1. Colossians 1:1-8 | 10/09/22
1. Read Colossians 1:1-8. What was Paul thankful for as he prayed for the Colossian Church?
a) What could someone praying for you be thankful for?
2. Verse 5 says their faith and love 'sprang from' the hope they had in the gospel--that their destiny in Heaven was secure. Read 2 Corinthians 1:21-22.
a) How has your understanding of the gospel influenced how you live? How has it freed you to grow and change?
b) Why does the eternal security of our salvation make a difference to us?
c) How have the 'gospel truths' of the following verses freed you to change how you live?
3. Read verse 6 and Romans 2:4. Why does grace compel us to change?
4. Read John 15:4-5. These are the verses God has used to speak to us as a church this year.
a) How do these verses reinforce the theme of Colossians - that Jesus is all we need?
b) Let's memorize these verses together.
2. Colossians 1:9-12 | 10/16/22
1. Read Colossians 1:9-12. What did Paul focus on when he prayed for the Colossian church?
a) What was Paul referring to when he started these comments by saying "For this reason..."?
2. Read verse 9. Why does the will of God not always make sense to us?
a) Why does Paul infer that knowing God's will requires spiritual wisdom and understanding? What did he mean by this?
3. Read verse 10 again.
a) What does it look like to "live a life worthy of the Lord" that "pleases him in every way"?
b) The 'knowledge of God' is a "contact-knowledge" - a personal knowledge of God that comes from a close relationship with Him. What can we do to grow in this knowledge of God?
c) Why is it so easy to have a 'knowledge of God' yet not actually know God?
4. Verses 10-12 reveal four characteristics of someone who pleases God:
- life change
- growing knowledge
- experience of God's power (literally: 'an enabling to master the glory of God')
a) Which characteristics do you see God developing in your life? Take a moment to thank and praise God for this.
b) Which characteristics are less obvious in you? What changes could you make to help grow in this/these areas?
3. Colossians 1:13-20 | 10/23/22
1. The Colossians had made Jesus just one of the many so-called gods who controlled various aspects of life, instead of the One sovereign God. How do we as Christians also compartmentalize God?
2. Read Colossians 1:13-14. Share with the group how you personally were rescued from the dominion of darkness.
3. Read John 8:34-36, Romans 6:20-23, and Romans 8:1-4. Reflect on the power of Jesus to save you.
4. Read Colossians 1:15. How do the rights of the firstborn in Jewish culture relate to Christ?
5. Read verse 16. What are the implications of Jesus being Creator/origin/ruling over everything in our lives?
6. Knowing we are created “for Him” and to give Him glory, how does this challenge your perspective on your work, relationships, your time, and the way you pray (be specific)?
7. Read verse 17. How does God sustain you? Think about something you’re going through now where you you feel worried about. How can you remind yourself this week that Jesus will sustain you?
8. Read verse 18. Compare it with 1 Corinthians 15:17-23, and Romans 4:25-5:2. What does it mean for us that Jesus was the firstborn from the dead?
4. Colossians 1:21-23 | 10/23/22
1. Read Colossians 1:21. Paul says we were enemies of God in our minds. What ways of thinking (about the way the world works, God, our behavior, and our identity) alienated us from God? Now we're Christians how can we combat each of those beliefs with the truth of the gospel?
2. Read verse 22 and compare it with Romans 6:22 and 1 Peter 1:13-16. How have we been made holy?
a) Why are we still sinful?
b) How do we live out our “holiness”?
c). What is the difference between 'positional holiness' and the holiness we experience here on earth?
3. Read Colossians 1:22. Christ’s death has freed us from accusation. Now read Romans 4:25-5:2, and 8:33. Unpack what it means to be “justified” (Romans 5:1) and to “stand in grace”(Romans 5:2).
a) How can we overcome thoughts about our past that shame us or make us feel disqualified or alienated from the love of God?
4. Why is verse 23 attached to verse 22 (which talks about our positional holiness)?
5. What is your personal response to the invitation to be loved by God as your lover?
a) Why is it so difficult to accept God's grace - what He says about you versus what you/others would say about you?
b) Take words from Colossians 1:22 and Ephesians 5:26-27 to pray God’s truth over each other.
5. Colossians 1:24-27 | 11/06/22
1. Read Colossians 1:24-27. How does the context of these verses help us understand the meaning of verse 24?
a) What is “still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions”?
