Paul: The Prison Letters
Colossians and Philemon
Read Paul's letter to Philemon.
If you were in worship last Sunday, review what you remember about the differences between the type of slavery that existed between Philemon and Onesimus and the type of slavery that we're familiar with here in the USA.
What are Paul's directions to Philemon? To Onesimus?
How can we apply what Paul says in our day, perhaps as employers and employees?
Read Colossians 1:15-20
How does Paul describe Jesus' pre-eminence over creation?
How does Paul then focus in on the Church, and describe Jesus' pre-eminence over the Church?
Note that in calling Jesus "the firstborn", Paul is not saying that Jesus had a 'beginning'. He's saying that He has the rights and privileges of "the firstborn".
Read Colossians 2:6-15
What are some of the hollow and deceptive philosophies that are taking our culture captive, that seem very tricky for us Christians to respond to today, that easily confuse many today?
Paul compares circumcision (the means by which a young boy became part of the covenant people of God in the Old Testament) with baptism. Read Genesis 17:10-14. How old was the boy to be when he was circumcised? What did a lack of circumcision indicate? What insights do we find here for the practice of baptism in the New Testament? Questions? Thoughts?
In v. 13-15 how does Paul describe what Jesus does when we come to faith? Who's "doing the doing" - us or God?
Read Colossians 3:1-17
What aspects of Christ's new wardrobe do you most need to clothe yourself with today?
Read Colossians 4:7-18 (do your best with the names J)
What do you discover about Onesimus? Mark (see Acts 15:37-40 to see how Paul formerly felt about Mark)? About Luke (the gospel writer)? Sounds like Paul is having a party there in Rome, although he's under house arrest. Epilogue: Paul is released and goes to Spain … stay tuned …