These were my notes in preparation for our 3/20/2011 church meeting.
Leader: Tim Harris
Read Col. 1-2 and be prepared to discuss. Note any questions or discussion topics.
Timing of Paul's Letter to the Colossians
It is generally believed that Paul wrote this letter during his first Roman imprisonment, around 60 A.D. (Acts 28:16-31) Colossians aligns closely in its message with Ephesians, another letter from Paul written around the same time.
Thoughts and Discussion Questions
In the introduction (Col. 1:1-8) we see Paul's deep affection for these brethren whom he had not seen (Col. 2:1). Paul had an ongoing deep concern for the churches (2 Cor. 11:28).
- Why do you think Paul had such deep affection and concern for the churches?
- Is this a quality or attribute that we should each imitate today? If yes, how do we accomplish this?
- How does one "walk worthy of the Lord?"
- What, specifically, is the inheritance of which saints are partakers (Col. 1:12)?
Reading these chapters I was struck by Col. 1:15 which says Jesus is the image of the invisible GOD. I noted cross-references to Heb. 1:3 ("express image") and John 1:18 ("He has declared Him.").
- What does it mean that Jesus would have "the preeminence" (Col. 1:18)?
- What is the mystery spoken of in Col. 1:26?
- How can deceit, philosophy and tradition cheat or take us captive?
- Explain the "circumcision made without hands" (Col. 2:11-14).
Under the Law of Moses, an Israelite was to be circumcised on the eighth day. This physical circumcision was a sign of the covenant GOD made with Abraham and it granted the individual access to the inheritance GOD had given the nation of Israel—the land of Canaan and a relationship with Him. Similarly, under the new covenant an individual who was circumcised spiritually through baptism (Col. 2:11-12) is now qualified to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints (Col. 1:12)—the "land" of heaven and a relationship with GOD. How cool is that?!?
The requirement of perfect law-keeping was nailed to the cross (Col. 2:14) where GOD made peace with us (Col. 1:20).
- What are Col. 2:16-23 teaching us?
Rejoice in the freedom which we have in Christ!
Lord's Supper Thoughts
The transition from this study to observing the Lord's Supper is smooth as the focus of these verses is upon Jesus and the supreme worth that is found in His blood. Let's review these two chapters with a focus on Jesus:
- We must walk worthy of Him (1:10).
- The Father has transferred us out of darkness and into the kingdom of the Son of His love (1:13).
- Jesus' blood provides us forgiveness of sins and redemption (1:14).
- Jesus is the Creator and all things were created for Him (1:16).
- He is the head of the body, the firstborn from the dead, the Preeminent One (1:18).
- By His cross GOD has made peace (1:20).
- Jesus presents us holy, blameless and above reproach in His sight (1:22).
- Jesus in me is the hope of glory (1:27).
- In Jesus and the Father are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (2:3).
- I am complete in Him, who is the head of all authority and power (2:10).
- He has made this dead man alive together with Him (2:13). Hallelujah!!!