Life Groups // Fall 2022 // Week 9
Posted November 4, 2022 — Lincoln Berean
In Christ at Home, Work and Beyond // Colossians 3:18-4:1
The text this week presents Paul’s instructions on how Christian households were to function due to their members being rooted in Jesus. Living out a life grounded in Jesus begins at home.
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. We’d love for you to take about 5 minutes during your group meeting to tell us how participating in a Life Group has influenced your walk with Jesus. Here is a link to the survey:
https://forms.office.com/r/D10pY0VeZ3 Or use this QR Code:
2. Once you are finished with the Survey, take a few minutes to share with your group about the following questions:
- How has God used this group in your life?
- How have you seen God at work in the lives of others in this group?
- Is there anything you would like to change about this group?
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) The temptation in listening to a sermon on a passage like this week’s is to think how it applies to others (“My wife/husband/children/parents really needed to hear that.”) rather than to oneself. In what specific way(s) did Colossians 3:18-4:1 convict you?
2) Paul didn’t drop these household instructions out of the blue. He thought they were connected to what he previously said. How do you see Paul’s instructions to spouses, parents and children, and masters and slaves to be related to the Christian’s sufficiency in Jesus?
3) In the 1st Century Roman world, various groups developed “household codes” which described their ideal for how families were to be ordered in that society. Paul is using this model but presenting a Christian version that reflects Jesus’ teaching. What are the expectations our society has for how families are to be ordered and run? How are those expectations similar to or different from what Colossians 3:18-4:1 presents?
4) Though slavery in Paul’s day was not the same as the slavery we find in the history of our nation, it was still not what God wanted for human beings. Nonetheless, even in their position of enslavement, Christian slaves were to represent Jesus well in their role and tasks. And Christian masters were called to treat their slaves fairly and justly. If God desired that Christians involved in such an undesirable institution like slavery live consistently with their commitment to Jesus, what should that tell us about the employer/employee relationships Christians have today?
What would it look like for you to be the ideal employee? Employer? Give specific details.
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.
Reflection: Take time this week to give yourself a “job review.” In the areas that are relevant to you, write out an assessment of how you are doing as a husband/wife, parent/child, employer/employee. For each relevant area, list three things you are doing well and three areas which need improvement. What overall grade would you give yourself? What overall grade would your spouse, parents/children, employer/employee give you?
Prayer: Spend time every day this week praying for a family member or a person at work you have a conflict with. Do not ask God to change him or her. Rather ask God to bless that person. Ask God to reveal areas in your life which might be the source of the conflict. Ask God for wisdom in how to make whatever corrections are needed in your life.
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?