Life Groups // Fall 2022 // Week 6
Posted October 14, 2022 — Lincoln Berean
Substance Over Shadows // Colossians 2:16-23
During this month we are focusing on loving our neighbors, one way to do this is to Change Your Patterns. This can look like going on a walk as a family and stopping to talk with the neighbors you encounter. Or not driving into your garage and going straight into the house, go back outside and engage with your neighbors. Try this as a way to love your neighbor!
Last week we recognized the idea that we were rooted in Christ at salvation and that God is continuing to establish and build us up in Him. Our responsibility is to walk with Christ. In this week’s passage, Paul begins to describe what that walk looks like and argues against the false view that a person must obey certain human rules (specifically rules that would identify one as Jewish—kosher laws, celebration of Jewish holy days) in order to be part of God’s family. Rather, commitment to Jesus is the only requirement to enter God’s family.
To think through the main ideas in the sermon and prepare for your discussion together, we invite you to look over all the questions on the following pages and write your thoughts down before you meet with your group.
Warm Up (Suggested time: 30 min)
1. Take a few minutes to discuss ideas for Loving Your Neighbor. Has anyone had an opportunity to show to love to a neighbor? How did it go? What was the result? If you have not already done so, look at the suggestions at the end of this document and discuss ways you could Love Your Neighbor as a group or individually.
2. How do you think you will most change as you get older?
Transition into group discussion.
1) Open group discussion with prayer. Here are a few potential prayer items:
a. For the Spirit of God to lead you in truth
b. For the fruit of the Spirit to be cultivated in your lives
c. For grace to hear and apply what the Spirit says to you
2) Choose someone to read the passage aloud for the group.
Study Questions (Suggested time: 40 min)
1) What impacted you from the sermon this week? How do you see it connecting to the idea of being rooted, established and built up in Christ?
2) In Colossians 2:16-19, Paul tells his readers not to let anyone lead them to believe that they are not Christians because they do not follow certain Jewish practices. What are some current false ideas people have about what makes a person a Christian?
What is it that actually makes a person a Christian? Give reasons for your answer.
3) Has anyone ever questioned whether or not you are a Christian because you didn’t conform to their idea of what a Christian is? What was your response (if you didn’t respond or if this has never happened to you, what would your response be)?
How do you interact with people who claim to be Christians but don’t follow all the standards you accept or believe all the things you believe?
4) Paul seems to come down very hard on keeping or submitting to rules. Do you think Paul is opposed to rule-keeping, or does he only forbid certain kinds of rule-keeping? Defend your answer.
From what Paul says in this passage, do you think he believes following dietary laws and observing Jewish holy days are wrong? If so, why? If not, why does he seem to oppose them?
At the end of each Life Group Question study guide, we suggest some practices to help you grow spiritually. Do these suggested practices violate what Paul teaches in this week’s passage? Provide reasons for your answer.
5) In verse 19, Paul claims that those who propagate the view that one needs to follow rules determined by humans in order to be a Christian, have become unconnected to the head (that is, Jesus). In verse 20, Paul states that a person who has died with Jesus is not subject to the requirements made by humans. How do these ideas provide a corrective to the false teaching that Paul is addressing in this passage?
Personal Spiritual Exercises
Just like physical exercises help strengthen and stretch our bodies for healthy living, these spiritual exercises are meant to move us spiritually in ways that may be new so we might experience inner growth. Since God longs for us to experience Him with our whole selves—mind, body, spirit—we invite you along each week to strengthen your souls with suggestions and prompts. Next week in Life Group, take a few moments to share how the Lord may have used this exercise in your life.
Scripture: Carefully read and then reflect on John 3:16 and Romans 10:9-13 to remind you of what is necessary to become a Christian.
Confession: Spend some time examining yourself and confessing any attempts you have made to add conditions to salvation (beliefs, rules, practices) that go beyond what God has already established (as we see in John 3:16 and Romans 10:9-13). Ask God to help you to not judge others as non-Christians or disqualify others from being Christians because of your own ideas about what it is to be a follower of Jesus.
Prayer (Suggested time: 20 min)
A significant part of “coming together” is being open and honest with our lives. Sitting in a group of people for prayer may be new or it may be familiar to you. If you would rather not pray aloud when it is your turn, feel free to pray silently and then say “Amen” aloud signaling the next person in the group to pray. Whether or not you choose to verbalize your prayer, everyone is a participant in sharing this time before God together.
Take a few moments to prepare a prayer request. What did the message, working through the above questions or the discussion cause you to notice about your own relationship with Jesus? Would you be willing to share your prayer request with the group?
Next Week: Read Colossians 3:1-11
Loving Your Neighbor
Ideas & Resources
Loving your neighbor doesn’t have to be complicated or hard – it can even be fun!
All it takes is a willingness to change our patterns or plan ahead.
Here are some ideas and resources to get you started.
As a Life Group
A great way to build community as a Life Group while also impacting your neighborhood is to serve your neighbors together. We know that many of you will not live in the same neighborhood, and that’s okay! Pick a neighborhood (perhaps the one you meet in) and love those neighbors.
- As a group, take a prayer walk around the neighborhood.
- Drop off treats (baked goods, candy, etc.) at 5 neighbor’s houses on the street.
- Hand out candy together on Halloween.
- Fill up the neighborhood pantries in your area.
- Pick up trash and debris around the neighborhood or in the neighborhood park.
- Write uplifting Scripture in chalk in the driveway together to encourage those who walk by.
- Throw a neighborhood block party/backyard party – click here for resources
If you’re not in a life group, or if you want to serve those in your own neighborhood, here are some ideas!
- Offer to mow a lawn or do some other outdoor/household chores.
- Chat with your neighbors while outside doing chores.
- Pray for your neighbors individually.
- Meet a tangible need.
- Give holiday gifts (Halloween is coming up!)
- Take walks outside in the neighborhood – stop and say hello to your neighbors.
- Check to see if there’s a Facebook Group or join the Next-Door App & interact with your neighbors there!
- Learn about your neighbors – Are there elderly or disadvantaged people that need help or community?