Letters Study #8
Colossians: Only One in the Spotlight
It is reported that the French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) wrestled with the significance of the person of Jesus the Christ. Facing his own end, Napoleon remarked, “I know men, and I tell you that Jesus Christ was not (merely) a man. Superficial minds see a resemblance between Christ and the founders of empires and the gods of other religions. The resemblance does not exist. There is between Christianity and other religions the distance of infinity. Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne and myself founded empires. But on what did we rest our genius? Upon sheer force. Christ alone founded his empire upon love, and at this hour millions of men will die for Him. From the first day to the last He is the same; majestic and simple, infinitely firm and infinitely gentle.” Napoloeon Bonaparte’s View of Jesus
Our focus on Sunday was Paul’s letter to the believers in the city of Colossae. They were being enticed to think of Christ Jesus as secondary, and to embrace alternate forms of religious practice based on self-effort and self-promotion. Paul’s word could not have been clearer —
Get STARTED – How many substitutes can you think of that seek to take over Christ’s first place position in your life? Name as many as come to the minds of those in your group. Why are these substitutes dangerous?
Explore the WORD – Exploring Colossians
Let’s take a closer look together at Colossians 3:1-17
- What is the basic command of 3:1-4? How would you paraphrase this (i.e., put it in your own words)
- To become like Christ, what has to be “put to death”? 3:5-11 (which things stand out to you?)
- To become like Christ, what has to be “put on”? 3:12-17 (again, list as many specifics as you see)
Now…pick one from B. (to put to death) and one from C. (to put on)…that fits your need. Which pair are you choosing?
Prioritizing APPLICATION – What can you do on a regular basis to keep Jesus Christ and becoming like Him (Cf. Colossians 1:28-29) in first place?
Finally, pray together about what the Holy Spirit has taught you from this important book, through “Coach Paul”?