Chuck Smith Through the Bible Commentary - Colossians 4:1 - 4:18

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Chuck Smith Through the Bible Commentary - Colossians 4:1 - 4:18

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Chapter 4

Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal [pay them a decent salary]; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven. Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving ( Col_4:1-2 );

As we said, prayer has many parts and an important part of prayer is praise and worship, thanksgiving. A minor part of prayer is request, petitions. But then Paul says, "Pray for us." And, of course, in each of the churches he requested prayer, and I think that every minister feels his need of prayer. Pray for us. And Paul desired that they would pray.

Withal praying for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds ( Col_4:3 ):

Here I'm in prison because of my preaching, but pray that God will give me an open door here, even to declare the glorious truth of Christ.

That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak. Walk in wisdom [The exhortations: continue in prayer, watch the same with thanksgiving, pray for us] toward them that are without [That is towards those in the world, walk in wisdom toward them], redeeming the time ( Col_4:4-5 ).

Don't waste time; we don't have that much time. Take advantage of every opportunity that God gives you. Redeem the time.

Let your speech be always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man ( Col_4:6 ).

Peter said, "Be ready to give unto every man a reason for the hope that you have within you. That you might be able to answer men" ( 1Pe_3:15 ). And so your speech always with grace. God help us, to bring this tongue under control. Now,

All of my state [or how I am doing] shall Tychicus declare unto you [will tell you], who is a beloved brother, and a faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord ( Col_4:7 ):

Tychicus delivered this epistle to the church. Paul was in Rome in prison. He wrote the epistle to the Ephesians and this epistle to the Colossians at the same time, and Tychicus carried this epistle. He also wrote at the same time an epistle to the Laodiceans. And they were to trade them back and forth. They were to read the epistle, this epistle, in the church and then read the one that he also sent to the Laodiceans. And so Tychicus was the one that brought these epistles from Paul to the churches there in Asia Minor. Interesting things that he says of him: he's a beloved brother, he's a faithful minister, and he is a fellow servant in the Lord. What neat things. He's a beloved brother; he's a faithful minister. He's a fellow servant in the things of the Lord.

Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that he might know your estate [he might tell you how I'm doing, and that he might find out how you're doing], and comfort your hearts; With Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother ( Col_4:8-9 ),

Now, this probably is Onesimus for which the book of Philemon was written: the runaway slave who ran away from Philemon, who met Paul in Rome and received Jesus Christ, who Paul was sending back to Philemon with a personal letter, from Paul to Philemon, begging Philemon's forgiveness and begging Philemon to set Onesimus free from his slavery.

With Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They shall make known unto you all things which are done here [the Lord is doing here]. Aristarchus my fellow prisoner saluteth you, and Marcus, sister's son to Barnabas ( Col_4:9-10 ),

Barnabas, of course, was the first companion with Paul on the first missionary journey. He was the one who went to Tarsus and found Paul after Paul's conversion. And going back to Tarsus for several years, Barnabas came and found him when there was a need in the church of Antioch for someone who really understood the Greek culture to come and minister to the Gentiles, and got Paul involved in the ministry, went with Paul in the first missionary journey. And Mark went with them on the first journey but got frightened and came home, and so when Barnabas wanted to take his nephew (it was his sister's son), wanted to take him on the second journey, Paul said, "No way." And the contention between Paul and Barnabas came so great that Barnabas took Mark and went. And Paul took Silas and went another direction. So now, this same Mark that Paul didn't want to go on the second missionary journey is with Paul there in Rome and he is greeting with Paul the church. And Paul, is saying, "If he comes to you, receive him."

And Jesus, which is called Justus ( Col_4:11 ),

Jesus was a common name in those days. That's why He was usually called, Jesus of Nazareth to distinguish Him from all the other little boys that were named Jesus. It is the Hebrew name for Joshua or Yeshua, and so, the Hebrew is Yeshua; the Greek is Jesus. And so, here's another one in the Bible called Jesus, which is called Justus.

who are of the circumcision [or they are Jews]. These only are my fellow workers unto the kingdom of God, which have been a comfort unto me. Epaphras, who is one of you ( Col_4:11-12 ),

He had been the one who was ministering there at the church of Colosse who had came and told Paul of the church and its condition.

Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth [is greeting you], always laboring fervently for you in prayers ( Col_4:12 ),

I love this. Epaphras was there in Rome with Paul, but he was always praying for those in Colosse. Laboring for you in prayer, or laboring fervently, the Bible says, "The effectual, fervent prayers of a righteous man avails much" ( Jas_5:16 ). And here's Epaphras, their minister, though he's away from them fervently praying for them. What is he praying:

that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God ( Col_4:12 ).

John said, "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in truth" ( 3Jn_1:4 ). It's a very discouraging thing if you go away from a church and you hear the whole thing's gone to pieces. Fractured. But to go away and years later to hear, "Oh, they're walking in truth; they're going on with the Lord." No greater joy. And here's Epaphras praying that they might really walk perfect and complete in the will of God.

For I bear him record, that he hath a great zeal for you, and [for] them that are in Laodicea, and them in Hierapolis. [These three cities that were close in proximity to each other.] Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you ( Col_4:13-14 ).

Luke, who, of course, was Paul's companion in much of Paul's journeys, the beloved physician, the one who wrote the gospel and the book of Acts. Demas... Now later, Paul is to speak of Demas in his epistle to Timothy, "Tragically Demas has forsaken me, having loved the present world more than the things of God." But here, he joins in the greeting to the church.

Salute [greet] the brethren which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church which is in his house. And when this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans [in other words, after you've read it, send it over to Laodicea]; and that ye likewise read the epistle from Laodicea. And say to Archippus, Take heed to the ministry which thou hath received in the Lord, that thou fulfill it ( Col_4:15-17 ).

So, you're Archippus tonight. I want to say to you, take heed to the ministry which you have received in the Lord, and fulfill it. That's something that all of us should be concerned with. What is it that God has called me to do, I must be fulfilling it. As Jesus said, "I must do that will of Him who sent me." So take heed to the ministry that God's called you to fulfill. See that you fulfill it.

The salutation by the hand of me Paul. Remember my bonds. Grace be with you. Amen ( Col_4:18 ).

And so, we come to the end of the Colossian epistle. And next week we take the first two chapters of Thessalonians. And we move on through, and it won't be long until we will have completed the Bible once more and will go back to Genesis. I don't think I'll ever make it again, but we'll go as far as the Lord allows us. I'm slowing down; you noticed that? The first time we went through it eighteen years ago, we went through the whole Bible in two years. You know, young and full of steam, all but...just slowing down.

Shall we pray. Father, we give thanks for the word of instruction, the word of truth. May it indeed become a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path and may we walk in the light of your truth, Lord. Redeeming the time, in these evil days. Taking advantage, Lord, of every opportunity of serving You and of knowing You better. Lord, we thank You for Your word, and for the opportunity of gathering to study the word. And may the Spirit of God enrich our hearts in Your truth. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

God bless. Give you a beautiful week, keep you in the love of Jesus Christ, and cause you to abound in all things in Him. In Jesus' name. "