01/01/2012 Colossians 3:12-17
Leader: Pastor Biebert
Meeting Time: 8:00 AM & 10:15 AM
christmas HAND-ME DOWNS
The last two chapters of this book apply basic Christian truths to real life situations. Spirituality is not withdrawal from this world. It’s living Jesus’ life in the world. A really spiritual life is not an empty life. It is not so much about what is absent from it as by what is present.
What contrast do you see between the way our selfish instinct outfits itself (3:5-9) and the way God wants our public persona to look (3:12-15)?
Paul was writing to people just like us. They were frustrated about life. How come we don’t deal with things better? Why doesn’t God intervene? Either He could fix all life’s problems for us, or He could give us supernatural coping skills. People promise shortcuts. Some want us to believe that under the right circumstances the Holy Spirit will instantly take us to a new level and alleviate what’s distasteful in our lives. Others want us to believe that knowledge is power. Learn to read the Bible in Hebrew and Greek, and watch the new outlook you’ll have on life! Still others say self-denial is the answer. Substitute some sort of monastic life, and you will reach a new level of consciousness. You will be a “spiritual” person.
What does this “putting off” and “putting on” actually involve:
m A quick-change act? m A disguise?
m A burial service? m A shopping spree?
It’s true that Colossians tells us to “put to death, therefore, what belongs to your earthly nature” (3:5). Christian living means controlling yourself. It’s not self-discipline for self-discipline’s sake. We deny ourselves certain things because Jesus has shown us something so much better.
There are motivational seminars for almost every vocation. How is Christian motivation different (3:12)?
We’re learning how we should “wear” our spandex Jesus-costume. It’s easy to think that the simple message about what Jesus did in our place is not enough. It’s easy to think that what we do for God is more important than what Jesus did for us. This is pushing Jesus out of the way and looking for some new secret of “spirituality.” Take a good look at 3:3-4. He’s the only one who can make us “spiritual.”
Discuss each item the Holy Spirit puts in our wardrobe. What makes each an outstanding apparel option (3:12)?
There’s also a misguided idea that if we’re spiritual enough on Sundays, we can disconnect the rest of the time. We can do what we like in our professional life and our relationships with other people.
5. How do you know whether you’ve really forgiven someone (3:13)?
No one becomes instantly spiritual. There is no secret to getting there. Our life for God is always going to be “one step forward, and two steps back (3:10).” The truth is, Jesus is the only spiritual person ever. His life for us is what we need the most. As we focus on what He did for us, the Holy Spirit psyches us up for acting out for Him and helping other people.
6. What we do for God and other believers, we do because of what Jesus did for us. How does that come out in verse 12? Verse 13? Verse 15?
“I had peace about it!” does not mean we’ve done the right thing. The peace Jesus gives always lines up with moral rights and wrongs. Bible illiteracy may also be the reason unbiblical Christian songs are so popular today. Great Christian songs stick to the great things God teaches. Many “Christian songs” today come from writers with little or no Bible knowledge. Songs have taught more theology than textbooks.
7. How does God’s love tie all these attractive virtues together perfectly (3:14)?
Without Jesus we are self-centered, troublemaking, mean, conceited, and impatient. Jesus helps us sacrifice, be loyal, kind, modest, and tolerant. This is not an instant transformation. It’s “one step forward and two steps back.” God’s forgiveness won’t let us give up and gives us a fresh start.
1. How can we be grateful (3:15-17) when complaining and disappointment come so easily?
Why can’t we go solo instead of involving other people (3:16)?
As the peace Jesus gives controls our thinking, how might we react to . . .
P A declining economy P your annual physical examination
P The possibility your candidate won’t be our next president
P News that two of your lifelong friends are getting a divorce
How does this section connect to Luke 2:25-40? What’s the connection to Isaiah 45:20-25?