Background: It is Pentecost. The Holy Spirit has arrived as promised by Jesus. Peter preaches a sermon to explain what is happening and present the Gospel (good news). Those listening are “pierced to the heart” and ask what they should do. Peter says to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the Holy Spirit.” That day “there were added about 3,000 souls.” Acts 2:1-41.
Review: In Ephesians 4:1-5:2, Paul talked about several different contrasts: unity versus disunity, infancy versus maturity, unbelievers versus believers, and old self versus new self. What specific teaching from this text has stayed with you since our last study?
Review: What deep-seated human animosity or hostility was reconciled in Christ, according to Ephesians 2? What human division or conflict are you working to reconcile in your local congregation? Did you take any positive steps toward this reconciliation in the past week?
Review: In Ephesians 1:1?14 Paul pours out praise to God for the lavish blessings that believers experience in Christ. Included among these generous blessings is the privilege of knowing God’s plan for the entire universe! What is this glorious plan (v. 10)? How did your knowledge of this plan affect the way you lived in the past week?
Introduction to the Series
God has a plan for your life, and it’s part of God’s plan for the cosmos. God’s plan is to renew his creation, to flood it with love, justice, and beauty. His plan is to do it through Jesus Christ. But not without you. The mystery of the universe is that God has loved the unloved, the unlovely, and the unlovable. He has made us one with his Son, one with each other in his church, and one with his purposes. In Jesus a new age is rising. The first rays have broken the horizon. His light is shining on our path. You are to walk with the dawn. Take the next step.