I. Finish General Introduction from first week.
A. First week: Why study the Bible? What to pray before each reading/study time?
1. To hear God Isaiah 55:3
2. Life Psalm 119:92-93, John 1:2
3. Stability, unchanging truth Matthew 7:24
4. Helps us pray more effectively as we learn God’s will 1John 5:14-15
B. This week: Study and/or Reading?
1. What is the difference between studying the Bible and reading the Bible?
a. reading is once-through; relatively rapid; distance; overview; the forest
b. studying is in-depth; spend time on one section; details; the trees
c. some prefer reading with pray and dependence on the Holy Spirit
d. pastors and teachers must study in addition to reading, so that they can present God’s truth more fully and accurately
e study and reading are both necessary
f. nothing is as wonderful or takes the place of God opening Scripture to us directly as we pray and spend time with him in his Word
2. What activities of study can we be doing as we “spend time” on certain portions of Scripture? What can we be doing as we ask God to “open” his Word to us?
a. participate in a group study, as we are doing now. Example: Pastor Leaf’s study on Nehemiah which lasted over one year
b. read the passage, reread, reread, etc. (As we read and reread the same passage, the Holy Spirit will draw our attention to details of interest we had not noticed before. In the hiking world, this is like hiking the same trail over and over again.)
c. as we notice individual words, phrases, and thoughts, ask questions like a child—what’s this? what does this mean, really? I don’t understand this? is there another way these words could be understood? why this? why that?
d. have a set time and a set place—a structured routine
e. take notes, draw charts, make diagrams, write/journal our thoughts, look at a map, outline
3. What are some resources we may at some point want to use as helpful aids in our study?
a. find a Bible with side, center, or bottom-of-the-page references to look up related passages and words. Let Scripture interpret Scripture.
b. What is a “study” Bible and should we use one?
c. access to more than one translation
4. “Head” knowledge and “heart” knowledge
a. what is head knowledge?
b. what is heart knowledge?
c. which is more important?
d. why might we need both?
i. all of Psalm 119 combines head and heart
Psalm 119 2 Blessed are those who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart– 3 they do no wrong but follow his ways. 4 You have laid down precepts that are to be fully obeyed.
Psalm 119:11 I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.
ii. short answer: We will be judged for our actions, not for our knowledge. Actions proceed from the heart. The head can be a powerful ally of the heart when the head informs the heart and keeps the heart in check. Both need to be brought into submission to Christ.
II. Read the text
A. What is the letter’s tone?
1. friendly, conciliatory, filled with compliments and praise
2. corrective, especially beginning in Chapter 2
3. different than Paul’s tone to the Galatians
a. Paul had founded the church in Galatia; the Galatians were his spiritual children; his emotions were more tied up with them
b. There is no evidence that Paul himself had ever visited Colosse; he may have been writing to strangers
B. What is the letter’s purpose?
2. correction and guidance
3. to protect the integrity of the church’s beliefs
III. Next Week: continue specifics of the Introduction to the Letter; begin studying the text–greeting