Ephesians 5:1–2, 5:10–14 (ESV)
1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
10 and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. 13 But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, 14 for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”
Continuing our journey through Ephesians in week 13, Pastor Chris helps to understand our identity as ‘beloved children.’ In this relationship, God gives us tender direction on how to daily find freedom from sin’s consequences. We have a role, too, to be a brilliant witness to the world as Christ’s light shines on and through us. Chris reminds us that to walk in this fulfilling way with God, we are empowered by the Holy Spirit dwelling in us for godly wisdom and urging us to take action to reach the lost and oppressed. Chris showed us his ‘surrender flag,’ a small, white flag he keeps in his office as a reminder that all the blessings that flow to us as beloved children come by way of complete surrender!
Beloved Children do these Activities:
1. Avoid and Expose – “11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them”
2. Walk in Wisdom and Urgency – “14Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”
3. Seek to Live Filled with the Spirit – “18 …Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit….”
Additional Scriptures in Lists to Help us Walk as Beloved Children
Ten Consequences of Sin
1. Quenches Holy Spirit’s Ministry 1 Thess. 5:16-22
2. Bible Study Becomes Unfruitful Psalms 1:1-2
3. Robs Us of Joy 1 Jn. 1:4
4. Takes Away Excitement Psalms 51:12
5. Robs Us of Our Peace Philippians 4:7
6. Hinders Our Fellowship with God 1 John 1:3
7. Causes Feeling of Separation 1 John 1:6
8. Loss of Confidence in Prayer 1 John 3:19-22
9. Unanswered Prayers Until Confession Psalm 66:18
10. Become Fearful Titus 2:13
Ten Benefits of Confession
1. Confession unavoidably leads us to give up hoping in ourselves.
2. Be lovingly honest.
3. Humble when exposed.
4. Own our sin.
5. Quick to admit our wrongs.
6. Listen and examine.
7. Greet feedback with confession and encouragement.
8. Be patient and gentle in the face of wrong.
9. Not return to the past.
10. Put our hope in Christ.
11 Special Attributes about the Holy Spirit (adapted from In Touch Ministries, Charles Stanley :
The Holy Spirit
- He permanently indwells us (John 14:16-17).
- He seals us (Eph. 1:13).
- He teaches us (John 14:26).
- He guides us into all truth (John 16:13).
- He convicts us of sin (John 16:8).
- He reminds us (John 14:26).
- He bears fruit through us (Gal. 5:22-23).
- He comforts us (John 16:7).
- He equips us with spiritual gifts (1 Cor. 12:4-7).
- He fills us (Eph. 5:18).
- He empowers us (Acts 1:8).
1. What might an atheist say if it were proven to them that God is real and his words are true? (think about living a hopeless, purposeless existence, then knowing the truth)
2. How do you suppose God wants us to walk in our identity as ‘beloved children?’
3. In our society, how might Christians get too comfortable?
What is more sinister, apathy or persecution? Why?
What is more destructive, passivity or sacrifice? Why?
4. In what ways could you walk daily with ‘wisdom and urgency?’
5. What’s your reaction to the ’Ten Benefits of Confession?’
1. What steps will you take, prompted by Scripture and the Spirit, to fully surrender?