under fire

week 1

ICEBREAKER

As you grew up, you probably had a favorite TV show, movie, or book. What was the name of the enemy in that story?

Intro

We are beginning a journey through the book of Ephesians. Ephesians is about Gods victory over the strategy of the enemy to divide every relationship that God created. Paul lets the church know what is really going on, who the enemy really is, and what it looks like to stand with each other against the true enemy.

text

Ephesians

sermon discussion

We all have difficult people in our life. Are you aware that you are someone’s difficult person? Just for fun, mention something that makes you a very difficult person to do life with.

Read 6:12-13. What does Paul mean by flesh and blood? What does Paul mean by the powers of this dark world? What is Paul saying in this passage? What is his point?

The enemy is pretty crafty. Satan is incredibly skilled at remaining hidden so that we think our struggle is with flesh and blood (other people). Share about a time when the enemy was successful in remaining hidden and you persisted in defining another person as the enemy.

Don’t share but think about the person that you feel most divided from right now in your life, and then read this next verse.

Read 2:14-16. This may be the central passage in the book of Ephesians. Notice the word “create.  Paul is saying that Jesus has created a unity and that the power that divides has been defeated. Share your thoughts on this passage.

Where does unity seem impossible in our world?

Where does unity seem impossible in our church?

Where does unity seem impossible right now in your life?

Because of the new reality that Jesus has created in himself, what would it look like specifically and practically to move toward unity where it seems impossible in your life right now?

ministry time

Share whatever the Spirit of God has brought to your heart or mind throughout this discussion, and ask for prayer.

spiritual formation

One of the most important realities in the universe is that, in Jesus, God offered a word of forgiveness to humanity before anyone accepted that word. God offered forgiveness before we asked for it! We tend to wait for repentance in order to offer forgiveness. This keeps us in the bondage of unforgiveness. The spiritual practice of forgiveness doesn’t wait for repentance, it precedes it. Restoration of relationship may not immediately follow, but the first and crucial step has been taken.