10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.
Wives and Husbands
22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
Children and Parents
6 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), 3 “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” 4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
Bondservants and Masters
5 Bondservants, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ, 6 not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, 7 rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man, 8 knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a bondservant or is free. 9 Masters, do the same to them, and stop your threatening, knowing that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and that there is no partiality with him.
1Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
3 But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. 4 Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. 5 For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not become partners with them; 8 for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), 10 and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. 13 But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, 14 for anything that becomes visible is light.
Therefore it says, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”
15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, 20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.
We realized this week could potentially stir up a lot in you or people you love and are walking with. So we included some helpful resources:
“Restoring Pure Joy to the Sexually Broken.” An in -depth article from the Christian Counseling Educational Foundation, https://www.ccef.org/making-all-things-new-restoring-pure-joy-sexually-broken/
Sexual Addiction: Freedom from Compulsive Behavior, A mini-book by David Powlison of CCEF https://www.ccef.org/book/sexual-addiction-freedom-compulsive-behavior/
Love into Light: The Gospel, The Homosexual, and The Church, by Peter Hubbard https://www.amazon.com/Love-Into-Light-Gospel-Homosexual/dp/1620202220
Article, The Gospel Coalition, “Why Christians Need a Better Debate About Alcohol” by Joe Carter https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/christians-need-better-debate-alcohol/%3famp
Re:generation Recovery: A Biblically Based 12-Step Discipleship for healing, recovery, and freedom from any type of struggle. Offered online at The Well Community Church. https://thewellcommunity.org/blogs/the-well/regeneration-recovery-online
17 Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. 19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity.20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!— 21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to put off your old self,[f] which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
25 Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. 26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and give no opportunity to the devil. 28 Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. 29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Watch Ashley Ploen’s teaching video here:
Watch Jessica Visser’s teaching video here:
If you are looking for a way to serve others and give in this time, check out The Well’s partnership with Fresno Rescue Mission and ENP for needs below. Both campuses are drop off centers for these items!
Okay ladies, here we go with online and virtual abiding, connecting, and care! We are doing things a little different and are teaching before you dive into the study, so make sure to watch the video first.
- Read Ephesians 3:20-4:16
“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
7 But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.8 Therefore it says, “When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men.” 9 (In saying, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth? 10 He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.)
11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers,12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.”
If you are doing the Ephesians study, you can choose to do the modified version or the whole week. Choose to do the questions below:
- Day 1: #2, #6
- Day 2: #5, #8, #12
- Day 3: #1, #5, #17
- Day 4: #3, #10
- Day 5: #3, #8, #12
Connect: Find a way as a group to connect virtually. Zoom and Google Hangouts are best because you can see faces! Otherwise we recommend Voxer, Marco Polo, or WhatsApp. And of course good ol fashioned phone calls work too!
Care: Check out the following ways to serve this week:
- Pray! Pray for each other and with each other! Pray for our leaders, our government, and our medical staff on the frontlines helping others right now. If you want specific ways to pray you can sign up for women’s bible study prayer team here: https://thewellcommunity.org/connect/womens-bible-study/groups/womens-bible-study-fall-study-interest
- Love Your Neighbor Handout: https://servefresno.org/serve/projects/outreach/love-your-neighbor-handout
- Sew Medical Masks: A few of the nurses in our study have shared they don’t have enough supplies in preparation for what’s ahead. One of our nurses suggested crafting masks and dropping them off to the hospitals! https://www.google.com/search?q=how+to+make+surgical+face+mask+at+home&oq=how&aqs=chrome.0.69i59j69i57j0l4.2292j0j8&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8
- TP someone! But the “love your neighbor” kind of way. If you are able to pick up a roll (or 2) of paper products and drop off on someone’s front door. It’s the COVID-19 version of flowers or a gift basket.
If you’re looking for more encouragement:
Watch The Well’s sermons on this passage with deeper teaching:
Ephesians 4:1-6 by Shea Sumlin https://thewellcommunity.org/podcasts/sermons/ephesians-41-6
Ephesians 4:7-16 by PJ Lewis https://thewellcommunity.org/podcasts/sermons/ephesians-47-17
Check out this devotional from Dorina Gilmore on How to Talk to Your Kids about COVID-19 https://dorinagilmore.com/how-to-talk-to-your-kids-about-covid-19/
Wrap Up and Glory! The people of God remember, repent, and renew their commitment to the LORD. We end our study looking up and recalling why we serve, why we love, why we obey: to enjoy God’s PRESENCE and display His GLORY.
Moses comes down from the mountain to find the people of God forgetful and disobedient. In just a short time we see the people whom God has redeemed turn back to their old ways of idol worship and God’s response to call the people back to remembrance and repentance.