Colossians – Shema Part 3


Passage: Colossians 1:15-23


The Reality of who Jesus is v15-19

  • Jesus’ relationship with God v15&19image of God fullness of God in him

Shema – pay attention & do

  • Jesus’ relationship to creation v16-17Jesus is before and above all thingsin Jesus all things hold together (have unity)by and for Jesus all things were created (everything finds its purpose in him)

Shema – pay attention & do

The Reality of who Jesus is v15-19

  • Jesus’ relationship to the church v18head of the body, the church (king of Nineveh)the beginning first born from among the dead (hope)

Shema – pay attention & do

The Reality of who we were v21

  • Alienated, enemies, evil behaviour

Col. 1:21 You yourselves are a case study of what he does. At one time you all had your backs turned to God, thinking rebellious thoughts of him, giving him trouble every chance you got. (Message)

Shema – pay attention & do

The Reality of what Jesus did for us v20&22

  • Reconciled – to transfer from a certain state to another which is quite different; hence, to reconcile, restore to favour.peace through his blood, shed on the Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation

Shema – pay attention & do

The Reality of what we are to do v23

Col. 1:23 You don’t walk away from a gift like that!

  • Continue/persevere in our faith
  • Established and firm (wise man)
  • Not moved from the hope of the gospel that you heard

Shema – pay attention & do

Extend (material for Life Groups and personal use)

Paul was speaking to a church that was struggling to work out how to live the Christian life in a hostile society, were the things they believed, said and did are seen as weird, and hostile to the way everyone else is living.

So Paul desperately wanted to encourage and equip them so he has welcomed them, told them his prayer for them and then the wonder of what Christ achieved for them v12-14

Then Paul gives them this, what maybe a hymn, about Jesus, the NIV entitles it ‘the supremacy of Jesus’. 

We can assume that part of the problem in Colosse was that some had reduced the position of Jesus. Outside attack on who Jesus was and his importance, for example; the rules of the Jews were more important and there is more than one way to God. 

Paul’s heart here for this church was that they know the reality of who Jesus is, and this section leaves us in no doubt about who Jesus is. 

Image you were looking in to our church fellowship from a totally non church background, what would you think was weird?

How are we tempted to lessen the importance of Jesus and what are the outside influences that are pressurising us to compromise on the supremacy of Jesus?

How can we help each other to see the reality of who Jesus is and then live in response to it?

PDA/RB: Take time over the next couple of weeks to read through vs 15-20 and try and memorise them.

If you have time, prayerfully reflect on the points in ‘Engage’ above asking the Holy Spirit to help you too ‘Shema’ to pay attention and do.

Discuss what it means for us to be ‘reconciled’ in light of what this passage says and why grasping this is vital to our ability to be Jesus’ disciples seeking to become more like him?

Reflect on Colossians 1:15-23 using the Message paraphrase of 1:23 as a starting point:

‘You don’t walk away from a gift like that! You stay grounded and steady in that bond of trust, constantly tuned in to the Message, careful not to be distracted or diverted.’

1. What is this gift? Can you put the term ‘gospel’ in other words?

2. What do grounded, steady, established, firm mean in your life just now?

What challenges do these terms and their meaning for you present?

What are potential distractions and diversions? How can they be handled?

3. Constantly tuned in to the Message – what does this say to you?

Might the task for this week be one avenue into this?

How have you been finding trying this?

In light of all we have looked at how can we share Jesus with others and encourage them to come to know Jesus, in a way that isn’t weird to them?

Personal Discipleship Activity / Relationship Builder

“The average iPhone user touches his or her phone 2,617 times a day.” By way of contrast, the psalmist said, “I have set the Lord always before me” [Psalm 16v8, ESV]. What would my life be like if God touched my mind as frequently as I touch my phone?” 

John Mark Comer, The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry, Hodder & Stoughton, Oct 2019

This week take the following attributes of Jesus and carry them with you through the day, reflecting briefly on them as they pop into your mind, expressing praise or gratitude or a need for fresh insight:

Monday: image of the invisible God

Tuesday: by him all things were created, in him all things hold together

Wednesday: Jesus, the head of the church

Thursday: Reconciler

Friday: the One who presents us holy in the sight of God

At the weekend, let your mind roam around these ideas from v 23 (see context:;MSG;ESVUK )

Saturday: “Continue in your faith, established and firm…”

Sunday: “This is the gospel you heard…”

💡 You could write the phrases on cards and position them in places where you will come across them throughout the day…

💡 Or put  reminders of the phrase of the day onto your phone throughout each day to help bring it back into your mind.

💡Try to allow a moment of silence, when the attribute captures your attention, to see if God brings anything to your mind.

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