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1 Masters, provide your slaves with what is right and fair, because you know

that you also have a Master in heaven.

Further Instructions

2 Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. 3 And pray for us,

too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim

the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. 4 Pray that I may proclaim it

clearly, as I should. 5 Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the

most of every opportunity. 6 Let your conversation be always full of grace,

seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

Final Greetings

7 Tychicus will tell you all the news about me. He is a dear brother, a faithful

minister and fellow servant in the Lord. 8 I am sending him to you for the

express purpose that you may know about our circumstances and that he

may encourage your hearts. 9 He is coming with Onesimus, our faithful and

dear brother, who is one of you. They will tell you everything that is happening

here.

10 My fellow prisoner Aristarchus sends you his greetings, as does Mark, the

cousin of Barnabas. (You have received instructions about him; if he comes

to you, welcome him.) 11 Jesus, who is called Justus, also sends greetings.

These are the only Jews among my co-workers for the kingdom of God, and

they have proved a comfort to me. 12 Epaphras, who is one of you and a

servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for

you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured. 13

I vouch for him that he is working hard for you and for those at Laodicea and

Hierapolis. 14 Our dear friend Luke, the doctor, and Demas send greetings. 15

Give my greetings to the brothers and sisters at Laodicea, and to Nympha

and the church in her house.

16 After this letter has been read to you, see that it is also read in the church

of the Laodiceans and that you in turn read the letter from Laodicea.

17 Tell Archippus: “See to it that you complete the ministry you have received

in the Lord.”

18 I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace

be with you.

 


For these three questions, use a journal to write down your answers.


1. Verses 3-4 are an invitation to pray for Paul and other church leaders. Take

a moment and write a prayer to intercede on behalf of your church leaders.


2. Paul continues to instruct the Colossians on how they should act toward

those who are not followers of Jesus. What part of his instruction are you

best at? What areas could you grow in?


3. Paul closes his letter with what we call “shout outs.” If you were writing

a letter that included a list of people you do life with who encourage you in

your faith, who would you mention and what would you write about them?

(Think about pastors, preachers, and teachers you’ve learned from, friends

and family who have prayed for you, people in your community, leaders you

admire, and ministries you support).



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Living as Those Made Alive in Christ

1 Since then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things

above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on

things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died,and your life is now hidden

with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will

appear with him in glory.

5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature:sexual

immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because

of these, the wrath of God is coming. 7 You used to walk in these ways, in the

life you once lived. 8 But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things

as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9 Do

not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices

10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in

the image of its Creator. 11 Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or

uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in

all.

12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves

with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with

each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against

someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put

on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body

you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ

dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all

wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God

with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or

deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father

through him.

Instructions for Christian Households

18 Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.

19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.

20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.

21 Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.

22 Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when

their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and

reverence for the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as

working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will

receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are

serving. 25 Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for their wrongs, and there

is no favoritism.


 

Every sin Paul lists has a fruit of the Spirit and a characteristic of God

to combat it:


Sexual Immorality ---------------------------------------------> Faithfulness


Impurity/Lust ------------------------------------------> Purity/Self Control


Evil Desires ------------------------------------------------------> Goodness


Greed -----------------------------------------------------------> Generosity


Anger/Rage -----------------------------------------------------> Joy/Peace


Slander/Lying/Filthy Language -------------> Truth/Gentleness/Kindness


Malice ----------------------------------------------------------> Love/Mercy

 

For these three questions, use a journal to write down your answers.


1. Paul uses, what some might consider, extreme language here, telling

believers that all their sinful habits must be “put to death.” Has there been

a situation where you felt called to “crucify” something in your life so that it

stopped getting in the way of your relationship with Jesus? Remember what

it was and how God brought you through it. Thank Him below then take a

moment to reflect: Is there anything you need to “rid yourself” of right now?




