The apostle Paul wrote Colossians while under Roman imprisonment, which was a lot like house arrest. Paul would have been chained to a Roman guard day and night, relying totally on the generosity of his friends for food, water, clothes, and medical needs.


Colossae was located in the Lycus River Valley of Asia (modern-day Turkey). In Acts 19:10 we learn that “all of Asia heard the gospel” while Paul was pastoring the church in Ephesus. It’s likely many churches were planted during this period, including the Colossian church. Although he’s never been there, Paul seems well acquainted with several key leaders of the Colossian church, including Epaphras (1:7) and Philemon (Phm 1:19).


Colossians was written during Paul’s first Roman imprisonment in the early AD 60s.


Together with Ephesians, Philippians, and Philemon, Paul’s letter to the Colossians is commonly known as a “prison epistle.”


Paul wrote this letter to correct a heretical philosophy (2:8) that was attempting to sway the church to either abstain from certain practices or add to their faith to reach a higher form of blessing. Paul addressed this heresy by teaching a proper understanding of the gospel of Christ and its implications for salvation and Christian conduct.

Sermon Discussion Guide

    1. Read Colossians 1:1-8 and/or recap this week’s sermon. What was the church of Colossae known for?
    2. Why were they able to be a people of faith in Christ and love for others? (see verse 6)
    3. Would you describe yourself as someone who “truly appreciates God’s grace”? Why or why not?
    4. How does a personal appreciation of God’s grace impact all aspects of our lives – at work, at home, in relationship with others, etc.?
    1. Read Colossians 1:9-14 and/or recap this week’s sermon. What does Paul pray for the church of Colossae?
    2. How would you define wisdom and spiritual understanding in your own words? What is the practical outworking of wisdom and spiritual understanding according to verses 10-12?
    3. Think about the last time you got stuck focusing on “my will” instead of the “knowledge of God’s will.” When things impede “my will” how do we tend to react? What might change if we shifted our focus from “my will” to “God’s will”?
    4. How do verses 13-14 speak personally to your story of finding and following Jesus? Anyone want to share your testimony?
    1. Read Colossians 1:15-23 and/or recap this week’s sermon. How might a proper understanding of the supremacy of Christ change the way we view everyday challenges? How might it affect our decisions?
    2. What are practical implications of Christ being “the head of the church”? (v18)
    3. Reflecting on verses 19-20, how does a proper understanding of Christ’s reconciliation with us affect our ability to reconcile with others? Can you think of a relationship where you need to seek reconciliation?
    4. Verse 23 emphasizes the importance of continuing in faith and being steadfast. What are some challenges you face that test your faith, and how do you stay grounded in your faith during these times? What practices help you remain steadfast?
    1. Read Colossians 1:24-2:5 and/or recap this week’s sermon. In verse 24, Paul talks about rejoicing in his sufferings. How can we find joy in our own struggles and hardships? Can you share an experience where you grew through a difficult time?
    2. Describe the concept of “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (v 27) in simple terms. How does this truth encourage and sustain you?
    3. In 1:28-29, Paul talks about striving to present everyone fully mature in Christ. What steps can you take to grow in spiritual maturity? What resources or practices have helped you keep Christ “center stage”?
    4. One of our core values at The Commons is “all minds on truth.” In Colossians 2:4, Paul warns against being deceived by fine-sounding arguments. How do you discern truth from falsehood in today’s world, especially with so much information available? What practices help you stay grounded in biblical truth?
    1. Read Colossians 2:6-15 and/or recap this week’s sermon.
    2. How do we cultivate deep spiritual roots (v7)?
    3. Reflect on this quote by J.I. Packer: “The healthy Christian is not necessarily the extrovert, ebullient Christian, but the Christian who has a sense of God’s presence stamped deep on his soul, who trembles at God’s Word, who lets it dwell in him richly by constant meditation upon it, and who tests and reforms his life daily in response to it.” What four things does Packer point to as marks of spiritual health? Which one do you struggle with the most?
    4. Verse 7 encourages us to be overflowing with thankfulness. How do you practice gratitude in your daily life, especially during challenging times?
    1. Read Colossians 2:16-3:4 and/or recap this week’s sermon. Why is legalism so damaging?
    2. What “rules” do people tend to add to Christianity to make themselves feel more holy than others? Are there rules you’ve added in the past that you later realized were legalistic? How did God bring you to that realization?
    3. What does Paul say is the antidote to legalism in Colossians 3:1-4?
    4. What does it look like to “set your mind on things above,” practically speaking?
    1. Read Colossians 2:16-3:4 and/or recap this week’s sermon. What’s the difference between legalism (last week’s focus) and genuinely pursuing holiness?
    2. Verse 10 talks about putting on the new self, renewed in the image of its Creator. How does understanding your new identity in Christ influence your daily behavior and decisions? Can you share an example of a situation where you lived out your new identity?
    3. Verse 11 emphasizes that in Christ there is no Greek or Jew, but Christ is all, and in all. How does this align with our vision to be “a movement for all people”? How can we promote unity within our church despite differences in background, culture, or opinions?
    4. This text emphasizes many rich themes including compassion, humility, patience, forgiveness, peace, and allowing God’s Word to dwell in us richly. Which of these themes strikes you the most in your current season of life and why? How can we pray for you in this area?
    1. Read Colossians 3:18-4:1 and/or recap this week’s sermon. Of all the principles we learned this Sunday about a Christ-centered home, what did you find most challenging? Most encouraging?
    2. In Colossians 3:20-21 Paul urges children to obey their parents and parents not to embitter their children. What are some effective ways parents can discipline and guide their children without causing resentment? Would anyone like to share some personal examples from your own journey as a parent, or with your parents?
    3. Verse 3:24-25 emphasizes serving Christ and knowing that we will receive an inheritance from Him. How does this eternal perspective affect how you approach your various roles and responsibilities? Can you share a time when this perspective helped you in your daily tasks?
    4. Reflect on how to balance exercising authority and showing compassion in your relationships, whether at home, work, or in community roles. How do you ensure that you lead with both strength and empathy? How can we pray for you in your marriage, parenting, or some other relationship?
    1. Read Colossians 4:2-18 and/or recap this week’s sermon.
    2. Verse 5 urges believers to make the most of every opportunity. How can you seize opportunities to share Christ's love and truth in your daily interactions? What are some practical ways to be intentional about sharing your faith?
    3. Reflecting on verse 6, how can we ensure that our speech reflects grace and wisdom, especially in challenging or contentious situations? Can you share a time when you saw the impact of gracious speech in a conversation?
    4. What were your biggest takeaways from our study of Colossians? If someone asked you to summarize the entire book of Colossians in one sentence, what would you say?
    1. Read Philemon 1 and/or recap this week’s sermon. What challenged and/or encouraged you the most?
    2. Reflect on the power of forgiveness and reconciliation portrayed in this letter. How is it a picture of the gospel?
    3. How does this story challenge your own attitudes toward forgiveness and reconciliation in your relationships?
    4. Thinking back over this entire series, what one step do you want to take to make Jesus center stage in your life?