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Learn and Live

Text: Colossians 1:3-5 Title: Because of Hope Date: Sept 15, 2019

Summary: After a customary greeting and introduction in verses 1-2, Paul offers a reflection on how thankful he is for the saints at Colossae. His thankfulness is based on the work that God has done among the church. He uses a familiar trio as he gives thanks for their faith in Christ, love for the saints, and this was all motivated by the hope they have reserved in heaven. Paul commends them because they have responded in faith and obedience to the gospel they heard through their founder, Epaphras (1:7).

Outline:

Give Thanks for God’s People (3) Give Thanks for God’s Work (4-5a) Give Thanks for God’s Word (5b

Questions for Discussion:

1. Paul’s custom was to give thanks for the saints because of the work the gospel has done among them. What do you think keeps us from giving thanks for one another?

2. Colossians regularly refers to the believers as “saints.” What does the term “saint” mean as it’s used in the Bible? Do you have trouble thinking of yourself as a saint and other believers as saints?

3. The work that God does is centered around the growth of faith, love, and hope. These 3 are mentioned in other places as well (1 Thess 1:3; 1 Cor 13:13; Gal 5:5-6). Discuss each of these and how we can encourage growth in each area.

4. The motivation of the Colossians seemed to be their hope in heaven. What are some false hopes that we tend to hold?

5. The church is commended for receiving the truth, the gospel. Discuss the importance of a local body of believers being centered around the truth of the gospel.

LL Questions

Text: Colossians 1:1-2

Title: Grace, Peace, and Purpose Date: Sept 8, 2019

Summary:

Paul’s opens the epistle to the Colossians following a typical pattern of identifying himself, addressing the audience then wishing them well. However typical this greeting may be, it is loaded with profound truth that undergirds the entirety of the epistle. Paul’s identity as an apostle carries special weight with this group of believers in an unremarkable city, Colossae. Epaphras has come to Paul while Paul was in prison. Paul wants to encourage these believers to understand what it means that Christ is over all.

Outline:

Paul’s Commission (An Apostle)

Your Position (Saints and Faithful ones)

Your Participation (brothers/sisters in the family)

Our Mission (as a church, Colossae to Atlantic Beach) God’s Provision (Grace and peace)

Questions for Discussion:

1. Paul occupied a unique position as an Apostle. While we are not looking for apostles today, we recognize that just like in the first century God provides for his church. Discuss how the Lord has gifted the body to accomplish the mission and ways that we can encourage one another in using our gifts.

2. What’s the significance of Paul calling the believers “saints?” Do you have trouble seeing yourself as a saint? Why do you think that is?

3. As believers in Christ, we’re all part of the family of God. How can we encourage greater and more meaningful relationships to form in the local church?

4. We discussed how grace precedes peace. What happens when we look for peace apart from grace?

If time permits, look at this article and discuss how to bring a biblical worldview to bear on the rising depression and anxiety rates.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-mental-undergrads/depression-anxiety-rising- among-us-college-students-idUSKCN1VJ25Z

May 19, 2019

LL Questions Text: Ephesians 4:7-16

Title: God’s House: One Mission

Summary: After emphasizing the unity of the body of Christ, Paul now begins to talk about the diversity that makes up the body of Christ. The body grows to maturity as the diverse parts work together. The gifts that make up the church are secured on the merits of Christ’s victorious work.

Outline:

The Source of Gifts (7-10)

The Purpose of Gifts (11-14)

The Power of Gifts (15-16)

Questions for Discussion:

1. What do you think about when you think of “spiritual gifts?”

2. This definition is long, but read it and discuss. “A spiritual gift…is any ability and accompanying spiritual ministry and effect that God, through Christ, enables a believer to use, or motivates him to use, for His glory, in the body of Christ, through the energizing work of the Spirit.” (James Stitzinger)

3. Discuss some ways that you have been served by others that has been a benefit to you.

4. What are some ways we can better serve one another?

5. Discuss the balance of “speaking the truth in love” (v 15)

Consider the paradigm below and discuss the difference between performing and serving:

Performing or serving: Diagnostic Questions

Are you more concerned with doing what needs to be done or doing what you want to do?

Are you more concerned with how your gifts are benefitting others or how serving makes you look?

Are you a serving “specialist” who only serves in particular ways and under your terms?

When challenged with a difficulty in your area of service, are you more concerned with hearing the concern or educating them on why you are right? Do you see yourself as a steward or an owner of your gifts and abilities?