Our world seems to be changing at warp speed! Politically, technologically, economically, medically, educationally, racially, socially … every area of life seems to be in upheaval. And it’s changing at the very time that I’m older and want things to be comfortable and familiar. I find myself choosing the same restaurants to frequent, the same clothing styles to wear, the same friends to enjoy, the same exercise patterns to follow … even the same place to sit in church. Change can be unsettling and requires effort that taxes my energy, as well as my mental reserves. So I don’t want change just for the sake of change. I want change that will be worthwhile … change that results in peace, hope, joy and love.
As we face the new year of 2021, the change I truly long for is a change across the board, so that God’s will is done on earth, as it is Heaven. Yet at times I’m tempted to become so discouraged at the overwhelming odds against that kind of change that I simply shrug, sigh and become even more immersed in my own affairs. If you are also tempted to be discouraged, don’t give up. Maybe the world can be changed after all … one person at a time.
Read Ephesians 2
I. CHANGE FOR SINNERS (2:1-10)
- Give at least four or five different phrases that describe sinners. See Ephesians 2:1-3.
- Describe the sinner’s condition, from Romans 1:18 and John 3:36.
- According to Ephesians 2:4, who took the initiative to change our sinful condition?
- Write out Ephesians 2:4-5, substituting your name for the personal pronouns.
- From Ephesians 2:6-7, give phrases that reveal the dramatic change in a sinner’s condition by contrasting them with phrases in Ephesians 2:1-3.
- Put into your own words what is necessary in order to truly change. See Ephesians 2:8-9.
- What is one purpose for the changes? Read Ephesians 2:10 and Ephesians 1:11-12.
- Do you think politics or our government can truly change sinners, from God’s perspective? Explain your reasoning based on these verses.
II. CHANGE OF STATUS (2:11-19)
- Who were the “Gentiles” in Ephesians 2:11, and who do they represent today?
- Give at least three phrases that describe our spiritual status. Read Ephesians 2:11-12.
- Because of our original status, what was our spiritual condition? Read Ephesians 2:12.
- What dramatic change is described in Ephesians 2:13? Who brought it about, and how was it accomplished? Read Ephesians 2:12 and John 5:24.
- How is this change in status referred to in John 1:12 and 15:15? Give additional phrases from: Romans 8:17; Galatians 3:29; 4:7; Ephesians 3:6; 2:19; 1 Peter 2:10; Acts 26:18.
- What is one result of this change, repeatedly referred to in Ephesians 2:14-15, and twice in verse 17? Describe it in your own words.
- Do you think peace in the human heart can be achieved through politics or legislation? Explain your answer.
III. CHANGE FOR SHATTERED LIVES (2:20-22)
- List lives that are shattered according to 1 Corinthians 6:9-10. Are these shattered lives hopeless and incapable of change? See 1 Corinthians 6:11.
- What dramatic change in shattered lives is referred to in Ephesians 2:20?
- If our lives are like a building, who is the foundation and how do you lay it? See Ephesians 2:20 and 1 Corinthians 3:11.
- What is a cornerstone and why is it important? [Use a dictionary if necessary]
- In the analogy of our lives, who is the cornerstone, according to Ephesians 2:20? Acts 4:11? 1 Peter 2:6-7?
- What or who are the building blocks? See 1 Peter 2:5.
- Describe the before and ultimate after of a shattered life changed through the power of the cross in Ephesians 2:21-22.
Our world needs changing, but how? The real change we all long for is one that takes place in individual lives, from the inside out, beginning with a change of heart and mind. Change that results in peace, joy, hope and love. Such change can only be found in a personal, right relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and through the indwelling of His Holy Spirit. At the beginning of this new year, will you recommit yourself to changing the world, one person at a time? Tell someone about Jesus Christ and the power of His cross to change lives. ©2020 Anne Graham Lotz
This article is adapted from a study originally published in January 2009.
Anne Graham Lotz has proclaimed God’s Word worldwide for more than 40 years. Her newest book, “The Light of His Presence,” contains 40 of Anne’s personal prayers and is available through major booksellers and online at AnneGrahamLotz.org.