Small Group Leader Questions (May 12, 2019)

posted by Bethel Community | May 10, 2019

ACTIVITIES

1. The Power of Roots - Take your group outside to a weedy area. Direct all participants to pluck out a single, small weed. Then have participants find a larger clump of weeds to pluck. Then ask participants to pluck out a tree. This, of course, will be impossible. Discuss with the group what was easiest to pick and what was hardest and why. Talk about the power of roots and how they can be either fragile or strong. Plants with strong root systems are not easily plucked up.

2. Root Images - The leader searches online for different images of roots – some small and fragile and some big, intricate, and strong. The leader either prints these out or has them available for electronic viewing. During group, show participants the images and have them share their observations and reactions. Have group members choose a picture that symbolizes their current spiritual roots in Christ and then another picture of what they would like their roots in Christ to be like.

DISCUSSION
Read Colossians 2:4-8, which includes the sermon text. 

1. Note the phrase "as you received Christ Jesus..."  (A.) How does this happen?  (B.) How is "received Christ" different from the phrase "accept Christ," which does not appear in the Bible?  
(Intent: (A.) By repenting of your sins and putting your faith (trust) in Christ. Mk. 1:15, Acts 3:19, 20:21, Rom. 3:28. (B.) In response to repentance and faith, the Lord justifies the person, and the Holy Spirit (the Spirit of Christ, Rom. 8:9) enters the person, starting the sanctification process. This is more like the Lord accepting us; Christ is in control, and we are subservient. "Accepting Christ" gives the false impression we are in control and Christ is subservient.) 

2. A person is to "receive Christ Jesus as Lord."  While Jesus is clearly the Savior, what does it mean that He is also Lord?  Is this optional?  
(Intent: While the sanctification process lasts our entire life as we struggle against sin, our daily focus should be to make Christ the Lord (Master) over every area of our lives. Rom. 8:12-16.)

3. Why was Paul encouraging the believers at Colossae to continue to live in Christ, rooted and built up in him if their faith was firm already? 
(Intent: Paul wanted them to continue on “as they had received” and “as they had been taught.” The Greek word for received in Col. 2:6 is parlambano which means to receive with the mind the instruction of teachers. Paul didn’t want the believers to depart from the truth which their faith had been founded on and be taken captive by false teachings.)

4. Reread Collosians 2:7a. Recall the time after you received Christ. (A.) Describe how you were or are now being rooted in Christ. (B.) Have you considered taking the 10-week Rooted experience, which will start in September? 
(Intent: If someone in your group was in the Rooted pilot, which was just completed, have them describe it briefly. Encourage members to consider taking Rooted, or you may want to discuss with your group doing it together.) 

5. The term “Christ” is the Greek translation for the Hebrew “Messiah” or “Annointed One.” What is the significance of Paul identifying Jesus as the Messiah and the Lord in verse 6? 
(Intent: Paul is countering the heretical teaching in Colossae that attacked Jesus’ deity. The identification of Jesus as the Christ, the promised Messiah or Annointed One (Dan. 9:25-26), is not just a title but the designation of His identity as the Son of God  and therefore the Lord. Lord is not used here as a title of respect such as calling someone “sir,” but the designation of His position as master because He is deity. The Greek definite article ton means “the” but it is specifically singular and masculine. This emphasizes Paul’s point (the Greek reads “Christ Jesus the Lord”). The statement means you received Christ Jesus, the one who is the Lord.)

6. This passage deals with the foundational issues of justification and sanctification. Why do you think Paul adds the point about "overflowing with thankfulness"?
(Intent: “Praise completes the circle in which the blessings that flow to us from God return to Him in the form of our praise and adoration.” - John MacArthur)

PRAYER

Have your group stand in a circle and hold hands, interlacing fingers. Their fingers symbolize roots entwined together. As a group, pray that your roots will continue to grow stronger and deeper in Christ.

APPLICATION

In reference to Tuesday’s devotional, surveys show that many self-professing Christians are likely to embrace consumer-driven, self-centered, and immoral lifestyles, similar to non-Christians. What do you think causes this to occur? As a Christian, what actions can you take to ensure you are living a Godly lifestyle?

 

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