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Written by Tim Black   
Wednesday, 13 June 2007 13:07

Colossians: “How to be a Christian”

Book Outline

Taken from Tim’s sermon outlines (still a work in progress!)

  1. Greeting: “Grace to you, and peace” 1:1-2

    1. Author: Jesus Christ sent Paul to you 1

    2. Recipients: You are Christ’s church 2a

    3. Greeting: Grace to you, and peace 2b

  2. Receiving Christ: Christian Fundamentals 1:3-2:5

    1. Be Encouraged by Your Past Conversion & Progress in Christ, Who Provides: Life-Giving Hope 3-8

      1. This hope gives you faith and love 3-5a

      2. You heard of this hope in the gospel. So remember... 5b-8

        1. ...When the gospel came to you 6a

        2. ...The gospel’s fruitfulness in all the world 6b

        3. ...Your growth in your faith 6c

        4. ...Your growth in your love 7

    2. Trusting Christ for Your Future, Pray to be Filled 9-14

      1. With a knowledge of God’s will 9

      2. To walk worthy of the Lord 10-14

        1. To grow in good works & knowledge 10b

        2. To be strengthened to endure 11

        3. To give thanks for being qualified 12, delivered and transferred 13, and redeemed 14

    3. Recognize that: Jesus Christ is Lord 15-20

      1. Jesus is Lord over all creation 15-16

        1. In divinity & priority 15

        2. Because He created all things 16

      2. Central summary 17-18a

      3. Jesus is Lord of salvation 18b-20

        1. In its production 18b

        2. In its product 19-20

    4. Recognize Your Need for Growth: Reconciliation Accomplished must be Applied 21-23

      1. Reconciliation accomplished 21-22

        1. You once were alienated 21

        2. But now have been reconciled 22

      2. Must be applied 23

        1. In the endurance of faith – stable, steadfast, not shifting 23a

        2. In the hope of the gospel – God reconciles through conversion, missions, and ministry 23b

    5. The Pattern of A Christian on Display in Paul: “So Walk in Him” 1:24-2:5

      1. I will rejoice to suffer for the church v. 24

      2. I will serve the church with the gifts God has given me v. 25

      3. I will grow in my knowledge of the gospel v. 26

      4. I will further the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ v. 27

      5. I will pursue every member’s sanctification v. 28

      6. I will work hard at this in God’s strength v. 29

      7. I will pray for the members of the church v. 1

      8. I will pray for their spiritual maturity vv. 2-3

      9. I will not be led away from Christ v. 4

      10. I will rejoice in the church’s unity and faithfulness v. 5

  3. Walking in Christ: Implementing Christian Growth 2:6-4:18

    1. BRIDGE: Exhortation: “As you have received Christ, so walk in Him” 2:6-7

    2. Overview: The Central Contrast: A Worldview According to Christ 2:8-10

      1. Non-Christian worldview: Do not be taken captive by a worldview that is according to the world 8

        1. Its method of capture (ethics): Philosophy and empty deception 8a

        2. Its source (epistemology): The traditions of men 8b

        3. Its ultimate basis (metaphysics): The basic principles of the world 8c

      2. Christian worldview: Instead, you need a worldview that is according to Christ 9-10

        1. Metaphysically: A Christian is centered on Christ 9

        2. Epistemologically: A Christian is filled with Christ 10a

        3. Ethically: A Christian is ruled by Christ 10b

    3. You Need to be Freed from A Non-Christian Worldview 2:11-23

      1. Metaphysically: A Heart Freed by Christ Is A Heart... 11-15

        1. Metaphysically: Freed from the principle of sin 11-12

          1. Through (heart-) circumcision 11

          2. Through baptism ( = regeneration/union with Christ) 12

        2. Epistemologically: Freed from the guilt of sin 13b-14

        3. Ethically: Freed from the power of sin inside you 13a and outside you 15

      2. Epistemologically: A Mind Freed by Christ Is A Mind... 16-19

        1. Metaphysically: Freed from error: Jewish legalism & pagan religion 16, 18

          1. Jewish legalism 16

          2. Pagan religion 18

        2. Epistemologically: Devoted to Christ 17, 19a

          1. Not to ceremonies & self-righteousness, but a spiritual relationship with Christ 17

