Colossians – Shema Part 5

Engage

Passage: Colossians 2:6-23

Alive in Jesus

Living in the reality of being alive in Jesus 

Because we have received Jesus as Lord we…..   

  • Live/walk in Jesus v6Rooted in JesusBuilt up in Jesus
    • Strengthened/established in faith, as taught
    • Overflowing/abounding in thanksgiving 

Shema – pay attention & do

  • See we are not to be taken captive v8,16-19philosophyempty deceit
    • according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world
    • live according to Christ v19

Shema – pay attention & do

  • Our Assurance v9-15,  New life as members of God’s familywe have been given fullness in Christ v10
      • old cast off by Jesus v11
    • Repentance and forgiveness of sin v12
    • dead in sin – alive with God in forgiveness

Shema – pay attention & do

  • Our Challenge v20 Live the life don’t look back

Shema – pay attention & do

Extend

When we receive Jesus as our Lord everything changes. We have Jesus in us, we are ‘Alive in Jesus’, called to live as his disciples seeking to become more like Jesus and actively living for God’s glory. The reality is that there are pressures that seek to restrict us taking us away from living all out for Jesus. In this study we will consider what can capture us and how we can run the race set out for us.

1. In verses 6&7 Paul commanded the Colossians to ‘live in Jesus’. What does it look like in your life to do the things Paul says in these verses? How can we help each other to ‘live in Jesus’?

——————–

The Colossians had two major influences that Paul wanted them to resist. 

The Jewish pressure: observance to the Laws, with so many made up by human tradition. Leading to a reduction in the position of Jesus. 

The pressure of Society: Mysticism and Polytheism leading them to compromise who Jesus is.

“The Colossians had become attracted to a philosophy that diminished and importance of Christ and exalted the ‘powers’ of evil spirits inhabiting the world and its system, and they were being taught that the way to victory over sinful flesh was by rigorous fasting, if done well, brought about ecstatic visions that would give them spiritual victory. They were more than a little proud of their spiritually.”

2. Verses 6&7 are important to Paul because as we apply these to our lives they help to prepare us to withstand the challenges we will face. As you read through verses 8, & 16-18 what stands out to you as dangers that can capture us?

Think about: the outside influences and human traditions that take our focus off Jesus. 

Think about: Churches can develop traditions that are manmade and yes may give the impression of wisdom but are taking us away from ‘living in Jesus’. Prayerfully look at our church and yourself can you see areas that this is happening? What can we do about this?

Think about: the danger of spiritual pride, and boasting. 

Why do you think verse 19 is important and what do we learn from it?

Paul commands us to be aware of these dangers, how can we look out for these and help each other?

——————–

3. Verses 9-15 give us a powerful reminder of what Jesus has done for us, that we have new life through him, we are part of his family and forgiven.

Read through the truths here and consider how these reminders assure and help us to resist the negative influences we have looked at?

Why is it important that we acknowledge Jesus’ role in the ‘putting off the body of the flesh’?

——————–

Reflect

Col 2:20 If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations— 21 “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” 22 —according to human precepts and teachings?, (ESV)

As we read these verses we should find a challenge to examine our lives, are we guilty of the charge “why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations”

In church we were challenged to remember when we last confessed and repented to God, the answer to this will help us to evaluate our ‘living in Jesus’.

Shema – pay attention & do

Personal Discipleship Activity / Relationship Builder

Eugene Peterson has some interesting thoughts about the relationship between gratitude and ‘sabbath’.

“Sabbath is the time set aside to do nothing so that we can receive everything, to set aside our anxious attempts to make ourselves useful, to set aside our tense restlessness, to set aside our media-satiated boredom. Sabbath is the time to receive silence and let it deepen into gratitude, to receive quiet into which forgotten faces and voices unobtrusively make themselves present, to receive the days of the just completed week and absorb the wonder and miracle still reverberating from each one, to receive our Lord’s amazing grace.” 

Eugene H. Peterson, Tell it Slant (2008)

Time to Shema …

Pick one of these  ideas to experiment with:

Celebration

  • Take  a rest from being productive. Do something you really enjoy – just because you really enjoy it! No other reason. Just to enjoy… And be grateful to God for it. 
  • Thinking of the quotation above, carve out a moment for sabbath this week when you can experience silence and let it slowly deepen into gratitude.

Thankfulness 

(Watch out for the recurring theme of thankfulness as you keep connecting with the whole of this letter.)

  • Attach a large number 3 in a position where it will catch your eye when you waken. Before you get out of bed, say thank you to God for 3 specific things each morning. (Observe how long it takes for this practice to develop into a habit …)
  • Spend some quiet moments this week specifically thanking God for all that he has done for you, as described by Paul in Col. 2.9-15.
  • Make a Gratitude Jar. Keep some small post-its and a pen beside it. Each Sunday put in the jar a note about the thing you’re most thankful for in the past week. On New Year’s Day review the past year’s Gratitude Highlights with a friend or with family and with God.

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