Ephesians: In the Heavenly Realms

Bible Study Questions

Ephesians 4:17-24

Paul in these few verses records 4 digressive steps down away from Him and 3 steps toward Him. Learn how to overcome any sin.

17 This I say therefore, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; 19 and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality, for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness. 20 But you did not learn Christ in this way, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, 22 that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, 23 and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth (Ephesians 4:17-24).

God’s Transformation: From Death into Life

Ephesians 4:17-24

A.    Four Downward Steps (Ephesians 4:17-19)

    1. What is Paul saying and affirming in verse 17? Say it in your own words.

    2. What does it add to the meaning when he says ‘together with the Lord’ (Ephesians 4:17)?

    3. What three ways does Paul describe the way the Gentiles (i.e. non-Jews) walk (Ephesians 4:17-18)? Briefly explain each.

    4. What are the two reasons Paul gives for the way they are (Ephesians 4:18)?

    5. After the darkening of the mind, Paul describes other ways that their lives will further digress from God’s standards. What are they? See Ephesians 4:19.

    6. (Advanced) How does this pattern here: ignorance>hardening>sensuality>impurity reflect itself in what the apostle has said in Romans 1:20-27?

B.    Three Upward Steps (Ephesians 4:20-24)

  1. When we came to new life in Christ, what are the three transforming steps that we should see take place in every Christian’s life (verses 20-24)?

  2. What the first step is? Explain what it means in your own words (Ephesians 4:22).

  3. What the first step is? Explain what it means in your own words (Ephesians 4:23).

  4. What the first step is? Explain what it means in your own words (Ephesians 4:24).

  5. What is the new self (4:24)?

  6. (Advanced) How does becoming in the ‘likeness of God’ reflect the phrase ‘in the image of God’ in Genesis 1-2?


  1. What is the world like? Is it really as Paul says?

  2. List the steps toward depravity as Paul summarizes them in verses 17-19 in your own words.

  3. Can you see that different parts of society are to different degrees depraved? Illustrate.
    Is all the world, even your moral friends who don’t know the Lord, included in it?

  4. Does verse 22 (lay aside the old self) describe what a person does once for all when he becomes a Christian or something that happens regularly?

  5. Can a person take the second renewal step (renewed in the spirit of your mind 4:23) without the prior? Explain.

  6. How is the second step of renewal different from the third (put on new self 4:24)?

  7. Explain how you personally have seen these three steps of God’s grace taking part in your own life.

  8. What step or area of Christian growth have you most struggled with? Explain.

Introduction to the Book of Ephesians

Paul's Second Missonary Journey to Ephesus - Map
Chronology Chart of Pauline Letters
Ephesians 1:1-3 Introduction in text.

Ephesians 1

Ephesians 1:1-3 Every Spiritual Blessing

Ephesians 1:1-3 Every Spiritual Blessing
Ephesians 1:1 Only by the Will of God
Ephesians 1:2 Only in Christ Jesus
Ephesians 1:3 Every Spiritual Blessing
Ephesians 1:1-3 Bible Study Questions

Ephesians 1:4-6 Bible Study Questions
Ephesians 1:1-14 Redemption & Sovereignty
Ephesians 1:15-17 Bible Study Questions

Ephesians 2

Ephesians 2:1-3 Our Need, His Grace

Ephesians 2:1-3, an Introduction
Ephesians 2:1 A) Man's Nature
Ephesians 2:2 B) Man's World
Ephesians 2:3 C) Man's Heart
Questions (Ephesians 2:1-3)

Ephesians 2:8-10 Extraordinary Purpose
Ephesians 2:8-10, an Introduction
Ephesians 2:8-9 A) Purpose of Salvation
Ephesians 2:10 B) Purpose of our Lives
Questions (Ephesians 2:8-10)

Ephesians 2:19-22 Bible Study Questions

Ephesians 3

Ephesians 3:1-10 Growing in Our Commitment
Ephesians 3:1-10, Introduction
Ephesians 3:1 The Value of the Gospel
Ephesians 3:2-5 The Reliability of the Gospel
Ephesians 3:6-7 The Glory of the Gospel
Ephesians 3:8-10 The Calling of the Gospel
Questions (Ephesians 3:1-10)

Ephesians 3:14-21 The Fullness of God's Love

Ephesians 3:20-21 God's Unlimited Power
Ephesians 3:20-21 Unlimited Power
Ephesians 3:20 God's Amazing Power
Ephesians 3:21 God's Amazing Glory
Ephesians 3:20-21 Bible Study Questions

Ephesians 4

Ephesians 4:1-3 Preserving the Spirit's Unity

Intro: Problems of Disunity
Ephesians 4:1 Calling to Unity
Ephesians 4:2-3 Our Oneness of the Body
Ephesians 4:3 Preservation of Unity
Ephesians 4:1-3 Bible Study Questions
Ephesians 4:4-5 Reason for Oneness
Ephesians 4:6 One God & Father
Ephesians 4:4-6 Bible Study Questions

Ephesians 4:11-16 The Purpose of Training

Ephesians 4:11-13: A) God's Word in the Church
Ephesians 4:11 Gifts in the church
Ephesians 4:12 Purpose of equipping
Ephesians 4:13 The final goal
Ephesians 4:11-13 Bible Study Questions

Ephesians 4:14 B) Responsibility 1. Deceit
Ephesians 4:15a 2. Speaking the truth in love
Ephesians 4:15b 3. Grow up into Christ
Ephesians 4:16 Summary: Function of the Church
Ephesians 4:14-16 Bible Study Questions
Ephesians 4:17-24 Bible Study Questions

Ephesians 4:11-14 Chart: Equipping of the Saints
Ephesians 4:25 Power of Speaking the Truth
Ephesians 4:25 Bible Study Questions

Ephesians 4:26-27 The Urgency of Resolving Anger
Ephesians 4:31 The Tree of Bitterness

Ephesians 5-6

Ephesians 5:8-14 Bible Study Questions
Ephesians 5:22-24 Wives be Subject to your Husband
Ephesians 5:25 Marital Love
Ephesians 5:31-32 Redemptive Analogy & Marriage
Ephesians 5:31-33 Building a Great Marriage
Ephesians 6:1-3 Obedience to Parents
Ephesians 6:17 Sword of Spirit

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Biblical Foundations for Freedom

Paul J. Bucknell

NASB Bible used