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Ephesians 3:20 1
20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,

Background

Verses 20 and 21 are the conclusion to Paul’s prayer which began in verse 14. No matter how bold our own requests may seem, God can do all we ask and much more (1 Corinthians 2:9). God’s methods for accomplishing more than we can imagine comes through His strength. This work, God’s work is done by the Holy Spirit’s power within us, rather than by our human strength.

The apostle Paul wrote Ephesians when he was in a prison in Rome to the people in the town called Ephesus. This was about 61 years after the birth of Christ. It was a busy port and the center of much trade. The temple of the goddess Diana (or Artemis) was there. The business people sold models of Diana’s temple but Paul’s preaching affected their trade. This caused confusion and trouble in the city (Acts 19:23-41) resulting in Paul’s imprisonment. Within Ephesus, there was much division: pagan beliefs, Christian beliefs, and just plain unbelief.

Paul wrote to encourage the personal faith of the early Christians in Ephesus. The letter mainly teaches us about God’s plan for the world and that there is no unity in a world without Christ. One person is against another person. Nations fight each other. Jews and Gentiles are against each other. This is the reason for all that is wrong. But war and divisiveness is not God’s purpose for the world, it is for all to be united. There can be unity only when all things come together with Christ as head. For the church unity must be inside first and then spread to the entire world and for all ages.

Items for Discussion

  • What do you consider the most divisive issues within the Christian church today?
  • Of the issues you have mentioned, how would you personally change the church to bring more unity within its walls? 
    • Your plans should include which issues to address first
    • Whether compromise and consensus have a place in the Christian church
    • Who in the church should address those issues?
    • Does unity mean “I must agree with everyone’s point of view?”
  • What does it mean to you when you hear the terms, “Christ as the Head of the Church?”
  • How should a church handle the irreconcilable issues that seem to be present in our society today?
  • When people disagree with a view point, what are the actions that one would expect to see if their goals were to reconcile their differences?
  • What actions of disagreement lead to irreconcilable differences?

Discussion Challenge

  • How specifically can you, as an individual, help the Christian church grow in unity?

 

Notes:

  1. NIV New International Version Translations
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