If you are a Christ-follower, you have been given a new identity in Him: you are adopted, chosen, marked, and alive! Many do not live in the reality of this identity. Instead, our attitudes, speech, and actions give off the stench of death. Christ didn’t come so that we would continue to live in our old pattern of life. Instead, Jesus said that He came so “that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10). What is keeping you from your true identity and “life…to the full”?
1As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. 4But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. Ephesians 2:1-5
Do you like to watch zombie movies? If so, what is your favorite one?
Read Ephesians 2:1-5. List all of the words or phrases that describe your life apart from Jesus. Which of these stand out the most to you, and why?
The tone of the passage changes in verse 4. What is your new identity?
What reasons does Paul give for God giving you this new identity?
On Sunday, Aaron shared the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. Read John 11:1-44 aloud in your group. What impacts you most from this story?
In John 11:44, Jesus commanded that the grave clothes Lazarus was buried in be removed. Aaron mentioned that as believers, we sometimes walk around with our grave clothes on, looking, smelling, and acting like death. What are some things that you do that fit this description?
Since God has made you alive, how can you shed your grave clothes and live in your new identity?
The Greek work for “alive” (also translated “quickened”) means “to make one alive together” (Strong’s Concordance). Though you (singular) are alive, YOU (the church) are alive together. List ways that your small group can be life-giving to those in your community. Pick a few of the ways from the list and put them into practice this week together.
FOR FURTHER STUDY
Read Colossians 2:6-15. How can you be “rooted and built up in Him”?
What type of ‘hollow and deceptive philosophy’ typically leads people away from Christ in today’s culture? What can you do to protect yourself from being taken captive to it?
In verses 10-11, what are the “in/with Christ/Him” statements? What do these statement mean to you?
What does Paul reveal about God in verses 13-15? What all has He done for you?
Read the following passages. What traits/attitudes/actions characterize a believer who lives out their identity in Christ?
- Romans 12:10-16a
- Galatians 5:22-23
- Ephesians 4:29-32
- Philippians 2:14-15
- Colossians 3:12-17