Sunday School

Closing Thoughts

Lesson from March 21st, 2009

Colossians 4: 7-18

This is the last section of the letter to the Colossians. While it does not address a major theological issue or even a significant practical issue directly, there are still elements of these dynamics held within it. As we examine it closely we learn things about Paul’s ministry, his friends and companions, and the nature of Christian relationships. This is also the time to look back across the letter and to try to summarize what we have learned.

Metaphors to Live By

Lesson from March 1, 2009

Colossians 3:12-17

This passage continues the long section of exhortation that began in chapter 2, verse 6. There is a transition statement as Paul moves into this passage that is slightly different than the previous passages but continues the broad theme of calling on the Colossians to live up to their standing and status in Christ. Here he says, “As God’s chosen people, holy, and dearly loved ….” (v. 12). The other transition statements into previous units were at 2:6, 16, 20; and 3:1). Here Paul uses three words that his audience might have expected would be said about the Jewish people of his day, but he uses them in reference to Christians.

Colossians 2:16 – 23

Lesson from Feburary 15th, 2009

Colossians 2:16 – 23

Last week, we studied Col 2:6 – 2:15.  Note that 2:16 begins with “Therefore,” linking our verses this week with the prior verses.  Let us first review part of last week’s lesson.  We saw that Paul was giving the Church at Colosse a warning.  Apparently, like many of the early churches, the church in Colosse had individuals whose teachings deviated from the purity of the Gospel as preached by Paul. 

Colossians 1: 24- 2:5

Lesson from February 1, 2009

We know Jesus best when we share his deepest humiliation with him. It is the glass through which we see God most clearly
-David E. Garland

The opening verse in this passage can throw us off a bit if we imagine that Paul is referring to the sufferings of Christ. His reference is to his own sufferings on Christ’s behalf, which he incurred in the process of spreading the gospel and in particular in bringing it to the gentiles. He was in prison as he wrote this letter, and had and would experience many hardships.

Implication of Reconciliation

Lesson from January 25th, 2009

Colossians 1:21-23

Psalm 56

Fear, it has been said, is a primary emotion.  That is to say that it is one of the basic and fundamental emotions we feel as humans in response to situations that seem beyond our control and beyond our ability to cope.  In December of 2008 we do not have to use our imaginations to conjure up such situations, rather the current condition of the US economy provides the ready example.  We may be facing the loss of a job or the potential loss of a job or someone close to us may be facing it.  If we have not lost a job, nevertheless, we may be facing a very uncertain future in terms of our financial security and capability.  Various things we believed had a certain value such as a home or a retirement plan, now have much less value and it is not clear when or if these things will regain the value they once had.  And, the precise meaning of these things for our everyday lives is, once again, uncertain.  It is thus not hard to imagine what it means to experience fear.

Psalm 51: A Psalm of David

The subheading that was attached to this Psalm reads, “A Psalm of David.  When the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.”  Certainly the psalm shows the insights of a person of faith who has struggled deeply with their sin.  This is another one of the penitential psalms, like Psalm 32 which we examined last week.  It begins with petition and pleading but also moves to confidence in God’s provision and also encouragement to others.  While it strongly reminds us of the failings we have as human beings, it also reminds us of the great hope we have for forgiveness and grace. 


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