2. The Bible teaches that we should expect suffering as a Christian (John 15:19-20, 2 Timothy 3:12). How can we tell whether we’re suffering because of the gospel, or because of our own behavior/poor decisions?
a) Is the level of our obedience to the gospel directly related to the level of our suffering for the gospel? If so, how/why?
3. Read verse 25. Unpack what it means to have a “commission” from God. Now read Matthew 28:19-20. What does God command us to make the focus our everyday life as a Christ-follower?
4. Read verse 27. How does understanding that God is already at work “disclosing” the mystery of the gospel to others, encourage you to share your faith and try and make disciples personally?
5. Talk about the implications of “Christ in us” means. Now read verse 27 and then Ephesians 3:10-11. What is God’s desired outcome of “Christ in us”?
6. If “Christ in you” is your certain hope of glory, how does this affect your boldness, your discipline, your priorities?
6. Colossians 1:28-2:5 | 11/13/22
1. Read Colossians 1:28, then Matthew 7:1-5 and Galatians 6:1-5. Describe the various scenarios where you might have to correct someone as a believer.
a) In the context of this letter to the Colossians what is the difference between having a right, versus a responsibility, to correct other believers?
b) What is the right motivation to have before you have a conversation like that?
c) How would you handle that conversation?
2. Be honest, how you, personally, typically handle being corrected?
a) What is the Biblical way we should receive correction?
3. Read Colossians 1:28. “Admonish” has the meaning of gently coming aside to correct. How does this change your perception of correction in the church?
4. Read verse 28 again. Paul is saying that Jesus wants us to do/be better. With that in mind, how do we grow towards being “fully mature in Christ”?
5. In what ways do we sometimes resist the correction of God, or ignore other believers who admonish us?
a) Read Colossians 2:2. What does Paul say the goal of correction is in the church as a whole?
b) What difference does this make to your attitude towards correction?
6. Read Colossians 2:4. What are some of the modern-day “fine sounding arguments” floating around the church?
a) How do these false beliefs harm the church?
b) What can you do to ensure you recognize and are not deceived by false arguments that sound true?
7. Colossians 2:6-12 | 11/20/22
1. What are some reasons why followers of Jesus stop growing spiritually and their faith lacks life and energy?
a) What is the main reason you sometimes stop growing in your relationship with Jesus?
b) What are some of the consequences of being spiritually stagnant?
2. Read Colossians 2:6-12. What pictures of spiritual growth does Paul use in this section, and how can we apply them?
3. Read Colossians 2:7. The word 'strengthened' is a passive verb because it's something God does. Read John 6:44. What difference does it make knowing that God does the work in us?
a) What is our part in being strengthened? What do we need to do?
4. When we understand what we've been given we value it. When we value what we've been given we appreciate it. When we appreciate what we've been given we become grateful for it. How can this principle apply to your relationship with Jesus?
5. Read verse 8. What are some "hollow and deceptive" philosophies or beliefs you've seen Christians buy into that have stunted their spiritual growth?
a) How can you ensure that what you believe is biblical and is helping you continue to live in Christ?
6. Read Colossians 2:9-12. What does it mean to be "circumcised by Christ"?
a) What difference does this make to how you live your life in Christ?
8. Colossians 2:13-23 | 11/27/22
1. Read Colossians 2:13-15, a summary of what Jesus has done for us. Which aspect of it means the most to you? Why?
2. Read Colossians 2:16-17. What are some contemporary examples of Christian behaviors and Church activities that are just 'shadows' of Jesus - they actually have nothing to do with Him?
a) Why is legalism so popular among Christians?
b) What's the difference between faithfully obeying Jesus and being legalistic?
c) Read John 14:23-24. How is loving God the only motivation for genuine obedience?
d) What other “loves” can motivate disobedience?
3. Read Colossians 2:18. How do 'shadow' things stop us ('disqualify' us) from 'continuing to live our lives in Jesus'? (v6)
4. Read Colossians 2:18-23. Then read Luke 6:46 and James 1:22-24. To what degree should we expect life change from people who say they’re disciples?
a) Read Numbers 32:23. In what ways can disobedience affect us in natural consequences?
b) In what other ways does our sin cost us?
5. Read Colossians 2:19. What are you doing to ensure you are staying connected to Jesus?
a) How is your spiritual maturity impacting others?
9. Colossians 2:13-23 | 02/19/23
1. Read Colossians 3:1-4, then read Romans 6:4-14. What are the consequences for us as people who have been “raised with Christ”?
