The Fullness of God in Jesus Christ: A Study of Colossians

In a previous blog, I gave you Week 1, Day 1 of the study I am currently writing on the book of Colossians.  Today, I am giving your Week 1, Day 2.  Weekly video sessions will be available free of charge once the study is complete.  The e-book version of this study will be free to all. I will have to charge for a paperback copy to cover printing costs. It is my hope that you will continue this study once it is published.  My goal is help people to dig into the Word of God.

 

Day 2:  The Faith of the Colossians

“We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints,”  Colossians 1:3-4 (KJV).

(If you are taking the writing challenge, you could take a moment to write out verses 3-4.)

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Image via Pexels by Luis Quintero.

I am sure that you know someone personally who has great faith in Jesus Christ.  As a matter of fact, this person’s faith simply amazes you.  No matter the challenge or adverse circumstances, he/she does not seem to lose faith. This type of faith is the result of a focus on the cross.  When I say the cross, I am speaking of the work Christ completed in His death.

It is when I think about His sufferings and death that my faith is strengthened.  Take a moment and reflect on the cross considering that what Christ endured was for you.  You and I were born with a sin nature.  In that nature, we could not stand holy and righteous before God no matter how we might strive to do so.  

Because of the cross, we are made right with God.  Because of the blood, we are cleansed from sin and regenerated.  The righteousness of Jesus Christ is given to you when you accept Jesus Christ as Savior.  The atoning work of the cross is what makes a relationship with God possible.

After you take a moment to reflect on the cross of Christ, you might notice that any wavering faith is renewed and strengthened.  In order to grow in faith, you must read and study the Word and hear the Word of God taught and preached. 

Using your favorite Bible version, write out Romans 10:17.

 

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Paul stressed that he was thankful for the faith of the Colossians.  He also mentioned that he kept them in his prayers.  Perhaps, Paul mentioned prayer because he knew that God’s people need each other.  No matter how strong one’s faith might be, prayer and the Word are essential for us all.  

Write down the name of someone whose faith encourages you along with the reason.

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I could not speak of faith without asking you to turn to Hebrews 11.  Glance over the chapter.  Not one of the people specifically mentioned in this chapter was perfect by any stretch of the imagination.  As a matter of fact, some of them made some horrendous mistakes.  However, they are mentioned as having great faith.  This fact should encourage you.  No matter what sin you might have committed, no matter how many times you have acted rashly without using wisdom, you can still have faith and build upon it.

Choose one or two of the people mentioned in Hebrews 11.  Write down the name(s) and why this person’s story encourages you.

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Let me take this moment to insert a disclaimer.  Our faith is not to be idolized.  Too many Christians have used the word faith as a reason to become carried away into false teachings and doctrines.  Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.  Faith is not a life free from trouble, poverty, or illness. 

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Image via Pixabay by Artistic Operations

Many people have erroneously convinced others that their faith was weak simply because they had problems.  This is a serious error because the Bible warns us that we will have problems.   We will also be looking at some of the problems the Colossians faced. 

What do James 1:2-4 and John 16:33 say about trials?

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It is not the lack of problems that builds faith.  God will use our problems and other adverse circumstances to help us grow in our faith and knowledge of God and His sovereignty.

Polycarp was a martyr who lived from 69 AD to 156 AD.  He turned many people away from Gnosticism which was a popular but false teaching during the time of the Colossian church.  When the church was being severely persecuted by Rome, Polycarp was sentenced to death by burning.  History states that the fire would not consume him so he was run through with a sword.  Even with death looming over him, Polycarp refused to recant of his faith in Christ.  

Looking into heroes in our day and time, Brooke Bartz is a lady who suffers greatly from severe rheumatoid arthritis and other chronic pain.  She wrote a book entitled Chronic Love:  Trusting God while Suffering with a Chronic Illness. I listened to her testimony on YouTube.  She believes that God can heal her, but she also trusts that He is sovereign over her illness.

I mention Polycarp and Brooke because the outcome is not always what we personally desire, yet, trusting God in the middle of an undesired outcome takes great faith.  Some of you who are reading this know exactly what I am talking about.  You suffer from illness or some other circumstance that has not been changed.  Just as God was with Polycarp and is with Brooke, He is with you.  He is sovereign over your situation. He will get glory.  He has not forgotten you.

We will close today’s study by reading Romans 8:28-39.  Write Romans 8:28 below.

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Paul was thankful for the faith of the Colossian believers.  I am thankful for yours.  Keep praying and studying the Word.  Keep seeking God and drawing closer to Him. Your faith has great reward.

 

The Fullness of God in Jesus Christ_ A Study on the Book of Colossians Written By_ Allison Amber Mitchell (1)Tomorrow, we will look at love, hope and the gospel.

 

Memorization:  Continue working on verses 1-2, or add 3 if you feel up to it. 

 

Colossians Bible Study Day 1

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

 

Introduction

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

Colossians 1:1-8

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  ________________________________________

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Galatians 1:1 ________________________________________

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Philippians 1:1 ______________________________________

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1 Thessalonians 1:1 _______________________________

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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.

 

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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.

 

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Briefly record your own conversion experience.

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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.

Conclusion

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.