Life Group Notes – Family Revival Pt. 8
October 10, 2021
Family Revival pt 8: Come Into The Light
Life Group Notes
The first part of Pastor’s message emphasized that we are to imitate Christ, not just appreciate Him. While only Jesus is divine and perfect, in terms of His character, we can begin to ‘resemble Him’ to increasing degrees in our life.
Fun Question: Have you ever been told you resembled someone famous? Who was it?
This Week’s Study
In this week’s sermon, Pastor preached from Ephesians 5:1-14. In this passage from Ephesians, Paul clearly marks out two ways. The Bible uses different language for identifying these two ways. In Ephesians 5 Paul uses the language of light and darkness. In Galatians 5, Paul uses the language of life according to the flesh and life according to the Spirit. But whichever metaphor is used, the New Testament clearly teaches us to orient our lives in one way rather than another. Paul even talks about access to the Kingdom of God being granted or denied based on a person orienting their life according to the way of darkness (or the way of the flesh). But wouldn’t this make our salvation dependent on our own efforts? Let’s look at Galatians 5, where Paul deals with the same issue he is addressing in Ephesians 5 to see if Paul’s language there can help us out. We can begin on the positive side with Paul’s description of life in the Spirit.
22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law (Gal 5:22-23, NIV).
Now let’s look at Paul’s language in Ephesians 5 when he describes walking in the light.
Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
QUESTION: Why do you think Paul uses the metaphor of fruit in Galatians? Does a tree work for its fruit?
QUESTION: In Galatians it seems that Paul is clearly indicating that result of the work of the Spirit in our lives will be a life lived in love. When Paul asks believers to walk in Love in Ephesians do you think he is asking something different of the Ephesians?
QUESTION: How do we allow the Holy Spirit to produce the fruit of the Spirit in our lives? Are the habits or disciplines that we can take up to make space for this kind of fruitful life?
When we turn from the positive model to the negative, we can see that Paul describes life apart from the work of the Holy Spirit. In Ephesians, Paul uses the metaphor of darkness. This is an appropriate image because darkness is only the lack of light. In the same way life that oriented toward the self is just life lived outside of the light of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
In Galatians, Paul identifies these negative attributes as the deeds of flesh. In Ephesians, Paul focuses on how these were behaviors which had marked the lives of the Ephesians before they came to know Jesus. Before the Holy Spirit had done a regenerative work in their lives. Paul describes this kind of behavior in Eph 5:5 as idolatry.
5 For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater (Eph 5:5a, NIV).
QUESTION: What would it mean to say that immorality, impurity, and greed were acts of idolatry?
In this same verse (Eph 5:5) Paul says that those who participate in this idolatry will not have a share in the inheritance of the Kingdom of God. Those who inherit the Kingdom of God are those who have been renewed by the work of the Holy Spirit. Paul tells us that a life of love is the mark of a Spirit-Filled life.
QUESTION: What does this mean for how we evaluate our own walk with God? How can the fruit of our life serve as an indicator of our spiritual health?
QUESTION: How can we as a community create an environment that is conducive to the Spirit producing the fruit of love in our lives?