Sunday, January 17th, 2016
Colossians 1:15 – 2:3
Intro to Colossians:
The theme of Colossians is the complete adequacy of Christ as contrasted with the emptiness of mere human philosophy. Christ is Lord over all of creation, including the invisible realm. He has secured redemption for his people, enabling them to participate with him in his death, resurrection, and fullness.
As you read, study and apply, ask the Holy Spirit to lead your group discussions. Work hard to make sure everyone has the opportunity to participate. Close by praying for one another.
Questions for this week:
- In verse 15, Jesus is referred to as the “image” and “firstborn”. What do you know of the heretical teachings that were happening at Colossae that would explain why these terms were being used to point to Jesus? Would you agree that this language would have been viewed as subversive by the Roman government?
In verse 17 we see Paul write this about Jesus, “in Him all things hold together”. Caesar was viewed as the one holding the empire together and so Paul is yet again stripping him of that power and authority. To whom or what do you attribute the power of holding all things together? In day to day circumstances, do you find it challenging to agree and live by faith according to this verse?
- We have peace with God by the obedient sacrifice of Jesus (verse 20), shedding his blood on the cross. By repentance and belief in Jesus, we are reconciled. This is the gospel to be proclaimed in all the earth. Do you need to hear the gospel again today? Does the love of God in the face of Jesus Christ still overwhelm you? Are there areas of your life that are standing in opposition to His transformational love?
- In looking more at verse 17, how does the idea that “in Him all things hold together” counter the idea that God is distant from our lives? How does it make you feel to think that Jesus is literally holding things together…like even atoms and matter? Discuss ways you might live your life thinking God isn’t involved in most things.
- Read verses 9-10. While Paul was apart from Colossae, how did he choose to try and equip the saints from a distance? How does God grant wisdom? Look to James 1:5. Discuss ways you’ve seen God give wisdom to people, either in certain situations or to people as a whole. Does spiritual wisdom correlate with human achievement like degrees or authorship? What has been your experience?
- Paul probably wrote Colossians from prison. While he does mention this (verse 24-25), would you say this letter so far (Chapter 1) is one of complaint or one of instruction and encouragement? Think of a time you were able to put aside life’s drama to tend to God’s work in some way. Discuss how prayer and the Spirit can help us show Christ to others, even when we might not have the best attitude or be in the best situation.