Discussion Questions on Ephesians 2:1-10

(Eph. 2:1-10 ESV) Ephesians 2:1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins  2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience–  3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.  4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us,  5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ– by grace you have been saved–  6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,  7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.  8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,  9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.  10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Ephesians 2:1-10 explains to believers why they should be filled with praise, saying “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.” If the human predicament was simply a moral one, then religion would have sufficed. However, if being ‘dead in sin’ is the problem, then only resurrection life in Christ is the solution.

Discussion:

  1. How do verses 1-3 describe being ‘dead in trespasses and sins?’ Explain each phrase.
  2. Explain the paradox of how sinners are both dead in sins, yet alive in other ways. What are the dangers of ‘stretching the metaphor’ of being dead?
  3. What are verses 1-3 saying about desperate predicament that sinners are in?
  4. What is it about being ‘dead in sin’ that is both self-deceiving deceiving to others?
  5. What remedy do verses 4-6 give us for being dead in sin?
  6.  What do they verses tell us about God? Explain.
  7. What do they verses implicitly say about what God saw in us that made us ‘worth’ saving? What do we ‘contribute’ toward our salvation?
  8. Read verse 7 and explain it! What should be our response to this?
  9.  Explain the relationship of these words (8-9): Grace, Gift of God, Faith, Not of works.
  10. In what way should the last phrase of verse 9 be evident in our lives?
  11. Explain in what ways the good works in Christ differ from the ‘works’ (vs 9) prior to Christ, as to source, motive, substance, etc.?
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On September 10, 1970 I came to understand the great love of God for me, a sinner and a rebel. That evening I received God’s forgiveness and a new life through Jesus Christ, who died in my place and rose again to offer forgiveness and new life. I have been senior pastor for over 30 years planting two churches in Buckingham, PA and Queens, NY and serving two other churches in Brooklyn, NY and Roslyn, PA. I am currently the lead pastor at Grace Church of Philly.

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