Rev. Ronald C. Purkey, an ordained Baptist minister, claims no originality for this Bible study outline.
However, every Bible study posted on this website has been taught by Rev. Purkey.
To see more Bible study outlines go to page two: More Bible Study Outlines.
· In Colossians chapters 1 and 2, Paul has maintained that Christ is "all-sufficient" in matters of salvation and overcoming sin (cf. Colossians 2:10).
· Beginning now in chapter 3, Paul gives some basic and practical admonitions that pertain to living a successful life for Christ.
· When carried out, these basics for living for Christ will assure that we find in Christ everything we need for this life and the one to come.
INTRODUCTION: Take off those dirty clothes! (Colossians 3:1-4)
· Seek the heavenly. (Colossians 3:1)
(Colossians 3:1) If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
1. Acknowledge your position in Christ.
a. Realize your standing.
The “If” of this verse does not express any doubt in the mind of the Apostle Paul. It is what has been called the “If” of argument, and may be translated “since”: “Since then you were raised together with Christ …
b. Develop heavenly ways.
The spiritual meaning of all this is that we have said goodbye to the former way of life, and have entered upon a completely new type of life, that is, the life of the risen Lord Jesus Christ. Because we have been raised with Christ, we should seek those things which are above. We are still on earth, but we should be developing heavenly ways.
2. Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things. (Colossians 3:2)
(Colossians 3:2) Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
a. Actually the word for “affection” is mind.
Think about the things that are above. In Philippians Paul said that whatever things are true and honest and just and lovely, think on these things -- the things of Christ.
b. In fact we will have many problems.
Life is full of its big and small problems (like whether or not you can get along with your boss at work), and they are very real to us, but by far the greatest need is for us to get through to Christ. That should come before everything else. “Set your affection on things above.”
· Realize your condition in Christ. (Colossians 3:3-4)
(Colossians 3:3-4) 3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.
1. “For ye are dead.”
“For ye are dead” might better be translated “for ye have died.” If you have died, when did you die? Paul wrote to the Galatians, “I am crucified with Christ …” (Galatians 2:20). You died more than nineteen hundred years ago when Christ died. He took my place; He took your place. We died in Him.
2. “Your life is hid with Christ in God.”
I have been taken out of the old Adam by baptism. (That is by the baptism of the Holy Spirit when you trusted Christ.) I have been taken out of Adam and placed in Christ. I am now in Christ. Now that I am in Christ, I should live out Christ’s life and let His fullness be lived out through me.
3. “When Christ … shall appear … ye also appear with him in glory.”
Jesus is coming again! Perhaps today! Are you ready?
I. LET IT GO. (Colossians 3:5-11)
A. Put to death whatever belongs to your old nature. (Colossians 3:5-9)
(Colossians 3:5-9) 5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: 6 For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: 7 In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. 8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. 9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;
What are these things that God’s people are to “put to death”? Sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires, greed, idolatry, anger, rage, malice, slander, filthy language, lying, and other sins are not to be in a believer’s life..
B. Have no divisions in the church. (Colossians 3:10-11)
(Colossians 3:10-11) 10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: 11 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.
No social, cultural, or economic distinctions should be found dividing God’s people. Christ overrules such distinctions so that all peoples are united in Him.
INSIGHT: It was Mahatma Gandhi who said, "If it weren't for Christians, I'd be a Christian." That is a sad commentary on us Christians!
“Mahatma Gandhi wrote that during his student days he read the Gospels seriously and considered converting to Christianity. He believed that in the teachings of Jesus he could find the solution to the caste system that was dividing the people of India.
So one Sunday he decided to attend services at a nearby church and talk to the minister about becoming a Christian. When he entered the sanctuary, however, the usher refused to give him a seat and suggested that he go worship with his own people. Gandhi left the church and never returned. “If Christians have caste differences also,” he said, “I might as well remain a Hindu.” That usher’s prejudice not only betrayed Jesus but also turned a people away from trusting Him as Savior.”
– Adapted from Haddon W. Robinson, Our Daily Bread, March 6, 1994:
II. BINDING LOVE. (Colossians 3:12-14)
A. Put on mercies. (Colossians 3:12)
(Colossians 3:12) Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
What “mercies” should be in the life of a Christian? Compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience are some of the characteristics of “mercy.”
B. Be patient and forgiving toward others. (Colossians 3:13)
(Colossians 3:13) Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
1. Do NOT complain.
Quarrel actually is “complaint.” Paul is including situations where there is blame involved and the complaint is justified.
2. Do try to work out the problem
What are we to do in such circumstances? “Even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.” This does not mean that you become a doormat. But it does mean that when we have a complaint, we are to go to the individual and try to work out the matter.
