Oct 15, 2017

Mature in Christ: Life Group Study 8

SPIRITUAL CONTEXT:

Given what we've already learned of them, it would be easy to cast the Colossians as simple-minded people who were gullible to any argument that would prevent them from fully embracing the Christian message.  As this passage shows us, however, their desire to cling to new teachings is rooted in real human needs.  The Colossians concerns are our concerns.

Like all Christians trying to live a life that pleases the Lord, they were wrestling with their sin.  While they heard the Cross was enough to free them from sin's power, their experience told them otherwise.  They kept sinning in heart, body, and mind, and this frustrated them.  They felt trapped by their sin, and this lead them to feel distant from God.

Into this situation came the false teachers.  They taught that, by adhering to their teachings, the Colossians could finally escape the tyranny of sin.  This is why the Colossians were so ready to believe and follow them.

LITERARY CONTEXT:

After the transition and introduction in 3:1-4, Paul goes into specifics. He makes a list of the "earthly" things that still plague the Colossian Christians.  His goal is to get them to apply the beautiful truth of the Gospel to their lives.  His hope is that hey would continue to grow into the people Jesus has already made them.

The tone of this section is similar to last week's study, so there will be some repetition of ideas.


Scripture | Colossians 3:5-11

  1. Have you ever tried to totally eliminate a sin from you life?  How did you try to do that?  Were you successful?  Why or why not?
  2. Read verses 5-9.  What does Paul list as "earthly" in us?  What do you think these terms mean?  According to these verses, what is the "root cause" of our "earthliness"? 
  3. What three things does Paul call us to do to these "earthly" parts of ourselves?  What do you think those three things mean?
  4. According to verse 10, how do you think we actually do those three things to the "earthly" parts of us?
  5. What do you think it means to be "renewed in knowledge"?  Knowledge of what?
  6. What do you think are some common means the Holy Spirit uses to "renew" our knowledge?