Colossians - Lesson 10
How We Share
Background Information for the Teacher
- The student can explain the passage in Col. 4:3-6.
- The student can give an example of Christian evangelism in the first century.
- The student will select someone in his/her acquaintance for whom to pray and with whom to share the gospel.
- All students should have a Bible.
- Have access to a chalkboard or marker board to write key words and ideas.
- Have worksheets ready.
- Have index cards ready to hand out at the appropriate time on which each student should write the name of someone they want to reach for Christ.
Just as Paul and other early Christians were diligent in reaching others with the gospel, we should seek to reach those we know.
Lesson Plan for Conducting the Class
Introduction: (8 minutes)
- Call the roll, introduce visitors, and make necessary announcements.
- Remind the students that the previous lesson was about living the Christian life in your workplace. Keep that lesson in mind as we study our lesson for today.
Learning Experiences: (32 minutes)
- Read Col. 3:3-6. As you keep that passage open in your Bible, let's ask some questions about it. Q: What does Paul ask the Colossian Christians to do for him? A: Pray. Q: What does he ask them to pray for? A: That God may open a door for the Word and that he will do his part well in going through that door.Q: Why would Paul need such a prayer? Hadn't he already been reaching people in many places? A: Yes, but sharing the gospel was so deep on his heart that he wanted the Colossians to pray that he would have even more opportunities. Q: Where was Paul when he wrote this? A: In prison in Rome. Even when he was in prison for teaching the gospel, Paul wanted God to help him find more opportunities to spread the word. Q: What motivated Paul to be so diligent in teaching the gospel that he would go through all of this? A: He knew that God had sent Christ to the world to save sinners of whom, he said, he was chief (1 Tim. 1:15). He knew God had forgiven him. He knew that he wanted others to go to heaven with him. Q: Should we have these same motivations? A: Yes. All of Paul's reasons should be our reasons. Q: What did someone mean by saying, "No one can go to heaven by himself?" A: That if we don't reach others, we are not living the Christian life as God wants us to live it.
- Let's look at each element in Paul's prayer to see what each means and how it might apply to us. Q: What is a "door" that God might open for you to reach someone? Be specific about opportunities you think are around you. A: Answers might be something like this-I am secretary and I get to know others in the office where I work. I could speak to them about church and special events we have and try to get someone to come with me. I am a stay-at-home mom, and my kids play with other kids in the neighborhood. I could have a Saturday morning activity time at my house and include a time for Bible study.Then I could bring the ones I have taught to VBS and then maybe to Bible class. (Teacher, be sure to work until you get some specific possibilities mentioned. Ask for several responses.)
- Q: What does Paul want to teach when he mentions "the mysteries of Christ?" A: He does not mean that the message of Christ is hard to comprehend. He is speaking of the fact that there was a long time when the coming of Christ and what he would do was kept as a mystery. Read Eph. 3:7-11. Q: What was hidden and then later revealed? A: God developed the plan for saving sinners before the world began but gradually developed that plan over several centuries including the selection of the Israelites as a nation through whom to work and finally bringing Christ to live a sinless life and be killed for sins he did not commit. Q: How does "the church" reveal the manifold wisdom of God? A: Because the church is the collection of "saved" people who have been saved by the process that was, for a time, a mystery. With the church in existence, even those in the heavenly realms can see how God worked everything out to save sinners.
- Q: What is Paul's concern about "making it clear as I ought to speak." A: Paul wanted everyone to understand, and that takes clear explanation. As we deal with different people, we have to use different approaches to reach them. Sometimes we can just teach them a Bible lesson. Sometimes we need to start by getting them involved in a service project. Sometimes we give them something to read. Sometimes we invite them to a special church event. Sometimes we just spend a while in getting better acquainted and doing things with them before we bring up anything about spiritual matters.
- Q: What does Paul suggest by saying we should "Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders?" A: How we live before those not in Christ will make a big difference in our ability to reach them. Christian living can attract outsiders and not living what we teach will certainly repel them. Q: Where are some good opportunities to show a Christian example? A: When someone at work treats us unkindly and we respond in kindness. On the athletic field when we lose a game or get a bad call. Driving. When we have a loss or tragedy our response can attract people to Christ because they see that we have a way to deal with difficulties they do not have.
- Q: What does Paul suggest by saying we should "make the most of every opportunity?" A: Don't let good opportunities slip by. Q: What are some times when we might fail to use an opportunity? A: When someone at work needs help and we have the opportunity to assist but do not. When someone moves into our neighborhood and we don't meet them and invite them to church.
- Q: What does Paul mean by saying, "Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone." A:First, we need to be having conversations, often arising from questions people ask us on topics that "open a door." Our conversations, particularly when answering them, must be "full of grace." This likely means that our conversations are "gracious" as opposed to "harsh." Our conversations are also to be "seasoned with salt." Salt provides a pleasing flavor, making food more pleasing. Our conversations, likewise, should be pleasing, attractive, and pleasant rather than unhappy, unpleasant, jarring experiences. Eph. 4:15 adds this: "speaking the truth in love."
- We want to apply this passage very clearly to ourselves. Think right now of someone you know-a neighbor, a family member, a work associate, someone who attends church but has not responded to confess Jesus and be baptized,someone in your club, or someone in your hobby-who might respond favorably to your life and your invitation. I am passing out cards now on which you should write the person's name. Think about it a moment and then write a name. If you can't think of a name, then think of a place or situation in your life when you are most likely to have such an opportunity.
- Now that you have identified someone, here is the challenge. Pray for them daily that God will open doors for you. Pray that He will open the person's heart. Pray that you will act well and speak well to this "outsider."
- Every day, think of something you might do to bring that person just a little closer to Christ. Shopping together, going to a ball game together. Talking about how things are going. Sharing something good that happened at church or in your study.
Application and Evaluation:
- Next week, we will ask for some of you to tell how you have gotten started down this track with someone.
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