Col 3:5-11 At the end of chapter 2 Paul concluded that as a result of our being buried with Christ in baptism we are dead to all the ceremonial law and ought not to allow others to judge us in regard to the commandments and teachings of men (see Col 2:16-23). What other practical conclusion does he draw in these verses in regard to our having died with Christ? See Col 3:5, 8-9. In what way is greed actually idolatry? In the eyes of most American church-goers greed is viewed as somehow less sinful than immorality; is it? In what way is greed akin to immorality? See also Eph 4:19, 5:3. In what way does the wrath of God come upon those who are covetous or greedy? See 1 Tim 6:9-10. In what way does the wrath of God come upon the sexually immoral? Note: Up to 60% of young adults carry the genital herpes virus, over 30% carry the human papilloma virus (venereal warts) that causes cervical cancer; most don’t even know they have it and doctors rarely if ever tell women a positive pap smear is most often caused by an STD. 1 in 20 women have silent infections of Chlamydia, and 1 in 10 men do; Chlamydia is a major cause of infertility and causes premature birth and pneumonia in newborns. What do the sins Paul lists in Col 3:8-9a have in common? See also Eph 4:29,31. What is the importance of the things that proceed out of our mouths? See Mat 12:36-37. What do Col 3:7 & 9b-10 teach us about the characteristics of a true Christian?
Col 3:12-17 If we describe Col 3:5-11 as being united with Christ in His death and putting off the old man of sin, how would we describe these verses? See also Col 2:12, 3:1. In Col 3:11 Paul mentioned the resultant truth of the gospel for which he was now in prison and from which those confronting the Colossians sought to sway them: that the Jews were no longer God’s sole people, for in Christ Jesus He has chosen men from every nation. What responsibilities accompany this unexpected blessing to the Gentiles? Does the potential for the same conflict, strife and ill-will that exists in the world exist in Christ’s Church? What is it that makes His Church different from the world? See Col 3:8-9, 12-13, and Eph 4:31-32. Give examples where it is necessary to be long-suffering and forbearing of others. What does Paul say binds together those vestments that make for unity within the Church? See Col 3:14. Note: in Col 3:15 “rule” means literally “act as an umpire” and recalls Paul’s words in Col 2:18 about not allowing others to act as an umpire against us in regard to food or drink or the observance of certain days. What does this verse say should act as the umpire in our hearts in deciding between such matters of conscience? What does Col 3:16 teach us about the substance of true worship? From where does true worship originate? Is it possible for the true worship of Col 3:16 to occur outside the context of the verses that surround it? See also John 4:23-24. What do we learn about the importance of thankfulness from Col 3:16-17? Contrast Rom 1:21, 2 Tim 3:2.
Col 3:18-4:1 Referring to Col 3:17, what is the responsibility in word and deed of wives to their husbands? Husbands to their wives? Children to their parents? Parents to their children? Slaves (employees) to their masters (employers)? Masters to their slaves? What is the significance of the singular commands Paul makes to the various classes? Did he emphasize them because they are the ones the sinful nature of each class is most inclined to obey? Comment on Paul’s explanatory notes for each: Why is it fitting in the Lord for wives to be subject to their husbands? See Eph 5:22-24. Why might husbands become embittered against their wives? In what things ought children to be obedient to their parents, and why? What is the danger of exasperating our children? (NIV = “embitter”, KJV = “provoke to anger”). How should Paul’s words to slaves exemplify the heart attitude of every Christian, and why? See 1 Cor 7:22. How should Paul’s words to masters govern our relationship to any who might be under our authority?