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Bible Study Notes - Forum IntoThyWord Online Studies

IntoThyWord Online Studies | Colossians 1:24-29
Tue, 09 Apr 2013 18:44:37 -0400
Suffering for the Church! Are you happy when you can suffer for others? Being poured out, used, exhausted-even abused by the church in which you serve? By Christians who connive against you, who take advantage of you? Paul was! He saw it as His service to our Lord! Suffering for the church is like continuing the suffering Christ did for the Church! This is not about being abused; it is about being totally dedicated to serve and not be self-centered or only pursue what suits and pleases us as leaders. God has given us responsibility, and when we lead, we have to take this seriously. Our church leadership responsibility is simple; we are to proclaim Christ's message and be His display case for others to see His Word and Work. This is also an incredible opportunity and privilege as countless others through the millennia would love to have this occasion that many of us squander or misuse or become apathetic about! We should be pleased to tell people about Christ and His message, and do so cheerfully as God cheerfully gave it to us. For the big secret is, Christ, the One, True, God, and Creator of the Universe, lives in us as believers. He is our assurance, hope, and reason for all we are and do. And we, as leaders or not, should be grateful to share in as we display His Glory. So let us learn and grow so we can be better at knowing Him and showing Him as we depend on Christ and His Mighty Work in us-empowering us! Contexts and Background: This passage is the display showing us that Christ's Lordship is universal and cosmic, crossing space, time, and thought. He is eternal-always was, and is, and will be! God comes to us as The Sovereign LORD and "pursues" us. He is the giver of unmerited redemption. He has come as an impact to the universe as His redemptive work impacts our hearts and minds. So, He is displayed by our lives as He is displayed in the universe. In context, this passage also tells us that since Christ is the Firstborn of all creation, He must also be so in our spiritual lives and in the leading a church. If Christ is not first in our lives, He won't be so in our boardrooms, and this puts us on shaky ground, bound to crumble! Paul's point is that Christ is Supreme and the head of the universe and the Church, including the one we lead. While many of these Colossians thought they had to placate and solve riddles from angels to receive the clue to the next step of spiritual enlightenment (early Gnosticism), here it is explained: Christ is above all and He is the all in all! In that day, false teaching replaced sound doctrine, just as it has today in some misguided churches whose teachings do nothing but distance and distract people from God, His precepts, and His call (Eph. 1:21-23; 4:15; 5:23). Commentary-Word and Phrase Meanings: " Rejoice in what was suffered/rejoice in my sufferings. Paul was in prison when he wrote this letter and realized that what he has gone through is of worth for the kingdom and Christ's glory (Acts 28:16-30). Christ's suffering for our sins is sufficient; thus, this passage, in context, shows us that Christ's work is sufficient. Whatever we go through, He is there. His presence and grace are sufficient and we can take joy in all circumstances (Rom. 13:11-14; 1 Cor. 7:29; 2 Cor. 4:7-12). There is also theological thought that this may apply to the end times sufferings and tribulations of our personal lives as well as what the Church has come through and will go through in the future (Matt. 24:21-22). " In my flesh. Meaning Christianity is personal. We can trust Jesus Christ as a convicted person trusts his or her lawyer to plead their case in court-except His appeals are perfect and we get off. " What is still lacking. What is missing is the full trust and hold we are to have for Christ. Also, that the Church is not adhering to His call to know Him and model Him. This does not mean something is missing from our redemption or His Work or is deficient in some way; rather it is a call to trust and take hold of Him to make it work for us in our daily lives. Does this mean we need to add to His salvation with our merit or our own sufferings, or as the Catholic Church taught, "The Messiah's Birth Pangs," meaning we vicariously partake in His sufferings? Or does it mean that the Church continues the role in some incarnational role of redemption? More accurately, we carry on His work of being His work, displaying and deploying His work, explaining His work, and bringing His work to others. We are not contributing to redemption; we are receiving and explaining it. We can't pay our own way or tuition, or plead our case before the Father. Only Christ can! When we are weak of faith or consumed by fears, doubts, and circumstances, we prove that we are not fully aware of the Total Sufficiency of Christ (Col. 1:14; 2:8-10; 14; 1 Thess. 3:2-4). " Christ's afflictions. Meaning experiencing persecution in Christ's name will benefit His Church and us. The enemies of our Lord are also ours, and our enemies are also His. The Gospel brings hatred for those who loathe truth and conviction. Christ is personal and we can rely on Him because of what He has proven though the creation and by His atoning work and shed blood. This also means when we go through hard times, we can rejoice because our Lord has gone through far worse for us. It should be a joy for us to go through for our Lord what He has done for us-ridicule, disloyalty, disrespect, betrayal, hatred, condescension, the daily toil of life, and physical suffering (John 15:18-24; 16:1-3; 2 Cor. 1:5; 4:8-15; 6:4-10; 11:23-28; 12:9-10; Gal. 6:17; Phil. 1:13, 29-30; Eph. 3:13; 2 Tim. 2:10; James 1:2). " Fill up. For us, Christ is Sufficient and Supreme. What more can we need? Thus, the call is to fill up with Him and not with the ways of the world (Rom. 3:21-26; 2 Cor. 5:17-21)! " Stewards. This was a manager, usually a freed slave or "freedmen," of a family estate or large household. Stewardship refers to managing what God has given, for He is the owner of all things, even those things that have our name on them. We are the managers of His creation and His Church; we are to feed and care for His sheep and teach His full council and Blood (1 Cor. 4:1-2; 9:17; 1 Tim. 3:16; 1 Pet. 4:10; Heb. 13:17). " Fulfill the Word of God. This means to be devoted to and obey God's precepts from His Scriptures. It also means we are called to bring God's Word not only into our lives and the Church, but also into the world-to be His instruments of peace and reconciliation, denoting faithfulness, as in to obey and to fulfill (Acts 20:27; 2 Tim. 4:7). " Mystery. The Greek word mysterion means "secret insights" or something that is yet to be revealed or initiated. For us, it is what was formerly hidden, such as the unity of Jew to Gentile to the Church, which is now fully revealed to us by God to understand and to proclaim. In Jewish thought, wisdom referred to the deeper things of God that only a pious, faithful, "spiritually enlightened" person could understand. However, for the Christian, the mystery is made known, thus the purpose of God is made known for us to make known. Yes, much is still unrevealed, not because it is hidden, but because we have not matured so we can understand it. As we grow, we understand much more; Christ is the Light and He gives us the enlightenment so that no secret understanding is available or needed. Some people say this verse teaches a rapture or secret rapture, and this is just nonsense, because all eyes will see Him (Psalm 42:7; Matt. 13:11; Rom. 11:25; 16:25; 1 Cor. 2:7-10; 4:1; 13:2; 14:2; 15:51; Eph. 1:9; 3:3-6, 9; 5:32; 6:19; Col. 1:9, 12, 26-27; 2:2, 18; 4:3; 2 Thess. 