New Testament Bible Reading Plan
More of Paul’s wisdom is being shared in our reading for today. I think it does Ephesians a disservice to try to cover all of this in one day. I am posting the whole assignment today, but will NOT post a new assignment tomorrow. Meditate, pray for conviction, be still and listen to what God wants to say to you through today’s reading.
Today and Tomorrow’s Reading Assignment – Ephesians
“Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.” Ephesians 1:4-8
Study Questions for Ephesians 1
Who is the sender of this letter? How did Paul identify himself? Are you in the will of God for your life? Who is the recipient? How did they hear the gospel? What does it mean to be a saint? What does it mean to be faithful?
Where can we obtain grace and peace? Why list both? How is Jesus identified and what does this personally mean to you? What is grace? What is the peace of God?
The Glory and Headship of Christ (3-14)
What can we praise God for? (3) What are we blessed with? (Gal. 5:22-23) When did God chose us? For what purpose did he chose us? What was God’s motivation?
What does it mean to be adopted? (4, Matt. 12:46-50, John 10:16) Why would he do this? How is this grace to us? (6) Who is the One God loves? (Matt. 3:17, 17:5; 2 Peter 1:17)
What does it mean to be redeemed? How are we redeemed? What can we learn from God’s wisdom and understanding?
What is the mystery of God’s will? (9-10) When will this be put into effect?
What does it mean to us to know we are part of God’s plan? Why were we predestined? (12) After hearing the gospel and believing what does God do? Why is the Holy Spirit a deposit? (Consider this a promissory note.)
God’s Purpose and Power (15-23)
Why did Paul give thanks? What hint do we get about Paul’s prayer life? What does the Spirit of wisdom and revelation tell us about Bible study? (17, John 14:26)
What is the eye of the heart? (18-19a, Matt. 6:22) What three things should they eye of the heart see? What is our hope? What is our inheritance? What is his power? What is it like? (19b-20)
What title does Jesus have? Who is the head of the church? What does it mean that we are his body?
“God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:8-10
Dead in Sin, Alive in Christ (1-10)
What is sin? What is a transgression? Who is responsible for your sin? (1) What is the result of sin? (1)
What is the way of the world? (2) Who is the ruler of the kingdom of the air? (2, 6:11-12; Mark 3:22-26; Luke 10:18) How can he work in and through people? (2)
Can anyone claim that he was free from following the desires of the sinful nature? (3) What did that lifestyle bring us? (3)
What did God do for us and why? (4-5) How did he do this? How have we been saved from our past lives?
What did God do for us? (6) Through whom did he do this? What does this mean for our future? (7) What does it mean to be in Christ Jesus? (7)
What is the gift of God? What does “through faith” mean? Why can’t we boast? What were we created in Christ to do? (10) What kind of works is God looking for in you? What does it mean to you that you are God’s workmanship?
One in Jesus (11-22)
Who are Gentiles? What should we remember? What is the covenant of promise? (12; Gen. 12:1-3, 18:18-19, 22:15-18) Through whom have we been brought into the promise? (13) What does this mean to you?
What is the wall of hostility and how did Jesus demolish it? (14-16; Mark 15:37-38; Acts 11:18)) What does it mean that we are one body?
Who initiated the union? (17) How? What does it mean to you to have access to God the Father? How is this done while Jesus is away?
To whom is our allegiance? (19) What does it mean to be built of the apostles and prophets? Who holds us together? (20) What does it mean to you that God is in you? (21-22)
“When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. 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. 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. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.” Ephesians 3:14-19
The Prisoner (1)
Who does Paul say he is a prisoner of? For whose sake was he a prison? What events took place that ended in him being a prisoner? (Acts 9:15-16, 19:1, 21, 21:11, 33-36, 27:1) What can we learn about life in Christ Jesus?
