Questions for Personal Reflection and Group Discussion
Read Ephesians 2:11-22 (ESV):
Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— 12 remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. 17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.
- In the film, Into The Wild, Christopher McCandless discovered that happiness is only real, when shared. Choose from these two options for today’s icebreaker:
(1) Tell about something you enjoyed more because you shared the experience with someone else, or
(2) Tell about something that you experienced alone and felt an emptiness, because you wished you could have shared it with someone else.
- Throughout this letter, Paul reminds us that there is one God existing in three persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. So before the world began, God existed in inter-dependence, community, and love, rather than independence and self-serving. How and why has this impacted us humans?
- What are some things that contribute to people feeling alienation today?
- Share about a time when you experienced a feeling of alienation or isolation.
- What helped you in that experience?
- What are some ways that the world is not how it was supposed to be?
- Why is it so important that we remember who we were before Jesus saved us?
- Why did Jesus need to abolish “the law of commandments expressed in ordinances” in order to make peace between Israel and non-Jews? How had Israel misunderstood their status?
- What helps a person live in a way that is immune to the scorekeeping tendency of our culture? What helps you personally be immune to this – both the positive and the negative scorekeeping?
- What are some ways God wants His Church to be different from the world? How are we doing in this?
- What did you sense God saying to you through this passage and this message?