1. Read Chapter 1:1-23. What grabs your attention in verses 15-23?
2. List the things said about Christ to show His supremacy.
3. What clues do we get about the heresy (false teaching) being taught in Colosse? (For example, repeated or stressed words or ideas.)
4. What is revealed about Jesus’ power in this passage?
Scriptural Insight: “Christ is the sustainer of creation (“hold together,” v. 17). Christ is the Person who preserves and maintains the existence of what He has created…”Every law of science and of nature is, in fact, an expression of the thought of God. It is by these laws, and therefore by the mind of God, that the universe hangs together, and does not disintegrate in chaos.” (Constable’s Notes on Colossians, p. 16)
5. Remembering the people and the purpose for which this letter was written, why do you think Paul expounds on the supremacy of Christ?
6. Deeper Discoveries (optional): What does “firstborn” mean in verse 15? What were the rights of the firstborn? How does that fit in here? Paul uses “firstborn” with a different meaning in verse 18. Examine this phrase in light of these verses: 1 Corinthians 15:20; Romans 1:4; Hebrews 2:14.
Focus on the Meaning: “Just as the firstborn son had certain privileges and rights in the biblical world, so also Christ has certain rights in relation to all creation—priority, preeminence, and sovereignty (vv. 16-18).” (NIV Study Bible, p. 1814)
7. Read Colossians 1:15-23. Look up the following verses, then write in your own words the meaning of the phrase “image of the invisible God.”
· John 1:1,14,18—
· John 14:9-11—
· 1 Timothy 1:17—
· Hebrews 1:3—
“Image of the invisible God” means:
8. Staying Healthy: Looking at your answers to the previous questions, is this how you see Jesus? What did you learn for yourself regarding how truly great our Lord Jesus is? Feel free to express your thoughts using a creative means (poem, prose, song, art).
9. Read Colossians 1:15-23. Concentrating on vv. 20-22, what is the dictionary definition of “reconcile?”
10. According to Romans 5:10, what was our problem?
11. Restate Colossians 1:20-22 in your own words describing what Christ has done for you to solve that problem.
Scriptural Insight: “It is important to note that people are reconciled to God (“to Himself”) not that God is reconciled to people. For mankind has left God and needs to be brought back to Him.” (The Bible Knowledge Commentary New Testament, p. 674)
12. What attitudes should be positively influenced by this truth? (Hint: If you can’t think of one, look at Colossians 1:12; 2:7; 3:15; 3:16; and 3:17.)
13. Staying Healthy: How does the reconciliation (v. 22) that Christ has accomplished for you as a believer affect the way you relate to your husband/children/family and to your PAST? Should it?
14. What is the “hope” from which we are not to be moved (v. 23)?
Focus on the Meaning: Biblical hope is not wishful thinking but confident expectation based on the character of God to back up His promises.
15. What do these other verses refer to as our “hope”?
· Colossians 1:5—
· 1 Thessalonians 5:8—
· Titus 1:2; 2:13—
· 1 Peter 1:4—
16. Staying Healthy: What are some specific ways the gospel brings hope to your life?
Think About It: “The Christ-hymn of Colossians 1:15-20 is a powerful statement about the Person and work of Jesus Christ. Christ’s supremacy is seen at every turn. The first portion focuses on His preeminent role in creation, while the second emphasizes His work as Redeemer. To any Christian, in Colosse then or elsewhere today, who may have been or is confused about Christ’s role in the world, these six verses testify to Christ’s absolute authority, which is not to be shared with any person, angel, or demon.” (Constable’s Notes on Colossians, p. 18-19)
17. Staying Healthy: Are you proclaiming the Lord Jesus Christ and holding firm to all He is and all that you have in Him as He is presented in Colossians? How does realizing all that Christ is change your life and expectations? Think specifically. What changes will you make on the basis of this understanding?
Jesus Christ is above all powers and authorities, in all believers, and is all we need for earth and heaven!!