The Main Idea: A lot of people like Jesus, including the average American middle schooler. However, the Jesus they like isn’t always the Jesus of the Bible. And if there is anything more confused in the mind and life of sinners like us than who Jesus is, it is what a life that is united to Jesus looks like. In order to correct false ideas of Christ, Paul’s epistle to the Colossians presents one of the clearest visions of the person and work of Jesus Christ, as well as what a life united to him looks like, found in the New Testament; namely, that Jesus Christ is supreme!
The Purpose: To give the students a vision for the supremacy of Christ and how to live for the supremacy of Christ.
The Teaching Schedule:
1. June 15 | Who we are and who we’re becoming
Summary: Paul begins his letter with a greeting, a word of thanks, and a prayer. Not only will these things set the tone for the epistle, but they should set the tone for the Christian life. It provides a beautiful picture both of who we are and who we are becoming in Jesus Christ.
2. June 22 | The Supreme Jesus
Summary: One of the clearest presentations of the person and work of Jesus Christ as supreme!
3. June 29 | A minister of the Supreme Jesus
Summary: Paul gives us a picture of what ministry for the supremacy of Christ looks like: suffering, proclamation, and encouragement. Does our ministry look like this?
4. July 6 | Alive in Christ
Summary: The Christian life essentially consists of two things: receiving Christ and walking in Christ. But in order to do this, we need to know the truth about the person and work of Christ.
5. July 13 | The real stuff
Summary: The ways of the world and of the old covenant are no longer for Christians, because they are but shadows of the substance, which is Christ. Jesus is the real stuff, all the rest are shadows in comparison to him.
6. July 20 | The Christian Life
Summary: Paul presents one of the most comprehensive pictures of the Christian life, consisting of three parts: union with Christ, mortification, and vivification. The Christian life is about taking off what is worldly and putting on what is heavenly, in Christ and with each other.
7. July 27 | Ordinary me, extraordinary Jesus
Summary: Christ is supreme even in the most ordinary and mundane of our roles and tasks. Paul gives us some instructions for the various roles we might have in this life, so that Christ can be seen as supreme in them.
8. August 3 | You can sit with us
Summary: The Christian looks outward to others, and not just to other Christians, but to “outsiders.” Paul gives some final instructions for evangelism.
9. August 10 | People who see the Supreme Jesus
Summary: Paul closes his epistle with greetings and encouragements. Paul’s ministry has not been wasted; there are real people who actually live for the supremacy of Christ. It can be done! So what can we learn from Paul’s love for them and from their exemplary lives?