Can't wait to see you and discuss Chapter 1!
We're asking you to read the whole book at least once this week. If you haven't had a chance to do that yet, no worries- it's only 4 chapters, you totally have time!
Additionally, please take some time to read Chapter 1 at least once on its own.
Remember Paul is writing this letter to a group of Christians who are being threatened with dangerous teachings - Gnosticism, asceticism, not to mention the local Jewish and pagan folk beliefs. Let this background color how you read this chapter.
Epaphras. This name significantly stands out to me from one Sunday service, Kyndall happened to be really pregnant at the time and Pastor Keith jokingly mourned over the fact that she wouldn’t even consider the name he wanted for their soon to be son… Epaphras, “E-Pap” for short he said.
Since this was the most deeply ingrained point of reference I had for this biblical figure, I had to do a bit of research and will ask you to do the same!
Take some time, use whatever resources you have at your disposal, and do some light research on this character Epaphras. Who was he? What was he like? How is he described? What was his vocation before/after becoming a believer? Where else is he mentioned in the bible?
Re-read v.9-14… There’s a lot there, right?!?!
Write a list of all the things Paul is praying for the Colossian church.
Which of these do you feel in most need of for yourself today? Before moving on, take a moment to ask this of your loving Father.
As we discussed last Saturday, this book is chalked full of the Gospel- this is our first clear gospel message being presented!
Re-write verses 12-14 in your own words to share on Saturday using “I”, “me”, “you” pronouns.
Is this something you could/would be able to share with someone who doesn't yet know Christ?
Verses 15-20 are called “Praise to Christ” in my study bible. This section is both factual (in describing who Christ is) and poetic (in its execution and delivery). This part of the letter is a song. Paul combined theology with music, facts with art.
Why do you think he did this?
How do you think this impacted the original audience?
We find our first “if” statement in verse 23.
What is Paul communicating here?
If what? Then what?
Re-read verse 24.
What does it mean when Paul says “I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions”?
What can it not mean?
Paul uses the phrase "according to the stewardship from God that was given to me" to describe the people to whom it was his ministry to "make the Word of God fully known".
Today we might use the lighter term, "sphere of influence" to describe that same people group in our own lives.
Think about the relationships in your own sphere of influence. What relationships are you stewarding who don't yet know Christ (can be co-workers, family, etc)?
Thank God for the people and relationships He's placed in your life, pray for those who don't yet know the beauty and freedom of Christ. Ask that they hear it and understand the grace of God in truth.
See you all on Saturday at 10:00 AM! Zoom link will be posted/emailed, if you'd like to join us and haven't yet become a member, please take some time to do so before Saturday :)