Wk 3 // JACKED // God Is Able

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ICEBREAKER

  • If you could be strong in any area of life, what would you want it to be (physical strength, mental toughness, a particular sport, etc.)? What would that kind of strength enable you to do?

  • What leads you to believe you aren’t already strong in that area?

  • Do you believe you need more spiritual strength than you already have? Why do you think that?

INTRODUCTION

In his prayer for the church at Ephesus in Ephesians 3, Paul focuses on asking God to strengthen the church spiritually. Paul’s prayer also related to comprehending God’s love and experiencing His fullness. The apostle expressed confidence in God’s power to supply spiritual strength far beyond what believers actually pray for. God is able to do more than we can possibly imagine but not so that our wildest dreams can come true. Instead, God’s immeasurable power points to His own glory.

In this week’s sermon, Pastor Mike stressed the importance of staying connected to God in order to become the best version of ourselves. When we are able to stay connected and focused on God, we are able to live our lives to give Him the glory.

SERMON RECAP

Spend a few minutes recapping this week's sermon together. Click here to view the sermon notes.

  • What was one takeaway from this week's sermon for you?

  • Were there any stories, ideas, or points that stuck out?

  • Was there anything that challenged you?

READ

Have a volunteer read Ephesians 3:14-16.

  • What kinds of things might believers be tempted to think they need in order to be spiritually strong? (Examples: self-discipline, power of positive thinking, a pull-up-by-the-bootstraps mentality.)

  • In contrast, what does Paul indicate we need in these verses?

  • How does greater spiritual strength in the inner being strengthen every aspect of a person?

NOTE
Real spiritual power is something only God’s Spirit can give God’s people. Only spiritual power can reach into who we really are. Paul wanted something to happen within the believer’s inner being (heart, spirit, true inner self) that only God’s Spirit can accomplish.

  • Can you recall a recent time you felt a need for greater spiritual strength? Why do you need to be strengthened by God’s Spirit?

NOTE
The God to whom Paul prayed is the God to whom we pray. The riches of His glory have not diminished since Paul’s original prayer. Thus we can petition God “to be strengthened with power through His Spirit” today the same as Paul did. We always need more of God’s power, so we can have greater spiritual strength in daily life.

Have a volunteer read Ephesians 3:17-21.

  • What do you think are some evidences of spiritual strength? Based on verses 17-19, what do believers receive when they pray for spiritual power?

  • According to Paul, what will result when the Spirit strengthens our inner being and Christ takes up permanent residence in our lives?

NOTE
Love for God and for others in the body of Christ is the intended outcome of experiencing the Spirit’s strength and Christ’s indwelling. This love will not be superficial but rather deeply ingrained. Paul used two images for this love. One is agricultural (rooted); the second is architectural (grounded). A well-rooted tree and a well-built house will stand through trials. In both images, the soil remains largely unseen; nevertheless, the cause of the stability in both images is the same.

  • Why would we be strengthened to do great things if we grasped the extent of Christ’s love? How does realizing you are loved this way strengthen you?

  • Aside from God, to whom or what might we turn or look to find spiritual strength? Who is the only Source of strength, according to Paul?

  • What does verse 20 imply about what we can expect when we pray to God?

NOTE
Paul was completely confident in God’s power to supply the spiritual strength for which he’d prayed. When Paul opened his prayer, he had acknowledged God as the Father of every family and the One who has infinite riches in glory. Now he acknowledged the powerful work of God within us. He is able to do (or to work), because He is living and active, not dead or passive. He is able to do far more, because His ways are higher than ours. He is able to do abundantly, because He has limitless resources. He is able to do all, because He knows everything and can do everything. He is able to do all that we ask, because He hears and answers His children’s prayers. He is able to do what we think, because He knows our thoughts better than we do.

APPLICATION

  • Why doesn’t God always give us what we want? What’s the right way to respond to the disappointment that comes when we don’t get what we want?

  • How has today’s study encouraged you to pray continually for greater spiritual strength? What are some practical ways you can do that on a regular basis?

  • What is a prayer that our group or church as a whole might pray together that truly is far more than we can ask or imagine?

PRAYER

Close your time together in prayer. Allow for silent prayer among group members. Guide them to pray for God’s people at our church and for their own lives. Close the group time by praying for the immeasurable request you would ask God to do through us.

Brian Otte