Transformed - September 23, 2018

Transformed

Week 3: Colossians 1:15-23

Faith in Jesus Christ transforms us. God brings us out of the domain of darkness and places us in the kingdom of his Son whom he loves. Everything was created by him and for him. He is the origin and the goal of everything. He is head of the church and the firstborn from the dead. Jesus is Lord of all. Not everyone believes all of this about Jesus and even Christians sometimes fail to live like it is all true. But thankfully, God is in the business of putting everything right again - bringing everything back into an appropriate relationship with himself. This reconciling of all things happens through Jesus and because of Jesus so that he can be first in everything. The great news is that the work of Jesus on the cross also has implications for us personally. We are part of this all-encompassing work of transformation. Jesus has made a way for us to be right with God and fulfill our purpose. This is the gospel that you have heard. Let’s continue to believe it!

Discussion Starter:

Where or from whom did you first hear about Jesus?

Getting into the Text:

1.      (Colossians 1:15-17)  Who does “he” refer to in these verses and how can you tell? How many times are the words “all things” used here and what is the significance of this? What words are used to describe the different aspects of the relationship between Jesus and all other things? How does each phrase add something new to the full picture? See also John 1:1-3 and Hebrews 1:1-3a. What similarities do you notice between all three of these passages?

2.      (Colossians 1:18-20)  What more do we learn about who Jesus is in these verses? What does it mean for him to be firstborn from the dead? (See also 1 Corinthians 15:20-23.) What does it mean for God to be reconciling all things? What does the passage say about God’s method for reconciling all things?

3.      (Colossians 1:21-23)  Notice all of the places where the word “you” is used in these verses. How many times does “you” appear in verses 15-20? What is the significance of this? How do verses 21-22 describe the Colossian believers before and after they have been reconciled in Christ? These words are true for all believers. Imagine that they were addressed directly to you. How do they make you feel?

4.      (Colossians 2:6)  In light of all that is written in Colossians 1:15-23, what does it mean for Jesus to be Lord and to receive him as such? Why is it so important to “continue in the faith” (Col 1:23) and what does this involve?

Application:

1.      Jesus is Lord over all. But sometimes we don’t live like this is true. What would it look like for you to live today like Jesus is Lord over all creation, over rulers and authorities, over the church, over death, over your family and relationships, over your mind, over all of your life? In what areas do you need to pause and choose to believe that Jesus really is Lord?

2.      Even if we embraced the gospel at some point in our lives, it is easy to drift along and fail to continue in the faith we had at first. Where are you at with this right now? How can you keep the truth of the gospel – who Jesus is and what he has done – alive and well in your life?