Colossians 3:18-4:1 Study Guide

Thanks for joining us this weekend for week five of “Unrivaled” as Pastor Chris Baselice from our Plantation campus shared from Colossians 3:18–4:1. In this message, we saw how the gospel impacts our lives in areas such as marriage, work, and parenting. We also discovered why no part of the human experience remains untouched by the loving and liberating lordship of Jesus.

Dive deeper into this teaching on your own, with your family, or in your group! Check out expanded notes and summaries from the teaching, small group questions, and get informed on some of the great resources available to you.

Click here to watch this past weekend’s message in its entirety.


DISCUSSION POINTS AND QUESTIONS

Below you’ll find a recap of the key discussion points from Pastor Doug’s message and a few questions to reflect on and consider with your family, your circle of friends, or in your group.

Ice-Breakers: What’s your favorite TV or movie family and why?

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Key Passage: Colossians 3:18–21
Key Point: The King of the World Is Also King of Your Home

Discussion Point: What Jesus has done changes who you are, and therefore changes how you live. The effect of the gospel in your heart and the Spirit of God who dwells inside of you must have an impact on your relationships, marriage, work, parenting, habits, goals, and life ambitions.

When we’re oriented by Christ, defined by the love and grace of God, ruled by the peace of Christ, with the word of God dwelling richly, and doing everything in the name of Jesus with gratitude bursting from our hearts, then no part of the human experience will remain untouched by the loving and liberating lordship of Jesus.

So, in light of this week’s passage and the various areas of life covered by the apostle Paul, here are a few questions to explore on how the gospel is currently impacting your life:

Discussion Question 1: Read Colossians 3:15–4:1. What stuck out to you most about these verses? What heart and mind concepts from verses 3:15–17 do you see reiterated in 3:17–4:1?

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Discussion Point: Paul uses some key terms in his instructions to different believers in different roles and seasons of life. Here are some biblical definitions for these terms.

  • Submit (Hypotasso): A voluntary attitude of putting oneself under God’s arrangement; to cooperate and assume responsibility.
  • Love (agapaó): It is a discriminating affection which involves choice and selection; a full and all-encompassing love that regards the good will, the very best for the object of said love. It is to take pleasure in, to prize above other things, to be unwilling to abandon or do without. It is deeper than romance, brotherly comradery, and even parental love. It is complete love in every sense of the word.
  • Obey (hupakouó): Attentively listening, fully compliant; to act under or harken to the authority of the one speaking. At its most basic, it means to listen to and follow.
  • Provoke (erethizó): To irritate, stir up, incite, arouse to anger. It is used here to denote something parents can do by continual agitation and unreasonable demands. Praise for well doing rather than constant criticism will, along with loving discipline, help rear children in the “training and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4 NIV). Notice that of the different “love” words found in the Greek lexicon, the one used in this passage regarding a husband’s responsibility toward his wife is the same word used to describe the unconditional, humble, servant-natured, and sacrificial love of Jesus toward us.

Discussion Question 2: Why does God have a specific order for families? How has your relationship with Jesus affected your family life?

Discussion Question 3: Read Colossians 3:18–19 and Ephesians 5:21–33. What does “submission” and “love” in marriage look like? Consider the wider context of the new life we are to live in Christ as detailed in Colossians 3:12–14.
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Key Passage: Colossians 3:22–4:1
Key Point: With Jesus It’s Always Personal . . . Never Business

Discussion Point: The principle of submission to authority explained by Paul is to be applied to our modern workplace structure. The Bible Knowledge Commentary of the New Testament has this to say: “The phrase ‘with all your heart’ (verse 23, NIV) literally means ‘out of the soul,’ i.e., genuine and from within, not merely by outward pretense . . . If more Christian employees today served their employers with genuine concern and as though they were serving God, quality and productivity would increase dramatically . . . If employers today manifested this kind of compassionate and impartial care for their employees, certainly their employees’ motivation to work would radically improve.”

Discussion Question 4: What does it mean to you to work for the Lord? How could this approach to your job benefit your workplace and your overall life? Discuss different ways in which the gospel might shape the way you work in your specific work place?

Some things to consider . . . How does that change the way you go about your work? Interact with your co-workers? Those in authority over you? Those you have authority over?
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Key Passage: Colossians 3:18–4:1
Key Point: Relationships Are Fueled by Grace, Not Works

Discussion Question 5: How does reconnecting the details of our relationships to the supremacy of Jesus infuse them with meaning? What difference does it make? Why do you think such reconnecting is so important?


WALK IT OUT

The preeminence of Jesus in everything is a central theme in Colossians. He is preeminent over the old creation of this world; and He is preeminent over the new creation of the church. It would make sense, then, that He be preeminent over the details of our lives. And this is good news. There is freedom and assurance in His hand being over our lives!

Action Step: Think of one simple way to honor and serve a key relationship in your life this week. It could be your spouse or significant other, child, parent, sibling, co-worker, or boss.


QUESTIONS FOR FAMILIES

Parents, here are a few questions to go over with your kids around the dinner table or during dedicated family times.

Discussion Question 1: Read Colossians 3:15–4:1. What words do not make sense to you? Can you find anything that is the same in verses 3:15-17 and 3:17-4:1?

Discussion Question 2: Does God describe what a family should look like? Why do you think a family should look like that?

Discussion Question 3: When you read Colossians 3:18–19 and Ephesians 5:21–33 do you see big words like “submission” and “love”? What do you think submission means? What do you think love means?

Discussion Question 4: Can we work for the Lord? What does working for Jesus look like? Do you think that whatever we do as work, such as chores or our homework, can bring happiness to God?


COLOSSIANS DEVOTIONAL READING PLAN

Go deeper as you follow along with our six-week Colossians series by subscribing to our verse-by-verse commentary and devotional plan on the YouVersion Bible app. To subscribe, click here.


A LOOK AHEAD

This weekend, we’ll conclude our “Unrivaled” series as Pastor Doug Sauder shares from Colossians 4. In this message, we’ll discover how God opens doors for us to walk in His will. We’ll also see how He equips and empowers us to go into our world and influence others with the gospel.

We look forward to spending another awesome week with you! If you aren’t already, follow us on social media!

About the Author

Danny Saavedra

Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.