Study questions

Life-Study of Colossians

1. The Background and Position of the Book

  1. How is the background of Colossians related to culture and how can we be saved from our cultural background?
  2. What is Paul's purpose in writing Colossians?

2. Introduction

  1. How does our living Christ today relate to our hope at His coming?
  2. What is the word of the truth of the gospel in 1:5 and how does our hearing it enable us to lay up hope in the heavens?

3. The Apostle's Prayer

  1. What are three main items of the apostle's prayer for the saints in Colossae?
  2. What are the four items of a walk worthy of the Lord found in Colossians 1:10-11?

4. Delivered Out of the Authority of Darkness and Transferred into the Kingdom of the Son of His Love

  1. What does it mean to be delivered out of the authority of darkness? Relate this to the amount of time you live in the spirit and in the self.
  2. What does it mean to be transferred into the kingdom of the Son of His love?

5. Christ the Preeminent and All-inclusive One—The Centrality and Universality of God

  1. What does it mean to be under the authority of darkness? How would you apply this to your daily life?
  2. What does it mean to say that Christ is the preeminent and all-inclusive One, the centrality and universality of God?

6. Christ the Portion of the Saints

  1. What was the promise of the land made by God to Abraham in Genesis?
  2. How does Paul relate the type of the good land to Christ as the portion of the saints?

7. Partaking of Christ in the Light

  1. What are six items that the Bible reveals the divine light is related to? Provide a verse reference for each.
  2. How can we partake of Christ in the light? Apply this to your own experience in coming to God's word.

8. Christ—The Firstborn of All Creation

  1. What was the heresy of angel worship that invaded the church in Colossae?
  2. What does it mean that Christ is the Head of all rule and authority in Colossians 2:9-10?

9. Christ the Firstborn from Among the Dead

  1. What are the two births of Christ and what is our experience of these two births?
  2. How does seeing Christ's first place in both the old creation and the new creation revolutionize our life?

10. Christ's Relationship to Creation

  1. What is the distinction between Christ being the Creator and His being the means of creation?
  2. Based on Colossians 1:16, what does it mean to say that Christ is subjectively related to creation?

11. The Stewardship of God

  1. What is the stewardship of God referred to in Colossians 1:25? How can we participate in such a stewardship today?
  2. How are the economy of God, the stewardship of God, and God's dispensing related?

12. Filling Up What Is Lacking of the Afflictions of Christ

  1. What are the two kinds of sufferings related to Christ? In which kind of suffering do the apostles and the believers share?
  2. What should be the goal of our Christian work today?

13. Completing the Word of God

  1. How did the Word of God revealed in the Old Testament and preached through the early disciples need its completion in Paul's ministry?
  2. What are three major items of God's revelation to Paul?

14. Christ—The Mystery of God's Economy

  1. What does it mean that Christ is the mystery of God's economy?
  2. What are the "riches of the glory of this mystery" and how is this the key point in the book of Colossians?

15. Christ in You the Hope of Glory

  1. What are nine aspects of the Christ who indwells us found in Colossians?
  2. What does it mean that Christ in us is our hope of glory?

16. Presenting Every Man Full-grown in Christ

  1. What does it mean to be full-grown in Christ and how should this be the goal of our preaching and fellowship?
  2. What are six crucial points we need to present to others to make them full-grown in Christ?

17. Struggling According to the Operation of Christ

  1. Why was it necessary for the hearts of the Colossians to be comforted, knit together in love and unto all the riches of the full assurance of understanding?
  2. How does Paul's dealing with the two crucial organs of our inner being—the heart and the mind—show us the way to care for others in our struggle for them?

18. Christ—The Mystery of God

  1. How should we exercise our entire being in order to know Christ as the mystery of God?
  2. How is experiencing the treasures of wisdom and knowledge in Christ the result of the comforting of our hearts and of having the riches of the full assurance of understanding?

19. The Experience of Christ as the Mystery of God

  1. Based on Colossians 2:2-8 what are seven ways for us to experience Christ as the mystery of God?
  2. Based on Colossians 2:6-7, explain how we progress in our experience of Christ from receiving Him to being rooted in Him and built up in Him.

20. To Walk in Christ, the Mystery of God

  1. How can we say that as Paul was writing Colossians 2 he was considering the picture of the good land in the Old Testament as a type of the all-inclusive Christ?
  2. How can we apply walking in Christ as our all-inclusive good land by walking in the all-inclusive Spirit?

21. Not Deluded or Carried Off from Christ

  1. According to typology, the children of Israel enjoyed Christ in three stages. How is this related to the experience of Christ in Colossians?
  2. What did it mean for the Colossian believers to be deluded from Christ and how can we guard against this today?

22. Made Full and Circumcised in Christ

  1. What does it mean to be made full in Christ and how should we apply such revelation in our prayer?
  2. What does it mean to be circumcised in Christ and how do we experience this circumcision?

