Colossians - Lesson 2 & 3
What Christ Did
Colossians 1:20-22; 2:11-12.
(Note to the teacher: The following material will take two lessons to teach and could be used for even more if you have the time. It is very important that every Christian fully understand this lesson from Colossians and that he/she be able to explain it to others in a simple way. You can choose where you want to split the lesson into two parts. As you start the second part, however, be sure to give a good review. The students should use the worksheet provided as they go through the lesson. You should provide the complete sheet showing the ten pictures with scriptures at the end of the second lesson so they can have that to use to study for the written review at the beginning of the lesson following these two lessons.)
Background Information for the Teacher
- The student can explain the concept of our alienation from God and our reconciliation to Him.
- The student can tell how we can partake in the reconciliation process.
- The student can draw ten pictures that illustrate our alienation from God, God's plan for our reconciliation, our response to that plan, and the benefits from that response.
- Have the worksheets ready.
- Have the sheet with the ten pictures ready to hand out at the end of the second lesson.
- Have access to a chalkboard or marker board on which to write key words as you go and also on which to demonstrate drawing of the ten pictures as you move through the lesson.
Our sins have alienated us from God but, through Christ, God has made a plan for us to be reconciled. We, however, must obey in faith and baptism in order to become a partaker in this plan.
Lesson Plan for Teaching the Lesson
Introduction: (about 10 minutes)
- Greet guests, check roll, make announcements.
- Review the previous lesson by asking the following questions:
- In our last lesson, we studied three positions which Paul says Christ occupies. What are they? (God, creator, head of the body which is His church.)
- What enables God to add a person to the body? (They must be saved.)
- When we recognize the positions Christ holds, what are some responses we should have? (Honor and respect, appreciation, obedience.)
Learning Experiences: (two sessions of about 30 minutes each)
- Read Col. 1:20-22. Q: What is meant by the word "alienated?" A: Separated, disconnected, out of fellowship. Q: What causes one to be alienated from God? A: Evil behavior. Sin. Read Isa. 59:2.
- Let's trace this concept of how sin separates people from God. Q: In what relationship to God did Adam and Even begin their existence? A: In fellowship with God. God came to associate with them (Genesis 3:9). Q: What shows that Adam and Eve broke this relationship when they sinned? A: They are cast out of the garden. They can no longer eat of the tree of life. God brings bad consequences on them such as the ground being more difficult to till and woman having pain in childbirth.
- Q: What quality did God give humans that allowed this separation to happen? A: The power to choose. Adam and Eve could choose, and "they chose poorly."
- Read Rom. 3:23. Q: Without help from God, where would people stand? A: Alienated from God. Read 2 Thess. 1:8. Also Read Rom. 6:23. Q: Since we fall into the category of sinners, what position would we be in? A: The wages of sin is death (eternal death). We would be awaiting God's judgment for our sins.
- The first element of our lesson today, then, is that God created human beings in fellowship with Him. He also made us to be creatures of choice. Unfortunately, we all have sinned and, thus, are separated from God. Look at the four pictures and explain what each means based on our study so far. (Teacher: draw pictures on the board. Use an arrow in place of the hand to make it easier.)
- So, here we are in total darkness with no hope of light. We are separated from God and there is nothing we can do to undo our sins and thus restore the relationship. Read Col. 1:21-22. Q: What did God do through Christ's death? A: Reconciled. Took away the sin that separates. Restored the original relationship. Read 2 Cor. 5:18-21. Q: How did the death of Christ achieve this restoration of the relationship? A: Christ suffered the punishment we deserved. He had no sin but was treated like a sinner. In that way God could accept His undeserved punishment in place of the punishment we did deserve. He took our place. "He paid a debt he did not owe."
- Read Col. 1:22 again. Q If we accept Christ's sacrifice, where do we stand? A: Holy in his sight. Without blemish. Free from accusation. Read Matthew 7:13-
- Q: Do all people receive this reconciliation? A: No. Some, even the majority, will receive punishment.
