Encountering the New Testament, 4th Edition

A Historical and Theological Survey

series: Encountering Biblical Studies

Materials available for professors by request only


20. Ephesians, Colossians, Philippians, and Philemon

Discussion Questions

  1. Why does adversity often seem to bring out the best in a person?
  2. What are the aids God provides for Christians as they struggle against evil?
  3. Does it really matter if Paul wrote Ephesians just for the Ephesians?
  4. What similarities are there in Paul’s purposes for writing letters to the Ephesians, the Colossians, and the Corinthians?
  5. What practical lessons are to be learned from Philemon?

Assignment Ideas / Class Activities

  1. Using a map, identify the location of Ephesus in the time of Paul as well as in modern times.
  2. Divide the class into six groups. Assign each group one of the spiritual benefits Paul lists: election, love, predestination, redemption, forgiveness, inheritance. Have the group members discuss the meaning of the benefit and find illustrations of it from their lives.
  3. Use a map to point out the location of Colossae.
  4. Prepare a chart that identifies the cities of the ancient world where emperor worship was practiced.
  5. Write a paper comparing the exhortations in Ephesians with those in Philippians.
  6. Make an outline of the three groups that were hindering the progress of the gospel in Philippi and illustrate each group with examples from the contemporary Christian world.