I thought I would share the questions I asked at my Missions Group so that anyone can use them for their Bible study group, devotional, or just for kicks. You can listen/watch the sermon by clicking anywhere on this sentence.
Questions by Joe Kovac
1) When you are stressed, uncomfortable or frustrated in our day-to-day lives, how do you cope?
2) Do you think your pains and frustrations are worth suffering for? Do you have a choice to suffer for them or not?
3) “Rejoicing does not mean the absence of pain.” Keeping this in mind, how can we find some joy in our darker hours, days, weeks, months, years, etc.?
4) Many Christians claim to love Christ, but some can’t or refuse to love the church, (which is Christ’s body or Christ’s bride). Why do you think this is?
5) The Holy Spirit works in us to complete the work Christ did for us on the cross. But do we allow the Holy Spirit to work in us only during “our better times”? How about our bad times?
6) If you are in Christ, then you have received a calling that you are a steward of. No calling is greater or lesser, because all gifts and talents are needed for the entire church to demonstrate God’s love and maximize God’s glory. What has God gives you a call for? (If you don’t know what your calling is, talk to a friend, or pray about it (or both).)
7) Are we ready to accept and suffer, if need be, for our God-given calling? Is this easy or hard to do (or both)?
8) If our willingness to serve those inside and outside the church is a gauge for our relationship with Christ, how do you measure up? Where have you failed? Where can you improve?
Questions by Rev. Matt Kennedy
9) Paul does not say that he suffers for the sake of “Christ” but for the sake of the Colossian church (v.24) and the Body as a whole (v.24). What might this say about Paul’s understanding of the purpose and importance both of the local church and the Church as a whole?
10) What light does this shed on service in and through the church?
11) Paul writes in v. 24 that in his flesh he is “filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions”. Discuss some of the “afflictions” of Paul’s life, especially his circumstances as he writes to the Colossians. What are some of the ways Paul is and has been afflicted?
12) Discuss the phrase “filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions” in light of Hebrews 10:1-18, Philippians 2:30, and John 15:18-16:4.
13) Describe Paul’s ministry, as he articulates it in vv 25-27. What is he called to do? What is the “mystery”, to whom is it revealed, who is it for, and what is its significance?
14) Discuss the meaning of the phrase “Christ in you” (v.27). What does it mean to have Christ in you? How might this be “good news” to the gentiles in Colossae? How might this “mystery” lend more content to the phrase “filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions”?
15) Discuss your own relationship to both the local church and the invisible church. Have you seen it as holding the same role and significance as Paul? Why or why not? Discuss some times that you have felt alienated from, hostile, or indifferent toward your local church or the Church in general.