These small group studies of Colossians contain outlines, cross-references, Bible study discussion questions, and applications.  Visit our library of inductive Bible studies for more in depth inductive studies on this and other books of the Bible you can use in your small group.

Colossians 1:11-16 Inductive Bible Study

Title: The Centrality of Christ

Summary– In Him, we can be strengthened with His power, attain steadfastness and patience, joyously give thanks, be qualified in the inheritance of the saints. He is qualified to give us this and much more, because He has redeemed us, forgiven us, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son. Christ is the perfect representation of Christ, the creator of ALL things.

Central Teaching– It is only through the tremendous redemptive power of Christ that we have any strength on earth or hope of heaven.

Key Words– ALL, strengthened, steadfastness, patience, thanks, inheritance, saints, rescued, redemption, forgiveness, created, things

Key Verse– 1:16

Ten Things this Passage Says

1. He has strengthened us with all power, according to His glorious might.

2. He has helped us attain all steadfastness and patience.

3. He strengthens us to joyously give thanks to the Father.

4. The Father has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.

5. He rescued us from the domain of darkness.

6. He transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son.

7. In Christ, we have redemption and forgiveness of sins.

8. Christ is the image of the invisible God.

9. Christ is the firstborn of all creation.

10. He created ALL things.

Ten Things this Passage does NOT Say

1. He doesn’t provide the strength for us to do what He has called us to do.

2. We cannot attain steadfastness or patience.

3. There are some situations where we cannot give thanks nor have joy.

4. We attain our inheritance through our own merit.

5. The darkness has power over us…we cannot fight it.

6. We can be Christians and still be members of the kingdom of earth.

7. There are some things we have done that are so awful that they can never be redeemed or forgiven.

8. We cannot know what God is like…He’s a total mystery.

9. Something or someone in this creation has preeminence over Christ.

10. Things just “happened” into being. There is no creator, no order, no plan. Or even if there is a Creator, some things just happened by chance.

What does this passage teach me about God?

He strengthens us with all power, according to His glorious might.

He is steadfast and patient.

He has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.

He is my rescuer.

He does not want us to be trapped in darkness.

He loves His Son, and He loves me.

He redeems and forgives.

We can see God perfectly in Christ.

He created all things.

All things were created FOR Him.

How does this passage apply to my life?

If I have been rescued from the domain of darkness, why continue to live as a slave to it? If there is some area of my life that has a stronghold over me, purposefully break that stronghold and claim victory in Christ. Do I live as one rescued, or one who needs rescuing?

He has forgiven me. Be faithful to confess my sins and claim the forgiveness that He gives.

Learn more about God by examining the life and character of Christ.

Do not claim authorship or ownership over anything. He is the author and creator of all. All glory must go to Him.

I was created FOR him. Live my life with an open hand to Him. Don’t stake hopes on my own plans. Be willing and flexible to obey His will, rather than my own, even if it means setting my own aside.

Discussion Questions

How can we accomplish all of these things He has for our life? (V11)

If we are supposed to attain all steadfastness and patience, what do those words mean? (V11) Patience- hupomone (hoop-om-on-ay’); from NT:5278; cheerful (or hopeful) endurance, constancy:

KJV – enduring, patience, patient continuance (waiting).

Steadfastness/longsuffering- makrothumia (mak-roth-oo-mee’-ah); from the same as NT:3116; longanimity, i.e. (objectively) forbearance or (subjectively) fortitude:

KJV – longsuffering, patience.

Patience looks more at enduring difficult circumstances, while steadfastness looks at enduring difficult people.

How are we to give thanks? (V11-12)

Why is the Father the one we should give thanks to? (V12)

What is the inheritance of the saints of light? (V12)

What is the domain of darkness? (V13)

How did He rescue us from the domain of darkness? (V13) The Greek term means “to draw to oneself” or “to deliver,” and refers to the believer’s spiritual liberation by God from Satan’s kingdom, which, in contrast to the realm of light with truth and purity, is the realm of darkness (Luke 22:53) with only deception and wickedness.

What is the kingdom of His Son? (V13) In its basic sense, a group of people ruled by a king. More than just the future, earthly millennial kingdom, this everlasting kingdom speak of the realm of salvation in which all believers live in current and eternal spiritual relationship with God under the care and authority of Jesus Christ.

What does redemption mean? (V14) Greek word means “to deliver by payment of a ransom, and was used of freeing slaves from bondage. Here it refers to Christ freeing believing sinners from slavery to sin.

What does “forgiveness of sins” mean? (V14) It’s composed of 2 Greek words that mean “to pardon” or “grant remission of a penalty.” Basically, it means to clear the record of that sin and pay the penalty for that sin.

Who is the one in whom we have redemption? (V14)

Is there anything we can do to be “more redeemed,” or to earn redemption on our own? (V14)

What does it mean that He is the image of the invisible God? (V15) The Greek word for “image” is eikon, from which the English word “icon” derives. It means, “copy” or “likeness.” Jesus Christ is the perfect image—the exact likeness—of God and is in the very form of God, (Philippians 2:6, John 1:14, 14:9) and has been so from all eternity. By describing Jesus in this manner, Paul emphasizes that He is both the representation and manifestation of God. Thus, He is fully God in every way.

Why is it helpful to have an image of God- someone we can see, hear, know? (V15)

What does the “firstborn of all creation” mean? (V15) The Greek work for “firstborn” can refer to one who was born first chronologically, but most often refers to preeminence in position, or rank. In both Greek and Jewish culture, the firstborn was the ranking son who had received the right of inheritance from his father, whether he was born first or not. It is used of Israel who, not being the first nation, was however the preeminent nation. Firstborn in this context clearly mean highest in rank, not first created for several reasons: 1) Christ cannot be both “first begotten” and “only begotten; 2) when the “firstborn” is one of a class, the lass is in the plural form, but “creation,” the class here, is in a singular form; 3) if Paul was teaching that Christ was a created being, he was agreeing with the heresy he was writing to refute; and 4) it is impossible for Christ to be both created, and the Creator of everything (v16). Thus Jesus is the firstborn in the sense that He has preeminence (v18) and possesses the right of inheritance over “all creation.” He existed before the creation and is exalted in rank above it.

What things were created by Him? What things were NOT created by Him? (V16)

When it says “thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities” what does that cover? (V16)

What does it mean “all things were created through Him and for Him? (V16) As God, Jesus created the material and spiritual universe for His pleasure and glory.

How should this knowledge affect how we live?

Study Colossians 1:17-23

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