Use one or both of these questions to introduce the lesson:
1. What things did you have to stop or start when you acknowledged Christ as Lord of your life?
2. What attitude and behavior changes have you seen in others who have accepted Jesus?
Read Ephesians 2:1-3
1. Paul described Satan as “the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work” (v. 2) who manipulates and actively inspires the sinful nature of those who are disobedient (nonbelievers). Looking around, seeing the world at large, what evidence do you see of this truth? What unbridled sinful desires, lusts, and cravings do you see portrayed in entertainment, politics, celebrities, media, business, or popular music?
2. In verse three, Paul made a clear delineation between “them” (nonbelievers) and “us” (believers in Jesus). At one point, we accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Before that, we were children of God’s wrath. Ephesians 1:13, 14 contains three basic steps of our conversion: we heard, we believed, and we were marked. Share your personal conversion story with the group. Did it follow this same pattern? Why or why not?
(If you are reading this and have not accepted Christ and been baptized, please make plans to speak with someone you trust spiritually.)
Read Ephesians 2:4-7
3. Think about when you followed the ways of this world before committing your life to Jesus. Hell-bent and dead in your transgressions, what were some things you stopped embracing from that culture of death in which you used to live? List what you began doing as a result of God’s mercy, grace, and kindness.
4. This passage tells us what God did for us through Jesus Christ. What are some of your favorite phrases in this section of Scripture? Why do they speak to your soul the way they do?
Read Ephesians 2:8-10
5. What is grace? In Greek, the word is charis and it refers to God’s free and unmerited favor. “It is by grace you have been saved.” Since Paul wrote this phrase word for word twice in three sentences (vv. 5 and 8), it’s clearly an important concept. What does this line mean and what does it mean to you personally? How have you been made alive with Christ?
6. Check out Romans 6:1, 2, 11-13. When it comes to grace, what role does God play and what role do we play?
7. In verse 10, the word handiwork in the original Greek is likened both literally and figuratively to fabric, a cloth produced by knitting or weaving threads together. In the tapestry of the kingdom, what masterpiece is God weaving in your life using the gifts and talents you’ve been given?
Conclude your group time in prayer, giving thanks for God’s great love, his amazing grace and tender mercy, and his life-giving Son.