Break the Ice (5 min)
- For this week, we are going to have a mock debate.
- Why are science and faith incompatible?
- Is the conflict between faith and science a myth?
Bring the Word (40 min)
All believers are called to have faith and continue to increase their knowledge of God as He reveals Himself, to understand God’s glory, and to know the power of the risen Christ.
Ephesians 1: 15 Ever since I first heard of your strong faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for God’s people everywhere, 16 I have not stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly, 17 asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God. 18 I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance. (NLT)
Ephesians 1: 19 I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power 20 that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. 21 Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else—not only in this world but also in the world to come. 22 God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church. 23 And the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with himself. (NLT)
What are some things that the Sprit produces in the lives of believers? (vs 17)
The Spirit produces these things in the lives of believers.
- A spirit of holiness – Rom. 1:4
- A spirit of adoption as sons – Rom. 8:15
- A spirit of gentleness – 1 Cor. 4:21
- A spirit of faith – 2 Cor. 4:13
- A spirit of wisdom and revelation – Eph. 1:17
- The spirit of truth vs the spirit of error – 1 John 4:6
Prayer for the conversation to come. (Leader)
Part 1 Topic: The Father’s plan for the unity of all things in Christ. Ephesians 1 through 3:21
Paul’s prayer to the Father for the churches, Eph. 1:15-23
- For the Father’s revelation to be understood
- For the Father’s power to work in believers
- For the Father’s elevation of Christ above all things
Have someone or several read this passage
Key points to mention by verse:
Vs. 16 Reveals two aspects of Paul’s prayer life:
thankfulness and persistence
Vs. 18 “hope of His calling”
- Sinners are called by God through Christ to salvation
- Sinners call upon the Lord to be saved
- Believers are called to live Christlike lives
- Believers are called to ministry tasks
Vs. 19 “toward us who believe”
Points out the false doctrine of “universalism” which claims eventually all people will be saved. The gospel is universal in terms of its invitation.
Paul describes the might and power of God and of Jesus’ rank, authority, and power.
Follow-up conversation from the mock debate
Things to Consider:
- Attempts to support religion through science or to avoid conflict with science don’t work.
- The ways that science and faith try to understand the world are basically in opposition.
- The main problem is secularism rather than belief in God.
- The idea that Christians fear science and philosophy has never been true.
- Creation indicates evidence of order, patterns, and complexity.
- Rather than being in conflict with faith, science is one way that we can investigate nature to learn more about God.
What two reasons does Paul give for thanking God?
How does verse 17 describe the Trinity?
Use the illustration from Ravi Zacharias:
A family unit is one but there are three parts to the family. The father, the mother, the child/children each are part of the one unit but have different roles as part of the one unit. This compares to the Trinity – God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
What are the powers listed that are subject to Christ’s rule? v. 21. When is this to happen: now, or sometime in the future? Explain.
1. Who is being praised in Eph. 1:3-14?
2. Define “Gnosticism.”
3. How is election (Eph. 1:4, 5,11) related to human response (Eph. 1:13)?
4. List the things that occurred before creation (Eph. 1:4; Matt. 25:34; John 17:24; 1 Pet. 1:20; Rev. 13:8).
5. Are we God’s inheritance or is He ours (Eph. 1:11)?
6. To whom does the recurrent phrase “to the praise of His glory” refer?
7. How is Eph. 1:20 related to Eph. 2:5-6?
8. Who is referred to in Eph. 1:21 (angels, demons, fallen world structures)?
Bring it Home (5 min)
Preparation for next week: Reread chapter 1. Read chapter 2. Bring any insights or questions from this week’s lesson.
Have someone close in prayer.