Colossians_Title

Study Guide

Jesus at the Center

What makes Christians “Christians” is how we exalt and exemplify Christ. While most worldviews have a positive view of Jesus, they all have too low a view of him. Join Newbreak Church as we see how Paul’s letter to the Colossians challenges us to elevate our view of Jesus, for who he is and what he has done!

Newbreak’s Sermon Study Guide is an in-house resource that serves sermon-based Life Groups and/or individuals who want to reflect further on how the message contributes to their spiritual formation.

About the Sermon Series

Our view of Jesus shapes every area of our lives. When Paul wrote to the Colossians, he was writing to a group of people who were new to Christ and the Christian life. In this state, they needed to see how the wisdom they needed to grow and thrive is found in Christ. Their faith took root in Jesus, and would need to continue being rooted and build up in him. As Newbreak Church goes through the book of Colossians, we will grow in our view of Christ and the wisdom of the cross as the basis for a life that bears fruit!

Icebreakers for Life Groups

  1. How has knowing Jesus changed your life? How has His life impacted the life of someone you know?
  2. Have you ever met someone from a different religion who knew of Jesus? What was their perception of Him?

Let’s read Colossians 1:15–17 (CSB)

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For everything was created by him, in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and by him all things hold together.

Point 1 – Christ came to make the invisible God, visible.

Since the beginning of time, people have sought to understand their purpose and identity. In essence, they have pondered the questions, “Who am I, and why do I exist?” Looking for purpose in financial success, accruing possessions, relationships, or pleasure will always leave us wanting more.

In Col 1:15-23, Paul tells us that our identity and purpose are found only in Jesus. Jesus brought everything into existence. He sustains us. He is the image of the invisible God (vs.16), and all things have been created for Him (vs.16b). He is supreme over all things. He came to make the invisible God, visible to us (vs.15). We were made for a relationship with Jesus. He is the center of all things. You were not created for a fractured life of loneliness and despair. You were created with purpose, for a purpose and a relationship with the one true God, in the person of Christ Himself.

Our identity outside of Christ feels lacking because it is. Without Christ, we search over and over again and come up short because He is the only One who can satisfy our greatest needs and deepest desires. Augustine put it this way: “Our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Thee.”

Christ came to show us who God is in a way that our minds and hearts could understand. He came to show us by His own experience that He understands us and what we’re going through and He wants a relationship with us. The Almighty God, El Shaddai, came to show Himself to the world through the physical person of Jesus Christ, never once diminishing who He is as God.

Questions for Group Discussion or Personal Reflection

  1. How has this section of Scripture impacted your understanding of God? How has this impacted the way that you pray?
  2. Knowing that you were made for a relationship with Christ, what does this say about your identity? About your purpose? About your belonging?
  3. Who in your life needs to know that they were made for Christ? Who can you share this incredible news with this week?

Let’s continue reading Colossians 1:18-23 (CSB)

18 He is also the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile everything to himself, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

21 Once you were alienated and hostile in your minds as expressed in your evil actions. 22 But now he has reconciled you by his physical body through his death, to present you holy, faultless, and blameless before him— 23 if indeed you remain grounded and steadfast in the faith and are not shifted away from the hope of the gospel that you heard. This gospel has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and I, Paul, have become a servant of it.

Point 2 – Christ came to reconcile us to God.

Christ could have chosen retaliation for our willingness to break God’s law. Instead, He chose reconciliation.

The word “reconcile” (ἀποκαταλλάσσω) means to bring back together two things that belong together. When our life feels “out of order,” the uncreated Creator brings things back together in a divine reordering. He reorders our lives –reconciling us.

Being reconciled speaks to my standing now before God. The posture we can have before God right now is one of righteousness. We are in right standing with God, because Christ made the only way possible for us to be together. Our assurance comes from our position in Christ and not our performance for Christ. Only Christ could do the work necessary to reconcile us to God.

The absolutely unfathomable truth of this is that it was Christ’s pleasure to do this for us. He so much wanted an eternal relationship with us that He chose to be obedient to God the Father, even obedient unto death on a cross. A relationship with us is the reward for His obedience!

Questions for Group Discussion or Personal Reflection

  1. Have you ever reconciled with someone who had wronged you deeply? What was that like? Was the relationship worth the work necessary to reconcile?
  2. What do you think about when you consider that Christ went to the cross willingly so that you could be reconciled to God? How does this shift your perspective of His love for you?
  3. Where do you find your identity now? Where would you like to find your identity? Why do you think you let worldly things determine who you think you are?

About Our Current Sermon Series

Our view of Jesus shapes every area of our lives. When Paul wrote to the Colossians, he was writing to a group of people who were new to Christ and the Christian life. In this state, they needed to see how the wisdom they needed to grow and thrive is found in Christ. Their faith took root in Jesus, and would need to continue being rooted and build up in him. As Newbreak Church goes through the book of Colossians, we will grow in our view of Christ and the wisdom of the cross as the basis for a life that bears fruit!