Use Discovery to Facilitate Learning

Use the discovery method to engage your students in Bible study class.

  • Ask questions
  • Stimulate discussion
  • Be prepared

Asking questions can stimulate discussion which encourages participation.

Below are some sample questions to stimulate discussion as you cover the following verses found in Colossians.

Be prepared to share other applicable Scripture references to aid students in discovering the truths of God’s word.

 

And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled

In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight.

Colossians 1:21-22

 

Sample Questions
  • According to the above verses, what was the condition of your past relationship with God?
  • Where did your battle with God originate?
  • According to the above verses, what is your present standing with God?
  • How is reconciliation made possible?
  • According to the above verses, if you have received reconciliation, what will be your future condition as you stand before God?
  • Where did reconciliation take place? through what process?
  • Are you reconciled to God? How do you know?
  • Do wicked works cause battles in the mind?
  • Do wicked works cause separation in relationships?
  • How do wicked works cause people to be enemies of each other?
  • How did wicked works cause enemity with God?

Creating a list of sample questions on a particular section of scriptures and preparing a list of reference verses to aid in the understanding of those verses will help you facilitate a learning environment where students can feel comfortable in sharing their ideas and questions.

Allowing the students to find the answers themselves will increase their learning and retention of Biblical truths. Using this discovery method will aid in facilitating that learning.

A Great Example of the “Preacher”

The apostle Paul was and is a great example of the “preacher.”

Paul’s Focus

After hearing of the establishment of the church at Colosse, his response, as recorded in The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Colossians, was not to immediately begin making preparations for a series of sermons to be delivered, but rather his focus was on the spiritual needs of the body of Christ in order to further stabilize them and increase their knowledge and discernment of the things of God.

His first response was to get a “word” from God.

In Colossians 1, we see that the “word” he received began with a message of grace and peace. His response in seeking God continued as he did not cease to pray.

Paul’s Desire

Paul’s prayers revealed his desire for the Colossians — that they might be filled with the knowledge of [God’s] will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; and [t]hat [they] might walk worthy of the Lord.

Paul’s Duty

Paul obviously saw his main duty toward men as instructional.

He followed Christ’s example in that Christ set about training and developing disciples who would then take the gospel message to the world.

Paul was seeking to build saintly men who would further seek to train saintly men who would continue the pattern.

Paul’s Prayer

Paul’s letter to the Colossians is filled with instruction born not from Paul’s mind but from the mind of God. It was Paul’s prayer life that brought forth God’s Word that was revealed to the saints at Colosse.

The “preacher” is first and foremost to be a man of prayer.

His communication with God brings forth the “word” from God that is needful for his congregation, for it is God and God alone who knows what is in the heart of men, what message is needed to facilitate change desired by God, and Who is the only One that can give the wisdom and discernment needed to deliver that message.

When the “preacher” mounts the pulpit, his message conveys whether or not he has been in communication with God. In other words, a strong prayer life reveals the true “preacher.”

Paul’s example as a great man of prayer is the example of the “preacher” that is needful today.

Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily. Colossians 1:29


The Character of Epaphras: “The Servant of Christ”

In The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Colossians we read of a man named Epaphras. This man had traveled by unknown means to the city of Rome from the city of Colosse.

By stating unknown we are recognizing the fact that people in those days either walked or traveled by caravan long distances. However, we do not specifically know why Epaphras came to Rome. He could have come on business, been brought by Roman request, or have come particularly to seek out the apostle Paul for wisdom and direction.

Whatever his reason for coming to the capital of the empire, he did wind up face to face with the apostle during the time of Paul’s confinement.

We learn several things about Epaphras during this particular period as stated in the epistle.

A Saved Man

In Colossians 1:7 and 4:12-13 we learn that Epaphras was a saved man who served Christ.

His position in Colosse and the surrounding cities of Laodicea and Hierapolis was as a minister. Whether that was as the pastor of a church body or as a traveling evangelist or circuit preacher is of little consequence. He was definitely ministering and evangelizing the area.

A Faithful Man

The above verses also tell us that Epaphras was faithful.

Not only was he faithful to Christ, but he was faithful to those to whom he ministered. He spoke highly about the positive traits of the church.

Although by reading the Scriptures we can infer that he also spoke of conditions concerning the church. Those were spoken of only because of Epaphras’ desire for help in ministering and establishing the saints in their personal walk with the Lord.

A Positive Man

His conversation was as any minister’s should be.

He spoke of the love shown by the Colossians toward each other, their faithfulness to Jesus Christ, their reception of the gospel, and the fruit that was being displayed by the church. He also spoke highly of their love of spiritual things (Col. 1:4-8; 2:5). In no way was he negative of the members of the body of Christ where he served.

A Praying Man

We also see that Epaphras was a prayer warrior (Col. 4:12-13).

Scripture tells us that he was “always labouring fervently” in prayers. His prayers were not general; they were specific requests to God.  Those requests manifest to us his desire to see the church “stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.”

His burden is further shown by his great zeal.

It is refreshing to hear a minister speak excitedly about his congregants and the growth that is being experienced by the individual members of the body.

Epaphras’s focus was on what was right about the church.

His concerns focused on what would help the church go further in their walk with Christ. He wasted no time in gleaning from Paul instruction that would help him further his ministry to these people.

A Standing Man

Epaphras is also mentioned in Philemon 23.  Here he is described as being a “fellowprisoner.”

Was he arrested while visiting the city, arrested while ministering in Colosse and then brought forcefully to Rome, or arrested later and brought back to Rome, we do not know. We only know his stand for Christ led to his imprisonment of some sort.

The mention of his name in Paul’s letter to Philemon lets us know that Epaphras remained faithful in spite of difficult circumstances.

Faithfulness is a character trait that each of us should covet especially in these times of uncertainly. Faithfulness, service, zeal, and prayerfulness should be the description of every saint’s character.


By the Will of God, Colossians 1:1

“Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God.”

Col. 1:1

Paul was called to be an apostle by the will of God.  It was not of Paul or of any other man’s doing. It was the calling of  God alone.

However, Paul did have a choice. He could accept God’s will or reject it. He accepted it and became the greatest apostle who ever lived.

Who are you called to be “by the will of God”? It will not be of your own doing or of any other person’s doing.

You also have a choice.

Will you accept or reject that calling?

If you accept, who knows where your path will end.

But God’s will shall have been performed, and for that, you will not be left in regret or wonder.


Join in the conversation:

Do you know God’s will God for your life?

Are you struggling with God’s will?

What encouragement can you share for those who are struggling in this area?