Faithful Saints • West Campus
After reading Ephesians 1:1-2 and watching the sermon recap video, discuss some of the things that stand out about Paul, the author, and the Christians in Ephesus.
Pastor Matt reminded us that Paul's life is a radical reminder of God's grace in redeeming Identity. Paul's identity of persecutor of the gospel was changed to proclaimer of the Gospel following his interaction with Jesus on the road to Damascus. Paul introduces us to himself humbly as "an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the will of God". We were encouraged to walk humbly in rejection of pride. In what ways have we practiced the pride of self-pity? In what ways have we practiced the pride of self promotion?
We learned that some of us identify ourselves by our sins and some of us identity ourselves by our successes. What do you relate with most? Why are both of these insufficient in actually identifying who we are?
Our sinful actions do not make us corrupt, they simply reveal the natural corruption that we were born with. How does this belief change our understanding of who we are in the light of who God is? In contrast, our good actions cannot save us from the sin into which we were born. How does this belief change our understanding of who we are in the light of who God is?
Our struggle with our true spiritual identity often comes from confusing temptation with sinfulness, or confusing conviction, which is good and from God, with condemnation, which does not come from God. This struggle is exaggerated when we listen to ourselves rather than preach the truth to ourselves that we are saints in Christ. How can we best preach to ourselves, the reality that while sin may describe the things that we do, it does not describe the identity of who we are as those who are believing in Christ?
We cannot be saints in isolation. This term, we are focusing on discipleship. How can we use the tool and gift of Community to encourage each other toward repentance, ministry, and spiritual growth?