2:7; 1 Tim. 3:9, 16). " Hidden. God's redemptive plan was a mystery, hidden from most who did not dig into the Scriptures, and also from the Gentiles. Now God's plan is in full view; Gentiles and Jews are now united under God. Yet we can still hide God through our own misdirection, political power plays, and pride. God reveals Himself to us by the Work of the Spirit (Gen, 12:1-3; Ezek. 36:25-27; Zech. 9:9-10; John 3:5; Rom. 5:4-5; 8:14, 26-27; Gal. 4:6; 5:22-23; 1 Cor. 12:3; Eph. 3:5-6), but He will allow us to walk in our own ways away from Him by our own volition, our free will (Acts 14:16; Rom. 1:24-32; Eph. 2:12). Don't let this happen to you! " Make known/been revealed. In context, this means to make sure the Word gets out to the Gentiles too (Gen. 12:1-3; Isa. 66:19). " Among. Means that God is in the midst of and within His people, He is personal and knowable (Gen. 41:38; Num. 27:18; 35:34; Dan. 4:8, 18; 5:11, 14; Col. 2:12; 3:4, 16; 1 Pet. 1:11). " Christ in you. Meaning we as Christians have the indwelling of Christ in us now and we have a future glory too! The coming of the Messiah, which was prophesied, has now come and we can partake of Him. And, because of this, we posses astounding riches, opportunities, and blessings (Isa. 42:6; 45:21; 49:6; 52:10; 60:1-3; Psalm 22:27; 65:5; 98:2-3; John 14:23; Rom. 8:11; Gal. 2:20; Eph. 1:7, 13-18; 3:8-19; 1 Pet. 1:3-4). " Wisdom. Means accepting the knowledge of what Jesus has taught and then applying it. As human beings, we have the ability to think, comprehend, and ponder information, and then separate the good from the bad. God calls us to think and organize our thoughts not only to better understand His precepts, but also so we can live better and impact others. This is not about being a fat sheep that just consumes knowledge; rather, it is implementing the practice of our faith from that knowledge (Phil 1:6, 27; 2:12-13). " Present. In context, this refers to completing the task or call that we are given (2 Cor. 11:20; Phil. 3:10-13). A leader is to present Christ in His fullness, uncluttered, and in a clear voice of understanding to prepare God's people for life and eternity (Psalm 16:11; 107:09; Isa. 26:3; John 14:21; Gal. 5:16; 22-23; 1 John 1:7-9; 3 John 4). Solid biblical teaching is imperative! A church or pastor who do not teach are totally ineffective in God's sight, and totally missing the point of "Church" (Matt. 4:17; 28:18-20; Eph. 1:3'ë14; 2:8-9; 1 Cor. 1:18'ë2:16; 15:1'ë8). " Perfect. Meaning we are complete in Christ, with a call to build our faith and fruit further so our maturity in Him grows further. This does not add to our salvation; our understanding of Christ grows to be stronger and of better use to us and to those others around us (Rom. 8:29; 1 Cor. 11:1; Phil. 3:10-20; Col. 2:2; 1 John 2:6; 3:2). " Labor/Strive. This is a Greek athletic term meaning to compete in and then complete the competition faithfully. Paul uses this term to mean that divine empowerment is within us; we have the Spirit's enabling as we work out our faith and strive, even agonize for Christian living (Jer. 12:5; Matt. 28:20; Luke 11:13; John 14:17; Acts 1:8; 4:3; 10:45; 19:1-2; Rom. 8:1-11; 12:1-2; 1 Cor. 6:19-20; 15:10, 58; Gal. 5:13-26, Eph. 3:16-17; Heb. 13:5-6; Rev. 3:20)! Devotional Thoughts and Applications: Fear Not! Why? Because our dependence and life are in Christ! When Christ is living in us and working through us, we can have confidence in what lies ahead of us. Our place in eternity is not just a destination to take comfort in; in addition, it is our motivation to live the Christian life worthily, glorifying Christ. He is our living Hope (1 Pet. 1:3)! When He is our hope and motivation, all we do in life is affected and synergized by His love and fruit. How we think comes from what we believe, and that affects what we do. If Christ is our all in all, then all parts of our life become transformed and renewed (Rom. 12)! Subsequently, we will see our responsibility to care for His church properly and faithfully. His message will be pronounced and proclaimed through us with power, conviction, and in clarity and truth. People will be challenged and revival will break out. We have the privilege to know and proclaim what was once a secret, things that the Patriarchs and Prophets could only dream of. Now we can boldly tell others, both in lifestyle and in words, and with confidence. It is about His riches and His glory! For the ultimate secret, what is foolishness to those who are not in Him, is that the God of the universe is living in us, employing us, empowering us, and loving us. He is our assurance, so let us share this great joy and never let it be a secret! We are called to share His glory and Truth! Do this with warmth, kindness, and in truth. Give to others what we have been given! The Essential Inductive Questions (for more Inductive questions see Inductive Bible Study): 1. What does this passage say? 2. What does this passage mean? 3. What is God telling me? 4. How am I encouraged and strengthened? 5. Is there sin in my life for which confession and repentance is needed? 6. How can I be changed, so I can learn and grow? 7. What is in the way of these precepts affecting me? What is in the way of my listening to God? 8. How does this apply to me? What will I do about it? 9. What can I model and teach? 10. What does God want me to share with someone? Additional Questions: 1. What do you tend to do when Christians scheme or plot against you or take advantage of you? 2. How are you encouraged that Jesus "pursues" you to give you His undeserved salvation? 3. Why and how can you better deal with harsh treatment from others? How can you use this for God's glory? What is the balance between serving the Lord and taking the heat, between being exhausted versus being abused by the church you serve? 4. Why was Paul pleased to be abused and to suffer for Christ's sake? He, being in prison falsely and the recipient of great persecution, saw it as His service to our Lord! How does this encourage and equip you? 5. What does it take for most Christians to be totally dedicated to service and not be self-centered or given to pursuit of self-interests in ministry or in church? What about you? 6. What does it mean to you that Christ is in you? How is He is your assurance, hope, and reason? 7. How do you feel that God has given you responsibility? What do you think that responsibility is? What are you going to do about it? How can you take this more seriously? 8. If church leadership is so simple, why are so few actually proclaiming Christ's message truthfully or being a good display case for Him? 9. How is serving Christ with difficulty and/or cost to us also an incredible opportunity and privilege? How and why would people who say they serve Christ squander or misuse or become apathetic about serving Him? How can this be rationalized? 10. How pleased are you to tell people about Christ? How does His message come from you cheerfully? How can you be more willing and able to give it out? 11. What can you do to depend upon Christ and His Mighty Work more? How does it help that He is also empowering you? 12. What can your pastor or church leadership do to help people be more dedicated to serve for Christ's sake and not for self-centered pursuits? © 1987, 2004, 2008, R. J. Krejcir Ph.D. Into Thy Word Statistics : Posted by richardk • on Tue Apr 09, 2013 6:44 pm • Replies 0 • Views 239
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IntoThyWord Online Studies | Colossians 1:19-23
Sat, 09 Mar 2013 14:09:50 -0400
