Nov 12, 2017

Mature in Christ: Life Group Study 10

HISTORICAL CONTEXT:

During the time of this letter, the Roman society the Colossians lived in had its own rules regarding husbands and wives.  In many ways, wives were considered the husband's "property."  Their husbands had control over their legal rights.  The primary philosophy that informed this view of marriage was Stoicism.  They observed that males in nature were the dominate gender.  They used their larger strength and power to dominate family groups.  This, they concluded, is a natural law and should also be followed in human life.

The Gospel blew this culture apart.  It's "radical" teaching that men and women were both made in the image of God, and are thus equal in value, was in direct opposition to the Roman understanding of gender.  Now the Church was left to figure out how this new found equality was lived out in marriage.

LITERARY CONTEXT:

Paul continues to apply his teaching on the Gospel to every day life.  Still focusing on the home, he shows how a mature Christian child should serve their parents, and how a mature Christian parent should serve their children.

A quick note:  "Children" here refer to those still living in the home.  Adult children who have become independent and left the home do not qualify as "children" as discussed in this verse.  That being said, mature Christian adult children are still to follow the Fifth Commandment and honor their parents.


Scripture | Colossians 3:1-4, 17 + 20-21

  1. Describe a time as a child or parent where you felt like these verses were put into practice. What was the result? Describe a time when they were NOT put into practice. Result?"
  2. According to this Scripture, how should a mature Christian child serve his/her parents? What do you think this means? Why do you think this would be the best way of loving and serving parents in Christ's name?
  3. How does a child get the ability to serve his/her parents in this way? Explain.
  4. By following the commands of VS 20, how might a child grow in their understanding of their heavenly Father's love for them?
  5. According to VS 21, how should a mature Christian parent serve his/her children? What do you think this means? Why do you think this would be the best way of loving and serving children in Christ's name?
  6. What consequences does this Scripture warn of it a parent fails to act in this way? What do you think that looks like?
  7. How does a parent get the ability to love and serve children in this way?
  8. By living into vs. 21, how might a parent grow tin their understanding of their heavenly Father's love for them?
  9. Given our Mt. Pleasant culture, why might these instructions be of special importance to us? To those with whom we live, work, play, and learn?