The Mystery of Christ (2-13)
What had Paul previously written about the mystery revealed to him? (2-3, 1:9-10) When might have this been made known by revelation? (Gal. 1:11-12, 15-18; Acts 9:23)
What was not made known to men in other generations? (4-6a) How was it revealed to the apostles and prophets? Through what events did the Spirit of God reveal the mystery? (Acts 10:15, 44-46, 11:18)
What is the gospel? (6a, 1 Cor. 15:1-8) What are the Gentiles and Israel heirs of? (6a; Acts 3:24-26; Gen. 22:17-18, 26:3-4; Rev. 21:1-5)
What does it mean that we are one body? (6b) What is the promise of Christ Jesus? (6c; John 14:3)
What two things did Paul consider God’s grace to him? (7-9) What is God’s purpose for the church? (10)
How was this accomplished through Jesus Christ? (11) What two things are needed to approach God? (12) How did Paul view his sufferings? (13)
Christ in Our Hearts (14-21)
How did Paul pray? (14) What kind of family do we belong to? (15) What was his prayer topic? (16)
How does Christ dwell in our hearts? (17; John 14:23-24)
What should we have a firm grasp of? (18-19a; John 15:13) Are you filled with God? (19b) How can you be? (Luke 4:1; Acts 7:55, 11:24)
What is God’s power doing in us? (20) What is the purpose of the church? (21) Who is the church? (Heb. 12:22-24)
“However, he has given each one of us a special gift through the generosity of Christ. That is why the Scriptures say,
“When he ascended to the heights,
he led a crowd of captives
and gave gifts to his people.”
Notice that it says “he ascended.” This clearly means that Christ also descended to our lowly world. And the same one who descended is the one who ascended higher than all the heavens, so that he might fill the entire universe with himself.” Ephesians 4:7-10
“Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.” Ephesians 5:1-2
Study Questions for Ephesians 4 – Ephesians 5:1-20
What kind of life should we live? (1) What are some of the things that this entails? (2) How much effort are we to put to unity? (3) What are all the “ones” Paul identifies? (4-6)
What is grace? (7) How does Psalm 68:18 foretell this? (8)
When did Christ descended to earth? (9; John 1:14; Heb. 2:14-15) When did he ascend to heaven? (10, Acts 1:9; Heb. 4:14-16, 8:1-2)
Who appoints us? (11) Are each given the same task and position? What was his intention in appointing us? (12) How is the body built up? What is the final outcome? (13)
How are infants in Christ described? (14) How does this explain the task of the different positions in verse 11? (1 Tim. 4:13; 2 Tim. 2:15)
How are we to speak the truth? (15) What are we to do for one another? (16) How does this further explain unity?
Reward of Personal Life (4:17-5:20)
What happens when a person hardens his heart to God? (17-19) What three things do Christians do? (20-24)
What is the first practical way to put on the new self? (25) What is the second? (26) How can anger be a foothold? (27) What is the third? (28) What is the fourth? (29-30) What are some other ones listed in verses 31-32? What is our example of how we are to love? (5:1-2) What are some ways this can be done? (3-7)
How can we find out what pleases the Lord? (8-10) Who does Christ shine the light on and why? (11-14; Ps. 119:105) How then are we to live? (15-20)
The Whole Armor of God
“A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.” Ephesians 6:10-18
Study Questions for Ephesians 5:21-6:24
Be Imitators of God (5:21-6:9)
What should be our mindset toward other believers in Jesus? (21)
Why might it be hard for wives to submit to husbands? (22) What does the husband and wife team compare to? (23-24)
Who are husbands to follow in loving their wives? (25) What did he do for us? (26-27) How are husbands to view their wives? (28; Matt. 19:4-6) What practically does this mean for husbands? (29-31)
What is the profound mystery Paul reveals and how does it apply to marriages? (32-33)
How do godly children live? (6:1-3) What does it mean to exasperate? (4a) What are fathers to do instead? (4b) Where do you spend your quality time?
How might verses 5-8 apply to you? Who are modern-day masters? (9) What is the basis of the all these practical lessons? (Matt. 22:37-40)
Strength in Spiritual Conflict (6:10-20)
Why should we put on the full armor of God? (10-12) Do we know when the day of evil may come on us? (13) How then is the armor of God practical in today’s living? (14-18)
How is verse 19-20 a good prayer topic for preachers and teachers?
Final Greetings (21-24)
Who is Tychicus? (Acts 20:4; Col. 4:7; 2 Tim. 4:12; Tit. 3:12) What appears to be his responsibility, his gift?
What does Paul hope and bestow for all believers? (23-24)