UBC PASTORS’ BLOG – January 15, 2018
Welcome to the UBC Pastors’ Blog. It is our prayer that this medium will be useful in expanding our dialogue as a church around the teaching and ministry of the word of God and the important issues pertaining to our mission today. We desire to maintain a blog that will be informative and edifying as we work diligently together to communicate the wonderful news of Jesus Christ in our contemporary world.
May I also welcome you to our study of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians? Our intention is to proceed systematically through the epistle over the course of a few months, to deepen our understanding of the gospel and to refine our discipleship as faithful followers of Jesus Christ. We will do our best to upload audio sermons to our media page within 24 hours. We will attempt to post questions, insights and resources which we believe are helpful in this endeavour.
There are a number of ways for you to participate in the discussion. You can add your comments below. (Comments will be screened for appropriateness to our purposes. In other words, be gracious and kind, and seek to honour the Lord with every word!) You may also join the conversation on the current sermon series through Twitter or Instagram at @uxbap #newnormal. Some of these comments may be referenced and/or displayed during our Sunday morning services. You are also encouraged to join a Life Group or Bible Study group which is following along with these discussions. Each week we hope to post a Life Group Lesson Guide and other aids, along with responses, comments and insights to advance our understanding. Also, there are many excellent resources online. One outstanding resource is John Stott’s sermon series on Ephesians. You will most certainly be blessed by this scholarly yet pastoral treatment of the letter. This material is also available in print form under the title, The Message of Ephesians.
Here is the link for John Stott’s C010 Ephesians sermon series: https://www.allsouls.org/Media/AllMedia.aspx
If you are looking for something of a more contemporary style, you may enjoy Mark Driscoll’s Ephesians: Who Do You Think You Are? series: https://markdriscoll.org/sermon-archive/
LIFE GROUP LESSON:
What are you looking forward to learning most as we work through our study of Ephesians?
Share a personal story about when you were shown extraordinary grace.
- Read the story of Paul’s conversion in Acts 9:1-22. How do these events shape Paul’s life and mission afterward?
- Read the story of Paul’s experience in Ephesus in Acts 19. How do you think this affects Paul’s interaction with the Ephesian church?
- Read Eph. 1:1-2. What is the significance of Paul’s claim to apostleship? What does it mean to be God’s “holy people” and “the faithful in Christ Jesus”?
- What is the significance of Paul’s emphasis on grace and peace?
Pray for one another that each would grow in Christ through this study. Pray for the grace and peace of God for one another, especially in the areas where trouble and anxiety are present.
What practical steps will you take to grow in grace and peace this week? Be specific.
Next week we will be looking at Ephesians 1:3, blessing in the heavenlies or heavenly realm. It’s a shorthand reference to the invisible world in which Christ is enthroned as King over all rival powers. Here are some questions to prompt your thinking… Where does blessing come from? What are the “heavenlies”? What does it really mean to identify Jesus as “Lord”?
“Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Eph. 1:2)