A Study of Colossians 3:18-25

A Study of Colossians 3:18-25

A Study of Colossians 3:18-25 identities God’s prescription for the family, for parents and work relationships, and our calling for vocational purpose.

A Study of Colossians 3:18-25 identifies God’s prescription for the family

V.18-20 Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them. Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord

What does a healthy family look like? Paul offers a prescription that he repeats in Ephesians 6:5-9. But since we’re all sinners, there’s messiness in every family. Still, it’s God’s natural design for human procreation, development, and experiencing love, belonging, and satisfaction.

A description of today’s modern family includes many variations. But Paul centers his discussion on the original family described in the second chapter of Genesis. And he focuses on three words: Submission, love, and obedience. Rather than mandates, they are volunteered by family members.

SUBMIT: The Greek word is hupŏtassō, which means to put under, subordinate, be in subjection to, and be under obedience. Although it does not sanction complete male domination and authoritative rule. In fact, Paul describes a new sense of equality that should operate within the body of Christ in Galatians 3:28. However, husbands should take the family leadership role and on decisions where there’s not complete agreement, wives should defer to their husbands.

Submission is a regular part of discipleship for all Christ-followers.

James 4:7 says, “Submit yourselves therefore to God.” In Ephesians 5:21, Paul encourages mutual submission of husbands and wives. And Luke describes Jesus’ submissive relationship to his earthly parents, Mary and Joseph, using the same Greek word hupŏtassō.

And he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them. (ESV, Luke 2:51)

In other words, the perfect Son of God willingly submitted to his imperfect, human parents.

LOVE: In today’s modern culture, sexual attraction and romance are the popular feelings that drive the relationship between men and woman considering marriage. And these feeling are best represented by the Greek word, Eros. Although Eros is never used in the New Testament, its expression is addressed in New Testament teachings and clearly present in the Song of Solomon. But here, Paul uses the Greek agape, which describes God’s unconditional love for us. And the Godly love we should demonstrate to others as well. But why for marriage?

Perhaps it’s because the sexual desires and romantic passions that drive youthful relationships are not reliable for lasting marriages. Is this not what we see consistently in our sexually driven culture? Rather, it’s the profound and substantive agape love that builds a meaningful, lifetime commitment. One that doesn’t just satisfy its own desires, but seeks the other person’s welfare.

OBEDIENCE: The Greek is hupakŏuō, which means to hear under as a subordinate, listen attentively, and conform to a command or authority. Obedience both honors parents and expresses trust in them. And children who are secure in their parents’ love are more willing to accept parental decisions as made with their welfare in mind. Especially when love and concern works both ways between parents and children.

A Study of Colossians 3:18-25 identifies God’s prescription for parents and work relationships

V.21-22 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. Bondservants, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord.

But parental expectations for a child’s obedience can also be abused. And Paul quickly warns about carrying parental authority too far and “provoking” children, which is the Greek ĕrĕthizō. It means to stimulate to anger, and can “discourage” them, which is the Greek athumĕō. It means to be spiritless, disheartened, and dismayed. In other words, parenting requires a balance. It should exercise loving discipline and correction along with encouragement and loving support.

A Study of Colossians 3:18-25 identifies our calling for vocational purpose

V.23-25 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality.

Although Paul speaks in the cultural context of the Roman practice of slavery, the principle he offers applies to us as well. Especially in how we approach our vocation. Because today, there is much emphasis placed on achieving a personal sense of purpose and fulfillment through our careers. And while scripture supports the idea of taking pride in and finding satisfaction in hard work, Paul suggest a higher calling. To work in a way that pleases not just an earthly boss, but our heavenly father. And that in doing so, there are also eternal rewards.

Chip Tudor is an author, blogger and professional writer. He publishes books, humorous Christian drama, and thought provoking blogs from a Christian worldview. This blog is originally published here.

Looking for a Bible Study for yourself or small group?

