An Unlikely Becomes Extraordinary 

Welcome to Dive Deeper

In today’s lesson, we begin to use the D.I.V.E. method of studying Ephesians and, hopefully, learn more about Paul the Apostle.

 

Visualize

Begin by reading Ephesians 1:1-2 several times to help you Visualize and understand the overall context of the verses.

Investigate

Next, let’s take some time to Investigate about the book of Ephesians and it’s author. Remember to use your study tools to help find this information, if needed.

  • Who is the author?
  • What do you know about him?
  • Where did the author write this book?
  • When?
  • Why did the author write Ephesians?
  • Who did he write it to?
  • What study tool(s) did you use to find this information?

Embrace

  • Do you feel like God can’t use you?  Especially because of your past?
  • What do you feel hinders God from giving you an extraordinary testimony?
  • Share your WOW (Word of Wisdom) Moment

Define

Use Strong’s Concordance to look up these words:

  • Grace –
  • Peace –
  • After studying these two words, what does God’s grace and peace mean to you?
  • Did you know how to use Strong’s Concordance to look up these words?  If not, what challenged you about learning to use this study tool?

 

Today covered a large range of material – from practical to spiritual.  Share with us as much or as little from the discussion questions above as you are comfortable.  The bold questions are suggested as discussion topics, but please feel free to comment what impacted you the most.

Join the conversation in the comment section

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14 Comments

Gina

For PEACE, I read this definition and I love it: “the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with it’s earthly lot, of whatsoever sort it is.”

For GRACE, I have “help, benefit, and favor that is undeserved.”

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stephkadams

Gina, these are great definitions. Did you use Strong’s to look them up? That’s what she recommended in the chapter and it is the same as the definition I found in Strong’s. I like the thought of my soul being tranquil even in our hectic world. No matter what is going on around us, we can have peace in our soul. Love it!

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Gina

Stephanie, I looked up so many things, I honestly don’t remember! But I believe I did use Strong’s along the way. I like the part about “fearing nothing from God” – that is definite peace and trust in Him! Something I still struggle with!

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stephkadams

“Fearing nothing from God” : When we fear nothing from God we are trusting Him no matter the circumstances. If we can have realized trust in Him no matter what it looks like around us we then experience the peace – tranquility – in our soul. This is such a powerful truth. Paul’s greeting of ‘peace’ for us becomes so much deeper and richer when we view it through this understanding.

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Debbie

I used blueletterbible.org to look up definitions. I thought it was interesting that in the OT Peace [shalom] was more of a definition but then in the NT Peace [eirene] of the Messiah’s peace – the way leads to salvation and of Christianity the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ and so fearing nothing from God.
Also, was so interesting reading in the NKJ study bible about Pauls intention for writing Ephesians to unveil the mystery of the church “to form a body to express Christ’s fullness on earth”, by uniting one people Jew & Gentile among whom God himself dwells. WOW… and the magnificent goal is to build a glorious, mature, ministering church, not having a spot or wrinkle!

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stephkadams

Debbie, thank you for sharing the definitions you found. I have heard great things about Blue Letter Bible but I haven’t used it yet. I am hoping to use it during this study and get familiar with it.

In regard to definitions, it honestly didn’t occur to me to look up shalom from the OT and do a comparison to the peace of the NT. Thank you for making this point. It is indeed interesting to see how the coming of Jesus as the Messiah fulfills the law and changes our state in Him through His sacrifice.

Thanks again for bringing up this point.

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Melissa Eagle

I used biblehub.com; they have an online version of Strong’s concordance that I used for the definitions. I loved the side note for Charis(the Greek word for grace)- ‘leaning towards’ to share benefit; God is always leaning towards me(us). Strong’s definition for peace is wholeness (when all essential parts are joined together). This last part made me think of the verse in I Thess. 5:23: Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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stephkadams

I also like the thought of peace bringing wholeness. And that is a great verse to show the relationship between peace and completeness.
Thanks for brining out that point, Melissa.

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Liane Conaway

I’m finally able to ‘dive’ into this study. Loved the background and the definitions that have been posted. One thing to highlight on page 13 when she speaks of the extraordinary and how our “circumstances” don’t hinder God from working in us and through us but that we hinder God from doing extraordinary things due to our disobedience. I don’t disagree with the statement but know many who have remained faithful and obedient in very difficult circumstances where nothing extraordinary has resulted outwardly, in the way the world would define extraordinary. But possibly the extraordinary happens inwardly, not for all the world to see, but for each of us to testify to individually. When we ask, “can God use me for the extraordinary? If you are seeking the Lord and being obedient to what He has put in front of you today He is using you for the extraordinary!

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stephkadams

I, too, think we often miss how God uses us because we are looking for the “extraordinary” to be an outstanding, grand moment. When in reality each day is filled with extraordinary moments, both inwardly and outwardly, because God pours out blessings each and every day in different ways. I think this is part of having the “eyes of our heart enlightened”, to be able to recognize those God moments.

So glad to have you in the study, Liane.

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Gina

I agree, Liane. I think also hindsight is amazing. I went through a tough time, and looking back years later, I can see how it changed me. It took something major to “jolt” me into focusing on what is important and softening my heart. That is not extraordinary by wordly standards, but it absolutely is for me!

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Kristin

I love the definition for peace as being calm in our soul even though the world around us is crazy and hectic. I definitely feel like God cannot use me…I have made so many mistakes in my life and I just cannot let go of the guilt that surrounds these mistakes. I just wish I could let it go and truly believe that God does forgive me and he does love me no matter what. It is just so hard to get past the pain I have caused myself and to others.

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Stephanie K. Adams

Kristin, I can’t wait for you to read Ephesians 3 and go through Lesson 1 of Section 3. Paul addresses this very same thing of feeling like the “least”.
One thing for sure, we were forgiven by God when Jesus hung on the Cross, but we must forgive ourselves. There is value in remembering from where God has saved us, but there is no helpfulness in allowing our past to keep us from moving forward in forgiveness – even with ourselves.
Praying for you as you dive deeper into the waters of relationship with Christ during this study.

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