Reality in Christ

Bookmark and Share

Fullness in Christ
Study 3 – Reality in Christ - Colossians 2.6-19

Welcome

Share gardening stories! Have you nurtured a favourite tree or rose or fruit bush? What did you do …what did you enjoy?

Worship

Stand up. Make space around you in the room – and each pretend to be a tree!

As you stand with your head held high, think of the feeding your tree needs, the watering, the sunshine, the stake to hold you up,

and the fruit or leaves on your branches… just imagine being a tree…

 

Paul reminds the Colossian Church that they are to be rooted in Christ

Read Colossians 2.6-7 and allow your ‘tree thoughts’ to lead you into prayer

or sing some thank you prayers…

Word – Study 3 – Lighter Bite choose one of the Questions / Main Meal tackle all three in depth – make time for Witness

 

1. Warnings for the Church. Colossians 2.8 and 2.16-19

 

Some things could hinder our fullness in Christ. How might these apply to us today?

 

If possible, have a range of newspapers and glossy magazines available to look through. Think about the philosophy behind different articles or advertisements.

 

In addition, spend some time (no longer than 5 mins) thinking about the ‘spiritual’ experiences of Christians today that might parallel those described in verse 18.

 

Do any of these cause us to be side-tracked? What could we do about this?

 

2.  The meaning of spiritual circumcision. Colossians 2.11-14

 

Circumcision as a spiritual practice was given to the Hebrew peoples as a sign of their covenant relationship with God. It was to mark them out as God’s people.

 

The story can be read in Genesis where Abraham first believed in God and followed his call (Genesis 12.1-5). Later in the story Abraham trusted God’s promise of a son to be born in his old age (Genesis 15.1-18). As a follow on from this trust, God made a covenant with him, and the sign of that covenant with the people was the practice of circumcision (Genesis 17.1-27). The physical sign was to mark an inner commitment to God and his ways, for the whole people of God.

 

In the Hebrew Bible, the idea of circumcision was used to describe an inner spiritual transformation, where the ‘old self’ would be transformed to a holy and dedicated life.

Read Deuteronomy 10.12-22 to understand the devotion of God towards his people, and the love that he asks for in return. Read verse 16 in this context, as a circumcision of the heart, a description of the setting aside of all that might detract from a devotion to God.

 

The point that Paul is making is about the difference between a new spiritual life, when Christ has taken away the ‘old’ nature, which is a circumcised heart, and an uncircumcised life of spiritual deadness. Read Romans 2.29.

 

What do you think are the signs that we have received that spiritual circumcision of the heart?

 

You may like to set aside some prayer time at the end of this discussion as a response to God’s offer of a spiritual ‘circumcision’ of the heart.

 

3. The meaning of Christ’s Cross. Colossians 2.13-15.

 

You may like to find a wooden cross to use as a visual aid. How about finding ways of attaching cards to the cross, that we ‘nail’ our sins to the cross and trust God to help us move forward in spiritual growth and transformation. Colossians 2.13-14.

 

Who took the initiative in this work of transformation?

What has been given as a result?

 

How does Paul describe the critical activity of God? What do you understand as the written code? Ephesians 2.15.

 

Who are the principalities and powers described in verse 15?

Ephesians 6.12. Matthew 28.18.

 

How is the cross of Christ a triumph?

Matthew 12.29. Luke 10.18. John 12.31.

 

What difference does the cross of Christ make to your life? Can you explain the practical outworking for you personally?

Witness

For each person in the group, allow time to digest the most significant new thing learned today. Give each one a postcard to write or draw on, for them to keep this week in the car, by the kettle, or the bathroom mirror…

 

Do we know anyone who is trapped in a religious lifestyle that is nothing like fullness in Christ? See Colossians 2.16-17. How could you share the gospel in a way that offers the gentle invitation of Jesus?

Go home to draw a tree this week – and visualise the roots, the branches, the feeding, nourishing, and blossoming – and pray

OR – go home to ponder the meaning of Christ’s cross, and bring a reflection to next week’s study

 

Marion de Quidt, july 2016