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Previous Lessons: 1
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,
2 To the saints and faithful brothers in Christ at Colossae:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father.
3 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4 since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, 5 because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, 6 which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth, 7 just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf 8 and has made known to us your love in the Spirit.
9 And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. 11 May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Questions to Consider:
1. Who wrote this epistle? (1) To whom was it written? (2) Who was Epaphras, and what was his connection to the church at Colossae? (7) You may wish to go back to lesson 1 (link above) and review just a bit.
2. How would you classify the first two verses of this chapter? (instruction, rebuke, greeting, worship, etc.?) List the characteristics of the Colossian church that have been reported to Paul. (4, 6, 8) Do these things describe your church? Does Paul seem to regard this church as one that is overtly rebellious, worldly, or sinful? Describe Paul’s overall tone in this passage.
3. In verse 3, what two things does Paul say “we” (he, Timothy, and possibly others) do regarding the Colossian church? List and define the five things Paul says they pray for the Colossian church. (9-10) Do you pray similar things for your own church and for yourself? Why was it important for Paul and Timothy to pray for the Colossian church? Why is it important for you to pray for your own church? Take a moment now to pray through these five requests for your church and yourself.
4. What did we learn in lesson 1 about the situation of the Colossian church that would lead Paul to wish the Holy Spirit to empower them (11) to endure, have patience, have joy, and give thanks? (11-12) How are these characteristics important to your church, and the church at large, today?
5. In verses 13-14, Paul gives a mini-recap of the gospel. Explain in your own words what Paul is saying in these two verses. What does it mean in verse 12 that God has “qualified” the Colossian Christians to “share in the inheritance of the saints”? What is that inheritance, and how did God qualify them? How does this apply to Christians today? Peeking ahead a few verses, why is this recap of the gospel a good precursor to the topic Paul is about to introduce?
Think about your church’s unique needs in light of the five things Paul prayed for the Colossian church. Make a list of some specific ways you can pray that your church will be “filled with the knowledge of His will,” “walk in a manner worthy of the Lord,” etc., and include these during your daily prayer time this week.