Christ the Reconciler! God was pleased to have His Fullness live and dwell in Christ, and by this, all things were reconciled to the Father. Thus, His Blood shed on the cross made peace for everything in heaven and earth. So, anyone who was far away from God now has the opportunity to know God. All of us were His enemies and now He can call us His friends. All of humanity were strangers and separated by sin from God the Father, but now through Christ's sacrifice, this torn relationship is mended and we have newness of life in God. Our evil thoughts and actions separated us but now we are reconciled. Christ's death on the cross was the incredible act that made all this possible-our salvation, our place in eternity, and our contentment here and now-all because of what Christ did as a result of His shed blood. He has brought us into the presence of God; we who had no right or ability to come before Him can now approach God! We are even holy and blameless because of Christ, so God now sees us clean and pure and without fault. But, for this to happen, we have to receive His work; we have to believe Who Christ is and what He did for us; we must stand firmly in Him and never drift away from His Good News. Now we, as His servants, can preach this Good News and Hope, heralding to all, just as Paul did. Contexts and Background: This church in Colosse was in a prime earthquake zone, and whenever the earth shook, buildings fell and people died. Instead of making stronger buildings, they worshipped and sought to placate the gods, which resulted in haplessness and then hopelessness, and finally the destruction of the city a few decades after this letter was written. Thus, Paul points out, using a hymn, that if they are not clinging to Christ, but rather are seeking to dilute His Presence by substituting strange teachings of others and things, they are, in a sense, making more weak buildings that will just fall. Commentary-Word and Phrase Meanings: " Pleased. This is our chief purpose, means, and mission of life-to be a friend of God; when we do this we please Him. We give Him our honor, love, and service, which we do to glorify Him. We worship and praise Him by loving and behaving, and putting Him first just as Jesus demonstrated by His obedience. When we are merely self-focused or ungrateful, we nullify our impact and do the opposite of pleasing God. In context, when we trust and obey Him, and make Christ our primary and foremost outlook in our lives as He is in the universe, we are pleasing Him. Our hearts filled with gratitude and a life that overflows with His fruit are the quintessence of a pleasing sacrifice (Deut. 10:17-19; 2 Chron. 20:7; Psalm 69:30-31; Matt. 5:16; Luke 12:4; John 8:29; 15:14; Rom. 15:1-3; 1 Cor. 10:31; Eph. 3:10; Phil. 2:12-13; 4:18; Col. 1:10; 3:17-20; 1 Thess. 2:4; 2 Tim. 2:4; Heb. 11:5-6; 13:16, 21). " Fullness. Normally refers to God's wisdom, attributes, and glory, giving us completeness-His presence amongst us and in us. Paul used it to describe God's indwelling to refute the Gnostics. As Christ is all, He is full and the ultimate Wisdom and Truth. This means God fully dwelt in Christ, and for us this means we are filled with Christ and ruled by Christ. For a Christian, fullness is placing Christ and His work first in us, so we are pursuing righteousness and all that is good as a way to glorify Christ as Lord. Fullness equals personally knowing for certain who we are in Christ, and what He did for us on the Cross-so that our confidence comes from knowing we are complete in Him! As a result, we become more disciplined in His encompassing power and His influence that has transformed us and is now manifested in us. I can trust in my Lord to lead me, fill me, and use me (Psalm 40:17; Joel 2:26; Matt. 5: 6; 6:33-34; John 1:16; 3:5; 4:13-14; 6:35; Gal. 2:20-21; 4:4; 5:15-21; Eph. 3:19; 5:15-21; Col. 1:1-23; 2:9-10; 2 Tim. 1:12; James 1:22-25; 1 John 4:19). " Dwell. A Greek term meaning where a god chooses to go or a place to live. Jesus being fully God, there is only One God and the Father's interpersonal relationship with the Trinity. Here it also refers to dwelling, as God dwells in the Temple and in us. The Tabernacle, God's dwelling place prior to the Temple being built, was about God dwelling amongst man, being with them. This was to show the Promise Land was not just about the possession of the land; rather, it was about God possessing our hearts and minds (2 Chron. 7:1-18). The Temple was man's idea so to place God in a permanent location-a God of limitless boundaries. On the contrary, we can't posses God, It is He who desires to posses us. It is about being humble so we are dependent upon Him and His dwelling amongst us, as we are full in Him (Eph. 2:16; 1 Tim. 2:5; Heb. 1:8)! " Reconciles. Means that God has paid our penalties so the severed relationship between humanity and God is repaired and restored. This is the basic Gospel message that we are all sinners and have no worth, merit, or ability to receive salvation. So, in God's mercy, He sent us His Son, whose sacrifice paid our debt of sin. We were once enemies, but by being reconciled, we are brought back to a perfect relationship. This also refers to order and not just salvation, as all powers and authorities are subordinate to God. God reconciles all things and is supreme over all things (Gen. 3; Rom. 3:21-26; 5:10-12; 8:18-21, 37-39; 2 Cor. 5:17-21; Eph. 2:2; 6:12; Col. 2:9-15; 2 Pet. 3:10; 1 John 2:1; Rev. 21:1). " All things. Means that Christ's work shook the entire universe and affected all things as He restored harmony both on earth and in eternity. This does not mean that Christ gives universal salvation and that we do not have to receive Christ to be saved, nor does it mean His death will save all people. What it means is, Christ's sacrifice is powerful enough to save all, but it is our responsibility to receive this work as stated later in this passage. All will not believe, but one day all will submit (Rom. 8:19-22; 14:11; Phil 2:9-11). " Peace. This refers to the end of war or hostilities, as there is now peace between God and we who are in Christ because of what Christ did for us on the cross. However, the wars and sufferings of humanity will continue because of our sinful nature; our peace is with God, and our call is to be at peace with one another; yet, the main theme is the Kingdom of God, not the nations of man. " Blood, shed on the cross. Meaning the totality of Christ's sacrifice and atoning work and its saving power. Jesus' death became the ultimate, sufficient, atoning sacrifice worthy to appease God's wrath. His blood became the means for our reconciliation and our atonement that covers our sin so we become holy in God's sight and thus can have a personal, effectual relationship with Him (Rom. 3:23-25; 5:6-10; 7:4; 8:3; 1 Cor. 1:18; 2 Cor. 5:18-21; Gal. 6:12-14; Eph. 1:7; 2:2-16; Heb. 9:14; 10:10; 1 Pet. 1:19). " Alienated. Refers to our separation from God by our original sin and our willful, continual rebellion; our thinking and actions are cause enough to separate us, in addition to original sin. We conspired against God; Christ united us to Him. All of humanity has fallen into sin and total separation from God. Our further corruption compiled to seal our fate! We were enemies to God and eternally separated from Him! The incredible, fantastic, great news of the universe is Christ; His incarnation, Lordship, and grace atoned for our sins. He freed us. We now have peace with God and deliverance from our sins, which restores our hope, acceptance, and our salvation (Gen. 3; Matt. 5:27-28; Rom. 3:21-26; 5:1-2; 12; 8:20; 2 Cor. 5:17-21; Gal. 5:19; Eph. 2:2, 12-13; 4:17-19; 6:12). " Christ's physical body through death. Christ pacified God's righteous hostility toward humanity. He became the sacrificial Lamb that brings together God and us (John 3:16-20; 15:18-25; Heb. 9:22). " Without blemish/blameless/holy/irreprovable. Meaning we will not be called to account for the sins He has covered. It is by what Christ has done that God does not see or is unaffected by our sin; we are declared clean. No charge can be brought upon us because of His forgiveness. He brings not only our salvation but also personal renewal (Rom. 5:6-12; 8:33; 2 Cor. 11:2; Phil. 2:15; 3:8-9; Eph. 1:4; 2:4-10; 5:25; Col. 2:13; 1 Tim. 3:10; Jude 24). " If you. The part most Christians do not like is that we have a condition attached to this. It has to be given (election) and then received (by faith alone) and confessed by us (1 