Wk 5 // JACKED // Live Like Christ

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ICEBREAKER

  • Who did you most want to be like when you were growing up?

  • What does it mean to imitate someone? When is imitation a positive thing? When might it not be?

  • What do you think the life of someone who imitates Christ would look like? What actions and character traits would imitating Christ involve?

INTRODUCTION

Love is reflective. As we have been loved by Jesus, we are to love other people. If we want to know what it means to love others, then, we should look to the self-sacrificial love of Jesus. Not only will we find an example, but we will also find the power to love like that when we consider how we have been loved by God in Christ.

Ephesians 5 gives us an extensive list of behaviors to avoid if we want to follow Christ. But in this week’s message, Pastor Sean shared about what it really takes to live like Christ. God wants us to expose our sin in order to take away sin’s power over our lives. But more than that, God wants us to live into the full potential he has given us. If we want to grow in our faith, we have to step out of our sin and into the greater things God has for us.

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 5:1-6.

  • What can we learn from Jesus about loving as God loves (v. 2)?

  • Now read verses 3 and 4. What’s the common link among the sins listed? What purposes do these sins serve in our lives?

NOTE
Jesus modeled, among other things, love and sacrifice. Because of how much He loves us, He sacrificed His life for us, and that should motivate us to love others. Imitating God is a matter of character and action. The sins Paul listed in verses 3 and 4 are examples of self-gratifying sins through which people find value and acceptance in things other than their identities as children of God.

  • How does God’s standard for our bodies, minds, and speech in verses 3-4 compare or contrast with society’s standard?

  • How are the sins in these verses examples of idolatry (v. 5)?

NOTE
There’s no middle ground on this one: We’re either learning how to imitate Christ or we’re imitating the world around us. Idolatrous behavior limits our service to God and robs us of effort, time, and energy that we could have used to live for Him.

Have a volunteer read Ephesians 5:7-14.

  • What should characterize the lives of those living as “children of light” (v. 8)?

  • Aside from avoiding “deeds of darkness” (v. 11), what else are we supposed to do about them? What does this accomplish?

NOTE
The comparison of light and darkness gives us the clearest distinction between the new life and old lives. Because light and darkness can’t coexist, lives redeemed by Christ’s blood and brought into the light of His truth can’t continue in the darkness of sinful lifestyles. One of the reasons selfish, secretive sins have such power in our lives, even after we become Christians, is because the shame and guilt keeps us captive in the darkness. Only in the light is the help, accountability, and support of godly community available to help us break bad habits and eradicate shame. As much as we’d like to think we have the power to conquer our strongholds alone, we don’t, and we’re not meant to.

Have a volunteer read Ephesians 5:15-21.

  • What commands did Paul give the Ephesians in verses 15-21? Why are each of these actions examples of wise living? How do they help us ensure we are living as imitators of God (5:1)?

  • How can we know if we’re being “foolish”?

NOTE
Whereas being drunk with wine leads to foolish actions, being filled with the Holy Spirit leads to the ability to discern and follow God’s will. Living under the influence of the Holy Spirit is the primary characteristic of “children of light.” Being filled with the Spirit also explains how we’re to “be very careful” to how we live, the command that begins verse 15. In verses 19-21, Paul gives four different characteristics of people who live filled by the Spirit. Each of these examples reiterates our need for the Spirit’s help to live as imitators of God

APPLICATION

  • Based on Ephesians 4–5, how would you describe God’s plan for Christian living?

  • In what specific areas of life are you working to imitate Christ? In what ways are you working to reflect His values?

  • In what areas of life is it most difficult to imitate God? Why is this?

PRAYER

Invite volunteers from your group to close in prayer. Pray we would be people changed by the truth of the cross. Pray for the ways we see the Spirit’s presence in our lives. Close your time of prayer by thanking God for His grace through the cross and His active involvement in your everyday lives.

Brian Otte