Week 5: Colossians 2:6-15
Faith in Jesus Christ transforms us. God makes alive what was dead. He deals with our sin decisively in Christ. He grants us fullness, forgiveness, and new life. This transformation fundamentally changes who we are. By walking with Christ each day, we continue to be transformed. We become rooted and built up in him, established in our faith. Continuing to believe the truth of the gospel protects us from false teaching and gives power to live without fear in our world. We do well to never lose sight of what God has done for us in Christ. Everything we need and every blessing we have is wrapped up in him.
Have you ever heard something second or third hand but the message you heard was unfortunately a little different from the original?
Getting into the Text:
1. (Colossians 2:6-7) The reference to ‘receiving Christ’ reminds the Colossians of the time when they first heard the gospel message from Epaphras who passed down the truth as he had learned it from others. (Note the similar use of the word ‘received’ in 1 Corinthians 15:1-3 and Galatians 1:11-12.) Where did the message of the gospel originate? Why is it so important for believers to preserve the truth of the gospel just as it was originally received? How does the ongoing practice of ‘walking in him’ help us to do that faithfully?
2. (Colossians 2:8-10) What words does Paul use to describe the false teaching the Colossians are dealing with? (Note that ‘elemental spirits of the world’ (ESV) probably refers to spiritual forces or ‘rulers and authorities’ that were commonly believed to have control over everyday life.) How is the basis for believing the false teaching inferior to the reasons for believing the real gospel message? In what ways might we be similarly tempted to drift from the purity of the original gospel truth today?
3. (Colossians 2:10-13) When we put our faith in the gospel and accept Jesus as Savior and Lord, we are united with him in a deep and sacred way. What God did in Jesus now somehow applies to us too. Notice all of the ‘in him’ or ‘with him’ references in these verses. What does each one of these say about what has been done for us? (Circumcision is a symbol or sign of membership in God’s family and access to his promises.) How is baptism simultaneously a picture of what God did in Christ and what God has done for us? See also Romans 6:3-5.
4. (Colossians 2:13-15) How does it feel to imagine your own spiritual indebtedness and sin nailed to the cross when Jesus was crucified? In what way was putting Jesus on the cross an ironic way for God to put to shame the evil forces of our world and triumph over them?
In what ways are you tempted to believe something different from the truth of the gospel? Or as you think about sharing the gospel with others, in what ways are you tempted to change it or make it easier to accept? How can you regularly review the key elements of the faith you received and preserve the truth and power of what God has done in Christ?