- There has been much discussion recently about whether there is a hell. Would a living God really punish people, His own creation, forever? Q: What passages can you think of that would help answer this question? A: Matt. 7:13-14-narrow gate and wide gate. Matt. 25:46-eternal life and eternal punishment. Rev. 20:15-lake of fire.
- So does this mean that Hitler will be in the same room in hell as the person who never had a chance to hear about Jesus? Read 2 Peter 2:22; Luke 12:48-49; 16:19-
- Q: What do these passages suggest that provides some insight to that question? A: The possibility of degrees of reward and punishment. There is much about the next life we do not understand. This should not, however, cause us to doubt that those who accept Jesus' sacrifice and, thus, are forgiven of sin will be better off because they have done this. Otherwise, Christ would not tell us to take the gospel to all the world and Christ would not have come to suffer as He did. If people are just as well off without Him as with Him, then his coming was unnecessary.
- Look at the pictures below and tell how they help tell the story we have just studied. The "P" stands for "punishment" and the "F" for "forgiveness. And the question is that once we are separated from God by sin, will He punish us (P) or forgive us (F)? We can't undo our own sins. So if we are to have a renewed relationship with God, He must make the next move. Q: Will He punish our sins or will He forgive our sins? A: The answer is that He will find a way to do both. And he does that through Jesus who shed His blood on the cross. That is how He took our punishment. So God, by that means, both punished our sins and then could forgive our sins.
- Read Col. 2:11-12. Q: How does this passage say we must respond to receive the benefits of Christ's death? A: Faith in the power of God and being buried in baptism. Read Rom. 6:3-4. Q: According to these two passages, what makes baptism a particularly meaningful response to Christ? A: He died, was buried, and was raised from the dead. In baptism we die to our old life, are buried with Christ, and then, as He was raised, so we are raised to a new life. Q: When does the new life begin? A: After baptism. So, we do not receive the benefits of His death until we are raised from baptism.
- Read Col. 2:11-2 again. Q: What is Paul's point here about circumcision? A: Just as Jews "put off" something in circumcision, so Christians "put off" something when they are baptized. Q: What is put off at baptism? A: The "flesh," according to some translations. The "sinful nature" according to the NIV. Q: So what is meant by this expression? A: Our past sins are put away at baptism. These sins were on our record because we had lived according to "the flesh." The Bible does not teach that we are all born with a "sinful nature" and so have no choice but to do wrong. Our basic desires are not sinful but there are sinful ways to fulfill them. These sinful ways of fulfilling our desires are called "the flesh." It is choosing wrong ways to fulfill our God given desires that are the sins we commit. At baptism we not only have these sins forgiven but we make a commitment not to live by "the flesh" any more. While we will not be perfect in this intent, Paul calls on us to remember our baptism and its significance as a help in living the Christian life.
- Look at the pictures below and explain what they might mean in light of what we have studied.
- Read Rom. 6:3. Q: When one is baptized, what does that do to his "spiritual location?" A: He is put "in Christ." Q: So where is one before baptism? A: Outside of Christ. Read Gal. 3:26-27. Q: How does this passage picture moving from "out of Christ" to "in Christ?" A: Changing clothes. As people in Christ, then, we have put off the old ways and seek to live by the new ways. We are now "in Christ." We are in the body over which He is head. We are in His church. Col. 1:18.
- Q: How does the picture below describe this. A: All baptized believers, having been forgiven of sins and having been restored to a relationship with God, are now happy in Christ.
- Practice drawing the ten pictures and be prepared to draw them when you come to class next week. Drawing these and using scriptures to explain them is a great way to show someone the plan of salvation. The sheet I am handing you now has these pictures on it with a passage or two you could use to explain each step. Learn this way to show the gospel story and keep it in your Bible to have handy so you can use it when you need it.
Assignment: Practice the pictures.
Evaluation: Be prepared to draw the pictures you have studied at the next class time.
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