Check out Philippians Bible Study For Individuals and Groups.

A Study of Colossians 3:18-25

A Study of Colossians 3:14-17

A study of Colossians 3:14-17 reveals a binding and harmonious love, hearts ruled by Christ, the word’s dwelling place, and thankful hearts.

A Study of Colossians 3:14-17 reveals a binding and harmonious love.

V.14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

Christ-followers are not perfect, but are called to pursue godliness. In V.12-13, Paul lists some of those godly traits, describing them as a wardrobe of new clothes we should put on and wear. And in V.14, the final garment is love. The Greek word for “love” is agapē, which represents God’s unconditional love. It is love, not based on the worthiness of its object, but the nature of the one loving. In other words, God loves us because it is his very nature, not because we deserve it. And as Christ-followers, we should love others in the same way. It is the expression of loving actions more than feelings.

The Greek word for “binds” is sundĕsmŏs, which means uniting principle, control, band, and bond. We might picture it as a belt that pulls and holds a clothing ensemble together. And the Greek word for “perfect harmony” is tĕlĕiŏtēs, which means perfection and the state of completion. So, love is the final piece that completes a Christ-follower’s, godly wardrobe.

A Study of Colossians 3:14-17 reveals hearts ruled by Christ.

V.15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.

The Greek word for “peace” is ĕirēnē, which means peace, quietness, and rest. However, like Shalom, its Old Testament counterpart, ĕirēnē, is often used throughout the New Testament to communicate more than simply an absence of conflict. It can indicate a sense of rest, reconciliation with God, and a benefit of salvation.

The Greek word for “rule” is brabĕuō, which means to arbitrate, govern, and rule. Therefore, the peace of Christ should govern our hearts and guide our conduct among the body of Christ. And it should also foster an attitude of gratitude.

A Study of Colossians 3:14-17 reveals the word’s dwelling place.

V.16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…

The Greek for “word” is logos, which means word, as in something said. Paul likely means the Gospel story and the known teachings of Jesus. The Greek for “dwell” is ĕnŏikĕō, which means to inhabit or dwell in. And the Greek for “richly” is plŏusiōs, which means copiously and abundantly. In other words, we should abundantly fill ourselves with and meditate regularly on God’s word.

Today, the entire Bible guides us as disciples of Jesus. And as we regularly plant its words in our hearts and minds, they powerfully directs us in godly living.

Teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom…

The Greek word for “admonishing” is nŏuthĕtĕō, which means to put in mind, to caution or reprove gently. As secular culture grows increasingly hostile towards the gospel, Christ-followers will find refuge in a loving, local church. It’s where we’ll find encouragement, support, and accountability to lead lives that glorify God.

Singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

When the angels appeared to the shepherds to announce the birth of Jesus, they sang, “Glory to God in the highest.” Today, we continue to celebrate Jesus’ atonement for our sin. And with thankful hearts, lift up our voices to him in song.

A Study of Colossians 3:14-17 reveals thankful hearts.

V.17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

The Christian life involves a complete change in perspective. Because Jesus Christ is both our Savior and Lord.

The Greek word for “Lord” is kuriŏs, which means supreme in authority, controller, God, and master. And it represents one of the greatest challenges in discipleship. Rather than self-determination, we are called to submit ourselves to the rule of Jesus Christ. He is the master we seek to please, glorify, and imitate by living according to his Word.

We should also stay mindful that our freedom cost Jesus his life as Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians.

You are not your own, you’ve been bought with a price. (ESV, 1 Corinthians 6:19)

Chip Tudor is an author, blogger and professional writer. He publishes books, humorous Christian drama, and thought provoking blogs from a Christian worldview.

Looking for a Bible Study for yourself or small group?

Check out Philippians Bible Study For Individuals and Groups.

A Study of Colossians 3:18-25

A Study of Colossians 3:9-13

A study of Colossians 3:9-13 identifies a new self renewed after the image of its creator, finds unity and belonging in Christ, demonstrates Godly traits, and encourages a heart of forgiveness.

