The Family in Christ
Passage: Ephesians 5:21–6:9
The Church is the bride of Christ. God's people are God's children. All masters/lords have a Master/Lord (the Greek word is the same) in Christ. Thus the three major relationships of the earthly family in Paul's time are redefined by their relationship with Christ. Christ is Husband; God is Father; Christ is Lord. Earthly roles and relationships are not thereby dissolved, but they are radically transformed from what prevailed in the ancient Roman world or the contemporary Western world.
1. What part of the text or sermon had the greatest impact on you? Where were you most encouraged, intrigued, challenged?
2. In our anti-authority age, we can sometimes get uncomfortable with passages like this one. Paul’s original readers would have been uncomfortable as well – but for very different reasons. How does this passage both affirm and limit authority?
3. Why is it significant that wives, children, and slaves receive direct instruction from the apostle? Try to imagine yourself ‘in the shoes’ of an early believing wife, child, or slave. What might you have felt and thought as you heard this letter read?
4. What do we learn from Christ about how a husband is to lead by love?
5. If any in your group are married, spend time praying for your marriages. If not, pray for the marriages in your church family. Next week we will discuss the scheme of the devil to undermine God’s work and hurt God’s people; one of his favorite targets seems to be marriages and families. Pray for these to “be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.”
6. What does honoring parents look like after you grow out of the stage of “childhood” with its command to obey?
· Monday: Philemon
· Tuesday: Colossians 1:1-14
· Wednesday: Colossians 1:15-23
· Thursday: Colossians 1:24-2:5
· Friday: Colossians 2:6-15
· Saturday: Colossians 2:16-23
· Sunday: Colossians 3:1-4