July 19, 2020
Let’s spend some time thinking together with God about this week’s message. If you haven’t heard it yet, you can watch it online here. Throughout this exercise, be aware of what God might be saying to you and what you are going to do about it.
The Scripture for this week was Ephesians 2:8-10. Read the passage and spend three minutes of silence while you try to discern what God is saying to you through the passage.
Dave shared three main denials concerning our identity: you are not what you do, you are not what you own, and you are not what people say or don’t say about you. We are often tempted to place our identity and worth in our work, possessions, and reputation. Which of these do you find yourself slipping into most? Which of these does your social circle prize the most?
Instead of the three ways we commonly construct our identity, Scripture says that we are God’s handiwork “created in Christ Jesus to do good works”. We are what God says about us, and God says we are a work of art – sent into the world to do good. What is the good work that you are created to do?
There is a fine line between placing your identity in your work and placing your identity in Christ who calls you to a vocation or path to doing good work in the world. What does misplaced identity in work look like and what does a proper identity in Christ look like? How can you tell the difference in your own life when you are living out of a misplaced identity?
Spend three minutes asking the Holy Spirit to give you some thoughts about how to live differently in light of what was revealed to you through the Scripture and hearing from others in your Group.
FOR individual Study
The Scripture for this week was Ephesians 2:8-10. Read the passages and spend three minutes of silence while you try to discern what God is saying to you through the passages.
Paul writes in this letter to the Ephesians that we are “created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” What does this italicized part mean? What sorts of things does God do to “prepare in advance”? How does this square with human free will? It certainly appears that we have the option to not do good works – and further that some people have chosen to do “bad works.” Can you articulate how to interpret this passage about God’s preparation in advance?
Paul offers a really interesting juxtaposition in this passage between works as something that doesn’t “save” you, but works also as that which you were created to do. What is the implication of this on your theology of “work”? How do you distinguish between these types of “work”?
Dave recommended that we read the whole chapter of Ephesians 2 to see how this passage plays in the larger context. Read the whole chapter and determine what you think the “thesis statement” or “Big Idea” of the chapter is. Look for words like “Therefore” to find the conclusion of an argument and words like “for”, “since”, and “because” for the reasons supporting the conclusion. Then you can begin thinking about how the different parts work together.
Spend three minutes asking the Holy Spirit to give you some thoughts about how to live differently in light of what was revealed to you through the Scripture.
Use what you learned to spark conversation with someone. Ask what they think about some of these topics.
Want to find a community to talk through some of these ideas? Check out our Groups and eGroups here.