A Study of Colossians 3:9-13 reveals a new self renewed after the image of its creator

V.9-10 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. 

Who am I? Why am I here? What’s my place in the world? There’s a lot of “Identity” confusion in today’s world as people struggle to know and express who they are. But Christ-followers don’t have that problem. Because scripture says our identity is “In Christ” and explains what that means.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. (ESV, 2 Corinthians 5:17)

Paul identified a list of sins in V.8 we are to put away using a picture of removing old, dirty clothes and putting on new ones. In V.9 he adds “lying” to the list and tells why we should put the old practices away. Because they represent our old self and we now have a new one. Furthermore, the new self is renewable.

The Greek word for “renewed” is anakainŏō, which means to renew and renovate. Why is a renewable self important? Because our new nature is still corrupted by sin. So even though we strive not to sin, we still do. But when we confess and repent of that sin, God forgives it and renews us as the prophet Jeremiah confirms.

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (ESV, Lamentations 3:22-23)

Furthermore, our new self is renewed “in knowledge.” The Greek word ĕpignōsis means recognition, full discernment, and acknowledgment. It suggests a true knowledge of God. This knowledge fosters a mindful awareness of our ongoing sinfulness and God’s amazing grace. And it creates the desire in us to pursue godliness after the image of our creator.

A Study of Colossians 3:9-13 reveals finding unity and belonging in Christ

V.11 Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.

The desire for relevance drives us all. To feel a sense of value. Achieve a status above others. So it’s no surprise the ancient world had as many ethnic, political, and social divisions as today. But Paul makes it clear there is no privileged class in the body of Christ. Because Christ is all and in all.

In other words, Jesus alone is sufficient and there are no extras beyond him. No extra requirements, classifications, or qualifications. Furthermore, his presence resides equally in each follower. And no one has a special portion of Jesus beyond anyone else.

A Study of Colossians 3:9-13 reveals godly traits Christ-followers should demonstrate

V.12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience

A life that follows Jesus Christ extends beyond the “don’ts” and includes the “do’s.” So Paul now lists the godly new traits believers should put on and wear. And he starts with with our identity, which is “holy and beloved.” The Greek word for “holy” is hagiŏs. It means sacred, blameless, consecrated, and saint. The Greek word for “beloved” is agapaō, which means love.

Of course, God loves all mankind equally. But Christ-followers are cleansed from sin through the blood of Christ. And this changes our identity status from sinners to saints. It doesn’t mean we’re better than anyone else. But it does mean we strive to imitate the life of Christ. And these are the new clothes we should put on and wear.

compassionate hearts = ŏiktirmŏs and splagchnŏn. Oiktirmŏs means pity and mercy and splagchnŏn means pity, sympathy, inward affection and tender mercy. Do I give people the benefit of the doubt? Do I consider what life is like in their shoes?

kindness = chrēstŏtēs, which means usefulness, excellence in character or demeanor, gentleness, goodness, and kindness.

humility = tapĕinŏphrŏsunē, which means modesty and humbleness of mind. It’s not thinking less of myself but thinking of myself less.

meekness = praütēs, which means mild, gentle friendliness, and a calm temper of mind that is not easily provoked. It was valued in Greek culture as long as it was backed by strength. To equate meekness with weakness is a misunderstanding of the term. Jesus could have exercised the almighty power of God at any time. He restrained himself from doing so.

patience = makrŏthumia, which means longanimity, forbearance and fortitude.

Encouraging a heart of forgiveness

V.13 Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.

Repentance and forgiveness is a key component of the gospel. To repent of sin before God and receive his forgiveness. And since we have freely received God’s forgiveness, we should freely offer it to others as well.