23. The Economy of God's Salvation

  1. What are the three aspects in the economy of God's salvation revealed in Colossians 2:13-15?
  2. How does seeing the vision conveyed in these verses bring us into a peaceful environment for the enlivening of God's chosen ones?

24. Christ—The Body of All the Shadows

  1. How are all the items of the Jewish ceremonial law shadows of the spiritual things in Christ?
  2. How does enjoying Christ as the body of all the shadows eliminate the need for expressing our opinions in the church life?

25. Christ Versus Mysticism

  1. How does mysticism's heretical teaching of self-abasing humility defraud the Colossian believers of their prize?
  2. How did those who were defrauding the saints in Colossae take their stand on things which they had seen? How does this same principle apply today?

26. The Experience of Christ's Death Versus Asceticism

  1. From Colossians 1 and 2, how can we see that, in His economy, God gives us only one person and one way?
  2. How can we take the cross as the unique way by passing through the cross in our daily life?

27. Christ—Our Life

  1. Explain how the reality of Christ's death in the Spirit enables us to apply the death of Christ. (Refer to the compounding of the Spirit in your answer.)
  2. What does it mean to say that our life has been hidden with Christ in God?

28. Christ—The Constituent of the New Man

  1. What is the significance of our being renewed unto full knowledge according to the image of Christ for the new man?
  2. Based on Colossians 3:11, how can we say that in the church, the new man, there is nothing but Christ?

29. The Living of the Saints in Union with Christ: Ruled by the Peace of Christ and Inhabited by the Word of Christ

  1. In light of what Paul presented concerning Christ in 1:9—3:11, why is it so important to have the living of the saints in union with Christ in 3:12—4:6?
  2. What does it mean in 3:15 to let the peace of Christ arbitrate in our hearts for the new man?

30. The Living of the Saints in Union with Christ: Expressing Christ in Human Life, Praying with Perseverance, and Walking in Wisdom

  1. How does the living of the saints in union with Christ result in expressing Christ in a proper and normal human life?
  2. How does walking in wisdom relate to redeeming the time? How can we practice such a walk in wisdom, redeeming our time, especially in our contact of people?

31. Conclusion

  1. How does Paul's word in Colossians 4:7-17 reveal to us both the consciousness of the new man and his desire for traffic among the churches?
  2. How can we see a detailed portrait of the new man living in the Mediterranean area in Colossians 4:7-17? Why is such a living a matter of tremendous significance?

32. Living Christ as the Constituent of the New Man

  1. How does our experience of the arbitrating of the peace of Christ enable us to live Christ as the constituent of the new man?
  2. What is the completion of the word of God, the completion of the divine revelation, referred to by Paul in Colossians 1:25-26?

33. Christ Versus Culture for the New Man

  1. What is culture and how does its influence defraud us of our enjoyment of Christ?
  2. How do the peace of Christ and the word of Christ work to deliver us from our cultural opinions so that we may be occupied with Christ for the one new man?

34. The All-inclusive Christ (1)

  1. What is the meaning of Christ being the image of the invisible God?
  2. How does culture pervade the church and frustrate the believers' enjoyment of Christ?

35. The All-inclusive Christ (2)

  1. How does evaluating things "according to Christ" (2:8) save us from the tradition of men?
  2. What does it mean for Christ to be the reality of all positive things? How should we apply this revelation to our daily life?

36. The All-inclusive Christ Versus Culture

  1. What is God's intention according to the full revelation in the Bible?
  2. How does culture hinder our experience of Christ? How can our culture be replaced by Christ?

37. Christ in You

  1. What is the relationship between our being in Christ and Christ being in us?
  2. What is self-made culture and what is inherited culture?

38. Christ Lives in Me

  1. What does the fulfillment of God's economy depend on? How does this relate to the highest revelation of Christ in Colossians?
  2. What does it mean for Christ to live in us?

39. To Live Christ

  1. How does refining our natural life frustrate us from living Christ?
  2. What must we do if we would experience Christ and live Him?

40. Objective Revelation, Subjective Ministry, and Practical Experience

  1. What is the revelation of who Christ is and what Christ is found in Colossians 1?
  2. What is the goal of the subjective ministry of Christ? How is this related to completing the word of God?

41. Self-made and Self-imposed Culture as a Substitute for Christ

  1. What is the goal of the extensive revelation of Christ in Colossians?
  2. How can we see that our self-made and self-imposed culture is a replacement for living Christ?

42. The Experience of Christ

  1. How can all the nine positive points of the experience of Christ covered in Colossians become our experience?
  2. What are four words of warning by Paul in Colossians 2 that preserve us in the experience of Christ?

43. Identified with Christ by Being Grafted into Him (1)

  1. What are three aspects of baptism for us to be baptized into? How is it possible for Christ to be the spiritual water in which we are immersed?
  2. How can the growth resulting from baptism be illustrated by grafting?

44. Identified with Christ by Being Grafted into Him (2)

  1. How can one who has been rooted in Christ also walk in Him?
  2. What is the genuine growth in life? How can we grow with the increase of God?

