What are the challenges to understanding this idea? How might free will and predestination work together? Adoption has a dual meaning, both present and future. You do not get into God's family by adoption.
Ephesians: Gaining the Things That Money Can't Buy by Warren W. Wiersbe
You get into His family by regeneration, the new birth John —18; 1 Peter — Adoption is the act of God by which He gives His "born ones" an adult standing in the family. Why does He do this? So that we might immediately begin to claim our inheritance and enjoy our spiritual wealth! A baby cannot legally use this inheritance Gal. This means that you do not have to wait until you are an old saint before you can claim your riches in Christ.
The future aspect of adoption is found in Romans —23, the glorified body we will have when Jesus returns. Describe the "now" and "not yet" aspects of adoption. What are some of the present riches that Christians gain immediately after they've been "adopted"? How does or should this affect the way Christians live today? This letter has much to say about God's plan for His people, a plan that was not fully understood even in Paul's day. The word mystery has nothing to do with things eerie. It means a "sacred secret, once hidden but now revealed to God's people. Ever since sin came into the world, things have been falling apart.
First, man was separated from God Gen.
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Then man was separated from man, as Cain killed Abel Gen. People tried to maintain a kind of unity by building the Tower of Babel Gen. God called Abraham and put a difference between the Jew and the Gentile, a difference that was maintained until Christ's death on the cross. Sin is tearing everything apart, but in Christ, God will gather everything together in the culmination of the ages.
We are a part of this great eternal program. What is the "sacred secret"? What are some of the things Paul reveals in Ephesians about God's plan for His people? How does being part of God's "inner circle" affect the way we should reach out to those who don't yet know Christ? How do we keep the "inner circle" idea from becoming a barrier? He has sealed us v. The entire process of salvation is given in this verse, so we had better examine it carefully.
It tells how the sinner becomes a saint. First, he hears the gospel of salvation.
This is the good news that Christ died for our sins, was buried, and rose again 1 Cor. The Ephesians were Gentiles, and the gospel came "to the Jew first" Rom.
The Ephesians "heard the gospel" and discovered it was for them—"your salvation" Eph. Even though the Bible teaches election, it also announces, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature" Mark A soul winner does not discuss election with unsaved people, because it is a family secret that belongs to the saints. Why are Christians called to preach the gospel if the idea of election is true? How is this an example of obedience? Of God's sovereignty?
Of His mystery? More to Consider: Verse 14 says that God has given us an "earnest" kjv. In Paul's day, it meant "the down payment to guarantee the final purchase of some commodity or a piece of property. In what ways is the gift of the Holy Spirit like "earnest money"? Did you notice that after each of the main sections in Ephesians —14, Paul added the purpose behind these gifts? Why has God the Father chosen us, adopted us, and accepted us? Why has the Son redeemed us, forgiven us, revealed God's will to us, and made us part of God's inheritance?
Why has God the Spirit sealed us and become the guarantee of our future blessing? We often have the idea that God saves sinners mainly because He pities them or wants to rescue them from eternal judgment, but God's main purpose is that He might be glorified. What does it mean that God's main purpose is to glorify Himself? According to Ephesians, what role do Christians play in that? Why do you think Paul focuses so much in this passage on God's glory?
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There is always more spiritual wealth to claim from the Lord as we walk with Him. The Bible is our guidebook; the Holy Spirit is our Teacher. As we search the Word of God, we discover more and more of the riches we have in Christ. These riches were planned by the Father, purchased by the Son, and presented by the Spirit.
There is really no need for us to live in poverty when all of God's wealth is at our disposal! What are some of the riches that Christians can discover in Christ? How does this truth about riches in Christ speak to those people who are poor in material things? Those who are wealthy? Take a moment to reflect on all that you've explored thus far in this study of Ephesians — Review your notes and answers and think about how each of these things matters in your life today.
Tips for Small Groups: To get the most out of this section, form pairs or trios and have group members take turns answering these questions. Be honest and as open as you can in this discussion, but most of all, be encouraging and supportive of others.
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Be sensitive to those who are going through particularly difficult times and don't press for people to speak if they're uncomfortable doing so. How does being adopted into God's family affect you personally? For example, what are the practical results of this adoption? What is the emotional impact? How does adoption by Christ affect your daily routine? The way you interact with family? What is the most difficult thing for you to understand about the relationship between "election" and "man's responsibility"? How would you respond to someone who says, "Nothing we do matters, because God already preordained everything"?
What are some of the riches you have already experienced because of being adopted into Christ's kingdom?
The Wiersbe Bible Study Series: Ephesians
What are some new discoveries about God that have come since your adoption? What are some of the hopes you have for this "kingdom life" that you have been granted? Think of one or two things that you have learned that you'd like to incorporate into your life in the coming week. Remember that this is all about quality, not quantity. It's better to focus on one specific area of life and do it well than to work on many and do poorly or to be so overwhelmed that you simply don't try. Do you need to focus on what it means to be adopted by Christ? Do you need to better learn what it means to be responsible for your own actions?
Do you need to offer thanks to God for selecting you? Be specific. Go back through Ephesians —14 and put a star next to the phrase or verse that speaks to the area you most need to work on. Consider memorizing this verse. Real-Life Application Ideas: Research the theological concept of predestination Calvinism is the most well-known form and meet with fellow believers to discuss it. For ten years he served as general director and Bible teacher for the Back to the Bible radio broadcast. Wiersbe has written more than books, including the popular "Be" series of expositional Bible studies, which has sold more than four million copies.
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