John 4:2). " Continue in your faith. Meaning a call to persevere. The implication here is that we have the responsibility to act on Christ's work; once God elects us and the Gospel message is proclaimed, we receive this by faith alone. Therefore, our response to His work further fuels our faith and our disposition and character. This is also a call that we can persevere in Christ; nothing can move us from Him when we are in Him. If we have real effectual faith, that faith will stimulate, endure, and carry us through all things. Our faith anchors us to God, sets us upon Him as Lord, and takes our eyes off our circumstances so we see hope and joy. Thus, this real kind of faith is in Christ alone; the world may mimic it, but this is only an imitation to facilitate emptiness and despair. Is your faith real? The answer will signify your hope and confidence in Christ! This is the faith that produces more faith, devotion, obedience, and glory to our Lord (Mark 16:15; Acts 11:23; 14:22; Rom. 8; 1 Cor. 3:11; 7:37; 15:58; 2 Cor. 5:17-21; Phil. 1:6; 2:11-13)! " Not moved/grounded/firmly established from the hope. We have confident expectation in Christ! Our faith is absolutely, confidently established and rests on Christ alone; but it is also predicated by hope. That means hope does not save us; rather, it is an anchor to help us focus on Christ, helping us endure by faith what the world throws at us. Our hope is not determined by our situation or feelings; it is a fact by what Christ has done. For the Colossians, this meant their hope was built on Christ and not superstitions, family, or worldly pressures (1 Cor. 7:7:37; 15:58). " Proclaimed/was preached to. Meaning the Gospel has no bounds or borders. Paul directly combats the false teachers in the church. The Gospel is simple; it is not about secret or esoteric ideas of God as the Colosse church proclaimed as they mixed in pagan philosophies and Gnosticism. This is also a window in the future hope fact that Christ will be proclaimed to every creature (Gen. 41:57; 1 Kings 10:24; Matt. 24:14; Mark 13:10; Acts 1:8; 13:47; 19:10; Rom. 1:8; 15:18-25; Col. 1:6). " All creation. Creation proclaims the work of Christ. Paul is appealing to the witness of creation and the Jewish Scriptures to prove his point and demonstrate his obedience to it (Psalm 8:1; 19:1; 89:37; 97:6; Isa. 51:16; Mark 13:10; Acts 19:10; Rom. 10:18; 15:18-25). The point is that the Gospel is not hidden and is for all peoples (Rom. 1:8, 13; Matt. 24:14). Devotional Thoughts and Applications: Christ is supreme! That means He is also the Head of the Church! We tend to run our churches as if we are in control, making our decisions based on gathering needs then developing programs to fill those needs. Yet, as good as this may sound, the main thing in church leadership is usually left out. Where is Christ? Where are His purpose and direction? We close the door to our Lord! Even though He is the head, we leave Him outside of our preparations and purposes. What does this mean? We are off base on the function He has for us and miss the call for His Church and ourselves. What we must do is line ourselves up to Him and His Lordship. Not our ideas, trivialities, and agendas; rather seek Him as Lord over all-our lives and our churches! When we think of the church, we tend to think of it as buildings and programs; but the real, true Church is the people all interconnected to one another while being intercepted in and with Christ as LORD. When we get this, that Christ is eminent and He reconciles us to Him, we will start to see how important our commitment to honor Christ and His precepts are. We were enemies to God; dammed for eternity with no hope or plan. Now with Christ, we have salvation, assurance, and an eternity of hope. Then perhaps we can start to really build and rebuild our churches back to a godly direction of making disciples. It is about His fullness in us! It is to be our passion and directive to lead Christians to grow in Him and into His way, and away from false perceptions. All Christians, especially Christian leaders, need the desire to see a church committed to His purpose and poured out to His ways. When we proclaim Christ as Lord, then we will see revival through real prayer and devotion to His Lordship. We must allow His work in us, live in His presence, be a doer of the Word, stand firm in our faith and teachings, and never drift away from His "true Truth" and precepts or His love. The Essential Inductive Questions (for more Inductive questions see Inductive Bible Study): 1. What does this passage say? 2. What does this passage mean? 3. What is God telling me? 4. How am I encouraged and strengthened? 5. Is there sin in my life for which confession and repentance is needed? 6. How can I be changed, so I can learn and grow? 7. What is in the way of these precepts affecting me? What is in the way of my listening to God? 8. How does this apply to me? What will I do about it? 9. What can I model and teach? 10. What does God want me to share with someone? Additional Questions: 1. Have you ever been in an earthquake or another natural disaster? How did you feel? How does Christ settle such fears? 2. What does "fullness" mean and how does it apply to you? How do you feel that you were once His enemy but now Christ can call you His friend? How do you have newness of life in God? 3. How do you feel that anyone who is far away from God now has the opportunity to know God? What if someone you hated became a Christian? How would you/should you respond? 4. What do we have to do for this work of grace to happen? If grace is free to we who do not deserve it, why do we have to do something to receive His work? 5. What took place in your life for you to believe Who and what Christ did for you? Why do most Christians not like the fact that we have a "condition" attached to His grace? 6. How is Christ your all in all and above it all, above your fears, hurts, expectations, and circumstances? How can He be more so? 7. What happens when we do not place Christ first in our lives and in our church boardrooms? How does this create shaky ground that will crush our spiritual lives and church? 8. What does it mean to put Christ first just as Jesus Himself demonstrated by His obedience? How is it that if you are self-focused or ungrateful, you nullify your impact and do the opposite of pleasing God? 9. How can your faith stimulate, endure, and carry you through all things in life? How can you better anchor yourself to God and take your eyes off your circumstances so you can see more hope and joy? 10. How is hope an anchor to help you focus on Christ, and thus help you endure what the world throws at you? How can it better? 11. What happens when the Supremacy of Christ is absent, lost, or forgotten in our churches? How does this cause Him to be pushed aside for false teachings and misrepresentation of God? 12. How can you better stand firm in Him and never drift away from His Good News? What have you done to preach this Good News and Hope? What can you do? You do not have to be a preacher or evangelist, but what can you do to make Christ known more and be His servant and herald? © 1997, 2004, 2008, R. J. Krejcir Ph.D. Into Thy Word Ministries Statistics : Posted by richardk • on Sat Mar 09, 2013 3:09 pm • Replies 0 • Views 486
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IntoThyWord Online Studies | Colossians 1:15-18
Sun, 03 Mar 2013 14:17:24 -0400
