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Sabbath School Lessons on Ephesians
About the Author
Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
is the author of these Sabbath School lesson study outlines. He is the Reed Larson Professor of Labor Law at Regent University School of Law. Professor Cameron has devoted his life to promoting the Gospel and defending believers. In addition to teaching at an overtly Christian law school, he continues his 41 year practice of law which is limited to the litigation of constitutional rights and religious freedom cases for employees. He holds an undergraduate degree from Andrews University and a Doctor of Law from Emory University School of Law.
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Lesson 14: Christian Communion and Conduct *
Introduction: Last week we studied all the armor that God has created
for us except for the "Sword of the Spirit." This week we finish up
both our armor study and our study of the book of Ephesians. I'm
sorry we are coming to the end of this great series. One last time
let's jump into our study of Ephesians!
- Sword of the Spirit
- Read Ephesians 6:17. Is a sword an offensive or defensive
weapon? (Offensive. We now come to the one clearly
offensive weapon in God's arsenal for us.)
- Paul makes several logical links we need to explore.
Why would Paul refer to the Bible ("the word of
God")as a "sword?" (Read Hebrews 4:12. The Bible cuts
through our nonsense. It cuts through our stubborn
pride. It cuts through our excuses. It lays bare our
- If the Bible cuts through our defenses, is it
really an "offensive" weapon? (When I think
about "offensive" weapons, I think about beating
up unbelievers with the truth. Do you like to
make "killer" arguments about how unbelievers
are wrong and the Bible is right? As much fun
as that might be, I have the feeling that Paul
advises us to turn the "Sword of the Spirit" on
ourselves. Let it convict you and me of our
short-comings and excuses.")
- Why is the Bible linked to the "Spirit" as in
"the sword of the Spirit?" (Read 2 Peter 1:21.
It was the Holy Spirit who inspired the writers
of the Bible. It is the Holy Spirit who speaks
to our conscience.)
- Read Ephesians 6:12. Recall that our battle is
against "spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly
realms." Being reminded of that, tell me about how
you would use your ( Ephesians 6:17) "sword of the
Spirit?" (Putting together these two ideas reinforces
the conclusion that our sword is to be used in this
spiritual war against demons. Recall that the demons
attack us with temptation. Thus, our sword is used to
fight against temptation. It is not (at least not
principally) a weapon to be used against other
- How often do you practice with your sword? How often do
you study or read the Bible? How often do you ask the Holy
Spirit to open up your understanding of the Bible or help
you to resist temptation?
- Read Ephesians 6:18. How effective is prayer without
having your armor in place? (The New Bible Commentary
says, "Prayer warriors with no real grasp [of the gospel]
may be spirited, but no more useful on the field than a
soldier without weapons.")
- In what situations should we pray? (Paul tells us to
pray "on all occasions.")
- Paul suggests that there are "all kinds of prayers."
What kinds of prayers are there? (Read 1 Timothy 2:1.
We find reference to prayers that ask God to
intercede in life, prayers that ask God for
something, prayers that thank God and prayers that
are simply communion with God.)
- Why would Paul suggest that we make "all kinds"
of prayers and requests? (Have you considered
your prayers? Perhaps you are in a rut and are
only requesting things from God. We need to be
sure that our prayers praise God and thank God
and just spend time together with Him so that we
can recognize when God responds.)
- When Paul tells us in Ephesians 6:18 to "pray in the
Spirit," what is he telling us to do? How is this done?
(Read Romans 8:26-27. If you find that you are having
trouble praying, you should turn to the Holy Spirit for
help. Romans teaches us that the Holy Spirit aids our
prayers - both in helping us to know what to pray and
interceding in behalf of our prayers.)
- When Romans 8:26 tells us that the Holy Spirit
"intercedes" for us in our prayers, does this mean
that Jesus has a helper in His intercession for us?
(The Bible Exposition Commentary draws a wonderful
picture of what the Holy Spirit is doing to intercede
in our prayers. Remember that in the sanctuary
service the priest daily burned incense? (See Luke
1:8-10 and Revelation 8:3-4.) This incense
represented the prayers of the people going to
heaven. "The fire on the altar is a picture of the
Holy Spirit, for it is He who takes our prayers and
"ignites" them in the will of God.")
- Ephesians 6:18 also counsels us to "be alert." It
introduces this counsel with the phrase "with this in
mind." What should we have in mind that encourages us to
be alert? (Paul has described the spiritual battle in
which we are soldiers. Being alert would seem to be
obvious advice in battle.)
- How about you? Are you "alert" in your prayers?
- Read Mark 14:37-38. Is this an accurate
representation of your prayers at times?
- Last, Ephesians 6:18 tells us to "always keep on praying"
for all of the saints. When can we stop praying? (When we
all get to heaven!)
- Read Ephesians 6:19-20. Can you imagine Paul being fearful
in sharing the gospel?
- Does this make you feel better to know that even the
great Paul experienced anxiety in sharing the gospel?
- What is the difference in his situation and
yours? (Paul could be killed - and tradition has
it that he was - because of his witness.)
- Read Ephesians 6:23-24. After this description of war and
the counsel to prepare for war, what does Paul wish for us
in closing? (Peace.)
- How is that possible? (Faith in our armor and our
Armorer. Paul tells us Jesus and the Father love us.)
- Friend, do you have on your spiritual armor? Is your sword
in hand? Are you in contact with our General through
prayer? These are the things that make a difference for
- Next week: Begins a new quarter and a study on "Families."
* Copr. 2005, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a blackboard or some other visual aid.