Thoughtful Action:Discussion from Sunday's Sermon

Reconciliation through Violence

Colossians 1:19-20

 

1.    Belief produces behavior.

·      Do you believe this is true?

·      I asked you to be specific about your own struggles.  Give some examples in your own life of failure in behavior due to wrong beliefs.  What did you have to do to change your beliefs?  How did that affect your behavior?

 

2.    Jesus became the “God-man” in order for creation to be reconciled to God.

·      What does the term “fullness” most likely mean? Why is this significant for the theological struggles that the church in Colossae was facing?

·      What difference does it make that God was “pleased” for his fullness to dwell in the God-man, Jesus?  What does this suggest about the process by which the plan of redemption was conceived within the Godhead?

·      Talk about the difference that it makes for the future of creation for the Son of God to have been born in human flesh.

·      Speculate what your life would be like if Jesus had never entered time and spacein order that he might bring reconciliation to all things.

 

3.    Jesus had to suffer a violent death in order for creation to be reconciled to God.

·      Are you convinced that the terms “reconciliation” and “making peace” in these two verses is referring to an end to hostilities that is either favorable or unfavorable depending on the attitude of the specific member of creation?

o   If not, how would you prefer to understand the term “reconciliation” in this context?

o   …”all things, whether in heaven or on earth” is an important phrase.  What problems would it create if we interpreted these words to mean that Jesus would eventually “reconcile” everything to himself, including those who die in unbelief and even the devil?

o   Can you see the following literary device as a helpful tool for understanding this passage?

 

Ø  Jesus rules creation – v.15-17

v Jesus rules believers, i.e., the church – v.18a

ü  So that he might one day be preeminent in everything – v.18b

Ø  Jesus reconciles creation in general – v.19-20

v Jesus reconciles believers in particular – v.21-23a

ü  This Gospel will be proclaimed to all creation – v.23b

 

·      The fact that Jesus has made peace is the basis for many other biblical exhortations to the believer to be a peacemaker?

o   How does it encourage us evangelistically?

o   How does it encourage us environmentally?

o   How does it encourage us relationally in our marriage? Parenting?

·      Jesus accomplished this “by the blood of his cross.” 

o   How does the fact that the God-man stepped in and took the violence of God’s anger against the curse of sin in creation strike you?  What songs in particular help you express your gratitude to  Christ for doing what only He could do?

o   How does the truth that “this is the best that God could do” encourage you when you face the destructive consequences of sins that you’ve committed?  Of sins that others have committed against you?

o   Pray together and thank God for the peace you have in your heart because of Jesus’ work on the cross.  Ask your small group to pray that you would have peace instead of particular areas of conflict/sin that you are presently experiencing.