Sunday Bible Studies at First Baptist Church of Pine

Leader -Ken Jinks

DAILY BIBLE READINGS

(Week of June 17 through June 23)
Mon. 1 John 5:6-12—Christ, the Source of Life.
Tues. 1 Peter 3:8-12—Pursue Unity in the Church.
Wed. Ephesians 2:11-22—All Peoples United in Christ.
Thurs. Colossians 1:15-20—Christ, the Image of God.
Fri. Colossians 1:24-29—Paul’s Ministry in the Congregation.
Sat. Colossians 2:16-23—Maintain Your Union with Christ.
Sun. Colossians 2:1-15—United with Christ and One Another.
Remember who you are in Christ.

The apostle Paul had likely never been to the towns of Colossae or nearby Laodicea. In Colossians 2:1, he mentions the believers there along with “all who have not met me personally.”
 
Many commentators believe Epaphras started the church at Colossae during the time of Paul’s ministry in Ephesus. In Colossians 4:12, Paul describes him as being “one of you,” or a part of the church in that city, and someone who was “wrestling” on behalf of the believers there “in prayer.” One probable scenario is that Epaphras came to faith in Christ as a result of Paul’s ministry in Ephesus and then took the Gospel to the Colossians and the Laodiceans.
At the time of the writing of the book, Epaphras was with Paul in Rome. Since the apostle was under house arrest, he was able to have guests in his home despite his chains. The occasion for the letter to the Colossians seems to be the result of Epaphras informing Paul about the false teachers attempting to deceive the believers in Colossae.
 
Epaphras’s report not only led to the letter to the church, but also to the intense prayers by both on behalf of the believers there.
 
Hearts United in Love
1. How would you describe who you are “in Christ”?
2. Explain the importance of remembering who you are in
Christ.
3. How does the image of being “rooted in Christ” help explain who you are in Him?
4. Can you come to church for years and not be very “rooted in Christ”? Explain your answer.

Rooted in Christ
5. What did Paul pray for on behalf of the Colossians?
6. What was the basis of Paul’s confidence regarding hisreaders?
 
Raised with Christ
7. What does the symbolism of baptism tell us about our identity as believers?
 
Forgiven Because of Christ
8. What did Christ accomplish on our behalf through His death on the Cross?
9. How do the words of Paul indicate the finality of Christ’s work for us?
 
All Things through Christ
10. Do you feel like you “can do all things through Christ,” or are you feeling defeated and discouraged? Explain.
11. What does it mean to you that He has disarmed every other power in the universe?
12. What can happen in your walk with Christ when you remember who you are in Him?
 
Established and Unstoppable
When you truly understand who you are in Christ, you are established and unstoppable. You do not accept the false philosophies of the world because you are now “alive in Christ,” not dead in your sins. You live a full, new life, a life that can only be lived in Him.
 
From “Covenant in God” by David C Cook
 

Leader – Don Voakes

 

Study 3 – An Unlikely Community

“Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes, to the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ – their Lord and ours:  Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ”                       I Corinthians 1:1-3
 
Paul began his first letter to the Corinthians with a greeting to “the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be his holy people.”  When you hear about a “church” being established in Corinth, what do you imagine it was like?  Do you picture a large building where many people gathered to participate in a great worship program, or a small group of people who perhaps met outside like the “place of prayer” Paul described in Philippi, or something altogether different?  What do you think church looked like and meant to those who followed Jesus in Corinth as well as in other ancient Roman cities?
 
 
What hints does Paul’s greeting provide about the true nature and focus of the church in Corinth?
 
What does the close of Paul’s letter to the Corinthians contribute to your understanding of what church was like for the early followers of Jesus?  (See I Corinthians 16:19-20)
 
How did Paul describe the temple of the Lord in Corinth, and what kind of impact do you think his description had on the community of believers?  (See I Corinthians 3:16-17)
 
The physical presence of God’s temple in Corinth was not imposing, but what about that community had an amazing power to transform lives?  (See I John 4:12.)
 
If the mission of every follower of Jesus is to put God on display for the world to see, why does the life of the community of God’s people matter?  (See Ephesians 2:19-22.)
 
 
 
REFLECTION
The story of Paul’s visit to Corinth is a testimony to God’s plan to use unlikely human partners to accomplish His purpose.  By His grace, God redeems us while we are sinners and commissions and empowers us to be witnesses who display by our words and actions what God’s shalom (peace) looks like.  That was Paul’s mission and the mission of the Jesus followers in Corinth.  Today it is the mission of every follower of Jesus.
 
We are God’s temple.  In the way ancient temples displayed a god’s presence in the world, the community of Christians is to be a temple that displays God’s presence and redeeming power to a hurting world.  As difficult as it is to comprehend why God would choose flawed human beings to be His temple, that is what we are!  God will provide the strength we need to be His witnesses,  and he will empower our testimony so that people who do not know God will experience Him through us. 
 
The question is, how willing are we to live in God’s holy temple, as representative of His presence in our world?  What does that look like for your life?
 
All of us to some degree follow our natural tendency to live like the broken world around us.  How willing are you to recognize the ways your life shows a broken culture whether or not God’s message is valid and takes steps to send the right message?’
 
How willing are you to abandon every word and action that assaults God’s character and hinders people from knowing the truth about Him?
 
What will it take for you to have the courage to renounce your tendency to serve God in your own strength and boldly take on the “impossible” because God is with you?
 
 
 
(Next week we watch the DVD “The Lord’s Supper:  Discerning the Body”  Ray Vander Laan will walk up the Lechaion Road into ancient Corinth and follow in Paul’s dusty footprints through present-day Turkey.
 
Excerpt From: Ray Vander Laan. “Cultures in Conflict Discovery Guide.” Apple Books. https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/cultures-in-conflict-discovery-guide/id1321636600?mt=11