Dead and Alive – Colossians 3
Read Col 3:1-3
If your version starts with ‘If’ in verse 1, I think the versions that start with ‘Since’ make more sense, following the flow of argument from the previous chapter.
‘SINCE you have been raised with Christ…’
Discuss: You only get raised with Christ if you died with Him first! Do you know or are you aware of anyone who had a ‘near death’ experience, a close shave with death etc (like Fabrice Muamba for instance) and got a second chance at life? Anyone in the GG had that kind of experience personally?
How would you live after you experienced such an incident? How might your perspective, priorities and plans change?
Read Col 3;1-17
Paul is probably referring to baptism here as a symbolic experience of ‘putting to death’ the old life and passing from death to life. The early church actually gave baptismal candidates a new set of clothes to symbolise the new life they were entering.
Discuss: This is a very dramatic picture If you were baptised as an infant, do you think that ‘counts’ – or should you be rebaptised as an adult? Why or why not?
PRAY: For those who are getting baptised at Ivy this coming Sunday. Is there anyone in your GG who has been considering it? Get in touch with Hannah Lamberth in the office for further advice if required.
Paul lists various ‘old clothes’ that need to be put off:
Verse 5 – Sex sins – a wide range of immorality
Verse 8 & 9 – Speech sins – including lying
Verse 11 – Snobbery/ Social sins – writing off certain people or groups
Discuss: Which of these sins do we tend to focus on? Which do we tend to excuse as if they’re less serious?
These are like the grave clothes Lazarus was wearing when he was resurrected by Jesus in John 11. He couldn’t get them off himself – other had to help him. In what ways is your GG community helping you walk in the freedom Christ has won for you since you were ‘co-raised’ with Him?
Verses 12-17. Lists a whole wardrobe of ‘New Clothes’ God has for us to wear.
Write up the list together.
Would those who know you best say they can see that you’re wearing these clothes? What item do you need to try on this week? Pick one and focus on it.
PRAY: For our ‘Firstfruits’ idea for the Christmas/ New Year offering. What do people think of the idea of spending less to be able to back away from excess and give more? I believe some people are going to see surprising windfalls in the next couple of weeks running up to Christmas. What would you do with it?