Through Jesus, all things are reconciled to God. That doesn’t mean that all will be saved but that all are now savable. A believer who continually pursues Christ will grow and move toward maturity in Him. But some believers who ignore their need to mature will remain stagnant and immature. Paul’s passion is one we can embrace too: to see every believer presented as mature before Jesus.

Review the breathtaking portrait of Christ found in Colossians 1:15-18. Continue that description by reading 1:19-20. What is meant by the word, “fullness?” Compare Col. 2:9.

Read the controversial passage in 1:21-23. Explain why the phrase, “if indeed you continue” (1:23) is not a requirement for eternal life. What is Paul most likely talking about?

Take a brief aside to look at the subject of the judgment seat of Christ. What is it? Read the following verses for insights: Rom. 14:10-12, 2 Cor. 5:9-10 and 1 Cor. 3:11-15. How does the concept of Christ’s judgment of believers relate to Col. 1:21-23?

Most of us work to avoid suffering at any cost. How does God use suffering in our progress toward maturity? Read Col. 1:24-25. Why could Paul rejoice in his sufferings?

Paul was a man of intense purpose. Read Col. 1:28-29. Summarize Paul’s purpose in life. It’s clear he wanted to see believers grow in their faith. Do you see any connection between these verses and Col. 1:21-23? Explain.

Take a moment to describe your desire to influence others for Christ. What does your influence of others look like in your practical experience of life?

Further Reading

Avoiding Willful Defiance

Even Christians can behave badly. And the Bible acknowledges that a believer can walk away from Jesus all together. To treat God with this kind of contempt is a terrible act of defiance. In the fourth of five warnings in the book of Hebrews, the author tells us about...

The Danger of Falling Away

Salvation is guaranteed the moment one believes Jesus for it. But becoming a Christian never guarantees that we’ll live like one. Spiritual maturity is not automatic. It requires diligent engagement with Jesus if we hope to change and grow. In the third of five...

Beware of Your Unbelief

Even Christians can be people of unbelief. Given tempting circumstances, we might cave under pressure and cease to follow God wholeheartedly. This certainly was the case with the children of Israel who took a major detour of unbelief while on their journey to the land...

Pay Careful Attention

Like other people, there’s a chance you have entertained thoughts about returning to an easier, more comfortable way of life—one that pushes God aside. When the pressure is on, even Christians can become disillusioned with following Jesus. The book of Hebrews is...

Raised Forever

Easter is the celebration of all celebrations! Jesus Christ has conquered sin and death and is raised to life. The resurrection of Jesus is not some legend that has been passed down through the ages meant to give us an excuse for another holiday. In Easter we see the...