Eph 2:1-3: What implication do the words “were” in Eph 2:1 and “formerly” in Eph 2:2 and 3 have for those who are in Christ Jesus? Does a true Christian continue in his former manner of life? See Acts 26:20, Rom 2:4. How would you describe “the course (lit. “age”) of this world”? Contrast 2 Cor 4:18, 5:7. How would you describe those who live according to the course of this world? See Eph 2:3. In what ways do people today indulge the desires of their flesh? the lusts of their mind or thoughts? Rather than indulging the lusts of their thoughts what are Christians to do? See Rom 12:2, 2 Cor 10:5, Phil 4:8. What does Paul call those who live in the lusts of their flesh? See Eph 2:2 and 3, 5:6, Rom 9:22. Who is the prince of the power of the air who now works in the sons of disobedience? See 2 Cor 4:4, Rev 12:9. To whom does Paul refer to as “you” in Eph 2:1, and “we too” in Eph 2:3? See Eph 2:11-12. What truth does Paul mention in Eph 2:3 that was so unpalatable to the Jews and for the most part rejected by them? See also Rom 2, Gal 2:14-16.
Eph 2:4-7: What demonstrates more than anything else the richness of God’s mercy and the great love with which He loved us? See Eph 2:5, Rom 5:8. What is grace, and how is it different from mercy? (Note: Grace is receiving what we don’t deserve, and mercy is not receiving what we do deserve.) We are all descendents of Adam, and when Adam sinned we were all “in Adam”. What are the consequences to each of us for our natural birth “in Adam”? See 1 Cor 15:22, Rom 5:12-14. What 3 things does Paul say in these verses are the consequences of our spiritual birth “in Christ Jesus”? What tense does he use to describe them? In Adam we have an evil bent that eventually leads to our physical death; what is the counterpart of this for those who are in Christ Jesus? For what purpose does Paul say God has poured out upon us His great mercy and love and made us alive together with Christ? See Eph 2:7. What do you think are the riches of His grace in kindness toward us? See Eph 1:7, 3:20, 1 Cor 2:9.
Eph 2:8-10: Is a Christian’s salvation based upon his good deeds outweighing his bad deeds? What if it were? See Isa 64:6, Rom 3:23, 6:23. What is it based upon? See also Tit 3:3-7. How does one appropriate God’s grace so as to be saved? See also Acts 16:31, Rom 10:9-10. Does believing in or having faith in Christ mean merely an intellectual assent to the truth? See Luke 6:46-49, Acts 2:37-38. To what does Paul refer in Eph 2:8 as not being from ourselves: salvation by grace or our faith? Note: the word “that” in Eph 2:8 is in the neuter gender, while both faith and grace are feminine; thus it is clear that “that” which is not from ourselves and the gift of God is His work of salvation, which is by grace. What is the relationship between our faith and God’s grace, i.e., is even our faith a gift from God? See Mark 9:17-24. To what end has God’s grace effected our salvation, and what is the result of true saving faith? See Eph 2:10, Tit 2:11-14, James 2:14-19. What makes it possible for one who comes to true saving faith to then walk in a newness of life and have good works? See Eph 1:13-14, Rom 6:5-7. Is it possible for a person who has no evidence of good works to be saved? See Luke 23:39-43. While possessing no evidence of good works, what evidence did the dying thief possess that his faith was real? Is it possible for a person to be saved who does not have a truly repentant heart? See Luke 13:3,5. To what will a truly repentant heart always lead if it has the opportunity? See Luke 3:8, Acts 26:20. See also Luke 15:17-20 for God’s great grace towards those with the faith that comes from a repentant heart.
The Atonement of Christ's Blood: Understanding How the Blood of Christ Saves and Reconciles us to God
- What is the relationship between Jesus’ sacrifice and our redemption, forgiveness and receiving an inheritance per the terms of the covenant / will that was effected by His death?
- From what, and to what, are we saved? Is it Jesus’ death alone that saves us? What part does His resurrection have in our salvation?
- Does the justice of God demand the satisfaction of blood before He will forgive, similar to what pagans throughout history have believed?
- What was the purpose of the Old Testament sacrifices?
- Does blood alone atone for sin?
- How does Christ’s death render powerless the devil?
- To whom was Christ’s life given as a ransom? From what are we ransomed?
- Why did Jesus not only die, but suffer and die? If all that was necessary was His shed blood, why didn’t God sovereignly ordain a more merciful death for His own dear Son?
- What is the relationship between a will or testament, and a covenant? What was willed to Jesus as an inheritance from His Father, and what was willed to us through the new testament in His blood?