Lesson w/AnswersPutting on the New Man: New Year’s 2009
This week as we look forward to the New Year and all of the promises and challenges that 2009 will bring, I thought it would be useful to consider a Biblically-based set of resolutions. During my quiet time these past weeks, I have been considering my own walk with Christ and how woefully short that I have fallen as I reflect on 2008.
Like many of you I find myself, like Paul, desiring to do the right things but doing the wrong things instead. As I have considered what kind of person that God wants me to be, he has drawn me to the book of Colossians. So for this week, let’s take a look at Chapter 3 and see what He tells us that may be helpful to us in 2009.
Read Colossians Chapter 3; then consider the following
- As you read through Chapter 3, make note of the verses that use the word "you" or "your". Do you think, based on what you see, that this may be speaking directly to you?
- ANSWER: Absolutely. As you can see this chapter is written to give each of us guidance on how we should live.
- What is it that we are commanded to do in verses 1 and 2?
- ANSWER: We are to seek the things above; and we are to set our minds on them, and not on the things of the earth.
- Read Matthew 6:19-21. What is Jesus teaching us about the things above, versus the things on the earth?
- ANSWER: He teaches us that the things of earth are temporary and of little value, and that the things above are eternal and have much value. He also teaches us that where our hearts are, that’s also where our treasure will be. Where is your heart?
- What happened to you, according to Colossians 3:3?
- ANSWER: You died, and now you live in, and through, Christ.
- What does verse 4 say will happen to you? He tells us about those who succeed; read Isaiah 40:31. This is God talking directly to us, telling us what to do if we want to finish the race, if we want to succeed in the kingdom, if we want to do His will. Read this well known verse and write down what God tells us to do; then pray for the wisdom and strength to be able to carry it out.
- ANSWER: Because of Christ, you will also appear in glory with Him.
- Read 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. Who will rise first with Christ?
- ANSWER: Those who have "fallen asleep", i.e., those who will have suffered a physical death before His appearing, will rise first. Then we who are alive at the time of His coming will be caught up in the air to also be with Him as He returns in glory.
- Colossians 3:5 commands us to do what?
- ANSWER: We are to put to death "sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry."
- What else are we commanded to do, in Colossians 3:6-9?
- ANSWER: We are to rid ourselves of "anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips." And, we are told to "not lie to each other."
- In verses 12-16, we are given instructions as to what we should do instead. What are some of the specific things mentioned?
- ANSWER: "12Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. 15Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God." [NIV]
- As we live our lives each day, what do verses 17 and 23 tell us about how we are to live our lives?
- ANSWER 1: "And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." [NIV]
- ANSWER 2: "Since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving." [NIV]
As Paul writes these instructions to us, and I consider all that he has written just in this chapter alone, I believe that we are challenged to live a life dramatically different than the one that we are living today. In any case, I know that this is how it speaks to me. My prayer is that I can have the strength, determination, discipline and faith to actually carry out his instruction, even though, sadly, I seem to always fall short.
My prayer also this week is that these words will speak to you as they speak to me, and that they will encourage each of us to live a more abundant and free life in 2009; boldly walking as Christ would have us, living a life that earnestly seeks out the lost and dying around us, and glorifying God in all that we say and do.
As many of you may already be aware, my favorite passage in Bible for instruction regarding how to live as a Christ-follower is Romans Chapter 12. I highly recommend it to you as a blueprint for how we should live in the days and months ahead.
Next week, we will resume our current study, but for this week, let us examine our lives in light of the New Year that Christ is going to give us, and let’s commit to living it just for Him.
Thanks for studying with us; and have a great week everyone.