The Greek word for “bearing” is anĕchŏmai, which means to put up with, bear with, endure, and suffer. Differences in personality, temperament, experiences, and viewpoints will always cause friction–even among Christ-followers. Bearing with others includes recognizing and appreciating those differences as we seek to work through them. Along with the willingness to admit and apologize when we’re wrong.

Chip Tudor is an author, blogger and professional writer. He publishes books, humorous Christian drama, and thought provoking blogs from a Christian worldview.

Looking for a Bible Study for yourself or small group?

Check out Philippians Bible Study For Individuals and Groups.

A Study of Colossians 3:18-25

A Study Of Colossians 3:5-8

A Study Of Colossians 3:5-8 covers sins believers should put to death, the cause of God’s coming wrath, and sins believers should put away.

A Study Of Colossians 3:5-8. Sins believers should put to death.

V.5 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.

The Greek word for “death” is nĕkrŏō, which means to subdue, be dead, and mortify. And the Greek word for “earthly” is ge, which means soil, solid part, earth, ground, and world. In other words, Paul is addressing matters related to a Christ-follower’s earthly existence.

In chapter two, Paul presented the picture of baptism as a symbol of believers identifying with Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. And now he presses that point. Since we have died with Christ, here are some sins we should put to death as well.

The word “earthly” refers to our old, sin nature since in Jesus Christ, we are new creations. (2 Corinthians 5:17) And yet, we can and do still sin. Because even as followers of Jesus, life on this earth includes an ongoing spiritual battle against sin. Paul describes his own spiritual battle in Romans 7:15-19. The good news, however, is that our old sin nature is no long our master.

So, how do you put sins to death? By cutting off the sources that feed them.

Paul identifies sexual sins

Notice these sins don’t attack one at a time, like a martial arts movie where multiple fighters politely take turns to individually attack. Instead, they gang up on us all at once.

Sexual immorality = pŏrnĕia. Also translated “fornication” is the origin of our term pornography. And it refers to any sexual intercourse outside of marriage between a man and woman.

Impurity = akatharsia, which means impurity and uncleanness. It refers to the marred character affected by immoral behavior.

Passion = pathŏs, which means inordinate affection. It’s also translated “lust.” Although it can refer to any out of control passion, it typically means uncontrolled sexual desires.

Evil desire = Combines kakŏs, which means evil and ĕpithumia, which means a longing for what is forbidden.

Covetousness = plĕŏnĕxia, which means covetousness and greediness. And Paul immediately calls it idolatry. Why? Because anything that displaces God as the primary source of our desire, attention, and value is an idol.

It’s important to note that sexual temptation is not itself sin. In other words, simply observing an attractive person. It becomes sinful as our gaze lingers and our thoughts move into entertaining sexual fantasies. Sometimes the best course of action is to simply look away.

A Study Of Colossians 3:5-8. The cause of God’s coming wrath.

V.6-7 On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them.

God will issue a final judgment over all mankind and some will experience his wrath. The Greek word for “wrath” is ŏrgē, which means violent passion, abhorrence, anger, and indignation. It is a holy God’s emotional response to the sin he hates. (Proverbs 6:16-19). However, God’s wrath is not vindictive or capricious like human anger or represent his desire for us. And Paul reminds us here that for those who follow Jesus, it’s all in their past.

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. (ESV, 2 Peter 3:9)

God’s mercy, grace, and forgiveness are granted to all who repent of sin and accept Jesus Christ as Lord. But his wrath is the ultimate consequence for those who reject him.

A Study Of Colossians 3:5-8. Sins believers should put away.

V.8 But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.

Paul now addresses sins related to emotions and attitudes. And the image associated with “put them all away” is the picture of stripping off old, dirty clothes.

Anger = ŏrgē, the same word used for God’s wrath. The difference, however, is that in humans it is always self-centered and often intentionally vindictive. Anger generally suggests an internal emotion of smoldering or seething hatred.

Wrath = thumŏs, which means fierceness, indignation, and wrath. It suggests an emotional outburst of angry words and actions.

