • You have the power of God

He is praying that you may KNOW – that you would know this power toward us

Bible Study Questions:

How would you describe the power of God?

We have the power of God within us. Why does it sometimes seem otherwise? What gets in the way of this power?

What helps us to know the power of God?

How can we use this power within us?

Read 1 Peter 4:11. Why do we want to live our lives with this power?

When you have seen the power of God at work?

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: Worship Works

[Colossians 3:22-25]

“What you think about you care about

What you care about you chase”

“Servants, do what you’re told by your earthly masters. And don’t just do the minimum that will get you by. Do your best. Work from the heart for your real Master, for God, confident that you’ll get paid in full when you come into your inheritance. Keep in mind always that the ultimate Master you’re serving is Christ. The sullen servant who does shoddy work will be held responsible. Being a follower of Jesus doesn’t cover up bad work.” (v. 22-25 MSG)

  • Do your best
  • Work from the heart
  • Remember Who you serve

“Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically.” – Romans 12:11 [NLT]

“Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

– 1 Corinthians 10:31 [NASB]

Anything you do can be an ACT OF WORSHIP

“The Lord is pleased with those who worship Him and trust His love

– Psalm 147:11 [CEV]

“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.” – Romans 12:1-2 [MSG]

Bible Study Questions:

1) The passage speaks about working from the heart. This phrase “from the heart” translates in the Greek as “the soul” or “life” or “self” – “the breath of life.” What does that mean for us?

2) What is the difference between working for men and working for God?

3) Romans 12:11 says we should not be lazy. Instead we should work enthusiastically. What should we do if we find ourselves not working with enthusiasm?

4) The Bible says we should serve with joy (Psalm 100:2). What can we do if we find ourselves serving but not with joy? If we are not serving with joy, with what are we serving?

5) What does it mean when Paul says “do your best”? What is your best? How do you know it is your best?

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: 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: 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

More Than a Story: Forgiveness

More Than a Story is a 12 week study of the parables of Jesus. This is the second week: FORGIVENESS.

[The Unforgiving Debtor: Matthew 18:21-35]

Unforgiveness is the POISON we drink hoping another will die

When you hold tight to an unforgiving spirit you slowly die to TRUTH and RIGHTEOUSNESS – PRISONER

Peter came and asked “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” (v. 21b ESV)

He thought he was being extra generous with his forgiveness because Jewish law said to forgive a person three times.

Jesus answered “Seventy-seven times.”

“And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?” (Matthew 18:33 ESV)

Mercyeleeó (el-eh-eh’-o) – pity, have mercy on, show mercy, have compassion

These people begged for mercy:

  1. 26 says “the servant fell on his knees, imploring” the king
  2. 29 says “his servant fell down and pleaded with” the forgiven servant

Each of us is forgiven because of Jesus. Jesus paid the debt.

“But if you don’t forgive people, your Father will not forgive your wrongdoing.”                – Matthew 6:15 [HCSB]

  • Remember how much you’ve been forgiven (Ephesians 4:32)
  • Don’t try to get even (Romans 12:19)
  • Respond to evil with good (Luke 6:27)
  • Pray for those who persecute you (Luke 6:28)

“Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.” – Romans 12:18 [NLT]

“We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

1) In Matthew 18:21-22, we read about Peter approaching Jesus with the question – “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive Him? As many as seven times?” Jesus answers, “Seventy-seven times.” What does that mean?

 2) Read Luke 17:3-4. This passage mentions something happening before the forgiveness happens. What does it mention? Should this be required to forgive something?

3) The passage from Matthew 18 says we must continue to forgive. What is hard about forgiving someone again and again?

 4) From where are we to forgive from? How can we do this?

5) Read Ephesians 4:32. How are we to forgive?

6) Share an example from your life when you needed to forgive.

            Were you able to easily forgive?

            What made it easier/difficult?

            How did you feel after you forgave the person/people?

 

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