Ephesians study

4 – Genie in a Bottle

Break the Ice (5 min)

  • One day you’re walking downtown and next to the trash barrel on the ground you find a metal container that looks like an Arabic bottle. When you rub it, does it matter that a genie doesn’t appear?
  • What three wishes would you wish for?

Bring the Word (40 min)

Ephesians 3: 14 When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, 15 the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. 16 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. 17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. (NLT)

One day a young man found a genie-in-a-bottle. This young adult is walking down the beach and comes across an old Arabic looking lamp. He rubs it and out pops a genie. The genie says, “Thank you for freeing me from the lamp. In return I will grant you three wishes.” The man says, “Great! I always dreamed of this and I know exactly what I want. First, I want one billion dollars in a Swiss bank account.” Poof! There is a flash of light and a piece of paper with account numbers appears in his hand. He continues, “Next, I want a brand new red Ferrari right here.” Poof! There is a flash of light and a bright red brand-new Ferrari appears right next to him. He continues, “Finally, I want to be irresistible to women.” Poof! There is a flash of light and he is turned into a box of chocolates.

What is the moral of the story? We need to be careful about what we wish for! We also need to be careful for what we pray for.

Paul prayed that the Ephesians would have power. The word power is the Greek word DUNAMIS which means you CAN or are able to do something.

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 believers, Eph. 3:14-21

  1. To receive inner strength from the Spirit
  2. To fully understand the gospel in experience and love
  3. To be filled with the fullness of Christ
  4. All from the God Who is able

Eph. 3:14-19 Ask someone or several read this passage

Key points to mention by verse:

  1. “Father..Spirit..Christ” – Additional confirmation of the doctrine of the Trinity
  1. “in heaven and earth” – refers to believers alive and dead (Phil. 2:10
  1. Prayer reflects purpose then action:
    1. He would grant – “you to be strengthened”
    2. He would enable – “Christ to dwell in your heart”

c. He would fill – “know the love of Christ which surpasses  

all knowledge and know the fullness of   God”

  1. Inner man is the spiritual self while the outer man is the physical. Inner man is eternal while the outer man is dying.
  1. The Spirit’s task:
    1. Reveal the need for Jesus
    2. Reveal Jesus
    3. Draw to Jesus
    4. Baptize into Jesus
    5. Form Jesus in believers
  2. “with all the saints” – To be a Christian in a community

Eph. 3:20-21 Ask someone read this passage

 1. “to Him who is able” – A title for God used three times in NT   (Rom. 16:25, Jude 24) 

2. “according to the power that works within us” – new heart, new mind, new spirit

3. “be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus” – As believers we are the “people of God” (Gal. 6:16, 1 Pet. 2:5-9, Rev. 1:6)

1. How did Paul learn his theology?

2. Why does Paul call himself “the least of the saints”?

3. Why was the mystery of God hidden in ages past?

4. What is the purpose of the church to the angelic realm?

5. List the three things Paul asked God to grant the believers in Eph. 3:16-19.

6. What does it mean that Christians are indwelt?

Bring it Home (5 min)

Preparation for next week: Reread chapters 1 through 3. Read chapters 4-6. Bring any insights or questions from this week’s lesson.

Have someone close in prayer.

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