Jesus Christ is Supreme! Jesus Christ is the visible representation of the invisible Most Holy God eternal. Jesus is eternal too. He has always existed; with no beginning or end, He is Supreme! God created the entire universe-all matter, substance, and form, all time, thought, and essence, all by and through Christ. Christ is supreme. He is the absolute highest and most precious transcendent Being through it all, and through us too. Consider that Christ made all things and enables us to trust and have faith in Him. He made literally everything in and within the universe, beyond dimensions and time-Including what we see and do not see. What we think is not important as well as what we think is. Such as, thinking angels and principalities as well as heads of states, movers and shakers are important, when in the grand scheme of things, not so much. Those who hold the power as in kings and kingdoms rulers and authority are not the significant factors of life and living and eternity, as Christ is The Ultimate King and Authority is above it all! Everything has been created by Him and for Him; Jesus Christ has always existed and holds all things together-every particle of matter-our soul and being. Christ is the head of all things, including the Church. The Church is His body; therefore He must be placed first and foremost in all church dealings, plans, and preparations. He is to be worshiped and He is the primary purpose for anything upon which a church is to focus and do! Contexts and Background: Paul is using philosophical language of the "logos" (eternal reason), where the Greeks believed that the god Zeus held the universe together and Atlas held it up. The wording Paul uses means divine reason that transcends the universe and makes the point that Jesus Christ is not only fully Divine, He is The One Creator, Lord, and God. He is the archetypal image of God and goodness. The Colossians did not understand who Christ was or have an adequate view of His Lordship. Some considered Christ not fully divine. This passage could have been an early Christian hymn that Paul quoted or perhaps even wrote. It points to the grandeur and glory of our Lord and that He is all-powerful and supreme above all things! The Church is strong when it is in Christ and He is placed first; He is primary. Commentary-Word and Phrase Meanings: " Image of the invisible God. This is the argument that Christ is fully God and Lord; His deity is assured. We are not able to see God since He transcends space and time. However, Christ being fully God gives us a tangible look into an intangible God. Thus, our view and concept of God rests on who Jesus is and has done. This also means we are not to look to anything but Christ for Who and What God is. No theological construct can be formed of God without Christ, as in no philosophical theory, because it will be false and mislead others (John 1:1-18; 8:58; 10:30-33; Rom. 9:5; Phil. 2:6; 6:16; Titus 2:13; Heb. 1:3, Image. " Invisible. This refers to the "non-corporeal" beings such as Angels whom we cannot normally see with our eyes without some supernatural unveiling. God cannot be seen, but Christ was, and thus God was seen then; now, we commune in God (2 Cor. 4:4; Eph. 1:19-23; 1 Tim. 1:17; 6:16). " Firstborn of all/over all creation. Means the chief and boss or one who is preeminent, and in context, Christ the Creator and Redeemer is in charge. This does not mean that Christ was created or was the first creation; rather, it is a Jewish term meaning the highest honor, first in rank and authority and importance. This refers to Christ's preeminence, His position of authority. For the Jew, the first-born son was the "chief." He had the authority of the family and received all or most of the inheritance. As to a nation, this applied to Israel. As to a Christian, it now also applies to us, our inheritance in Him by His authority to create and redeem. In Hellenistic culture referring to deities, first also meant superior (Gen. 49:3-4; Ex. 4:22; Deut. 21:17; 1 Chron. 5:12; Psalm 89:27; Jer. 31:9; John 1:1-3, 14-18; 3:16-18; Col. 1:14; 1 John 4:9; Rev. 1:5). " For by him. The goal of creation is to glorify Christ, who is both the agent of the formation of the universe and the creation of humanity, and its main goal is to know and make known Christ (Gen. 1). " All things. In context, this is an expression of love-the love of God the Father expressed to God the Son. " Were created. Meaning the creator cannot be created; only an eternal God can manipulate matter in such a way that substance can come from nothing. This is a clear presentation that Jesus Christ is not just a god but The One True God, whose preeminence predates time and history because He is the agent of creation. There is only One God: Jesus Christ is God. Other passages testify to the Trinitarian nature of God as in One God and three personalities, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Rev. 5:1-7, 13). " Thrones or powers/dominions/principalities. Refers to created beings that are different from humans such as angels, demons, and others we do not know about. Even though these seem ominous, they are created and are under the authority of Christ. The people in this early church thought that Jesus was just one of these or some hybrid like Heracles who was half god and half man. Jesus is fully God and fully Man (Rom. 2:15; Rom. 8:38; Eph. 1:21; 3:10; 6:12; 1 Pet. 3:22; Jude 6). " Rulers or authorities. May refer to human might, and/or powerful, political figures and people of wealth and power. Even though we may admire, envy, or fear them, they too are mere people, and Jesus is Lord and thus Superior! " Before all things. This is a Greek philosophical term meaning "logos," or the divine reason of the invisible substance that holds the universe together. This is further expounded by John (John 1:1-14). Christ was not created or evolved; rather, He is eternal, having always existed with no beginning and no end. He is the daily and eternal sustainer of the universe. An early heresy of the Church was the belief that Jesus was a created being, a misunderstanding of the words "son" and "firstborn," taught by Arius 250-336 AD and many cult groups today, like the Jehovah Witnesses (Mic. 5:2; John 1:1-14; 8:581 John 1:1; Rev. 22:13). " All things hold together/consist. Christ is the One for whom we exist and have meaning; He also gives us substance and community. The case of the significance and superiority of Christ continues. He not only made the universe, He sustains it by holding it all together. He is also displayed throughout the universe (Psalm. 2:7; 33:6; 102: 25-27; Prov. 8:30; John 1:3; Rom. 1:18-20; 11:33-36; Heb. 1:1-4; 11:3; 12:26-28; 2 Pet. 3:4-7). " Head. Meaning in physiology the head is in charge of and controls the body. Thus, Jesus is the One who births, gives life, directs, and gives information and direction to the universe and to the Church too. Thus, we must adhere to Him in this. This is Paul's point for this passage. Christ is the Head of the universe, and for all of humanity and the Church (Rom. 12:3-5; Col. 2:19). " Of the Church/body. In context, this means that all things originate from God, and are sustained and controlled by Him, as He is in His Church. It is not about what we think it is or should be; it is what it is. He is Head over "our" church, not the pastors or leaders or trends or ideas, whether they are good or bad. We are tools and means; He is the Means and Reason. When this gets lost or forgotten, He is pushed aside and false teachings and misrepresenting of God continues. The Colossians thought they had to placate and solve riddles from angels to receive the clue to the next step of spiritual enlightenment; here, it is explained: Christ is all in all (1 Cor. 12:4-27; Eph. 1:4, 21-23; 4:15; 5:23)! " The beginning. This refers to the authority, "the source" of it all. Here, Jesus is the "agent" and the "goal" of God, and He is the most respected authority in both the universe and in the Church. This means that from God, all things originate and are sustained and He has full rights to all things. This, in Judaism, was a name for God, that He is the Creator Almighty who has wisdom beyond man's wisdom. Here, it is referring to Jesus as God and His role in the resurrection, which initiates the Kingdom of God and His new creation. He is first in creation and first to rise from the dead in this new life that He gives us (John 5:28-29; 2 Cor. 5:17-20; Eph. 1:4; Col. 3:10) " Firstborn