Bible Study: Gospel-guided relationships

NASHVILLE (BP) — This weekly Bible study appears in Baptist Press in a partnership with Lifeway Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through its Leadership and Adult Publishing team, Lifeway publishes Sunday School curricula and additional resources for all age groups.

This week’s Bible study is adapted from the Explore the Bible curriculum.

Bible Passage: Colossians 3:18, 4:6

Discussion Questions:

  • What characteristics do you look for in a friend? How do those compare to what you want in a coworker?
  • How does our connection with God impact how we interact with others?

Food for thought:

During the holidays, most of us will have our share of awkward conversations. We may even get to sit by that one relative that gets on our nerves more than anyone else we know. We may even volunteer to run an errand or go to the store to avoid that person. Such a response only makes matters worse, as we encounter other people in the store who are doing the same thing. Relations are important, and we need to consider how the Gospel impacts all our interactions with others.

Paul challenged the Colossians to consider the Gospel’s impact on their relationships (Colossians 3:18, 4:6). After giving some direction to wives, husbands, kids, parents and coworkers, Paul called on the Colossians to pray with a spirit of thanksgiving (4:2). He urged them to ask God to continue opening doors for ministry. Even under house arrest, Paul was always seeking new channels for sharing the mystery of Christ and the message of salvation.

Paul also asked the Colossians to pray that he would walk through whatever doors God opened. He knew that seeing opportunities meant little if he didn’t take advantage of them. If he failed to communicate Christ in a way that drew people to the Savior, he was failing in his mission. His life was to be an example for the Colossians to follow. Paul emphasized mutual responsibility within all relationships, but the focus remained on Christ.

Paul was not alone when it came to prayer and his interactions. Jesus regularly got away so He could pray before interacting with others. Prayer should guide our interactions. We can pray for the people we might encounter and for ourselves, thanking God for the opportunity to interact with others and that our conversation will be filled with Christ’s love. If our relationship with Christ is healthy, relationships with others will be healthy as well.

Explore the Bible

Explore the Bible is an ongoing Bible study curriculum that helps groups dig into the key truths of each Bible book, while keeping the group on pace to study through the Bible books in a systematic way. More information can be found at Lifeway.com/ExploreTheBible.

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