Follow-up From Last Week
Share with the group the ways you have been taking steps toward serving.
As we continue in our study of Ephesians 4, verses 17-32 teach us how to live into the high calling we now have as followers of Christ. In this section, Paul contrasts our old patterns of living with the new patterns of living God has for us. As Jim mentioned, much of Paul’s instruction has to do with our speech. What do you think of the old adage: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”?
Read Ephesians 4:17-19. Paul begins this section with a contrast, showing the negative side of life without God.
a. Discuss some ways you have seen our culture move away from God.
b. How does this line up with what Paul describes will happen when people do life without God?
Read Ephesians 4:20-23. In this section, Paul explores the positive side of living out our calling, but does so with another contrast of putting off the old self and putting on the new self.
a. In what ways have you put off your old self as you progressed in your relationship with Jesus? Are you currently feeling or experiencing God transforming you in a certain area of your life? Please share this with the group so they can be an encouragement to you.
b. What do you think Paul means when he says in verse 23 “to be made new in the attitudes of your minds”?
- Read Ephesians 4:25-32. Paul continues to show what it means to establish new patterns of life that help us be the people of God. Jim, in the video, mentioned that becoming one people is not automatic. It is often hard and takes work. Central to our new way of life is a new way of speech.
a. Most of us in the process of growing up have had an adult, sibling, or peer speak hurtful words to us that have had a lasting impact on us. Share a time when hurtful words from someone in your life impacted you well beyond that moment.
b. Can you think of a time when the words of others were life-giving to you? Or a time when you were able to give life, through your words, to others?
c. Verse 26 states “In your anger do not sin” What do you think this looks like practically? How do our times of anger give the devil an opportunity?
d. What makes gossip and slander so destructive?
e. Paul ends this section speaking about forgiveness. Discuss someone or something you may need to forgive so you can move forward with a new pattern of life.
f. Is there someone you may need to seek forgiveness from in order to move forward with a new pattern of life? If you are comfortable, share this with your group so they can pray for you.
With every interaction we have with our co-workers, friends, neighbors, and family we have an opportunity to breathe life into those around us or tear them down with our words. Really focus this week through prayer and practice how you can speak positivity into those God has placed around you. Observe the impact this has on your day, your workplace, and your home.