Many people today consider Jesus important kind of like Buddha, Moses, Socrates, Muhammad, along with other personal favorites they may select. For these people, Jesus is important, but not central. This is heresy and is the very issue Paul addresses in the book of Colossians.
Your view of Jesus Christ will impact every area of your life. Paul writes to these believers after receiving a report that teachers were teaching Jesus was just one of many important people in history questioning his deity.
Jesus is The Way. He’s not one way among many ways. He is the way! Christianity is not about being good. Christianity is about knowing God and this is why Jesus is so important! When you accepted Jesus you didn’t get an improved version of you, you became a new creation and got an entirely new you in Christ!
Colossians is Paul’s address to believers who needed to be reminded that Jesus, the Messiah, was not merely a contributor to their morality. Jesus must be the very center of their existence. The deity of Jesus is a non-negotiable! He is the son of God and he is the son of man.
Col 1:15-20 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. NIV
Do you hear the declaration of deity in this text? In verse 15, “Jesus is the image of the invisible God”. In verse 18 “Jesus is the head of the body”, “Jesus is the beginning” and “Jesus is the firstborn from the dead.” Later in verse 27 Paul reveals that “Jesus is the hope of glory.”
God ordained for Jesus to completely change the landscape of history and religion by ushering in a wave or dispensation of the grace of God.
Jesus was born to unwed teenage mom and grew up in home about size of a single car garage. Part of that living space was dedicated to animals. He never wrote a book, never traveled internationally and in fact never traveled beyond a 100-mile area. After only three years of public ministry in these very confined parameters he impacted our world more than any man in the history of the world. More songs have been written and sung about him and more artwork done for him than any man in history.
H.G. Wells said, “I am a historian, I am not a believer, but I must confess as a historian that this penniless preacher from Nazareth is irrevocably the very center of history. Jesus Christ is easily the most dominant figure in all history."
It’s almost impossible for anybody to hear the story of the life and teaching of Jesus, learn the details of his life, teaching, crucifixion and resurrection and walk away with a shrug of the shoulders, dismissing him as unimportant.
Jesus has a greater legacy than any man in the history of the world. His legacy is that of both man and God and Paul clearly communicates these must never be separated in our thinking!
Col 2:2-10 My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4 I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments. 5 For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how disciplined you are and how firm your faith in Christ is. 6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. 8 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ. 9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority. NIV
Jesus is Lord and God has revealed this in wonderful ways! Laminin is a cohesion protein. Simply put it keeps our bodies from falling apart on a molecular level. It holds us all together. Science reveals that this cohesion protein in our bodies is actually in the shape of a cross. Interestingly God designed us on purpose and revealed this in Colossians 1:17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
GP4RL: Read Colossians this week renewing your focus of bringing every perspective into submission to Jesus!
DISCUSSION GUIDE FOR COMMUNITY GROUP LEADERS
Click here for a downloadable pdf file of this guide.
ICE BREAKER: Start by asking everybody in the group to briefly share where they were when they became a Christian.
Open by inviting any observations about reading in Colossians this past week having assigned that to group.
Colossians 1:3-6 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people— the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel that has come to you. In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world—just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace. NIV
DISCUSSION QUESTION: The Gospel bears fruit in our lives and the lives of believers all over the world. This is the expression of God's Kingdom producing human flourishing in the earth!
1. What are some ways your life has flourished because of Jesus?
Colossians 2:2-3 My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. NIV
Paul describes his goal to minister to the church effectively to encourage, unify and increase understanding of the treasures of wisdom and knowledge in Christ.
2. What are some ways you can bring encouragement into the lives of others this week?
3. What can we do to protect the unity of our church family realizing UNITY is central to commUNITY?
4. What can you do in your life to continue increasing in your knowledge of Christ personally?
Colossians 3:1-2 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
5. Practically speaking what does it mean to purpose to set our hearts and minds on things above?
Where treasure is your heart will go. Giving time and money as a consistent expression of worship at church will position your heart consistently on the priorities and desires of God.
Conclude by reading this final verse and praying in agreement with this prayer that we would all stand firm with maturity and confidence. Consider asking who all would be willing to pray then make room for a time of prayer together where several people lead out
Colossians 4:12 Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured. NIV