Discipleship and Scripture. They just go together. At IF, we are passionate about discipleship and studying God’s Word together. We believe that the Scriptures are the foundation for discipleship. With this study, we hope to provide a tool that encourages studying the Scriptures and guides you into a discipleship relationship. Grab a friend and do this study together!
In Matthew 28:18–20, after Jesus was resurrected from the dead, He said these famous words to His disciples: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” This is the Great Commission.
The call to make disciples can seem daunting. You might be thinking, I have never heard of the word discipleship. Where do I start, whom should I disciple, and what should I talk about? I don’t have the time for this! No one is interested. Or even, I’ve tried but it just hasn’t worked. Wherever you are, it’s okay! Discipleship is simple. Don’t overcomplicate it. It’s simple because discipleship is about relationships and investing in people. And people are worth it. Jesus is worth it. We get to demonstrate and share the good news of Christ, and that is worth it!
Be encouraged today by Jesus’ words in the Great Commission: “Behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Take courage; He is with us as we go forth and make disciples. Always. To the end of the age.
WHY STUDY THE SCRIPTURES?
The Bible is God’s very words for you. Jesus longs for you to know Him, and He has revealed Himself through His Word. “All Scripture is breathed out by God and pro table for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16–17). We study the Bible because it contains the very words of God. God “breathed out” the Scriptures and inspired men to write His truth. And
God’s words complete us and equip us for every good work (Ephesians 2:10). This is why we study the Scriptures.
For followers of Christ, there are many reasons to study the Bible. First, the Bible teaches us about God, and it teaches us how to follow Him. The Bible is our lifeline. In order to know and follow Christ, we must read His Word. Second, as Psalm 119:105 says, “Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path.” God’s Word illumines the path for us in this dark, sinful world. Next, we read the Bible because it teaches about Jesus, grace, mercy, salvation, and love. We also read the Bible because it teaches how to love God and love His people. Ultimately, we read the Bible to know the very God of the universe. Through His Word, God has given us all we need to know about Him and how to follow Him. Studying the Bible is necessary for our spiritual growth in Christ. Ask God to put within you a longing for His Word.
As Jesus was being tempted by Satan to turn stones into loaves of bread, He responded with, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God’” (Matthew 4:4). We read the Bible because we live by its very words. God’s Word nourishes us, fulfills us, and sustains us.
In this study we will read through Ephesians. And we really want you to nd someone to read through it with you. We will focus on one chapter of Ephesians each week, making this a six-week study. In days 1 through 4 of each week, we will apply an inductive study approach to that week’s chapter, which can be summed up with the words observe, interpret, and apply. This will be further explained during Week 1. Day 5 of each week will be a day to meditate on what you learned from the chapter and pray through God’s truth. After you read each day’s assigned Scripture, you will nd commentary, points to think about, and questions to discuss with the person you are doing the study with.
WHAT YOU WILL NEED
For this study, you will need a Bible, a journal, and a pen. If you enjoy technology, feel free to use a notepad on your phone or computer. Regardless, you will need some way to take notes on the book of Ephesians.
We pray that you would personally have an encounter with Jesus as you read through Ephesians—that you would know Him more and become more like Him. We pray that God’s truth within the book of Ephesians would influence how you live your life, bringing glory to God and ushering others into His kingdom.
We pray that God would give you divine insight in finding a person to read this study with. And we trust and pray that God will show up in all of our lives in mighty ways as we seek to know Him through His Word and make Him known.