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  1. 1. LIFE Group Study Guide February 21, 2010 David Clayton Colossians 3:16 “Hymns”   ICEBREAKER:  What is your favorite Christian song and why?  If you attended Bible camp or Vacation Bible School as a child, name the songs you remember from that experience. Now think for a moment how much you learn about the Bible from these songs?  How much would our worship experience change if we continue to have a teachable heart from songs as we did as a child?  What are some positive steps we can do as a congregation to make our psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs become an even more important part of allowing the “word of Christ to dwell in us deeply?” INTRODUCTION Singing has a powerful effect on human experience. Music transcends our understanding and appeals to our intuitive nature. It is not surprising, then, that singing played an important part in the worship of biblical communities, as a way of approaching the mystery of God and of expressing the joy of his presence. In the Old Testament, singing and music are a major part of the Israelite worship and experiences. For example, did you know that Moses, Deborah, Miriam, David, and Isaiah, wrote songs? That Ezekiel was known for his beautiful voice and musical skills (Ezekiel 33:32)?  Have you ever written a song, poem, or letter to God? Why? GOING DEEP Read Colossians 3:16 According to Paul, what is the purpose of singing? Read 1 Corinthians 14:15  Why are these two points by Paul so important?  In what way do they relate back to Colossians 3:16?  In what way do they add to Colossians 3:16 Read Ephesians 5:19  How often do you really think about the songs you singing during worship?  How does this verse complement Paul’s statement in Corinthians about singing with understanding?
  2. 2.  How does singing from the heart with understanding relate back to our main text of Colossians 3:16 (Word of Christ Dwell in you richly . . . with gratitude in your heart). REFLECT Last week, this week, and next week in worship there has been a special emphasis on singing. In his remarks, David cited several hymns from the New Testament. Listed below are two of them. Read the Hymns and then reflect on why those hymns had so much meaning for the early Christians and what they mean for us today. FIRST HYMN (Recorded in Philippians 2:6-11) 6-Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7-but made himself nothing, taking the very nature[b] of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8-And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross! 9-Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10-that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11-and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. SECOND HYMN (Colossians 1:15-20) 15-He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16-For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. 17-He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18-And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19-For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20-and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.   PRAYER  REQUESTS