Culturally, early Christians lived in a time when women and children were

second class citizens in nearly every aspect and were frequently mistreated

and disregarded. However, because of Jesus’ redeeming work that put

all people, no matter their race, age, gender, or social status on the same

playing field, these Christians also lived within the tension of what Jesus

freed them from and what culture dictated they should be and do. Paul’s

directive in verses 18-25 are meant to instruct a safe and practical framework

for Christian families to live under so they do not risk persecution for what

was, at the time, radical displays of equity that disturbed society’s normal

functioning.


2. What tensions do you currently experience between what society/culture

says and what God says about you?



3. Paul encourages the Colossians to do everything in service to God, and

not to any human, knowing humans are incapable of fair, just, and equitable

ruling. He goes on to assure them that every wrong will be addressed and

repaid, and that there is no favoritism. What kind of comfort do you imagine

this was to the original readers? Does it comfort you? How?



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1 I want you to know how hard I am contending for you and for those at

Laodicea, and for all who have not met me personally. 2 My goal is that they

may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full

riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery

of God, namely, Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and

knowledge. 4 I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding

arguments. 5 For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you

in spirit and delight to see how disciplined you are and how firm your faith in

Christ is.

Spiritual Fullness in Christ

6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your

lives in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were

taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

8 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive

philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual

forces of this world rather than on Christ.

9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and in

Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power

and authority. 11 In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not

performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off

when you were circumcised by Christ, 12 having been buried with him in

baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the

working of God, who raised him from the dead.

13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your

flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having

canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and

condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having

disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them,

triumphing over them by the cross.

Freedom From Human Rules

16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with

regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. 17

These are a shadow of the things that were to come;the reality, however, is

found in Christ. 18 Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the

worship of angels disqualify you. Such a person also goes into great detail

about what they have seen; they are puffed up with idle notions by their

unspiritual mind. 19 They have lost connection with the head, from whom the

whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows

as God causes it to grow.

20 Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world,

why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules: 21

“Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!” 22 These rules, which have to

do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely

human commands and teachings. 23 Such regulations indeed have an

appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility

and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining

sensual indulgence.


 

For these three questions, use a journal to write down your answers.


1. Paul says all wisdom and knowledge is in Christ Jesus. Take a moment

to reflect on what wisdom and/or knowledge you may need from God in a

current circumstance, relationship or decision. Write down a prayer asking

the Lord for exactly what you need. Invite someone to pray with you and

come back to these words after the situation has resolved.


2. Paul addresses the very real cultural pressures the Colossians faced in

everyday life to turn away from Jesus. What cultural pressures do you think

Christians face today that tempt us to turn away from Jesus? Which of those

impacts you most personally?



Paul names four specific areas of false teaching (aka heresy) affecting the

Colossian church:


The philosophers: those who might say they follow Jesus, but in practicality

focus the majority of their time and energy on the ideas and doctrines of faith

while Jesus Himself is secondary.


The legalists: someone who’s faith centers on doing all the right things and

thinking that will get them closer to Jesus. The rules are more important than

their relationship with Jesus.


Those who worship angels: someone who thinks they need an intermediary

to talk to God and put angels in an improper role of importance within their

faith. Paul says Jesus is the only mediator between God and humanity.


Those who adopt asceticism: someone who exercises severe self-discipline

avoiding any kind of indulgence or pleasure and eventually forms a sense of

pride or an idol of their sacrifice that dulls their love for Jesus and focus on

following Him


3. It may be easy to read about these four groups of people Paul addresses

and think “that’s not me.” However, take a moment to examine your faith

practices. Does your need to complete the “Christian checklist” of bible

study, quiet time, prayer, and/or serving ever overshadow your relationship

with Him? Do you look down on others who may not follow the same “rules”

or observe the same tradition of faith? When you ask for prayer from a friend,

do you talk to Jesus about that thing yourself before and after asking them?

Does your exercise regime, self-imposed dietary restrictions, or adopted

daily routine dictate how you live your life?


Take a moment to honestly reflect and where applicable, confess and

surrender those things to God.



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