Bible Studies for Life Sunday School Lesson for February 26

Bible Studies for Life Sunday School Lesson for February 26

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

By Tyshawn Gardner, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Biblical and Religious Studies, Samford University

Does It Lead You to Be More Like Jesus?

Colossians 3:1–14

Paul wants the believers at Colosse to understand that faith in Christ requires turning away from the old life which was hostile to the way and will of Christ (1:21) and turning to the One who is “the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation” (1:15). For Paul, this new life in Christ begins when the believer begins identifying with Christ by setting the mind on “things above and not on earthly things.” 

Contemporary believers must also accept the grace of God to live a life in Christ, even as we feel the tug of the world. Nothing fulfills us or brings God more glory than embracing with our lives what we have accepted in our heart: life in Christ. 

God’s voice draws our thoughts to the things of God. (1–4)

Salvation and sanctification imply our bodies and our souls are to be set aside for God’s glory. The soul contains our emotions, our wills and our mental, reasoning and decision-making capacities. Human beings are thinking beings. Paul’s advice to the Colossians is to devote their minds to thinking about and choosing the things of God. Accepting Christ is dying to the old life of the flesh and thinking thoughts after God. When we pray and yield our hearts to hearing from God, His voice draws our thoughts to the things of God. 

God’s voice draws us to put to death the earthly nature. (5–9)

Paul gives a laundry list of the sinful vices of the old life. He then reminds the Colossians how they once walked in these sins. However, living for Christ is not living life in neutral. Making a decision for Christ is the intentional decision to turn away from sinful vices and toward the new self. The voice of God calls us to a beautiful life of purpose.  Where there is divine purpose, there is divine peace.  

The voice of God draws us to put to death the earthly nature. The list of vices Paul provides is not an exhaustible list, but a sampling of behaviors that draw God’s wrath. These human behaviors have led to some of the most atrocious events in United States and world history. But God’s plan is for His people to put the earthly nature to death before the earthly nature brings death upon us. In Christ, we find life. 

God’s voice draws us to cultivate godly character. (10–14)

Cultivating a life of prayer and listening to God increases our desire to model behaviors and thoughts that reflect Christ. The more we learn about Christ through God’s Word and obedience to His voice, the more our character develops into godliness. The godly life calls us to recognize who we were created to be. 

The truth of our identity is found in Genesis 2. We are created in the image of God. Life in Christ adopts a mindset and a set of human behaviors that reflect God’s image. Because of the universality of being created in the image of God, all who live in Christ can put on the new self. The ultimate sign of godly character is love, “which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” In a world where classism, racism, poverty and crime seem to be the reality of the day, this abounding love is needed to heal, bring unity and glory to God.