1: Paul is literally a prisoner as he writes this, as well as figuratively one for the Lord as he gave his life to God’s service.
2-3: This are the ways in which believers should live.
4-6: Though believers are still sinners and even disagree over certain aspects of theology, we are still one. United by Christ who is over all and through all in and all.
Question: There is only one God and savior. Not good works or good intentions, not any other world religion or philosophy that can save you. Knowing this, how should this influence how we go about our day-to-day lives, especially given Paul’s instruction in verses 2-3? How should we interact with non-believers?
8-10: He ascended on high. Referring to when Jesus ascended back to heaven after he had also descended in the lower regions, the earth. God himself came down to earth for our sake and our salvation. How easy this is to not truly be amazed by.
11-12: These are some of the spiritual gifts God gave and his given believers to use in building up the church.
15a: Speaking without truth is not loving, and speaking the truth without love is unhelpful and often times has negative effects.
15b-16: Christ is the head of the body of believers and is what joins us all together. As believers, we should grow in spiritual maturity, and one way this is done is by working together and encouraging one another in spreading the gospel.
Question: It is not loving to not build one another up as well as not speaking truth when we need to be confronted in sinful or possibly negative actions. Usually we are more inclined to be either too “loving” or too “truthful.” What does it look like to be both loving and truthful? Where is a situation where you saw this play out well or poorly?
17-19: Gentiles were non-Jews often used to describe those far from God. As believers, we should not live like them.
20-24: Our life before Christ was corrupted with deceitful desires, for those who are now followers of Christ, we must put away our old way of life and put on the new self, created after the likeness of God.
Question: Perhaps the biggest difference between believers and non-believers is that Christians simply recognize that they are sinners in need of grace. This means that even as a Christian, you will still sin until your life hear is over. With that in mind, in what ways, if you are a believer, have you seen your desires change from selfish things to more selfless and God honoring things? Either before you were a Christian compared to now, or as you have simply grown in your faith?
25-32: This is a description of what, with the help of the Holy Spirit, we should strive for in the Christian life. As sinners, we cannot consistently live like this in our own power.
Question: Living the way God intends for us, though it brings the most amount of joy, can be really hard. How often to you pray for the Holy Spirit to help you in this? What would it look like for you to lean more on the Holy Spirit in your life?