Study Questions (Suggested time: 40 min)
1) What stood out to you during Pastor Bryan’s message this past weekend?
2) In verses 9-14, what does Paul pray God would do for the Colossians?
What does Paul pray that God would have the Colossians do?
What concepts or words are repeated within this passage from the previous passage?
3) Based on what Pastor Bryan said in the sermon, what does it mean to “be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding?”
Do you know anyone who you think lives from this type of knowledge/wisdom/understanding?
Have you experienced living from this type of knowledge/wisdom/understanding at some point in your life?
4) In these first few chapters of Colossians notice how often Paul and Timothy state what is true, rather than giving commands to their readers. Chapter 3 begins with “Therefore, if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above…”, marking the change from statements of truth to commands to live out that truth. This structure is common in Paul’s letters: He first lays a foundation of what is true about God, what is true about Christ, and what is true about the recipients as believers in Christ. Only then does he move on to telling the recipients of his letters how to live out truth. Keeping this idea in mind, what does Colossians 1:9-14 teach us about walking in a manner worthy of the Lord?
What is the source of this type of walk? (v. 9, 11-14)
5) N. T. Wright is a commentator who often puts scripture in common language. “The foundation of what he prays for is that the new Christian instinct may become firmly implanted in them. Just as the mother duck wants her brood [ducklings] to be able to work out for themselves how to feed, to avoid danger, and to live wisely in a threatening environment, so Paul longs to see young Christians coming to know for themselves what God’s will is (verse 9). They need ‘wisdom and spiritual understanding’; not just book-learning (though some of that may help) or human traditions (though they are often useful, too), but a deep inner sense of who they now are, of the newly created human life which they have received from God, and of what will nurture it or harm it. Christian teachers can talk till they’re blue in the face, but unless their hearers have this inner sense of wisdom and understanding, this awareness of the true God loving them and shaping their lives in a new way, it won’t produce genuine disciples.”
– N.T. Wright, Paul for Everyone: The Prison Letters
How does this quote help you understand Paul’s prayer in this section?
6) In this passage, we learn that the Father has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light, rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the Kingdom of His beloved Son, redeemed us, and forgiven our sins. This is one of many areas where we tend to say we believe God’s Word, but we rarely live as if His Word is true. Do you believe that (or do you live like) you are qualified, a saint in the light, rescued from darkness, a redeemed and forgiven citizen of the Kingdom of Love? Why or why not?
What would change in your life this week if you were to really live out the truth that you are qualified, a saint in the light, rescued from darkness, a redeemed and forgiven citizen of the Kingdom of Love?