under fire

week 2

ICEBREAKER

Share about a time when you knew what to do but you didn’t know how to do it and
discovered (maybe a bit late) how crucial it is to know the how.

Intro

We probably all agree that there is a cosmic battle raging against us and that the true
enemy is Satan. Unfortunately, that is often as far as we go. Mere recognition of the
battle and of a real enemy is not far enough. This week we will begin to talk about
how to stand, how to prepare, and how to fight.

text

Book of Ephesians

sermon discussion

Read 6:10-13. Share what stands out to you in this passage and why.

Most Christians understand that there is a battle, that there is an enemy, and that our
relationships are “Under Fire.” Paul goes further than that. Look at the above passage
again. Point out and comment on what Paul says that is practical. How is
Paul hinting toward a counter-strategy as to how to stand and fight?

Before we go any further, consider the key relationships in your life and some
practical counter-strategies to the enemy’s scheme to steal, kill, and destroy your
relationships. It may help to think of one relationship in particular.

Read 4:31-5:2. Paul gets very practical with a strategy of how to stand and fight for
our relationships. What stands out to you in this passage and why?

Notice the phrase, “forgive each other, just as God in Christ forgave you.” This is big.
God spoke the word of forgiveness in Christ before we repented! God offers
forgiveness before people repent. Talk about how God’s forgiveness precedes
repentance. What would it look like to live that way? How would that change a
community or relationship?

Notice the phrase, “gave himself up as a sacrifice.” One of the reasons that offering
forgiveness before repentance can be so difficult is because we have been offended.
Talk about how Jesus (as the final sacrifice) took upon himself all the sin, offense,
hurt, and pain as he felt it and died under the weight of it. Does that truth affect our
willingness to let it go?

ministry time

There is certainly a person in each of our lives whom we must forgive, as hard as that
is. For ministry time, have a time of silence as you ponder God‘s forgiveness
preceding their repentance. All of your sin was dealt with in Jesus. Take a few minutes
in silence to receive that truth.

spiritual formation

There is a beautiful practice called pondering Christ. Select a story from the life of Jesus and picture that story or scene. Engage a bit of imagination as to what it would have felt like to be there. What would it have sounded like? What would it have looked like? What kind of an impact would it have made? This week, take 5 minutes to ponder the scene of Jesus on the cross recorded in all four of the Gospels.

daily reading

MON
Ephesians 1 Psalm 90

TUES
Ephesians 2 Psalm 91

WED
Ephesians 3 Psalm 92

THURS
Ephesians 4 Psalm 93

FRI
Ephesians 5 Psalm 94

SAT
Ephesians 6 Psalm 95