Last night my Monday night Bible study group ended up our time together with some time spent in Colossians 4. For those of my crew that missed last night, here are our notes:
Masters, provide your slaves with what is right and fair, because you know that you also have a Master in heaven.
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. (Col 4:1-6)
Tychicus will tell you all the news about me. He is a dear brother, a faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. I am sending him to you for the express purpose that you may know about our circumstances and that he may encourage your hearts. He is coming with Onesimus, our faithful and dear brother, who is one of you. They will tell you everything that is happening here.
My fellow prisoner Aristarchus sends you his greetings, as does Mark, the cousin of Barnabas. (You have received instructions about him; if he comes to you, welcome him.) Jesus, who is called Justus, also sends greetings. These are the only Jews among my fellow workers for the kingdom of God, and they have proved a comfort to me. Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured. I vouch for him that he is working hard for you and for those at Laodicea and Hierapolis. Our dear friend Luke, the doctor, and Demas send greetings. Give my greetings to the brothers at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house.
After this letter has been read to you, see that it is also read in the church of the Laodiceans and that you in turn read the letter from Laodicea.
Tell Archippus: “See to it that you complete the work you have received in the Lord.”
I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you. (Colossians 4:1-18 NIV84)
V.1 ends where we left off last week with the rules for families
* We made the observation that Paul is very concerned about how outsiders view Christians
* We are to live in such a way as to influence those around us
* Paul says to devote yourselves to prayer
* What do you think this looks like?
* Are you devoted to prayer?
* Paul is concerned about his future as a missionary and asks for prayers for his efforts and for asks that the Colossians are looking out for opportunities for outreach themselves
* He says to be wise in the way you act towards outsiders ,make the most of every opportunity
* Have you seen this done?
* I think the best way to do this is to ask two questions:
* What is the best thing I can do for you now?
* Is there anything I can pray for you about?
* He cautions us in the way we use our words
* Let your conversation always be full of grace seasoned with salt, so that you know how to answer everyone
* Why are our words important?
* I think we are reminded that sometimes how we talk is the first thing people see, and let me ask this…if this is the case what are we showing people?
* V. 7-18 is Paul’s final greeting
* Full of his personal greetings
* Tychichus — names in Colossaian church
* Faithful brother
* Onesimus– in colossian church
* Aristarchus, mark — apparently those the church would have been familiar with
* Jesus, justus
* Think about if you we’re writing a letter to your friends
* Who would name, why?
* This was a church struggling with an identity crisis
* Was Jesus enough for them or not?
* Paul makes a big deal about Jesus
* He is sufficient
* He is mighty
* He is the presence of God
* He has called us out of darkness
* He has gifted us for ministry
* He has forgiven us
* He loves us