Introduction – The Book of Colossians
What would you do if someone you cared about got seriously off-track in their beliefs and actions? So much so, that an intervention, or talking-to, is in order. This is the situation Paul is in when he pens this letter to his friends in Colosse.
The newly-formed Christian church in this busy, trading-post town, has gone astray. In Colossians, Paul reminds his friends that Christ is the center of all things, and His ways are eternal. He derides their hollow and deceptive philosophy which leads them to believe there is a “secret” or “mysticism” concerning God and daily living. Christ is God revealed, he gently explains in this book. No need to search elsewhere.
Study One: “Thankful for You”
Paul opens by telling his friends how thankful he is for them, and that he is praying for them. Who are you thankful for?
The husband who spends evenings in a recliner in front of the TV? The teen who doesn’t remember his shoes until you have driven halfway to his school? The friend who has saddled you with her drama for over twenty year? In this study (and related Scriptural references) we learn why we are to be thankful, and more importantly, why we are to pray for those closest to us.
Study Two: “What Have You Heard?”
Paul reminds his friends about their roots – what they have been taught about Christ. What have you heard about the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Did you read about it, hear it in church, or see it in action? Where can we find it in today’s world? On MTV? On Myspace or Youtube? In the halls of Congress or the White House? Where do we learn of the importance of faith in God?
Study Three: “Knowledge of His Will?”
All Christians, if they are honest, will admit to struggling with discerning God’s will from our own. This is why we pray: “thy will be done…” In this study, we explore how to grow in spiritual wisdom, and lean more on God and not ourselves. We will examine the self-help principles so prevalent in today’s world.
Study Four: “Great Endurance and Patience”
“Endurance and Patience – get real!” This is how most women would react to this Scripture. This study discusses the many distractions that keep us from knowing God and “living a life worthy of the Lord.” Concepts such as “GO-GO-GO” (our over-scheduled lives); SPEND-SPEND-SPEND (our debt-ridden society); and, FIGHT-FIGHT-FIGHT (our never-ending quest for the biggest and the best), are discussed at length.
Study Five: “Rescued from Darkness”
Just like the Colossians, we are prone to forget Christ’s sacrifice for us. This study examines the light of Christ, versus the darkness of the world (and how the darkness is presented to us on a daily basis).
Study Six: “Christ is Supreme
Upon talking to a wayward loved one, you would probably address them gently at first – to let them know of your care and concern – then delve into their problem. This is what Paul has done in the preceding Scriptures. In this passage, he forcefully makes his point – “he [Christ] is before all things.” This study will patiently lead the reader to Paul’s conclusion that Christ is the full representation of God.
Study Seven: “There is no Mystery"
People today tend to want mysticism in their religion. Perhaps it is the result of the proliferation of supernatural themes in books, television, and movies. Even our young children are bombarded with characters with special powers. Adults are also enchanted with the idea of forces of nature they can call upon at will. In this passage, Paul reveals that there is no “secret” knowledge or power. He says God revealed all through Christ, and He revealed it to everybody – not just a select few.
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