Welcome back to our online Inductive Bible Study on the book of Ephesians, “Free from Bondage God’s Way” by Kay Arthur. We just completed Week One, “Why are you in Bondage to Others’ Opinions of You?” What a blessing this first week of study has been!
Have you ever felt like you have lost your identity? As women, we take on many roles… wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, grandmother, church worker, employee, and the list just keeps growing. It is true what they say, “a woman’s work is never done.” We do so much for the people we care for that we often lose sight of our own identity. Can you relate? This week of study in Ephesians 1 gave me a fresh new perspective, and I pray it did the same for you.
Paul writes in his letter to the Christians in Ephesus reminding them of who they are:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him.” Ephesians 1:3-4
And guess what? This letter is also for us today, so read it as if you just opened your mailbox and received this love letter from God.
Our identity is “in Christ,” because we were chosen before the foundation of the world. Isn’t that awesome? God had us in mind when He spoke the world into existence. We are here for a purpose. And when we focus on His purpose for our lives and our identity “in Christ,” the other roles we take on in our daily lives take on a fresh new perspective.
We have also been given every spiritual blessing in Christ. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I am so worn out at the end of the day that I do not feel spiritually blessed. Did you ask yourself the question, “how am I spiritually blessed?” I love Inductive Bible study, because when we ask the “who, what, where, when, why and how” questions, we see more clearly what God is telling us. So let’s make a list of how we are spiritually blessed:
In Christ we are:
Given wisdom and insight (1:8)
Predestined to adoption as sons (and daughters) (1:5, 11)
Sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise (1:13)
Guaranteed an inheritance (1:11, 14)
This makes me want to shout “Hallelujah!” Oh, how we should praise Him daily for what He has done, is doing, and is going to do in our lives. There’s no end to the blessings we receive from Him, because we belong to Him and He is worthy of all our praise.
God’s Word is true! I may not have financial wealth, but I am spiritually rich! We can take these truths to the bank, and no one can ever steal from our spiritual bank account. So what should our response be to God? Praises!! And, of course, to have faith in Him and believe Him and not the lies the enemy whispers to us.
Kay Arthur writes in the Thought for the Week…
“God tells you that without faith it is impossible to please Him. God has spoken, and it’s all written down in His book, the Bible. God doesn’t lie! He can’t.”
BIBLE STUDY TIP: It is so exciting to discover truth for yourself! REMEMBER: Do not consult any outside sources until you do your homework first. Once you have completed your weekly assignments, read what the scholars have to say in your favorite commentary. Then you can decide if you agree based on what you have discovered in your study.
ASSIGNMENT FOR THE WEEK:
- Join a small group and fellowship with your fellow Bible students. http://www.facebook.com/groups/WBCInductiveStudies/
- Complete your study of Week Two, “Secure and Seated with Jesus!
- Pray before you begin your study. Ask your resident Teacher, the Holy Spirit, to open your heart to wisdom and understanding to learn His truths.
- Do an online word study on “Redemption” (Ephesians 1:7) at www.blueletterbible.org. Instructions for doing a word study are located in “Files” in the Inductive Studies chat room.
- Store in your heart Ephesians 1:3,4 (Week One, Day Seven).
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR THIS WEEK (answer in small groups or post a comment here)
1. How does it make you feel knowing the spiritual blessings you have in Christ? (Ephesians 1:3-14)
2. Which of the blessings seemed to take on the most meaning to you as you studied them? Why?
3. Although God chose you for Himself, He still had to redeem you. What did you learn this week about redemption? (See Ephesians 1:7-8 and 1 Peter 1:18-21)
4. How do you think Paul’s prayer for us in verses 15-23 could be used to guide our own prayers for ourselves and others?
5. Truth sets you free. From all that you read and studied in Ephesians 1 this week, what spoke to your heart the most? Why?