Ephesians 3:14-4:16

Sermon Outline

  1. In a local church, Christ makes His numberless family embraceable

  2. Christ’s family’s solidarity is magnified by its diversity

  3. We delight in the dearness of Christ’s hold of us by holding our church dearly

Discussion Questions

  • What is the difference between a church and a group of Christians?
  • Why is it impossible to showing loving commitment (forgiveness, patience) to the Universal church (all believers, all times, all places) without showing loving commitment to a local church?
  • What three things must a group of Christians take responsibility for in order to be considered a church?
  • What promises does God make to churches about completeness?
  • Does God desire more or less churches in the world?
  • What does God's Word insist a church have unity on?
  • What kinds of diversity should be welcomed and cultivated and which ones are essential?
  • Which of the kinds of diversity are you tempted to view as annoying vs. a benefit for your knowledge of Christ's love?  Age, race, stage in life, gender, culture...?
  • If the church is shaped by the News of what Jesus has done for us, how do the following 'design elements' for our treatment of our church adorn the Gospel?
    • Commitment 
    • Self-forgetfulness
    • Sacrificial generosity
    • Giving others the gift of expecting to meet with us
  • How does a biblical relationship with a local church family promote grace-based vs. performance-based relationships with other believers?
  • Why should we not be surprised when God's desire for our relationship with our church changes the shape of our lives?
  • What does the book of Hebrews about the relationship between holding fast to the gathering of your whole church family and holding fast to the Gospel?