Bible Study Guide Sunday, Sept. 2, 2018
Grow Sermon Text: Colossians 1:28-29 Study Texts: Ephesians 4:7-16 Sermon Recap: In this week’s sermon, we looked at Colossians 1:28-29, a text that has been near and dear to Parkwood’s heart for many years. In this text, we see the purpose for which the Church is to go about the work of ministry, which is to present everyone mature in Christ Jesus. This means that the Church is to be about more than simply garnering professions of faith. As the Church, we should desire to see men and women come to know Jesus in their hearts but also in their lives. Paul reminds us that this is the work to which Christ both calls His Church and the goal He empowers her to achieve. We toil in this work through Christ’s energy. He cares deeply about this work—indeed, He gave His life for it. The work of the Church is to see all Christians grow into maturity in Jesus. Sermon Connection: In Ephesians 4, Paul is laying out several things for the Church concerning Christian growth in the gospel, how that is to take place, and the purpose for which it is to take place. Paul begins our study text by showing that through Christ and the gospel, all Christians have been given the grace to serve in the Church. In particular, Christ has equipped some for the offices of spiritual leadership. Those in spiritual leadership are to give of themselves to equip the rest of the Church for the work of ministry. And, as we will see, Christian maturity and unity come as we, the Church, faithfully carry out the work of ministry. When we exercise our gifts through discipling we see the Church grow in Christian maturity.
Lesson Plan Lesson Goal: To see that Jesus intends for His Church to grow into Christian maturity and to do so for the sake of the mission of God Lesson Points: Point 1: The Role of Godly Leadership in Christian Growth (vv. 7-11) Point 2: The Means of Christian Growth: Discipleship (vv. 12-14) Point 3: The Goal of Christian Growth: Maturity (vv. 15-16)
The Context: The letter to the Ephesians covers a number of topics, but a pressing topic for Paul is the unity of the Church in Christ. To this end, he stresses how this ought to happen, which is through the maturity that comes through discipleship. Point 1 - The Role of Godly Leadership in Christian Growth (vv. 7-11) ● In verse 7, Paul uses the phrase “But grace was given to each one of us…” The word “grace” can also be translated “ability to perform a task.” Does this mean that every Christian is equipped for Christian service in the Church? ● From where does this grace-infused ability come (vv. 7-10)? ● What is the role of spiritual leadership in Christian maturity according to vv. 11-12? Point 2 - The Means of Christian Growth: Discipleship (vv. 12-14) ● What is Paul calling the Church to in verse 12? How does Parkwood seek to carry this out? ● What is the means of equipping the Church for this work? How does growth group factor into this? ● What is the goal for equipping through discipleship? (v. 13) How does growth group factor into this? ● What does equipping the saints for the work of ministry through discipleship produce? (v. 14) How should this affect growth groups? ● Do we see ties to Paul’s thoughts in Colossians 1:28-29? Point 3 - The Goal of Christian Growth: Maturity (vv. 15-16) ● What does it mean by “...speaking the truth in love...”? How is this a mark of Christian growth? ● What/Who is the focus of maturing as a Christian? (v. 15) ● Why is growing in Christ and becoming mature so important to the Church? (v. 16) Why is it important for our growth group ministry? ● How is Christian maturity most properly exercised? (v. 16b) The Big Picture Parkwood’s mission statement is: “Parkwood Baptist Church exists to glorify God by laboring together for the growth of all believers, while going with the gospel to all people(s).” You can find this statement affixed to the walls leading into our worship center; a constant reminder of who we are and why we gather. We seek to glorify God in two main ways: growing mature Christians and going with the gospel to the lost. We have looked this week at growing mature Christians. This is the heart and soul of who we are as a Church and it drives everything we do. As we have seen from the Ephesians text, the Lord Jesus set up His Church to function in this way. As the pastors seek to carry out their responsibility of equipping the members of Parkwood 2
for the work of ministry, the members, in turn, carry out that work. And as Paul has shown, the work of ministry is seeing new Christians made and seeing them grow into maturity in Christ. It is the speaking of truth in Christian love which unites us all together in Christ, our Head. And this is why Parkwood puts so much emphasis on her growth group ministry. We want to see our people invested in the work of discipleship, seeing new believers made and welcomed into the growth of the Christian community. Growth groups exist to provide a context for the Church to engage, on a personal level, in our shared purpose to glorify, grow and go. Application Questions ● How am I seeking to grow in Christian maturity? ● How is Christian maturity valued and emphasized in my home? ● How is my involvement in growth group helping my spiritual maturity? ● As a growth group, how are we seeking to carry out the work of discipleship with each other? ● How is our growth group seeking the unity in Christ that leads to maturity?