This week we decided to split Ephesians 1:3-14 into two sermons. Because our reading plan only devoted one week to this important text, I wanted to give you some supplemental questions to continue your study. After completing the week 2 questions in the study guide, select one or more of the following questions to go deeper:
In Ephesians 1:3-14, Paul repeatedly uses the term "in Christ" or "in him." The theological term for this is "union with Christ." Look up five or more of the following passages to develop you understanding of our union with Christ: Eph. 2:10, Gal. 2:20, John 15:4, Col. 2:12, Rom. 6:3-5, Eph. 2:6, Gal. 4:19, Eph. 3:17, 1 Cor. 6:15 and 12:27, 2 Cor. 13:5, 1 Cor. 1:30, and Phil. 3:8-9. According to these verses, what is true because of our union with Christ? What do the different images of union highlighted in these passages emphasize?
In Ephesians 1:4-6, Paul says that God both "chose us in [Christ] before the foundation of the world" and he "predestined us to adoption as sons." Look up 5 or more of the following passages to develop your understanding of God's gracious election: John 15:16, Romans 8:28-30, Romans 9:19-24, 2 Thessalonians 2:13, 2 Timothy 1:9, Acts 13:48, Revelation 13:8 and John 6:37-40. Describe the doctrine of election in your own words.
In Ephesians 1:7, Paul says that "in [Christ] we have redemption through his blood." Read the Easton's Bible Dictionary article on redemption. Describe redemption in your own words. What are we redeemed "from"? What are we redeemed "to"? Why are we redeemed "by"? If redemption involves a ransom price, what did that ransom price cover?
Compare Ephesians 1:8-10, Ephesians 3:8-11, and Romans 16:25-27. Together, what do these verses reveal about the eternal plan of God and how it is unfolding in the present age?