Currently, I am working on a Women’s Bible study covering the Book of Colossians. It will be several weeks before I have the study completed, but I am giving you a preview. The following is the introduction and Week 1, Day 1 of this study. Keep in mind that the first day is introductory and the more in-depth study will come in the following days.
God’s Fullness in Jesus Christ: A Study of Colossians
The deity of Jesus Christ is often questioned and debated. I find this somewhat surprising because the scriptures are abundantly clear about Christ’s identity. On the other hand, it is not surprising because Satan desires to plant doubt as to who Jesus is. If he is successful, he has people in his grip of deceit.
Understanding that Christ is God in the flesh is essential to knowing who we are. Our spiritual identities are completely dependent upon Christ. When we begin to become aware of who we are in Christ, fullness comes. Fullness in Christ keeps us from searching for fullness in other avenues which lead to complete dissatisfaction.
No matter where you are in this walk called life, I believe this study will benefit you. I will take you through the book of Colossians verse by verse to get the complete picture of Paul’s letter to the people of Colossae. Not only will you receive verse by verse study, you will find personal touches and stories that I hope will encourage you.
Although seven weeks might seem to be a lengthy time for study, I believe your commitment will help strengthen your relationship with Jesus Christ. You will see what He wants you to have in Him. Wisdom, knowledge, and understanding are just a few of the gifts that Christians are to receive in a relationship with Jesus Christ.
If you wish to know more of the kind of life we are supposed to have in Christ, this study is for you. If you simply want a little in-depth study, you are in the right place. If you are new to Bible study, I believe you will enjoy Colossians.
Join me for the next seven weeks. Together, we will explore Paul’s letter to the Colossians and see how it complements his other epistles and leads us to a deeper knowledge of Jesus Christ. I look forward to this time with you.
God’s Fullness in Jesus Christ
Week 1: Thanks and Prayers
Challenge: If you are up for a challenge, you could spend time each day writing out the Book of Colossians as well as practicing the memorization of Colossians. I would suggest that you write 2-3 verses per day and memorize 2 verses per day. Of course, you can take the memorization at a slower pace if you wish.
Week 1: Thanks and Prayers
Day 1: Background and History of Paul, Timothy, and Colossae
“Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy, our brother, to the saints and faithful brethren in Christ at Colossae,” Colossians 1:1-2 (ESV).
(If you are taking the writing challenge, you could take a moment to write out the first two verses. You can use what I have above or write from your favorite translation.)
Throughout Paul’s letters to various churches and individuals, he uses the same greeting. He states his name, and if someone is dictating the letter for him or with him on a regular basis, the name is mentioned. In the case of Timothy, it is definitely the latter and possibly the former.
Timothy was considered Paul’s son in the faith. He traveled with Paul on some occasions. More importantly, he was discipled by Paul. Two of Paul’s letters are addressed to Timothy.
Before we delve into the background of both Paul and Timothy, let’s compare and contrast some of the greetings in Paul’s other epistles. Look up the following references and compare or contrast the greeting given by Paul with Colossians 1:1-2.
Ephesians 1:1 ________________________________________
Galatians 1:1 ________________________________________
Philippians 1:1 ______________________________________
1 Thessalonians 1:1 _______________________________
Although the greetings were typically similar, a few differences arise from time to time. For example, Timothy’s name is often mentioned. Other times, another name is mentioned which informs us that Paul mentored many men during his ministry. Incidentally, it is beneficial for each of us to have accountability. We need someone to help us stay on the right track. We are human and prone to wander. Accountability brings us back where God would have us. If you do not have such a person in your life, write a prayer for the Lord to send someone to you. If you already have a mentor in the faith, write the name below along with a prayer of thanksgiving for this godly person. You might have more than one.
If you read through Acts 7-9, you will discover that Paul was formerly referred to as Saul. He was a Pharisee with a Jewish background and strict adherence to the Mosaic law. When the gospel began to spread, Saul (Paul) and other religious leaders became concerned. Fear coupled with anger led them on a tirade of persecution. Saul was responsible for the arrest of many believers in Christ. He stood by and consented to the stoning of Stephen, who was the first recorded martyr.
Happily, Saul did not remain a stranger to Christ. He encountered Christ on the road to Damascus. Turn to acts 9:1-18. Record anything different you observe while you are reading this passage.
Briefly record your own conversion experience.
Timothy was born in Lustra in Lycaonia which was a large region in Asia Minor. Some believe it was in present day Turkey. Timothy’s mother, Eunice, was a Jew, but his father was a Gentile. Timothy’s grandmother, Lois, along with his mother contributed a great deal to the life of Timothy. It was during Paul’s second missionary journey that Timothy joined him. Timothy traveled with Paul to Macedonia, Philippi, Thessalonica, and Berea.
Although Paul did not visit Colossae, he was close with Epaphrus, the founder of the Colossian church. Although Timothy learned from Paul, he contributed to Paul’s ministry as well which is possibly the reason Timothy’s name is mentioned in the introduction.
The city of Colossae was located in Phrygia which was southeast of Laodicea. Colossae was approximately 832 miles from Rome. False teachings were spreading throughout Colossae. We will explore some of those teachings throughout this study. Paul wrote a letter proclaiming the deity of Christ as well as the truth of the gospel. You will read Paul’s commendations as well as his warnings.
I realize that I gave you quite a bit of reading today, but knowing the background of the writer and the church receiving the writing is helpful in understanding the book of Colossians.
Close today’s study with a prayer of thanksgiving for the gospel of Jesus Christ and ask Him to give you the boldness to spread it in your own community.
Memorization: If you are going to memorize the book of Colossians, I would suggest working on verses 1-2.
In my next post, I will share Day 2 so you can get a better idea of the in-depth study you will do. It is my prayer that the Bible Study will be a blessing to you.