PREPARATION: Breathe deeply several times to clear your mind and connect yourself with God. Listen to God through Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 3:14-21.
Read the Ephesians 4: 1-16 text several times. In this study, the Observation and Interpretation steps will be done by paragraphs with an Application at the end.
OBSERVATION Vs. 1-6
- Observe and highlight the key words, verbs and prepositions.
- To what does the word “then” connect us? (in the NIV – “therefore” in other translations)
- Note the verb tenses Paul uses.
- Form groups of the repeated words or ideas.
- Watch for the connecting words and prepositions. What do you observe?
INTERPRETATION Vs. 1-6
- What purpose might Paul have to mention again that he is a prisoner of the Lord?
- How does Paul say the Ephesians ought to live?
- Why does Paul emphasize unity so much in the first verses of the chapter? Imagine what might be happening in the church in Ephesus.
- What is the main idea in vs. 1-6?
OBSERVATION Vs. 7-12
- Find the contrasts, verbs and key words.
- Note the verb tenses in this section.
- Highlight the connector words and the cause/effect statements introduced.
INTERPRETATION Vs. 7-12
- Where do the gifts come from and why have we received them?
- What is significant about the specific list of gifts that Paul mentions here?
- What is the relationship between the first and second paragraphs?
OBSERVATION Vs. 13-16
- Appreciate the illustrations and contrasts Paul uses in these verses.
- Highlight the verbs, noting the tenses used.
- Underline the prepositions and connector words used, noting the purposes they indicate.
INTERPRETATION Vs. 13-16
- What is the end goal Paul has here? In what different ways does he rearticulate it?
- How does he propose to reach that goal?
How can we apply this passage?
- To the marriage relationship?
- To your family?
- To your local church?
- To the worldwide church?
For what do you wish to thank God?