45. The Extensive Revelation of the All-inclusive Christ

  1. What are five unique expressions revealing the extensiveness of Christ presented in Colossians 1?
  2. Instead of trying to suppress our culture, what should we do?

46. Walk in Christ, Having Been Rooted and Being Built Up in Him

  1. What does it mean to walk in Christ? What are some of the things we walk in other than Christ?
  2. How can we be rooted in Christ to walk in Christ?

47. Rooted and Built Up in Christ with the Processed God

  1. How is our being rooted and built up in Christ related to Christ being the mystery of God?
  2. What is the vital, crucial point that is essential for our growing with the growth of God?

48. The Receiving of Christ

  1. How is receiving Christ more than just an initial receiving, that is, believing in Him? (Use the illustration of breathing in your answer.)
  2. How can we practice the continual receiving of Christ?

49. Full-grown in Christ

  1. What is the proper use of culture, especially with regard to raising children?
  2. How can our being filled with the extensive, all-inclusive Christ replace every element of our culture?

50. Christ Replaced in Every Way

  1. How can we see the replacements for Christ—gifts, knowledge, religion, and culture—in 1 Corinthians, Galatians, and Colossians?
  2. Attempting to drop our culture will only produce another type of culture—a culture-dropping culture. Rather than dropping our culture, what should we do instead?

51. Having Been Rooted in Christ and Being Built Up in Him (1)

  1. What two conditions are necessary for us to walk in Christ? In order to practice such a walk, what must we do?
  2. What does it mean to be built in Christ in Colossians 2:7? how does being built up in Christ individually relate to being built up in the Body corporately?

52. Having Been Rooted in Christ and Being Built Up in Him (2)

  1. Why does Paul put being rooted and building together?
  2. How is the new man the issue of being rooted and being built up in Christ?

53. In Christ Made Full, Circumcised, Made Alive, Raised with Christ

  1. What aspects of Christ as the soil—in whom we have been rooted—do we see described in Colossians 2:8-15?
  2. How does Christ being the fullness of the Godhead in 2:9 relate to the believers being made full in Him in 2:10?

54. In Christ and According to Christ

  1. How do the expressions "in Christ" and "according to Christ" relate to facts and experience?
  2. How is the commandment to walk according to the spirit an all-inclusive commandment?

55. Not Defrauded of Your Prize of the Enjoyment of Christ

  1. How can the extensive, all-inclusive Christ become real, practical, and experiential to us day by day?
  2. How can the shadows—things such as eating and drinking—of which Christ is the substance, the reality, serve as reminders of Christ for our practice of enjoying Him day by day?

56. Holding the Head Out from Whom All the Body Grows with the Growth of God

  1. What is the connection between enjoying Christ as the body of the shadows in 2:16-17 and holding Him as the Head in verse 19?
  2. How does enjoying Christ, the Head of the Body, cause us to become Body-conscious, loving all the members of the Body?

57. Having Died with Christ from the Elements of the World and Having Been Raised with Him to Live with Him in God

  1. What are the elements of the world and how can we be freed from them in a practical way?
  2. What are the things above, the high, superior things, that we should set our mind on in order to have a richer enjoyment of Christ?

58. Seek the Things Above and to Set Our Mind on Them

  1. How can we enjoy Christ and have Him constituted into us when He is in heaven and we are on earth?
  2. What are seven items of Christ, as things which are above, that we should seek and set our mind on?

59. One Position, One Life, One Living, One Destiny, and One Glory with Christ

  1. Based upon Colossians 3:1-4, how can we see that we have one position, one life, one living, one destiny, and one glory with Christ?
  2. How can we practically experience having one position, life, living, destiny, and glory with Christ?

60. Christ as All the Members and in All the Members in the New Man

  1. What does it mean that Christ is our lfie and how can we experience Him as our life?
  2. What does it mean for Christ to be all the members and in all the members of the new man? How can we apply such a reality so that day by day we have more experience of this?

61. One with Christ in the Things Above

  1. What does it mean to be one with Christ in the things above?
  2. How can we cooperate with Christ's heavenly ministry as the High Priest and heavenly Minister so that He can reach His goal of building up the Body?

62. The Renewing of the New Man

  1. Since the new man has already been created, why is there still the need for the new man to be renewed? How can the new man be both created and renewed?
  2. What does it mean that the new man is being renewed unto full knowledge and according to the image of Him who created Him?

63. The Peace of Christ Arbitrating in Our Heart

  1. What does it mean for the peace of Christ to arbitrate in our hearts?
  2. How can the rule of the peace of Christ preserve us in oneness for the new man practically?

64. The Word of Christ Inhabiting Us

  1. Why does Paul mention the peace of Christ before the word of Christ?
  2. What are eight aspects of how the word of God functions within us?

65. Persevering in Prayer

  1. Realizing that prayer is a warfare that requires our perseverance, what is the practical way for us to persevere in prayer?
  2. What are five benefits of prayer as an encouragement to our persevering in prayer?