colossians deep dive

Questions and Resources on Colossians

 

February 5th Sermon: Colossians 2:1-8

“Stand Firm Against Deception”

 

  • Read Colossians 2:1-8, then talk through these questions with your Bridge Group, your family and friends or others who are walking through Colossians with you. 
    • Beginning in Chapter 2, Paul shifts the focus of his letter to the things that threaten the Colossians’ faith in Christ and cause them to wonder about or wander from the Gospel.  What causes you to wonder about or wander from the Christian faith?  What are some healthy ways to walk through these things rather than ignore them or be overcome by them?
    • We saw in Colossians 1 that Paul does not struggle with this physical sufferings, such as being in prison. But in Colossians 2:1, he says he struggles for the Colossians. Why do you think he uses the word struggle? What does Paul want to see happen in the Colossians’ lives?  Look at the specific words Paul uses. Is he speaking to them individually or as community?  How does being in community help us when we wonder or wander? How does community help mature us (Col.1:28)?
    • Paul says that “in Christ are hidden all treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col.1:3).  How would you describe the difference between wisdom and knowledge?  What does it mean that Christ has all wisdom and knowledge? What are some everyday situations you are in where you need to be wise or knowledgeable? What does Jesus say or do in the Gospels that could apply to those situations? Is it different than what the culture says is wise to do?
    • Paul encourages the Colossians that after they have received Jesus as Lord they are to “walk in Him” or some translations says “live your life in Him” (Col. 2:6). What does it look like to live your life in Jesus? What is different in what you do or say than those who do not walk in Christ?  How does being rooted in Him and established in faith in Him help you walk this way?  Roots are hidden below the surface, but the way you live your life is out in the open for everyone to see.  What are some of your hidden habits or actions that root you in Christ and establish your faith in Him?
  • Here are some ways to live out these verses in Colossians this week.
      • Colossians 2:8 reads: See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. This is Paul’s key exhortation of the book. Meditate or even memorize Colossians 2:8 verse this week in preparation for next week’s teaching.
      • If Christ holds all the wisdom and knowledge we need in life, one of the best ways to discover it is by studying his life and teaching in Scripture.  If you’ve never learned how to study and understand the Bible for yourself, we are offering a 1 month online “Foundations: How to Read your Bible” group on Monday nights starting February 20.  Find out more here: https://foresthill.org/events/foundations/.
      • Paul emphasized the need for community if we are to be able to recognize the things that threaten our faith.  Community also helps us stay rooted, built up and firmly established in our faith. If you are not meeting regularly with a small group of believers, then join a Bridge Group, one of Forest Hill’s Christ-centered communities. Go to www.foresthill.org and click “Join a Bridge Group” to find a group of people you can meet with often to pray and study scripture and grow together into full maturity in Christ.
      • If you missed any of the Colossians sermons, you can find them on www.foresthill.org/messages.
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January 29th Sermon: Colossians 1:21-29

“The Mystery of Christ in You”

  • Read Colossians 1:21-29, then talk through these questions with your Bridge Group, your family and friends or others who are walking through Colossians with you.
      • How does Colossians 1:21 describe the Colossians’ lives before they heard the gospel?  What does it feel like to be alienated or estranged from someone?  If you are a Christian, what did it feel like when you were separated from God?  What separates people from God and how is that barrier taken away (verses 22-23)? Describe the biggest difference in your life once you were reconciled to God.
      • This letter was written while Paul was in prison, and he writes that he “rejoices in his sufferings” (verse 24) while he’s imprisoned.  That sounds impossible! Why was he able to rejoice?  Look back at Colossians 1:5-20. What did Paul know that was true about Jesus that empowered him to rejoice in prison?  What did Paul know about himself and his future that helped him find joy in hardship? Describe a time in your life when the gospel and its power in your life helped in the midst of a hard season.  What particular promises in Scripture helped the most?
      • Paul describes the mystery of “Christ in you” (verse 27).  How is the truth of Christ being in you different than Christ just being with you? How does thinking that Jesus is simply with you fall short of what God really promises?  What does it look like to walk in your everyday circumstances with “Christ in you”? Does it look different than living like Christ is simply with you?
  • Here are some ways to live out these verses in Colossians this week.
      • Have you read through the whole book of Colossians yet?  If not, do it! If so, do it again!  Paul wrote this letter to be heard in one sitting and there’s things you can miss when you read it bit by bit. Try reading the whole book in one sitting (it takes less than 15 minutes). What did you notice?
      • Paul talks about becoming “mature in Christ” (verse 28). Think of someone you know who best represents maturity in Christ. What about them shows their faith and maturity? Reach out to that person and discover what God has used in their lives to mature them.
      • We cannot grow to maturity in Christ by doing life alone. We need other Christians around us to encourage, teach and admonish us.  If you are not meeting regularly with a small group of believers, then join a Bridge Group, one of Forest Hill’s Christ-centered communities. Go to www.foresthill.org and click “Join a Bridge Group” to find a group of people you can meet with often to pray and study scripture with and grow together into full maturity in Christ.
      • If you missed any of the Colossians sermons, you can find them on www.foresthill.org/messages.