from the dead. Meaning Christ is Sovereign, the highest in all creation, and the greatest of all who are raised from the dead. Referring that Jesus gives us life and blood and then a new life in Him that we can enjoy now and for eternity. This also continues the key word, beginning; it may also mean the end of the age of Law and the beginning of the age of grace. It can also mean the inaugurating of a future event such as the "second coming." More likely, this means that Christ's resurrection marked the inauguration of the covenant of grace (Acts 2:29-36; 13:32-35; Rom. 8:29; 1 Cor. 15:20-28; 2 Cor. 5:17 Col. 3:10; Phil. 2:8-11; Heb. 1:6; 12:23; Rev. 1:17-18). This also shows that the greatest miracle. People who were raised from the dead (2 Kings 4:35; Luke 7:15; John 11:44; Acts 9:36-41; 20:7-11) would one day just die again. " Preeminence/Supremacy. Jesus Christ is LORD! This is the theme verse of the Book of Colossians. Here, Christ has the highest standing as Creator, Sustainer, and Head. He reconciles us, gives us our hope, is the Source of all we are and have, and He is our wisdom, our redemption, our empowerment, and our life. His glory radiates throughout the universe and must also radiate in and through us too, personally and collectively as a Church pointing to Him (Acts 13:33-34; Rom. 1:4; Eph. 1:20-23; Phil. 2:1-11; Heb. 1:4-5)! Devotional Thoughts and Applications: The chief characteristic of who we are in Christ is the fact that He is the living, Supreme God who has existed for all time, who transcends space, time, and thought, who intimately knows us and loves us. Christ is Lord; Christ is Supreme! Christ is the tangible aspect of God who is beyond sight and comprehension. Consider that He is the God who created the universe, who made all things, who has this impacted you? He made all that we see, and all that we do not see, how has this come with you to the daily grind of your life? He is God who created the molecules of substance that formed the ground on which we stand and the wood upon which He was crucified. In all of life, all of what we will face and know, He has gone before us, and He still goes with us. This world was created by Christ and for Christ; He is indeed supreme. Thus, we need to learn how to live our lives in Him for His glory. Life is not about our ideas or expectations; it is about Him as LORD! When we gain this mindset, we begin our journey of growing in faith, maturity, character, and being more content in life and of better use to Christ and others around us. This is realized when we see the Hope we have in Him; when we allow that hope to be a foundation, He will carry is through all things! The point of this passage is that Jesus is Lord, Almighty God. This is fact and nothing we can think or do can change that. Thus, if Christ is the Head of the universe, is He Head over you? Since Jesus Christ is the Creator and foundation of all things, since He is the purpose and reason of the Universe, since He is the highest and most respected authority-is He so in your church? He is! But is He reverenced, respected, worshiped, and honored as such? Is the purpose of your personal agenda in your church dealings and management to seek to know and glorify Christ? Or, is the purpose of your church to placate personalities, the rulers, movers and shakers, the political agendas and trends? He is the Head; so do you know, teach, and worship Him in this way and lead and manage your personal lives and church this way? If not, you are leaving Christ outside the church door! The Essential Inductive Questions (for more Inductive questions see Inductive Bible Study): 1. What does this passage say? 2. What does this passage mean? 3. What is God telling me? 4. How am I encouraged and strengthened? 5. Is there sin in my life for which confession and repentance is needed? 6. How can I be changed, so I can learn and grow? 7. What is in the way of these precepts affecting me? What is in the way of my listening to God? 8. How does this apply to me? What will I do about it? 9. What can I model and teach? 10. What does God want me to share with someone? Additional Questions: 1. Who holds the power (as in authority) in your town or state? Why is this important? Should such people be honored? If so, how is Christ reverenced then? 2. Why do many people fuss and envy over heads of states? What about the movers and shakers in your church? 3. Why is it important that we know that Jesus Christ has always existed? How is Christ displayed as the head of your church? 4. Why is it important that we realize that Christ is supreme, sufficient, and enough? How can this information stimulate your faith, help you put Christ first, and move you on to spiritual maturity? 5. What does it mean to you that you have a Savior in whom you can have faith and trust? What does this passage tell you about our Lord? 6. How is the Church strong when it is in Christ? Why is it then that so many leaders forget or on purpose do not place Him first? How have you seen this happen? What are the main thinking and trends in your church, and how do they line up to the fact that Christ must be primary? How can they be improved or reformed? 7. How do you feel that Christ the Creator and Redeemer is in charge of you and your church? What does this mean to you? 8. How and why have there been misunderstandings of the words "son" and "firstborn?" Why would people want to argue that Christ is not fully God? 9. Why is our local church not about what we think it is or should be? Why would some church leaders behave and think that their church is theirs and that they can and should do as they please? How does this hurt our Lord? 10. How do you display Christ in your personal life? In your church? How should you? What are you going to do about it? 11. Reflect on that Christ made all things. What does this do for your trust and faith in Him? What about how you lead and manage your church? Is He the head there? How so? In what area is He kept on the outside? What are you going to do about it? 12. What can you do to better focus on Christ? How will this help you know Him better? How would this then help you in all the other things and stuff in life? © 1987, 2004, 2008, R. J. Krejcir Ph.D. Into Thy Word Ministries Statistics : Posted by richardk • on Sun Mar 03, 2013 3:17 pm • Replies 0 • Views 396
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IntoThyWord Online Studies | Colossians 1:9-14
Sun, 03 Mar 2013 13:59:22 -0400
Qualified in Christ! Prayer is the divine telephone of communication. It lines us up to Christ, and helps us to be sensitive to His Spirit and to the needs of others. God gives us a complete understanding, in His own time, what He wants us to do with our lives. The key is that we have to ask Him for this wisdom and insight so we will know what our meaning and purpose are according to what He wants us to do with our lives. The focus we are to seek is our spiritual formation and our growth in Him. Doing this will bring the wisdom to know the opportunities and the abilities needed to meet His call. When we focus on Christ, we will know Him better and then all the other things and stuff in life will start to line up better, then we can be better at honoring Him as Lord! Goodness and kindness come from a heart that is transformed and poured out to Him. It does not flow from one's willingness to just do it; we have to be a person in Christ to do the work He has called us to do. We have to remember: He gives us the strength and power to be in Him and to allow His love and Fruit to flow from us. In Him we can do all things; out of Him we can do nothing. With His power and purpose in us we have the endurance, hope, and patience to overcome all that life throws at us-even stress and sufferings! Our identity and joy are in Christ alone! Let us be real, authentic Christians who are thankful for who He is and what He has done for us-His rescue of us from sin and darkness, His Kingdom, His