Malice = kakia, which means evil, naughtiness and wickedness. It suggests evil with an intent to harm.

Slander = blasphēmia, from which comes “blasphemy” which is evil speaking and railing directed against God. Slander is speech that puts malice into practical effect and in this context is directed at another person.

Obscene talk = aischrŏlŏgia, which means vile conversation and filthy communication.

Putting these sins away is not something we accomplish on our own. It involves regularly filling our minds with God’s word and being filled with God’s Spirit. (ESV, Ephesians 5:18) Even then, we will still fail because of our fallen, sinful nature. But we are always covered by God’s grace.

Chip Tudor is an author, blogger and professional writer. He publishes books, humorous Christian drama, and thought provoking blogs from a Christian worldview.

Looking for a Bible Study for yourself or small group?

Check out Philippians Bible Study For Individuals and Groups.

A Study of Colossians 3:18-25

A Study Of Colossians 3:1-4

A study of Colossians 3:1-4 covers the desire for Godliness, making an intentional decision, and anticipating a future life with Christ.

A study of Colossians 3:1-4. The desire for Godliness

If then you have been raised with Christ…

Paul uses baptism in Colossians 2:12 as a picture of how followers identify with Christ. “Having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith.” And he explains the symbolism behind it. “In Christ you died” (Colossians 2:20) is symbolized when a new believer is submerged in water. And is “raised with Christ” when raised back to the surface, Paul then asks a question: “If you died with Christ, why do you return to your old ways?” He answers that question in 2 Corinthians 5:17 where he calls them new creations. Rather than turning back they should move forward in their new life.

Seek the things that are above…

And moving forward in that new life in Christ considers what’s ahead and above. The Greek word for “seek” is zētĕō, which means to seek, to worship, to desire. In other words, your new life in Christ seeks a life OF godliness. And that begins with a desire FOR godliness. It doesn’t passively wait for God to shower down his blessings. But rather, willfully and actively seeks to please God.

A study of Colossians 3:1-4. Making an intentional decision

Set your minds on things that are above…

Following Jesus begins with an intentional decision and a step of faith. But it doesn’t stop there. It requires many intentional steps of faith. And your mind is pivotal in the direction you take because it’s a primary target of Satan’s attacks. So you must take charge as the captain of it.

“Set your minds” comes from the Greek word phrŏnĕō, which means to exercise the mind, to interest oneself in. It moves beyond desire of the heart to intentionally controlling your thought life. In short, what thoughts do you let into your mind? Which ones do you entertain and which ones do you discard? And how do you manage them to shape your decisions? But most importantly…what is the starting point for your thought life? Paul has a clear answer: Start with an intentional focus on the things of God. He offers practical suggestions in Philippians 4:8 and 3:12.

Not on things that are on earth.

The Greek word for “earth” is gē, which means soil, ground, world, the solid part or the whole terrestrial globe. Of course, as earth residents, we must attend to matters of this life. Earn a living. Navigate the relationships among family, friends, and career. Take out the trash.

They all demand mind space and time from our schedule. But they shouldn’t preoccupy or replace our thoughts for God.

Anticipating a future life with Christ

For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

Paul explains the reason we should set our minds on things above. Because in dying with Christ, we died to our old self and the things of this world. We still live in and engage with the things of this world. But we don’t let them dominate our thinking. Because our true life and final home is with Christ. Although what that actually looks like is hidden from us for now.

When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Christ will “appear” and we will “appear” translates the same Greek word, phanĕrŏō. It means to manifest, show, render apparent, and declare. In other words, when Jesus returns to earth what was hidden will become apparent. Because Jesus will visibly manifest in his glory and his followers will share in it. And it’s this eternal perspective that fills us with enduring hope.

Chip Tudor is an author, blogger and professional writer. He publishes books, humorous Christian drama, and thought provoking blogs from a Christian worldview.