Colossians Housegroup Material – Week 3
Colossians 2 verses 16 – 23
Freedom From Human Rules
16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. 17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ. 18 Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you. Such a person also goes into great detail about what they have seen; they are puffed up with idle notions by their unspiritual mind. 19 They have lost connection with the head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.
20 Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules: 21 “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? 22 These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings. 23 Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.
In these verses Paul talks about some specific false teachings that the Colossians were facing. Our own experience is not the same but these verses still have relevance today.
- Have you ever been made to feel spiritually inferior by a fellow Christian?
We do not have the same “rules and regulations” imposed on us as would have been the case in the past but there are elements of these rules that still persist.
2. How would you respond to a challenge that you do not keep the Sabbath properly. Perhaps shopping or working could be an example?
Paul particularly calls out those who show false humility.
3. What do you think Paul means by the phrase don’t let someone disqualify you “from the prize”?
4. How ought we respond to those who have super spiritual experiences and consider those who have not had the same experience as not proper Christians?
There is a great emphasis on the introduction of man made rules which have to be followed if we are to be true believers.
5. What are the problems with a religion based merely on rules? Why do you think some people find this attractive?
6. How ought we respond to those who dismisses us because we do not follow the rules they do?
The key in this passage is that in Jesus we have all we need and he has done everything which needs to be done.
7. How would you explain to someone the difference between religion and a true relationship with God?
Colossians 3 v 1 – 11
Living as Those Made Alive in Christ
3 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. 7 You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8 But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11 Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.
“Set your minds on things above not on earthly things.”
8. What sort of things are earthly things and is it possible to entirely set our minds on things above?
We are called to bury our old ways.
9. Why do you think Paul uses such strong language “put to death” “rid yourselves”?
10. Are there any surprises in the lists of things we must set aside and why do you think lying is singled out?
Christ is all, and is in all
11. What do you think Paul means by this phrase.
12. What are the barriers today which typically divide people? What difference can Christ’s being all and in all make to these divisions?
13. What practical difference might this passage make to your life today if any. What would it mean to more consciously set your heart on things above and more deliberatley rid yourself of some things?
Colossians 3 v 12 – 17
12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
14. In the phrase “God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved” what means the most to you?
If we read Deuteronomy 7 verses 6 – 11 does this help in understanding this passage?
15. In the list of “virtues” Paul gives us which comes most naturally to you? Which is the hardest?
16. Why is it important that we forgive each other?
17. How can we let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts and the word of Christ dwell in us richly?