freedom, His forgiveness of our sins, and His purchase of our very being by His shed blood. Christ is our inheritance, hope, and over our very lives here on earth and in the eternity to come. We are His and are in Him. So let us live for the Light-live out our lives as worthy. Contexts and Background: These early Christians needed to understand that knowing God was not a one-time event; it is a continual relationship, where we constantly rely on Him. He is the Hope we have; He gives us grace and peace. Our place and security is in Heaven to come and our joy can then be declared and lived out. Paul affirms that yes, Christ is sufficient for faith and salvation; nothing else is or could be. Yes, we do have hope beyond hope. If our place is secured in eternity-and it is; if we have a Savior in Whom we can have faith and trust-and we do, then we can lead a life of endurance no matter what is thrown at us. These are things we cannot accomplish by our own means; we need Jesus. He needs to be placed first! Thus, Paul urges them and us to put Christ first, and to move on to spiritual maturity. From this perspective, we know His Truth so we can still be triumphant in Him in the time we have here on earth. Commentary-Word and Phrase Meanings: " We have heard about you. A mark of a great leader is compassion for those under his care and the ability to connect and affirm, as well as correct. If you do not correct and just affirm, you lead others astray. If you just correct and do not encourage, you discourage and dishearten people (Acts 19:10; Col. 4:12). " Stopped/cease to pray. This means the moral sense to always be pursuing God. Paul is directing them to the Old Testament and challenging the current philosophy that seeks any wisdom and knowledge. In Christ, we are to seek His wisdom and knowledge though prayer and the Word (Ex. 28:30; 1 Sam. 12:23; Psalm 119; Prov. 1:2-7). " Knowledge of his will/will of God. Here, the will of God is about learning about Him, following His decrees, and building fruit and character. After that, one can make good decisions and weed out false teachers. Seeking to place Jesus first and foremost so to follow only Him, and thus love, trust, and obey Christ is a mindset and lifestyle (Matt. 6:33; Col. 3:16; Eph. 5:17; 1 Thess. 4:3; 5:18; 1 Tim. 2:4; 1 Pet. 2:13-15; 4:19). " Spiritual wisdom. Meaning the thinking and application of what Jesus has taught (Phil 1:6, 27; 2:12-13). " Live a life worthy/walk worthy of the Lord. This means live in the manner of what we know and believe-and do it consistently. We do this when we are pursuing God and His righteousness, and believing His precepts, so He is more and we are less in our will. This is our "walk with God," meaning living out the daily Christian life thinking as He has called, behaving as we believe, and thus doing in response to His Work in and for us. It is also being empowered by the Holy Spirit. It is never the walk in our own will and strength; such a thing is pride and disobedience to our loving Lord (Lev. 26:3; Ezek. 36:27; Mark 10:29-31; John 3:30; Gal. 2:20-21; 5:16; Eph. 4:1; 5:1; Phil. 3:10-14). " Worthy. Meaning behave as the One you represent, as the name Christian means to be like Christ in His character. Refers to being an "appropriate" or acceptable offering so we "deserve" our reward-but we do not earn it. " Fully Pleasing Him. This means to be a friend of God with gratitude; seeking Him first is to glorify Him. (Deut. 10:17-19; 2 Chron. 20:7; Psalm 69:30-31; Matt. 5:16; 6:33; mark 12:29-30; 1 Thess. 2:4). " Bringing forth fruit. Meaning that fruit from a tree is the byproduct of a healthy, well-watered, and cared for tree. It is the same with a growing Christian: Christ's characteristics from the Holy Spirit are flowing in, and through, and then out of us, thus our fruit is an offshoot of the care we make in paying particularly close attention to His Word so we can grow more righteousness. Our growth and development in Christ is paramount and this results from our mindset and attitude in our relationships. This is the central feature of our faith development that results from saving faith. In the Old Testament, Israel is the vine that bears fruit for God. Now, the Church is to bear this fruit to promote the Gospel. In John, Jesus switches that metaphor as God will produce the fruit through the believer. We are the "vine" He is the "root" and trunk (Gen. 1:28; Hos. 10:1; 14:7-8; Matt. 13:3-8, 31-32; Luke 8:11; John 14-15; Rom. 1:13; 15:30; 1 Cor. 16:15; Gal. 5; Phil. 1:11, 22; 4:7, 17; Col. 1:6; Heb. 12:11; 13:15). " Growing/increasing in the knowledge of God. Referring to our spiritual formation as allowing Christ to dwell in our minds and hearts so He goes to our hands and feet. This is our maturity, character, demeanor, and conduct-the essence of who we are is a display of Christ, even without opening our mouths. We are His exhibit-an example of His work. This cannot occur unless we work at it-take what He gives and build upon it, so we can grow deeper in Him (Psalm 119; John 14:23; Rom. 8:5-9; 1 Cor. 12-13; 1 Pet. 2:2; 2 Pet. 3:18; 1 John 2:3-5, 13-14). " Being strengthened. We are anchored in our faith and hope in Christ! This means discipline, solid doctrine, correct thinking, and not being drawn to false teaching or faulty trends. God's plans and faithfulness transcend what we know and see (Matt. 24:14; 28:19-20; Mark 16:15; Rom. 1:8, 14-16; 2 Cor. 10:5; Phil. 1:6-9; Col. 1:4-5; 1 Thess. 1:8; 2 Thess. 1:3)! " Endurance and patience/longsuffering. Meaning our attitude and mindset when we face trials, setbacks and hurts, and handling difficult people, so we can take tricky and complicated circumstances and learn and grow from them rather than fume and rant and rave, none of which do anything to help us. This is the outcome of being strengthened in the Word and growing in the Spirit by our prayer life, devotions, learning, and fellowship and then putting this into practice as we walk through life. The result is a deeper love and an ability to endure what life throws at us (2 Cor. 4:16; Eph. 3:16-20. " Qualified us. Meaning we are made sufficient for the task because He empowers us. Paul boldly states that we are accepted by Christ alone; no entity in the universe has better qualifications than our Lord Jesus Christ (John 14:6; Rom. 3:23; Gal. 2:21; Eph. 1:1-11; 2:8; Col. 2:16, 18, 20-23)! The Colosse church was teaching that other supernatural beings were bringing/channeling wisdom that had power over them, and that in order for anyone to grow in faith, this wisdom needed to be caught. Also they were teaching that these beings could also hinder a person from seeking truth-contradiction; thus, believing in, even seeking pagan gods shows our lack of faith in the One True God. " Inheritance. The portion and rewards received for obedience and faith refers to the Promise Land for the Jews; but more appropriately, for the Christian, it is having God as our God, having Him live in us, our possession of the world to come. We become "joint heirs" (Num. 26:52; 33:51-54; Josh. 14: 1-2; Acts 3:25; Rom. 8:17; Gal. 3:29; Titus 3:7; Heb. 6:17; 11:9; 1 Pet. 3:7) of His promises. He is the Light that shines on our lives, on our path. The world is the darkness we avoid-the evil, while we bear the Light by our deeds (Psalm 27:1; Isa. 9:2; 42:6; 49:6; 58:8-10; 60:1). " The saints. Meaning to be set apart or consecrated to serve the Lord; these are the inheritors of God's provision and blessing, the ones who know and love Him and desire to make Him known. " Kingdom. Referring to a community of people under the rule of a king. For us, it is the everlasting reign and Lordship of Christ where we have a personal and eternal relationship with Him (Matt. 3:2; 2 Pet. 1:11). " Light. Meaning God's Divine Truth, Love, and Holiness. A contrast between light-meaning goodness and God-honoring-and the conflict with darkness and evil, as those who are wicked, and who fight against God. This is a synonym of God's Kingdom; the ones of the light participate in the Kingdom and Heaven (Psalm 27:1; 36:9; 105, 119: 130; Isa. 9:2; 42:6; 49:6; 58:8-10; 59:9; 60:1-3; Matt. 5:14; 6:23; John 8:12; ; Acts 26:18; 2 Cor. 4:6; Eph. 5:8-14; 1 John 1:5; 1 Tim. 6:16; James 1:17; 1 John 2:9-10; Rev. 21:23; 22:5). " Rescued/delivered us. God liberates us from the slavery of sin to freedom in Christ. This denotes rescuing a slave from captivity, as we were slaves to sin and darkness, but now we have freedom in Christ (Luke 22:53; Acts 26:18; Gal. 1:4; Eph. 2:1-3; 6:11; 1 John 2:9-11). " Dominion/power of darkness refers to sin and the ways of the world that are meaningless and hopeless. Christ is the Perfection; He has the power and authority to be the Light and shatter the darkness on our behalf (2 Cor. 3:15; 4:4-6; 6:14; Eph. 5:8-14; Phil. 2:15; 1 Thess. 