BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 22, Day 5: Ephesians 1:20-23

Summary of passage:  God’s mighty strength is exerted (wielded) in Christ when He raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in heaven above all else.

God placed all things at Christ’s feet and appointed him as head over the church, his body, the fullness of him that fills everything in every way.

Questions:

15a)  He is at the right hand of God in heaven and he is the ruler of all things which are under his feet. He is the head of everything for the church and he fulfills everything in every way.

b)  The church is Jesus’ body (verse 23) which is the fullness of him that fills everything in every way (verse 23).

16a)  Any time you pray to know Christ and God more you are comforted.  God will come, show you more of Himself, give you more knowledge, which will bring you more peace and comfort in this life.  Picturing Christ as the head and we humans as the body with the fulness of him calms my fears and anxieties in this world and shows just how much Christ cares.

b)  Praying to know God results in you knowing Him; thus, you will be closer to God and be better able to live and fulfill God’s purpose for your life.  You will make more of a lasting impact in people’s lives.

c)  We are important enough to be the body of Christ and to fulfill in some way the fullness of Christ.  Thus, we are an intricate part of Christ and mean a lot to him.

Conclusions:  As much as we like to be in charge there’s a part of us that doesn’t like to be in charge and likes to be led.  Knowing Christ is in charge and the head allows us to breathe, takes the pressure off to do and be everything in this world which the world says we should, and allows us to do His work in His way in His time to the fullest.

BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 22, Day 4: Ephesians 1:15-23

Summary of passage:  Paul gives thanks for the church in Ephesus and he asks God to give them the Spirit of wisdom and revelation so that they may know Him better.  He prays that the eyes of their heart may be enlightened so that they may know the hope in which He has called them, the riches of His inheritance, and His great power, which He exerted in Christ when He raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in heaven above all else.

God placed all things at Christ’s feet and appointed him as head over the church, his body, the fullness of him that fills everything in every way.

Questions:

12)  Wisdom is accumulated philosophic or scientific learning; knowledge; good sense; judgment.  Revelation is the act of reveling or communicating divine truth; something that is reveled by God to man (both according to Webster’s Dictionary).  I would say wisdom is knowledge of God and revelation is divine truth communicated to you by God.

13a)  Lord, give me your Spirit of wisdom and revelation so that I may know you better.  Let the eyes of my heart be enlightened so I may know the hope you have called me to, the riches of your inheritance, and your great power.

b)  Christ

14)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Praying to know God will allow my heart to be open to Him and receive what He has for me each and every time I pray it.  I will feel and will be closer to Him.  And that makes all the difference.

Conclusions:  Straight-forward passage and day.  Great daily prayer Paul writes:  For wisdom, revelation, and to know Him.

BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 22, Day 3: Ephesians 1:3-14

Summary of passage: Paul says praise to God for blessing us in the heaven with spiritual blessings.  We have been chosen since before the Creation to be holy and blameless in His sight.  Through love God predestined us to be adopted into His family through Christ for His pleasure and will by the gift of grace which he gives us freely.

We have redemption through Christ’s blood by God’s grace, made known to us through Christ, to bring all things in heaven and earth together in God’s timing.

We are also for the praise of God’s glory.  Having believed we were marked with a seal (the Holy Spirit) which guarantees our inheritance (our possession by God) until we are redeemed–to the praise of His glory.

Questions:

8a)  Verse 4 “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.  In love.”

b)  Two billion people on the planet profess themselves to be Christians (33 %) but how many of these actually possess the Holy Spirit is probably less.  The overall percentage is falling however relative to the overall population and history.  There is still work to be done in the world.

Me personally, I’m still working on being holy and blameless (life-long challenge for Christians).  But I belong to Christ and am not going anywhere.  This alone gives me solace.

9a)  Glory according to Webster’s Dictionary means, “worshipful praise, honor, and thanksgiving, something that secures praise, great beauty and splendor, magnificence, the splendor and beauty of heaven.”

According to Zondervan’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary by JD Douglas and Merrill C Tenney glory is “great honor or praise, used especially of God’s majestic splendor.”

To the praise of His glory means praise and honor for God’s majestic splendor.  Douglas and Tenney go on to say, “the glory of God is the worthiness of God” or the “revelation of God in Christ.”  So we (humans and others) are to praise and honor God for His worthiness and His revelation along with His splendor.  Verse 12 specifically says that we might be for the praise of His glory.  So through us we can show God’s glory–something to be praised.

b)  When we show through our actions what it means to live a Christ-centered life.  So to be slow to anger, to be humble, to praise God for everything we do, to be patient, to love and forgive.  I can be all of this to my family and others.  Put others first and strive to do what Jesus would do with every action, word, and breath.

10a)  Heard the word of truth (the gospel of your salvation).  You believed.  Then you were marked with a seal (the Holy Spirit), which indwells in you, showing you as God’s possession and is a deposit for your inheritance and redemption.

b)  The Holy Spirit marks you and allows a part of Christ to live in you, in our hearts.  It is what changes us since we all know will alone is not sufficient.

11)  To seal according to Webster’s Dictionary means “something that confirms, ratifies, or makes secure, guarantee, assurance, authenticate or to determine irrevocably or indisputably (my favorite definition!).”

According to Zondervan’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary by JD Douglas and Merrill C Tenney seal means “authentication, confirmation, ownership, evidence, or security.”

It gives me comfort to know I’m irrevocably God’s.  That He has marked me, I belong to Him, and therefore, nothing else matters.  Nothing can stand in my way for God’s purpose for my life.  It’s a relief.  Knowing I can live Him every day of my sometimes seemingly pitiful existence.

Conclusions:  As a writer I love the dictionary so these two lessons made my day!  It’s amazing how knowing the exact definition of a word changes things.  I do this when writing.  I change words all the time to convey exactly what I mean.

I love reading about the Holy Spirit and being reminded God is inside of me.  I love the simplicity of being in Christ:  Hear God’s Truth, Believe, and you are His through the mark of the Holy Spirit.  I also love being His glory.  Most of the time I don’t feel glorious.  In fact, I can feel the complete opposite:  shame, embarrassed, unworthy, lackluster, disappointing, regretful, and downright sad.  Even then I can be His glory if I believe it.  If I chose to.