          2. Not to speculation & lies, but Christ and His wisdom 19a

        3. Ethically: Growing in Christ’s wisdom 19b-d

          1. The place of growth: Growing in His body 19b

          2. The means of growth: Growing in His nourishment & fellowship 19c

          3. The nature of growth: Growing in His godliness 19d

      3. Ethically: A Life Freed by Christ Is A Life... 20-23

        1. Metaphysically: Freed from the basic principles of the world 20

          1. The fact 20a

          2. The implication 20b

        2. Epistemologically: Freed from human regulations 21-22

          1. Their nature 21

          2. Their evaluation 22

            1. Their focus: attempt to solve enduring spiritual problems with perishable physical solutions 22a

            2. Their origin: man rather than God 22b

        3. Ethically: Freed from slavery to the flesh 23

          1. The lie about their reputation 23a and methods 23b: Victory!

          2. The truth about their reputation 23c and methods 23d: Defeat!

    4. You Need A Christian Worldview 3:1-4:18

      1. Metaphysically: Christian Character 3:1-17

        1. The Ground of Christian Character: “Set your mind on things above” 1-4

          1. Metaphysically: Seek the things that are above 1

            1. Ground: Union with Christ 1a

            2. Exhortation: Seek! 1b

            3. Location: Heaven 1c

          2. Epistemologically: Set your mind on things above 2

          3. Ethically: Because your life is hid with Christ, and Christ is your life 3-4

            1. This union has begun 3

            2. This union will be completed 4

        2. Put Off the Old Man 5-11

          1. Individually: Put Evil Desires to Death (love of self) 5-7
            1. Metaphysically: What: Evil (deeds 5a stemming from) desires 5b

            2. Epistemologically: Why: God’s evaluation and response: Wrath! 6

            3. Ethically: How: Your walk 7a and your life 7b

          2. Socially: Put Away Social Sins (hatred of fellow man) in 3 Aspects... 8-11
            1. Metaphysically: Their core: Hatred 8

            2. Epistemologically: Their expression: Lies 9-10

            3. Ethically: Their effects: Superficial distinctions/divisions 11

        3. Put On the New Man 12-17

          1. Individually: Put On Christian Virtues (selfless love) 12-14
            1. (Ground: Christian identity 12a)

            2. Metaphysically: Virtues 12b

            3. Epistemologically: Reconciliation (forebear or forgive) 13

            4. Ethically: Bound together in love 14

          2. Socially: Express Christian Virtues by... (thankful blessing) 15-17
            1. Metaphysically: Peace and thankfulness in church 15

            2. Epistemologically: Biblical worship (teaching man, praising God) 16

            3. Ethically: Whatever you do 17

      2. Epistemologically: Christian Relationships 3:18-4:1

        1. Wives and Husbands 3:18-19

        2. Children and Fathers 3:20-21

        3. Slaves and Masters 3:22-4:1

      3. Ethically: Christian Community 4:2-18

        1. Christian Witness 2-6

        2. Christian Greetings 7-18

Discussion Questions:

  1. What position does Christ occupy in the flow of the main points in 1:3-2:5?

  2. How do the Christian and non-Christian worldviews differ? What Christian things replace non-Christian things when you become a Christian? Consider especially the summary contrasts in 2:8-10, and details in ch. 2.

  3. Extra credit: What do the Christian and non-Christian worldviews share in common? Consider Psalm 19:1-3; Rom. 1:18-21.

  4. According to 3:5-11, what “basic principles” “live” at the center of an unbelieving life? What things live at the center of a believer’s life? (3:12b) How do these come to expression in people’s relationships (3:18-4:1)? In their life in their community (4:2-18)?

  5. Explain how Paul’s critique in ch. 2 fits one non-Christian worldview, and what parts of the Christian worldview would be distinctively better than that non-Christian worldview. Example worldviews to consider: materialism, hedonism, asceticism, atheism, secular science, Islam, Hinduism, Confucianism, Mormonism.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 June 2007 13:11