3. Do accept the reality.
There are always going to be some people with whom you cannot work things out -- we must realize that. When the Lord Jesus denounced the Pharisees, there was no mention of forgiveness -- He just denounced them. They did not seek His forgiveness, of course.
4. Do what Jesus did.
Paul’s thought here is that Christ has forgiven us so much that it will not hurt us to forgive somebody who has stepped on our toes. We are to forgive others in the same way that Christ has forgiven us.
C. Show love toward Christ and others. (Colossians 3:14)
(Colossians 3:14) And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.
The Bible says that “above all these things put on “LOVE” (charity is “love”). God’s people are to put on love! We are to love God and we are to love others.
INSIGHT: Years ago, a famous minister, then at the height of his influence as pastor of a large church in New York City, was making a tour of Palestine and other countries of the Near and Middle East. He was invited to give an address at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon, where the student body comprised citizens of many countries and representatives from sixteen different religions.
What could one say that would be relevant or of interest to so mixed and varied a group? This is how the preacher began: "I do not ask anyone here to change his religion; but I do ask all of you to face up to this question: What is your religion doing to your character?"
This was a call to consider one of the great issues of human belief: religion and life, Christianity and character, word and spirit. Emerson once said, "What you are speaks so loudly I cannot hear a word you say."
God’s people should display an attitude of gratitude and thanksgiving to God and each other through words and acts of mutual encouragement. In fact, everything we say or do as Christians should be done in Jesus’ name, since we appreciate so much what Jesus Christ has done and is doing for us. Then "What you are speaks so loudly I will listen to every word you have to say."
– Adapted from Donald Macleod, Know The Way, Keep The Truth, Win The Life, C.S.S. Publishing Company, 1987.
III. THE PEACE OF CHRIST. (Colossians 3:15-17)
A. Let the peace of God rule in your heart. (Colossians 3:15)
(Colossians 3:15) And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
Rule means “to umpire.” The peace of God should govern our hearts. We have in Colossians 3:14 and 15 two fruits of the Spirit: love and peace.
B. Let the Word of Christ dwell in you. (Colossians 3:16)
(Colossians 3:16) Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
1. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom.” Be at home and dwell permanently.
(Joshua 1:8) This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
(John 15:7) If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
2. Let the Word of Christ saturate you and remain in you as a rich treasure!
C. Let The Lord Receive The Glory. (Colossians 3:17)
(Colossians 3:17) And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
1. “Do all in the name of the Lord Jesus.”
In all relations of life, we should live Christ-centered lives!
a. Act as God’s representative.
b. Obey God’s word.
c. Trust in God’s power.
d. Be devoted to God’s service.
2. All of our life must be Christian.
a. Belief relates to behavior.
b. Creed relates to conduct.
c. Doctrine relates to duty.
INSIGHT: The pagan religions of Paul’s day taught little or nothing about personal morality: “A worshipper could bow before an idol, put his offering on the altar, and go back to the same old life of sin. What a person believed had no direct relationship with how he behaved.” Christianity is much different. Duty is always connected to doctrine.
CONCLUSION: What did we learn from our Bible study today?
· We Learned That: The Apostle Paul had admonished the Colossian believers to put to death their old nature and not behave as they had before they became Christians.
Instead, they were to clothe themselves with Christ-like virtues, allowing the Lord to rule in their hearts.
· We Learned That: This admonition is true for us too. We are called to be holy, reflecting the righteousness of Christ in our lives.
When we do this, we will have a good testimony. We will be a radiant light, glowing in a world full of darkness while revealing the character of our Lord Jesus Christ.
THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: “Actions Speak Louder Than Words.”
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REFERENCES: References used in these Bible studies are the King James Bible (KJV), The Moody Bible Commentary, Dr. J. Vernon McGee © Thru the Bible Radio Network (www.ttb.org), the Scofield Study Bible, the Believer’s Bible Commentary, Dr. Charles J. Woodbridge Bible Outlines, Dr. Lee Roberson’s Sermons, Dr. Charles Stanley: (http://www.intouch.org/), Don Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Women’s Study Bible, The Bible Reader’s Companion Ed. 3, The Nelson Study Bible: New King James Version, KJV Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the New Testament ed. 4, Dr. David Jeremiah: (http://www.davidjeremiah.org/site/), Dr. Cliff Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the Old Testament, Dr. Alan Carr’s The Sermon Notebook (www.sermonnotebook.org), With the Word Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s “Be” Series: Old & New Testaments, RBC Ministries (http://rbc.org/), selected illustrations, and other references.
REV. RONALD PURKEY’S OFFICE
E-mail: Ronald Purkey