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 2:1-5 Inductive Bible Study

Title: Benefits of True Knowledge of the Mystery

Summary– Paul struggled greatly on behalf of Christians near and far, that they would attain all the godly characteristics that come from truly knowing Christ. When we know Him, we cannot be deceived by false arguments, and we will be together in spirit, rejoicing with each other’s spiritual victories.

Central Teaching– Godly lives and character comes from truly knowing Christ.

Key Words– struggle, encouraged, knit, all, love, knowledge, Christ, spirit, faith, hearts, hidden treasures, stability

Key Verse– 2:2

Ten Things this Passage Says-

1. Paul struggled greatly on behalf of believers, even when he had not personally seen them.

2. Our hearts are encouraged when they are knit together in love.

3. Great wealth comes from the full assurance of understanding God’s mystery.

4. God’s mystery is Christ.

5. We can have a true knowledge of Christ.

6. In Christ are hidden all the treasure of wisdom and knowledge.

7. Once we have a true knowledge of Christ, no one can delude us with persuasive arguments.

8. People will try to deceive us against Christ.

9 Christians can and should be united in spirit.

10. Good discipline and stability of faith in Christ results from a true knowledge of Him.

Ten Things this Passage does NOT Say-

1. We have no responsibility to care for or struggle on behalf of our brethren.

2. We should only care about believers we know personally, not ones who are strangers to us.

3. We are isolated individuals, not a part of a larger whole.

4. The best way to be encouraged is to accomplish my personal goals and have a good life.

5. We receive no benefit from knowing Christ.

6. We can never attain all the wealth that Christ has stored up for us.

7. We can never truly know Christ.

8. We can’t truly understand the gospel or Christ.

9. Once we’re Christians, no one can deceive us with false teaching.

10. As long as we live in this uncertain world, we can never have a stable faith.

What does this passage teach me about God?

He knits hearts together in love.

He is wealthy.

Though He is mysterious, He helps us to understand and know Himself.

In Him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

He gives us full assurance of understanding.

He enlightens us against the deception of the enemy.

He gives us good discipline and stability of faith.

How does this passage apply to my life?

Be willing to struggle in prayer for other believers, even if I don’t know them. (V1)

Pray big. Don’t be satisfied with weak prayers for temporal things. Pray for myself and for others that our hearts may be encouraged, knit together in love, attain all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, and result in a true knowledge of Christ. (V2)

All the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in Christ. Eagerly dig to find them. Spend daily times in the Word. Meditate on a special thought gleaned from your time with Him. (V3)

Weigh everything that people say against Scripture to see if it is true and right. Especially if they are preaching a different Christ, know that they are a false religion. Give example of Jojo’s experience this week. (V4)

Look for signs of grace in people’s lives. How are they growing? What good thing is God doing in their life? Point it out to them and encourage them with it. Give thanks to God for it. (V5)

Discussion Questions

What does Paul mean when he says he’s struggled greatly on their behalf? (V1) Struggle means “striving,” and comes from the same root as striving in 1:29. I’m sure it referred to his teaching and letter-writing, but primarily to his labor in prayer on their behalf.

What does it say about the bond of Christ that Paul would struggle so mightily on behalf of people he hasn’t even met before? (V1)

What are some ways that we can struggle for our fellow believers, both the ones we know and the ones we do not? (V1)

What was Paul struggling (teaching, praying) for these believers to achieve? (V2)

What encourages the heart according to this verse? (V2)

What does it mean for hearts to be knit together in love? Whose hearts should be thus knit? (V2)

How do we attain “all the wealth”? (V2)

What is this wealth? (V2)

What is the full assurance of understanding? (V2) “Understanding” of the fullness of the gospel, along with inner encouragement and shared love, mark mature believers who, thereby, enjoy the “assurance” of salvation.

What are we supposed to have a true knowledge of? How can we attain this knowledge? (V2)

Where are all the treasure of wisdom and knowledge hidden? (V3)

What are these treasures? (V3) The false teachers threatening the Colossians claimed to possess a secret wisdom and transcendent knowledge available only to the spiritual elite. In sharp contrast, Paul declared that all the richness of truth necessary for salvation, sanctification, and glorification is found in Jesus Christ, who Himself is God revealed.

Since it says Christ contains the treasures of wisdom and of knowledge, what is the difference between the two? (V3)

Why does Paul want them to have these treasures, according to this verse? (V4)

What are some reasons people would want to delude us? If someone is a false teacher, what is the most obvious way to tell? (V4) Paul did not want the Colossians to be deceived by the persuasive rhetoric of false teachers which assaulted the person of Christ. That is why throughout chapters 1 and 2, he stressed Christ’s deity, and His sufficiency both to save believers and bring them to spiritual maturity.

How can we avoid being deceived by false teachers? (V4)

What was Paul’s relationship with those believers, according to this verse? (V5) Because he was a prisoner, Paul was unable to be present with the Colossians. That did not mean, however, that his love and concern for them was any less.

What caused Paul to rejoice? (V5) Their “good discipline” and “stability” of faith (both military terms depicting a solid rank of soldiers drawn up for battle) brought great joy to the apostle’s heart.

What are some ways that good discipline is displayed in the Christian life? (V5)

What are some ways that stability of faith is displayed in the Christian life? (V5)

Study Colossians 2:6-12