Pastor's Sunday School Blog
Sunday School Lesson
“Paul Magnifies Christ in Prison”
July 1, 2018
Pastor’s Notes (Some additional thoughts for your Sunday school lesson):
A perverted view of Christ jeopardizes the whole ministry of the church. The church’s ministry is built on the person and work of Jesus Christ. Absent a right view of Christ is to build on a crumbling foundation.
Three forms of heresy had crept into the church in Colossae: Greek philosophy, paganism, and Gnosticism. It is Gnosticism that Paul deals with in chapter 1. Gnosticism views the spirit as good and the flesh as evil. And if the flesh is evil then Jesus could not have taken on a human body. Gnosticism believes that Jesus was a spirit and only appeared to be flesh; He was an apparition.
Discuss forms of heresy the church must confront today.
Christ is preeminent in His reconciling all things (Colossians 1:15-20).
“Image” speaks to representation. Jesus represented, in every way, God. He was in possession of the Divine prerogatives and powers of God. He was co-equal, co-eternal, and co-existent with God.
SEE: John 1:1-3, 14
Jesus, Who was God became flesh … It required a physical body to die on the cross … death is not what God can do … therefore Christ had to become flesh to die … die for the sin of the world
As deity, He created all things … Paul’s way of attaching to Christ, creation, what the Gnostics called evil.
How does this passage differ from what you may have heard in Sunday school about creation (God created all things), and how do you reconcile Genesis 1:1 (“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth), with this passage?
Everything thing Jesus created He did so with purpose: His own glory
“He is before all things” (17) is not order, but rank … Jesus is above all things
It was necessary for Jesus to be both God and man in order to die for our sin.
Verse 17 refutes Deism, that God created the world and then it to run itself.
Discuss: Why does Paul refer to Christ as the “head” of the church?
What is the church?
If Jesus is the creator and the sustainer of all things, how should we treat His creation; the earth we live on and the human race?
Jesus death, not only served to reconcile man to God, but all of creation. Jesus reversed the Genesis curse (See Romans 8:18-22).
Christ is preeminent in His reconciling us to God (Colossians 1:21-23).
“Once” – sometimes it is good to remember what you were without God’s intervention, and what the future held.
“alienated” – separated (spiritual death, Ephesians 2:1). Your thoughts and actions witnessed your hostility, animosity toward God.
Paul’s emphasis of the “physical body” is meant to refute those who claimed Jesus DID NOT have a human body. Once again, without a physical body there cannot be a physical death.
Christ’s death made it possible to be reconciled to God (See Romans 5:1).
While Jesus will present the believer to God “holy, faultless, and blameless,” it is our goal to live, by the grace of God, and the power of the Spirit, holy lives.
The “if” of verse 23 is not meant to be conditional, but referencing the necessary foundation upon which the Christian life is built. We don’t live as we once were, but as we are, proving Whose we are.
Christ is preeminent in His reconciling us to one another (Colossians 1:24-2:3).
Discuss how we can and should rejoice in our sufferings…
Paul is not saying (1:24) Christ’s death was insufficient or lacking, but rather that he was picking up where Christ had left off … Jesus did what He did and now I am doing what I should in light of what He did (See 2 Corinthians 5:18-20).
The model for church membership “I have become its servant … to me for you … I am struggling for you.”
The key to a healthy church relationship … seek to encourage each in love.
Theological Theme: The redemptive work of Christ on the cross is restoring the world and reconciling man to God and one another.
Christological/Christ Connection: A right view of Christ is necessary for a right relationship with God and with one another.
Missional Application: The reconciled are called to proclaim the message of reconciliation to the world.