Yass Community Baptist Church
Relationships in Jesus
Colossians: Jesus + Nothing Part 4
Locations & Times
  • Yass Community Baptist Church
    50 Laidlaw St, Yass NSW 2582, Australia
    Sunday 10:00 AM
Relationships in Jesus

Today we conclude our four week series exploring Paul and Timothy's letter to the church in Colossae. Last week we explored the new lifew we are called to live in Jesus. This new life transforms the way we live in relationships with one another.

The Marriage Relationship
Paul writes about how the new life in Jesus should impact the marriage relationship. To our eyes this might read like a reinforcement of the traditional cultural norms but in Paul's time it would have been understood quite differently.
The Parent Child Relationship
In the Roman Empire the Father had almost complete legal power over his children even into adulthood. As he did with wives, Paul writes directly to children addressing them as people with the capacity to make their own moral decisions. And to Fathers, the one's in the position of power in the relationship, Paul highlights their responsibility towards their children and not their rights over them.
The Master Slave Relationship
These words perhaps make us uncomfortable today. Does the bible condone slavery? We need only revisit Colossians 3:11 to see that in Christ there is no slave or free. We also see that ethnic and cultural barriers are also undone in Christ, thus there is no possible grounds for the systematic slavery of a particular ethnic group.

The reality in Paul's day was that slavery was all pervasive and as a result many of those who were coming to Christ would have been both slaves and the masters of slaves. To not write about this relationship would have been akin to not speaking in our own day of how the new life in Christ should impact our work relationships.

Paul addresses slaves as their own person and his words to slave Masters though brief completely transform the notion of what slavery meant. In short Paul does not call for a slave uprising but for masters to treat slaves as fully human and caring for their needs as full members of their household. In other words, as brothers and sisters in Christ and not as slaves.
Power in relationships = responsibility
A quick read through Paul's words in this passage might sound like a reinforcement of ancient cultural norms. Understood in the context of its day, Paul turns these norms completely on their head.

Yes, husbands are the head of the household, but that involves a responsibility sacrificially love the wife and care for her.

Yes, children are to obey their parents, but parents have a greater responsibility towards their children.

Yes, in Paul's day slavery was an all pervasive thing, but masters have a responsibility to care and provide for their slaves as their own master Jesus has provided for them.

The Apostle Paul speaks through the cultural norms of relationship to call those who are in a position of power to see responsibility for others and not to assert their rights.
Power = responsibility.

Life Group Discussion Questions Below

As our life groups gather this week, we have attached our reference verse and some questions to prompt a deeper discussion and search into this week's topic.

If you are not currently part of a life group, and would like to join a small group of like minded people in fellowship and connection during the week, please contact Nick on 0417472474 to register your interest.
Discussion Questions

Read through Colossians 3:18-4:1
1. What parts of this passage do you find most challenging?
2. How have the social norms for relationships changed since Paul's time?
3. What hasn't changed in the social norms for relationships?
4. Read through the Paul's words to Husbands, Fathers and Masters again. These were the people in the position of power in their relationships, what responsibilities does Paul give them?
5. For the wife, child, and slave Paul focus the attention of submission, obedience and service on the Lord. What impact does this have on what these things look like?
6. How would you go about applying these words to your own life today?

Take some time to pray for one another

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