5:5). " Son of He loves/His love means God's beloved Son from the Gospels (Matt. 3:17; 12:18; 17:5; Mark 1:11; 9:7; Luke 3:22; John 6:37, 44; 17:23-26; 2 Pet. 1:17). This alludes to the promise of God (Deut. 18:15; Psalm 2:7; Isa. 42:1). " Redemption. Means to flee a slave by paying the price for him. This is about the forgiveness we receive; that God redeems Israel and He redeems us by paying for our sins by what Christ has done through His shed blood (Rom. 8:23; 1 Cor. 4:8-13; Gal. 6:12; Eph. 1:7; 2:13-16; Col. 1:21-22; 2:13, 17, 20; 3:9-10; Heb. 9:14; 1 Pet. 1:19). " Forgiveness of sins. God gives us a "pardon" by grace alone and grants us a "remission of our sins." (Psalm 103:12; Micah 7:19; 2 Cor. 5:19-21; Eph. 1:7). Devotional Thoughts and Applications: Do we fully understand that we have been rescued from sin and darkness and from hopeless despair? Has that hit home? Are you filled with gratitude because of what Christ has done? To venture further in the faith beyond our saving faith, we have to take heed and be encouraged that God is our rescuer! Therefore, we are to respond in gratitude for His provision and gifts (Col. 2:7; 3:17; 4:2)! God hears and knows our deeds; He is overjoyed when they are good and faithful, giving out of our faith and not just soaking it in from Him. This is all about our trust and obedience in Him. We are called to hear His Word and then put that Word into our practice of life. The evidence of our faith and His impact on our lives will be what comes out of our lives onto others around us in fruit, character, and deeds. Our lives will be manifested by prayer that gives rise to thankfulness, from a will that trusts in Christ, that puts out Love, that synergizes our hope, kindness, and peace that, in turn, makes us faithful and good by what Christ has done for us. God's Word, His written word and His Spirit are the change agents for us and for those around us! We can do nothing to earn our salvation; only Christ qualifies us. We just respond to what He has done with faith that leads to obedience, and accept His grace and transformation: He transforms and changes us completely! The Essential Inductive Questions (for more Inductive questions see Inductive Bible Study): 1. What does this passage say? 2. What does this passage mean? 3. What is God telling me? 4. How am I encouraged and strengthened? 5. Is there sin in my life for which confession and repentance is needed? 6. How can I be changed, so I can learn and grow? 7. What is in the way of these precepts affecting me? What is in the way of my listening to God? 8. How does this apply to me? What will I do about it? 9. What can I model and teach? 10. What does God want me to share with someone? Additional Questions: 1. How do you feel when a salesman misrepresents a product, then you buy it and it does not work? How is this like when we say one thing and do another or behave in a different manner? 2. What do authentic Christians look like? How do they behave? How should we? How do you line up? What does it take to understand that knowing God is not a onetime event? 3. How would you compare a Christian to a fruit tree, where the fruit is the byproduct of a healthy, well-watered, and cared-for tree? How is this like being a growing Christian? 4. How is what Paul prays for like what you pray for or desire? How is prayer like a Divine telephone of communication? How do you use God's phone? How should you? 5. What would you life look like if God gave you a complete understanding of what He wants you to know and do in your life? How would this help you recognize the opportunities and have the abilities to know and meet His call? 6. Why can't goodness and kindness come from an ungrateful heart or flow from a will to just do it? 7. Got Fruit? What are you bearing for God? (See Galatians chapter five for your template.) 8. What does it mean that in Christ you can do all things, and out of Him you can do nothing? What do you need to do so you will know that Christ gives you the strength and power to be in Him and to allow His love and Fruit to flow from you? 9. What does it mean to you to live the Light? Live out your life as worthy? 10. Do you feel that you have the endurance, hope, and patience to overcome all that life can throw at you? If not, what do you need so you will be strengthened to face stress and sufferings? 11. Is your identity and joy in Christ alone? If not, why not? If so, how has this worked for you? How can it work better? 12. What is missing from your spiritual formation and growth in Christ? What will you do to fill in the gaps? © 1987, 2004, 2008, R. J. Krejcir Ph.D. Into Thy Word Ministries Statistics : Posted by richardk • on Sun Mar 03, 2013 2:59 pm • Replies 0 • Views 401
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Love, Faith, Hope, and Truth! This is a letter from the Apostle Paul who was chosen by God to deliver to those of the faith a very important message: Continue to be faithful for our Lord Jesus Christ so God continues to pour out His grace so we can have peace in abundance. The key is to always give thanks to Christ, and to have gratitude for who He is and what He has done for you. Our trust in Christ should show up as gratitude and a life lived out well. We can easily do this when we see what lies ahead for us in Heaven. What we have and what we will have are astonishing, our joy now as well as our hope to come in eternity. The Good news of the Gospel must make an impact on us so we can make a response. It changes lives, a complete change from the inside out, because of His Truth. And, this message of the Person and Work of our Lord Jesus Christ continues to go out to the entire world! The message is hastened when we love God and His people and desire the lost to be reached as we obey His commands and call. We can have assurance that God is kind to us and will continue to be so and use us when we are kind to others too. You can also be Christ's faithful servant, and help further the Kingdom and glorify Christ! Because His great love is in you, His wonders can be displayed through your life. For these are the calls He has given! And, we are not alone in this; we have His Holy Spirit to enable and empower us! Contexts and Background: Paul has kept tabs on this church and has mentored some of its leaders; therefore he has a heart and concern for them. Epaphras probably told Paul at Rome about the problems in this Colossian church and thus encouraged him to write this letter of reprimand. Paul shows his care and prayers and gratitude for what this church had done and meant to him. He affirms them by being pastoral and letting them know firmly where they have strayed. This church was struggling with the fact that Christ was supreme and enough. Commentary-Word and Phrase Meanings: " Paul. In letters then, the writer's name was expected at the start; Paul was the sole author and mentions Timothy's name to give himself credence. Paul's thrust and motivation was not just his passion and character, but his realization of the debt he owed Christ and his response of overwhe

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