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018 PAUL’S SIX EXHORTATIONS TO CERTAIN CLASSES OF CHRISTIANS AT COLOSSE (3:18–4:1)

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018 PAUL’S SIX EXHORTATIONS TO CERTAIN CLASSES OF CHRISTIANS AT COLOSSE (3:18–4:1)

B. PAUL’S SIX EXHORTATIONS TO CERTAIN CLASSES OF CHRISTIANS AT COLOSSE (3:18–4:1)
Note three things connected with these exhortations:
(1) Paul addresses the three pairs of persons [the six classes of persons] making up the usual Roman or Oriental household [husbands and wives parents and children and masters and servants]
(2) Paul promotes well-ordered unified and peaceful Christian homes [for he knows that well-ordered, unified, and peaceful Christian homes work toward well-ordered, unified, and peaceful local churches, and that well-ordered, unified, and peaceful local churches adorn the gospel, attract sinners, and advance the cause of Christ]; and
(3) Paul teaches the three principles requisite for having a well ordered, unified and peaceful Christian home
a. the principle of authority, on the part of the husband, the parents, and the master; b.the principle of submission [obedience], on the part of the wife, the children and the servants;
c. the principle of giving all obedience as unto the Lord, on the part of all who are under authority).
I. Paul’s exhortation to Christian wives—“Submit yourselves to your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord” (3:18)
a. Submission “is fit in the Lord”—In the wife’s connection with the Lord, it befits (becomes) her to be obedient to her husband.
b. Submission does not imply inferiority—Christ’s submission to His Father does not destroy his essential equality with the Father. He is equal with His Father, just as a wife is equal with her husband, in every area except for the area of governmental authority.
c. Submission is not to be unlimited—The wife is not to obey if obedience requires an action contrary to God’s expressed will.
d. Submission is temporary—There will be no marriage and no sex in the world to come () so there will be no submission of wives to husbands in the heavenly world.
II. Paul’s exhortation to Christian husbands“Love your wives and be not bitter against them” (3:19)—The Christian husband is to love his wife with an “agape” kind of love (the kind of love which is willing to sacrifice all for the good of the one loved, the kind of love which Christ has for the church), and not treat her harshly and bitterly as an inferior subject. His rule is to be so kind that she gladly submits to his rule.
III. Paul’s exhortation to Christian children—“Obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing unto the Lord” (3:20)
This is something that parents need to teach their Children
ILL. It not what has happen to people as a child that makes they way they are, but what has not happen.
a. Children should obey parents—They should obey both parents, but of course this is impossible if the parents give conflicting commands.
b. Children should obey parents in all things—That is, unless the child is commanded to do that which would violate God’s expressed will.
c. Children should obey parents for three reasons
(1) Because such obedience is a partial fulfillment of the Fifth Commandment;
(2) because such obedience is well-pleasing to God; and
(3) because such obedience is basic to obedience in other areas (if children are not taught respect for parental authority in their early years, they will in later years have no respect for civil, religious, or divine authority).
IV. Paul’s exhortation to Christian fathers—“Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged” (3:21)
Fathers (and mothers) should not provoke (irritate) their children through harsh, inconsiderate, unreasonable, unjust treatment, lest the children become discouraged (dispirited, disheartened, broken in spirit). Before parents administer instruction or correction to their children, they should be sure they have their own spirits under control and be sure that they have considered the justness of their instructions and correction.
5. Paul’s exhortation to Christian servants—“Obey in all things your masters according to the flesh” (3:22–25)
(Paul expands this exhortation because along with this letter to the church at Colosse he is sending a letter to Philemon [a member of the Colossian church] to whom Paul is returning his runaway slave, Onesimus. Since in his letter to Philemon, Paul urges Philemon to receive his returned slave as a brother, there is a danger that other Christian slaves will get wrong conceptions concerning their obligations and responsibilities to their earthly masters.
Paul does not condemn nor advocate the abolition of the institution of slavery but he does teach principles which undermined the institution and eventually caused it to fall throughout the civilized world. Paul knows that the outward evils of society are permanently eradicated only as the gospel eradicates the inward evil of human hearts.)
a. Servants are to obey their “masters according to the flesh” Their fleshly masters, their masters over their body.
b. The scope of this obedience—Servants are to obey their masters “in all things,” with the one exception that obedience is to be withheld if masters command an action which is contrary to God’s revealed laws.
c. The constancy of this obedience—Servants should obey “not with eyeservice, but with singleness of heart.” That is, they should obey not only when their masters are observing them but also when their masters are away. They should be faithful at all times.
d. The motive for this obedience—Servants should obey, not because they fear their earthly masters and are trying to please them, but because they fear God and are trying to please Him.
e. The quality of this obedienceThere should be no reluctant obedience but only hearty (glad, cheerful, willing) obedience.
f. The recipient of this obedience—“Do it … as to the Lord and not unto men … for you serve the Lord Christ.” All obedience to our earthly lords is really obedience to our heavenly Lord, for He commanded us to obey our earthly lords. This knowledge gives a new motivation for obedience.
g. The reward for this obedience—Servants who give their earthly masters faithful and hearty obedience and service may or may not receive a reward from their earthly masters but they will be rewarded by their heavenly Master, rewarded with a full heavenly inheritance.
h. The penalty for disobedience—Christian servants who defraud their masters through disobedience and careless service will be chastened by the Lord and they can expect no special treatment from Him because they are lowly slaves. Christ demands obedience from all men regardless of their station in life.
VI. Paul’s exhortation to Christian masters“Give unto your servants that which is just and equal, knowing that you also have a master in heaven” (4:1)
Masters should treat their servants justly, remembering that they themselves have a master in heaven who will deal harshly with them if they treat their servants unjustly.
If all employers and employees obeyed the two exhortations of 3:22–4:1, there would be few management-labor problems.
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