LEADERS GUIDE Topic: The Gift- 4. Found in the Father/Formed in the Family
The primary idea you need to keep revisiting during this Following Jesus Pathway is that we are following and being formed by Jesus. This pathway can be learned simply or in great depth. We trust that you as a leader know your people and the dynamics of your group well enough to adapt and impart this topic with grace and wisdom.
This guide is designed to help you and others follow and be formed by Jesus. Remember to keep it Jesus-Centered.
We pray that you will be Spirit-Led and Spirit- Empowered as you lead and learn together.
Brief Commentary and Context
(Answer this question here: What did this mean in the original context and how is it set in the larger story of the Bible?)
The Gift- ‘The Gift’ is a shorthand description used in the apostles' letters to the churches describing the lavish grace of God given to all who repent and place their trust in Jesus as Lord, believing the gospel. The gospel is who Jesus is and what he has done. ‘The Gift’ is what we freely receive in Christ and continually experience through the Holy Spirit!
Brief Commentary for Ephesians 3:14-21
The apostle Paul, writing to a young church in Ephesus, has been laying out the magnificent blueprint for the church being established in Asia Minor and down through the ages. He is explaining the grandeur of God’s eternal plan in Christ, specifically the formation of a new family of Jesus which includes not only Jews but Gentiles. The church is described as a holy temple in the Lord where God will live by His Spirit, this is the mystery hidden for ages past but now revealed. Jesus’ new family will be found in the Father and transformed together by the Spirit.
Having unfolded the eternal plan he pauses to pray, almost as if he is overwhelmed by God’s beauty and goodness. On his knees he expresses his heart and desire to the Father on behalf of Jesus' family. It is a confident appeal based on the Father’s glorious riches to strengthen the church with power through the Holy Spirit for the purpose of love. They have been filled with the Spirit and only together as God’s family can they be formed into Jesus’ image to experience and express God’s love. It will take the Holy Spirit in community to grasp a love with infinite dimension, know a love beyond knowledge, and be filled with all the fullness of God. What a gift to be ‘found in the Father and formed in the family’! The apostle declares it is all unto the ‘immeasurably more’ dreams of the kingdom and the glory of God forever! Paul will go on in the remaining chapters to describe the very down to earth way that they were called to live as the church following Jesus in all of life. It will be costly and contested but Jesus is worthy!
Summary Scripture: Ephesians 2:18-22- “For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure , being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.”
Key idea: The gift of God is to find our new identity in the Father and to work out our new identity in a Spirit-led transforming process with the church, formed in the family.
Isaiah 64:8- “But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.”
Luke 15:32- “It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is now found.”
Colossians 3:5;12-14- “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you…put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.”
Romans 8:28-30- “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.”
Learn the Tool: The Gospel and the Gift
Extra Resources to help you Prepare
Anyone new in your home church?
Things to Consider:
Is the new individual, or family organically connecting with anyone in your home church? Suggest a coffee hang to begin a deeper connection, or consider having the individual/family over for an easy dinner to get to know them better.
Is the new individual, or family interested in receiving communication via text, or email? If so, have them email email@example.com with their name and phone number.
Do they plan to attend All Navah Gatherings? If yes and it is a new family, they can email firstname.lastname@example.org with their name, their children(s) name, DOB and grade to make for a smooth kids ministry check-in process.