In Ephesians 3:1-13, Paul explains there had been a perplexing mystery troubling Israel for centuries concerning God’s salvation plan, a mystery now solved by the coming of Christ. Not only that, the solution to this mystery is displayed in the spiritual realms for all to admire God’s wisdom. This passage is critical for understanding Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, and especially for understanding the ministry of the apostle Paul
What is the “mystery”? (Ephesians 3:3-4, 6, 9)
What does the mystery mean for us?
- The gospel is for the ____________ ____________ (Ephesians 3:1-6)
- We are to ________ the gospel to _________ (Ephesians 3:7-13)
Main Idea: Paul’s call to steward God’s mystery gives us courage to proclaim it to the nations
Talk with your group: What was your “secret” hiding place when you were a child? Why was it a special place for you?
Read Ephesians 3:1-13 in a couple translations. The word “mystery” shows up four times. What is meant by mystery? How is the Scripture’s definition of it different than ours?
Read Ephesians 3:1-13 again. How does Paul link this passage to last week’s study of 2:11-22? What is Paul’s train of thought (verse 1 with 2:11-22; and 3:14-21)?
Read Ephesians 3:1-6. Paul uses his time in prison to write this letter. In unveiling the mystery, what part is played by God’s grace? What role does Paul play in it? What impact do you think it had on the original readers?
What was Paul’s role in announcing this mystery and what helped him persevere despite his suffering (3:7-9)? To what four groups did God intend to display the mystery (3:7-12)? Why is this important? What did Paul hope this truth would do for believers everywhere (3:11-13)?
Paul’s intense desire was to make Christ and His purposes known. How does this relate to what drives you in life? In light of God’s purposes, why are churches seemingly weak and ineffective in what Christ calls us to do?
What can you personally do to break down barriers which may cause people to feel awkward in our church because of ethnicity, financial status, gender, education or family background? Why is it important to talk about this issue, based on Ephesians 2:11-22 and 3:1-13?
ASSIGNMENT: As a LIFE Group, memorize Ephesians 3:8-9. Discuss: Why is God’s mystery is still a revolutionary message today, and if so, how? What responsibility do we have today do proclaim this mystery to others? What one or two things will you do this week, in the power of the Spirit, to communicate God’s mystery to others?
At Stonebridge Church we know that life is better when we share it with others. We believe LIFE Groups are key to developing as a Christian and taking your next step toward Jesus!
Join us for Saturate! Throughout this year, we have been working to reach out to families in the 52404 and show them the love of Jesus. Although many of our efforts to this point have focused on meeting physical needs, we know that many of you have also expressed an interest in sharing the gospel in more tangible ways. We have an opportunity to do just that as we lead up to the Easter season.