Summary of passage: Christians have been called by God to live a worthy life through grace from Christ’s death. He called us to our particular talents and service and to live in God’s light. To put on His righteousness, living truthfully and faithfully and forgiving to others.
11) To live a life worthy of God’s calling. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Be peaceful. To have a new attitude, to speak truthfully, to work, to not be angry, to forgive, to speak only encouraging words, be kind and compassionate. Get rid of bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, malice, and other evil.
12) Part-personal Question. My answer: Put on a new self is accepting Jesus Christ as your Savior and being cleansed with his righteousness and receiving the Holy Spirit. This makes you a new person and rids you of your old self. Be more God like and do what Jesus would do.
13) Personal Question. My answer: He has been teaching me to pray when I’m angry or bitter or offended; to be patient with others; to be more encouraging and to speak less gossip and complaints; to be kind and forgiving; to be compassionate and helpful to others. The church in general upholds these principles and works hard to teach its members so.
Conclusions: This is more of a behavior lesson than studying who God’s people are. The one thing that was a bit confusing (verse 17 where it mentions don’t live like the Gentiles) and the one thing that actually pertains to Romans 11 (Day 4) was not touched upon. See End Notes for details.
We studied Ephesians 4 for 3 days in the Study of Acts. This was the infamous “organic unity” versus “organizational conformity” question that stumped most of us. See links HERE, HERE, and HERE for a fun review of what BSF focused on. Neat!
End Notes: Paul has just spent the first 3 chapters of Ephesians telling us what God has done for us. Now, he’s telling us because of God’s love and deeds, this is how we should act.
Keep a spiritual unity and do not fight amongst fellow Christians (this is a call for the Jews to accept Gentile Christians).
Jesus established the spiritual leaders of the church: apostles (first century only), prophets, evangelists, and pastors/teachers.
Note how these people set aside by Christ are to prepare God’s people (Christians) to serve and to grow their knowledge of God.
So often these days the focus on churches is unbelievers and God’s found people get lost in the fray. Just this week my pastor said this very thing: we must focus on bringing others to Christ. Here, Jesus says otherwise. I agree. For if we all can live out a life in Christ, speak with certainty the word, and show Jesus’ heart and compassion to others, what more could be a more powerful a testament to Christ? For God wants our whole heart. It’s not enough to believe. It’s not good enough. We have to be all in. Any less is no good.
This is where Bible Study Fellowship gets it right and why so many of us love BSF and attend. BSF’s mission is to equip believers with the knowledge they need to improve their churches. To train leaders who are called. To obtain a whole-hearted relationship with God. This is what the Word says we must do and BSF excels in this respect. This is why so many of us come to BSF for we cannot and do not receive this in our own churches.
The Gentiles mentioned in verse 17 are unbelievers, some of which are Gentiles. All Jews believed in God and this is Paul’s distinction. He’s speaking broadly about those who do not follow God and who live amorally and in the first century that was all Gentiles, non-Jews, who were not set apart by God. Hence, the term for his readers would have known instantly his point.
We are re-born with holiness and righteousness, justified in God’s sight and able to be with Him when we have the Holy Spirit. The old self is the sinner who rebels against God.
Anger is okay but not when it leads to sin. Controlled anger is the key here.
The Greek word “work” means exert oneself to the point of exhaustion. We work in order to have something to give.
Grieving the Holy Spirit is disappointing God. It’s not spending time with Him, but spending time in worldly things. Watching a movie when your bible is sitting unread. Not following His ways.
“In Christ God forgave you” is translated in the King James Bible as “God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven thee.” Much stronger. For Christ, God forgave us. And no other reason.
Conclusions to Lesson 7: I got the most out of Day 5 here–surprisingly. It has really nothing to do with who are God’s people. It has to do with how to live as God’s people. We studied Ephesians 4 in the study of Acts in BSF, but I never really got the meaning until this study. I often say in my conclusions when we go outside the book we are studying that the passage has little to do with the study. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not valuable. All God’s word is worthy of study repeatedly. All of God’s words are connected. Returning to a passage again and again will lead you to new insights and understandings depending on where you are in your life.
Like this passage. I think I got it this time mainly because of the lecture my church pastor just gave. The church I attend is stagnant, meaning they aren’t growing. I think it’s because their focus is so intense on being the church for unbelievers that the believers feel ignored and look elsewhere for spiritual feeding. I get my feeding here at BSF, but many do not.
Great reminder that the Jews are God’s chosen people. He wants all of them to come to Him before the End Times. They are the foundation. We are to remember this especially in light of the nation of Israel. Pray for them always. Support them. Love them.
My church hosted a traditional seder meal put on by Jews for Jesus. It was amazing to learn its significance and to see God’s people come to faith in Christ as their Savior. Very, very encouraging.
The Holy Spirit marks God’s people and makes them anew. Not to be taken lightly. It’s the greatest gift (besides Jesus) God has given us.