 

January 22nd Sermon: Colossians 1:15-20

“The Supremacy and Majesty of Christ”

  • Read Colossians 1:15-20, then talk through these questions with your Bridge Group, your family and friends or others who are walking through Colossians with you.
      • Colossians 1:15 & 19 say, “The Son (Jesus) is the image of the invisible God… and God was pleased to have his (God’s) fullness dwell in him (Jesus).”  In your own words, what do these verses mean?
      • These verses teach us that Jesus is God, and in his incarnation, he is the image or physical representation of God on earth. He is both fully God and fully human.  So think about the Gospels and some of the things Jesus did and said while he was on earth. How were they like things we see God do and say in the Old Testament?  For example, we see God controlling nature by parting the Red Sea (Exodus 14) and Jesus controlled nature when he did things like walking on water (Matthew 14:22-33).  What are some other things that Jesus did and said that displayed the nature of God?
      • Paul describes all the ways that Jesus rules and has authority.  According to these verses in Colossians, why does Jesus rule?  Who or what gives him his authority?  Think about what Jesus’s authority means in in your life.  Name some specific circumstances or areas of your life where Jesus has authority.  How does His rule in those areas make you feel?  What are some areas in your life where it is difficult for you to acknowledge Jesus’ authority?
  • Here are some ways to live out these verses in Colossians this week.
      • For the Colossians there was great cultural pressure to not trust Jesus and commit to follow him. Today, we have these same temptations to waver in our trust in Him.  Think through some of the things in your life that cause you to waver in trusting in the Lord—maybe it’s social media or what you’re streaming or who you are spending time with. Now think about the things and people who strengthen your faith.  What changes do you need to make in how you spend your time, so that your faith in Jesus is strengthened and you do not waver?
      • In 2023, all of us at Forest Hill are committing to reaching one person with an invitation to trust Christ.  Begin praying about “who your one” will be. Think who you can “do life with” who doesn’t know Jesus.  Pray for them daily—set a reminder on your phone so you won’t forget.
      • Read back through Colossians 1:1-20.  List everything you learn about Jesus. Put this list somewhere you can see it throughout daily and reflect throughout the week on who Jesus is.
      • If you missed any of the Colossians sermons, you can find them on www.foresthill.org/messages.

 

Questions and Resources on Colossians

January 15th Sermon: Colossians 1:9-14

“The Amazing Grace of the Gospel”

  • Read Colossians 1:9-14, then talk through these questions with your Bridge Group, your family and friends or others who are walking through Colossians with you.
    • Paul tells the Colossians that they have been praying for them. What have Paul and Timothy specifically been praying would happen in the lives of the Colossians (verses 9-12)?
    • One thing that Paul prays is that the Colossians would “walk in a manner worthy of the Lord.” What words does Paul use to describe a “worthy life” in these verses (verses 10-11)? Look at Ephesians 4:1-3 and Philippians 1:27-28.  What does a life “worthy of the gospel of Christ” look like in these verses? Give some examples of how you could like a “worthy life” in your circumstances at home, at work or around your neighborhood.
    • Paul also encourages the Colossians that the Father has already worked in their lives. What words and images does he use (verses 12-14)? What does it mean to you that you’ve gone from the kingdom of darkness the “Kingdom of God’s beloved Son” (verse 13)? How does now living in that kingdom enable you to walk and live in a manner worthy of the Lord like Paul described in verse 10?
  • Here are some practical next steps for the next week:
    • Pray Paul’s Colossians prayer, asking God to work in your life and others you are praying for: “God, fill me with the knowledge of your will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so I can walk in a manner worthy of you and be fully pleasing to you. I want to bear fruit in every good work and increase in my knowledge and experience of you. Strengthen me with all power, according to your glorious might, so I might endure and go through whatever may come with patience with joy!”
    • This week in at least one conversation, intentionally think of how you are representing Jesus with your words and way you are speaking to someone. Walking in a manner worthy of the Lord means representing Jesus’ character and actions in all that you do, including how you to talk to others.
    • Memorize Colossians 1:13-14. Write it out every day. Read it out loud. Put the verses someplace like on your refrigerator or the dashboard of your car so you see them throughout your day. Every time you see and say them, reflect on the life you were redeemed from and the life you were redeemed for.
    • Text, email or call the person who first shared the Gospel with you. Thank them for how the Father used them in your life.
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