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Word Lyfe – Saviour

Word Lyfe – Saviour

Session 3: Saviour

Jesus is the ‘Word become flesh’ (John 1.14), God’s message to the world in human form. He is the one through whom we are forgiven, accepted and given a forever life in God’s presence. In order to be able to communicate our faith, we need to have a clear focus on Christ. This session is all about growing in our understanding of the significance of Jesus the Messiah.

Previous session review

Recap on your experiences of last week’s challenge. How did it go? Was it helpful?

If you weren’t able to try the challenge, explore the question: where and how did you experience God last week?

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Read:

Read the passage several times through, slowly and prayerfully. It might help to use your imagination to picture the scene. At the end of the text you will find helpful background information in our ‘Setting the Scene’ section.

As you read, look out for shockers and blockers.

Shockers – a phrase, word, image or something from the text that resonates, stands out or connects with you.

Blockers – something from the text that raises questions for you.

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Colossians 1:9-23

We have not stopped praying for you since the first day we heard about you. In fact, we always pray that God will show you everything he wants you to do and that you may have all the wisdom and understanding that his Spirit gives. Then you will live a life that honours the Lord, and you will always please him by doing good deeds. You will come to know God even better. His glorious power will make you patient and strong enough to endure anything, and you will be truly happy.

I pray that you will be grateful to God for letting you have part in what he has promised his people in the kingdom of light. God rescued us from the dark power of Satan and brought us into the kingdom of his dear Son, who forgives our sins and sets us free.

Christ is exactly like God, who cannot be seen. He is the first-born Son, superior to all creation. Everything was created by him, everything in heaven and on earth, everything seen and unseen, including all forces and powers, and all rulers and authorities. All things were created by God’s Son, and everything was made for him. God’s Son was before all else, and by him everything is held together. He is the head of his body, which is the church. He is the very beginning, the first to be raised from death, so that he would be above all others. God himself was pleased to live fully in his Son. And God was pleased for him to make peace by sacrificing his blood on the cross, so that all beings in heaven and on earth would be brought back to God.

You used to be far from God. Your thoughts made you his enemies, and you did evil things. But his Son became a human and died. So God made peace with you, and now he lets you stand in his presence as people who are holy and faultless and innocent. But you must stay deeply rooted and firm in your faith. You must not give up the hope you received when you heard the good news. It was preached to everyone on earth, and I myself have become a servant of this message.

Contemporary English Version (CEV)

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Setting the Scene

  • Paul writes to the Christians at Colossae in response to problems created by other ideas creeping into their worship of Jesus. Some of these ideas were a direct challenge to the supremacy of Jesus.
  • The Colossians needed a clearer vision of Christ and this is the theme of this letter. Jesus is the living expression of God, active in creation and sustaining all that exists. He is the first in God’s new creation, his people, his church. His sacrifice makes peace with God possible.
  • When we share our faith, we must help people to understand that Jesus is the core of the Christian faith.

Reflect:

After you have all had time to read the text, pause and be still to listen to God through the Scriptures.

Begin your reflection time by each naming your shockers and blockers. Listen carefully to each other, share your thoughts and reflect on this passage together.

You might also like to explore these questions:

Q1. In what ways have you grown in understanding and wisdom about God?

Q2. What inspires you most about Christ?

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Respond:

Saviour challenge: As a group, create a challenge that will help you increase your understanding and knowledge about Christ or choose from the following:

Challenge ideas

01 Jesus in the Gospels

This week, take time to saturate yourself in the Gospels – these are the clearest portraits we have of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. It might help to use a paraphrase version of the Bible such as The Message – the Contemporary English Version (CEV) is also good. The aim here is to get to know Christ better. You might want to use concordances and commentaries (available online) to help you.

02 Understanding Jesus

How about arranging to get together to watch Franco Zeffirelli’s 1977 classic Jesus of Nazareth? Alternatively you could watch The Bible mini-series DVD to help you get the big story of Jesus. Tom Wright has also written an excellent book called Simply Jesus.

03 Imagining Jesus

Read the story of Jesus asking Peter to walk towards him on the water (Matthew 14.22-33), or the story of Jesus at the home of Mary and Martha (Luke 10.38-42). Put yourself in the story. Imagine what you would say and what Jesus would say to you. What can you see, smell, touch? How does it feel to be so close to Jesus?

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Group Prayer

You might like to commit to praying for each person in the group this week as you look to get to know the Saviour better.

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Quote

‘No man ever loved like Jesus. He taught the blind to see and the dumb to speak. He died on the cross to save us. He bore our sins. And now God says, “Because He died, I can forgive you.” ’

Billy Graham, Evangelist

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1.5 Billion people do not have access to the Bible in their own language – and for others, it is a sad reality that the Word of God is simply out of reach for them, either due to costs or simply because it is just not available. YOU can make a difference…

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1.5 Billion people do not have access to the Bible in their own language – and for others, it is a sad reality that the Word of God is simply out of reach for them, either due to costs or simply because it is just not available. YOU can make a difference…