About twelve years ago is when I first remember hearing the term: Spiritual Formation. It was a class I took during my masters work with Tozer Seminary. For ten-weeks this summer Coastline will be looking at Spiritual Formations in a sermon series titled: Formed. We live in a culture that longs for immediate change but being formed spiritually takes time. Spiritual formation takes years, even decades, to become the person God is calling you to be. For this series I will write some of the small group questions that go along with each sermon. It seemed like a waste to leave them in a file on my computer and not share them with everyone.
Small Group Questions | Be Made New | Ephesians 4
For the ten-weeks of summer we’re going to talk about Spiritual Formation. There are a variety of words used to describe our process of spiritual growth. We are all being formed into something. We are all pointing our lives in a direction, we need to slow down and think of what that direction might be. In Ephesians 4 Paul teaches the early church about leaving their life of sin to be formed in Christ. Paul painted this church about five years prior and knows they are not continuing in their formation. He doesn’t use the word Sanctification but teaches about the process of how sinful humans are made holy for God. Think about how God is shaping your life this summer.
1) On stage there were a variety of items from a stroller to a motorcycle. Pastor Neal taught us about the physical maturity of a human and then about the spiritual growth on a person. Where are you in the Spiritual Growth process?
2) Read Ephesians 4:17-19. Paul reminds the early church that they have walked away from growing spiritually. Read Colossians 2:6-7, John 15:1-8, and Romans 12:1-2. What happens when we stay connected to Jesus and keep growing spiritually?
3) Looking at the same passages, talk about what happens when we choose to slowly drift away from the Lord? Read Genesis 4:7, Psalm 51:5, Mark 2:5, & 1 Corinthians 5:17-21. How does sin hurt our relationship with Jesus?
4) Paul teaches us about what he taught the local church (read Ephesians 4:20-21). When you think about the truth of Jesus Christ, what verses come to mind? What is the true message of Jesus that we need to share (see John 8:32)?
5) Read Ephesians 4:22-24. Paul lays out the three stages of our spiritual life. First, we trust Jesus. Then our life is transformed. Finally we live out that hope in Jesus as our lives continue to be transformed. Share where you’re currently growing.
6) Read Ephesians 4:25-32. Paul teaches the early church about how to leave their life of sin. He even goes the extra mile in teaching them to not only get a job but to be generous with others. Looking at this list of sins and struggles, what sin are you struggling with most in life right now?
7) When we think about spiritual growth we have to make sure we’re not simply working on behavior modification. Talk with your group about how you make sure that you are partnering with the Holy Spirit in this work and not only yourself.
Close your time in prayer.