Faithful Saints • Central Campus
After reading Ephesians 1:1-2 and watching the sermon recap video, discuss some of the things that stand out about the author, Paul, and the primary audience, Christians at Ephesus.
Pastor Kurt made the point that Paul's religious zeal before his conversion was primarily outward conformity towards and interpretation of God's expectations and that it pushed Paul and others away from God. While still heeding what Scripture tells us is best for our lives, how do we ensure that we aren't doing the same thing?
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 prove the natural corruption with which we are born. How does this belief change our understanding of who we are in the sight of God? 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 sight of God?
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 our activity, it does not describe the identity of 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?