Colossians 1 Bible Study, Summary and Discussion Questions

by Jack Wellman · Print Print · Email Email

Here is a Bible study on Colossians chapter one with a summary and discussion questions to follow.

Colossians 1:3-5 “We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel.”

I love the line where Paul said he thanked God for the believers and for their love for which the Apostle Paul always thanked God for those in the church at Colossae.  More than that, he prayed for them when he heard about their strong faith in Christ and the love they showed for all the saints. This love was because of the “the hope laid up for” them “in heaven” and that is our hope too.

Discuss:

Do you pray for “all the saints” in your church?

Do you thank God for them?

If so, do you tell them you pray for them and thank God for them?

Colossians 1 Bible Study

Colossians 1:9-10 “And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.”

Imagine someone not ever stopping to pray for you and asking God to fill you “with the knowledge of his will” concerning “all spiritual wisdom and understanding.”  I don’t know about you but that would be an awesome thing to hear from another believer.  He is praying that they “walk in a manner worthy of the Lord” which would be “fully pleasing to him,” which we’ve all been called to do.  What this looks like is that we ought to be “bearing fruit in every good work” and be “increasing in the knowledge of God.”  That is my prayer for all who read this and it should be your prayer for your fellow saints.

Discuss:

What does Paul mean that he did not cease to pray for them?

How is that possible?

What fruit should we be bearing?

Colossians 1:13-14 “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

Here is the very gospel of Jesus Christ in a nutshell; God delivered us from the domain of darkness where at one time we were blind (2 Cor 4:3-4) and then transferred us into the kingdom that belongs to Jesus Christ.  It is only through Him that we have this redemption (Act 4:12) and can receive the forgiveness of our sins (2 Cor 5:21).

Discuss:

What is the “domain of darkness?”

What does it mean that Christ “transferred us to the kingdom” of the Son of God?

Colossians 1:15-17 “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”

This verse has been greatly misunderstood by some of the cults claiming to be Christian by saying that this means Jesus was a created being but my question is, since Jesus created “all things” and they claim that He was created, how could He have created Himself since He would have had to necessarily exist prior to His creating Himself. See how absurd this is.  The “firstborn of creation” means His preeminence or supremacy over everything.  In fact, since He “is before all things,” He must have existed before “all things” and thus is God of fully God and as such, by His divine power, “in him all things hold together.”

Discuss:

Why do certain cults use this as a “proof text” to show Jesus was created?

What’s the fallacy of their argument for this?

How does Jesus hold “all things together?”

Colossians 1:18-20 “And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.  For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.”

These verses show that no man, pastor or not, is the head of the local church.  I myself, as a pastor, am only an under-shepherd to the Good Shepherd and it is His church, not mine. He is preeminent over everything there is, including me and you and of course, the church.  God was pleased to dwell in the fullness of Christ.  After Philip asked to see the Father, he still didn’t understand that, as Jesus said, “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father” (John 14:9b).

Discuss:

What does it mean “the fullness of God was pleased to dwell” in Christ?

How did the blood of his cross make peace?

Colossians 1:21-23 “And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.”

The carnal or natural mind cannot comprehend the things of God because the Spirit of God has not revealed them, but now we see that we too were once alienated from God and were hostile about the things of God and it was only because of God’s grace that we finally saw Jesus for Who He really is (John 6:44).  We’re not capable of knowing Christ until the Spirit of God tells us Who He is.

Discuss:

What does Paul mean that we were once hostile to the things of God?

Why does Paul say that we were “reconciled in his body of flesh by his death?”

Colossians 1:24-26 “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints.”

The Apostle Paul writes that this mystery, long hidden in the ages and generations before now, has been revealed “To them God [whom] chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ” (Col 1:27-28).  Paul humbly states that he “became a minister” of God “to make the word of God fully known” and he was no self-appointed or self-designated apostle like many claim to be today. Rather, Paul says he was “an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God” (Col 1:1).

Discuss:

What is this “mystery” that’s been “hidden for ages and generations?”

Who appointed Paul as an apostle?

Do men or women have the authority to appoint apostles today (Acts 1:21-22)?

Conclusion

The Apostle Paul writes often about the mystery of the ages because it was only revealed in Jesus Christ.  Beginning in Genesis and moving toward the New Testament, we see a little more light revealed about Who God is and hints of the coming Messiah and to which the Jews were still blinded as Paul writes elsewhere that “even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Cor 4:3-4).

Read more about Colossians here: Colossians Commentary

Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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