One New Man Study #1
From living death to Living with Christ!
In his helpful, small commentary on Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, Warren Wiersbe remembers his publisher’s interest in having a full-length portrait picture which could be “blown up” and used as a life-sized display at a convention booth promoting his tapes. A friend took a picture and submitted it for use, a new experience for Wiersbe (usually, just a head-n-shoulder shot). For this full-length picture, he remembers having to “watch my posture, my feet had to be placed just right, and the arms and hands – usually forgotten—had to be in just the right position.” Wiersbe’s point? In Ephesians 2:1-3, Paul “gives a full length picture of the terrible condition of the unsaved person” (Be Rich, pp.51-52).
As we consider What has God done about a broken, divided world? from Ephesians 2, we first discover a merciful, loving God determined to deal with the comprehensive, spiritual deadness of human beings. He can and does raise women and men, boys and girls out of a desperate “deadness” into (almost unthinkable) resurrected, exalted living with the Lord Jesus Christ. From living death to living with Christ.
The objective of this study: to equip us to both understand the importance of this work of God, and how to share it with others.
Discuss the following – when listening to all that comes our way through our public communication channels about the division and unrest in our current world, why do you think we hear little-to-nothing about God and the true change He alone can make in people’s lives?
- Are we all trying to solve our angry divisions with God’s help or apart from it?
- Are Christians willing to offer the gospel as the solution…or are we reticent to do so?
IN THE WORD
Let’s explore what Scripture says to us about our condition and God’s merciful solution.
How does the Bible describe us before a spiritual regeneration in Christ?
Share your thoughts as you read together the following passages
- Genesis 3:7-12, Psalm 14, 53:1-5, Romans 3:9-20, John 3:19-20, Ephesians 2:1-3
- Do you think there is anything about our modern life that dulls us to a truly honest assessment of our condition apart from Christ? From admitting we have a Jeremiah 17:9 heart?
GOD’S MERCIFUL SOLUTION
How does the Bible describe us after our regeneration in Christ?
What most do you love about what God does in our lives, described in the following?
- 24:6-15, Ps.32:1-5, Isaiah 1:18-20, John 3:14-18a, Romans 3:21-26, 4:7-8, 5:1-11, Ephesians 2:4-7
- Again, what about our modern life hinders a greater grasp, and living out, of the exalted life we have in Christ?
To impress and express what God makes happen, have group members describe the changes that have happened in their lives when they believed and began following Jesus.
How was your “original condition” changed by the Lord? What expressions of “new living” happened?
- When is the last time you shared this with someone not yet a Jesus follower?
- Is there someone with whom you might share your story over coffee, or a mid-day lunch hour?
- How about praying concerning this opportunity?
For God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has show in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:6