The Great Exchange: My Sin for His Righteousness
a collaborative work by Jerry Bridges and Bob Bevington

Chapter 13

Colossians

 

1. Have you ever trained your body so you could perform a certain sport?  What did you do differently in order to achieve your goal of physical fitness or skill?  What happened if you didn’t stick with your regimen or dropped it altogether?  Do you suppose that ascetics have over-emphasized the physical aspect of discipline in one’s spiritual life?  Or, perhaps, have the ascetics erred in some other way?

 

2.  In the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20), Jesus declares, “all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” (v. 18 NIV) Is Paul saying the same thing in Colossians 1:16?  If Paul is saying the same thing as Jesus, how do you suppose the church in Colossae neglected such an important article of faith?

 

3.  In Colossians 1:19-22 Paul writes of a very significant dichotomy.  What is it?

 

4.  If the mystics in Colossae inserted angels and other beings into their doctrine, then do you suppose that they had missed the point of the dichotomy that Paul lays out in the first chapter of Colossians?  If so, then how does Paul correct their error?

 

5.  Which came first the chicken or the egg?  We like throwing that statement around when we can’t quite figure out how something started.  Is that the type of question that Paul is addressing in his letter to the Colossians?  Are there some in the Colossian church that were declaring that sanctification precedes identification?  According to Paul, what comes first identification or sanctification?  Why did the church in Colossae, and even us today, get this wrong?  What harm results from getting this point wrong?  What blessings result from getting this right?

 

6.  God alone is the author of life.  Agree/disagree?  The question seems simple enough, doesn’t it?  What about when we believe that we can attain a spiritual life or “a higher level of consciousness” through our own efforts?  Isn’t that belief system saying that God alone is not the author of life and that somehow, some way man can generate life on his own?  Does that kind of thinking represent a form of practical atheism?

 

7.  Is Satan’s power or authority dependent upon sin?  If there is no sin, then does Satan have any power or authority?  At what point does Satan seem to initially gain authority?  At what point does Satan lose his authority?  If, when tempted, Jesus was without sin, could Satan have any power or authority over Him?  If no, then what happened at the cross?

© Copyright 2007, Jerry Bridges and Robert Bevington, All Rights Reserved.

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