2. What are the “things above” mentioned in verses 1-2?
a) What does it mean to “keep seeking” and to "set your hearts/minds" on things above? What does it look like in life?
3. Dave gave the example of his student's priorities being revealed when they come to school with charged phones but dead Chromebooks. Their priorities are made obvious by their choices. Read Colossians 3:2. In what ways have your behaviors and choices changed because you’re “setting your mind on things above”?
4. Verse 3 says that we have “died” to our old way of life/priorities. What things do you find difficult to stay dead to?
a) What things help us put those things to death?
5. Read v3. The word “hidden” means your new life in Christ is secured by/with Christ in/by God, like a safe, so that no thief can get to it. Why do you think Paul writes this after v1-3? Reflect on what this means for you.
10. Colossians 3:5-10 | 02/26/23
1. Reread the first 2 chapters of Colossians. What are the main points Paul makes about our new identity as followers of Jesus?
2. Now read Colossians 3:5-10. Thinking about the previous chapters, what should motivate us to make the changes Paul talks about in verses 5-10?
3. In verse 5 Paul says our sin comes from greed (wanting more) and equates it to idolatry. Explain how tolerating our sinful behavior is really us choosing to worship ourselves.
a) Now read Romans 1:21-25. How is a lack of holiness in our life simply a reflection of us going back to our old life of “worshipping and serving created things rather than the Creator”.
4. The word slander in verse 8 literally means 'blasphemy'. What insight does this give us into how we should treat people who are created in God’s image when they anger, frustrate or offend us?
a) What do anger, frustration, and taking offense reveal to us about ourself?
5. What does it looks like to deal with our core problem of self-worship instead of simply trying to get rid of specific sins? What are some specific examples of ways we can do this?
6. Read verses 9-10. What does it look like to be “renewed in knowledge in the image of God your Creator”?
7. Have a time of personal confession regarding idolatry in your life, then worship God for who He is.
11. Colossians 3:11-14 | 03/05/23
1. Read Colossians 3:10. Why is focusing on our new life in Christ the key to dealing with our old life?
2. Read verse 11. How does this relate to the divisions we’re facing in our society based on our diversity?
a) How does “Christ in all” determine the way we should treat those whom we have differences with?
3. How does Christ being your identity give you a different mindset, from “being a Christian” being just a part of who you are?
4. Read v12-14. In v12, “clothe yourself” doesn’t mean cover yourself, as in: 'start doing those things', it means “sink into” those things, or make them part of who you are. So what should motivate the attitudes and behaviors listed in v12-13?
5. Why is love listed in v14 as the most essential attribute?
a) What happens if we do everything else but are not motivated by love?
6. How does the call on your life to live “sinking into” your identity as Christ’s, challenge or change something you’re thinking or doing right in your life right now?
12. Colossians 3:15-17 | 03/12/23
1. How have you experienced things consuming you, or anxieties dwelling in your mind, to the point they start to influence other areas of your life?
2. Read Colossians 3:15-17 and Ephesians 2:14. What is the “peace of Christ”?
a) What does it mean to let the peace of Christ “rule in our hearts”?
b) How does this relate to the way we relate to others in the church (v15b)?
4. Read Colossians 3:16. The “word of Christ” here is originally “logos”, meaning Christ Himself. How does this practically affect the way we serve one another as a church family?
5. Read Colossians 3:17. If we do things “in the name of the Lord Jesus” how will that influence what we choose/allow in our thoughts and behavior?
6. How then does letting Christ dwell in us affect the anxieties we experience personally?
13. Colossians 3:18-4:1 | 03/19/23
1. Read 2 Corinthians 5:17. How are God’s Spirit, and our efforts, both involved in the “putting off” and “putting on” process Paul talks about in Colossians chapter 3?
a) How have you experienced this in your life?
2. Read Colossians 3:18-4:1. How does the first century context influence how we read and apply these verses?
3. How do these verses show that the way these new Christians ought to live together should reflect both of them submitting to each other out of their new identity in Christ?
a) How does this challenge ways you have thought about these verses in the past?
b) Why is it important to understand cultural context and Scriptural context as we read instructions to the church?
4. Imagine slave owners in that society providing fairly for those who were enslaved, and previously tyrannical husbands living their wives sacrificially. How does us giving up our personal rights in order to live out our new identity, have an impact on our society?
5. Read 1 Peter 2:23. What’s going on in your life right now that seems unfair or unreasonable, that the Father is inviting you to entrust to Him instead?
a) How is this part of “putting off” the old self?