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Faithful Minsters and Final Greetings

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Summarize Colossians:
Paul spoke the words of Colossians to a scribe whether he was living in a dark pit, chained to a Roman guard or allowed to live in semi-comfort, we do not know.
But, we do know that no matter what Paul’s circumstances where; pain, filth or turmoil he did it all while rejoicing.
All of us would likely say, “God, why have you abandoned me?” Not Paul—he only saw an opportunity to serve Jesus.
God Inspired these words in
Philippians 4:11–13 ESV
Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
Paul wrote to the church in Colossae to fortify it against false teachers who wanted to impose strict rules:
Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me
Paul wrote to the church in Colossae to fortify it against false teachers who wanted to impose strict rules:
About eating and drinking
Religious festivals
Circumcision
Worshiping angels
Paul introduces and provides much doctrine in this letter
Doctrine is a fancy word for teachings usually about or from Jesus,
We can learn about
Salvation
Christian liberty
Christian ethics
Prayer
Slavery
And, the Christian Sabbath from this letter.
The main emphasis is on Jesus Christ and his position in relation to the universe and the church.
Paul shows the superiority of Christ over all human philosophies and traditions.
In Paul’s view, ‘Christ stands supreme and unique’. He is before all things, he created all things and he is first over all creation (1:15–18).
Christ’s deity (“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation” [1:15])
The reconciliation he accomplished with his blood. - He is the Saviour who delivers us from Satan, v13
He is the Saviour who delivers us from Satan, v13
He makes atonement and brings forgiveness of sins
Colossians 2:14–15 ESV
by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.
“by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him”
Paul explains that the right way of living in this world is to focus on heavenly rather than earthly things.
God’s chosen people must leave their sinful lives behind and live in a godly way, looking to Christ as the head of the church (1:18) and chapter 3
Paul’s intention is to bring Jesus Christ to the very front of the Colossians thinking and ours.
That He Christ must be acknowledged, as Creator and Redeemer.
Paul met Christ on his way to kill Christians.
A blinding light
Scales on his eyes
An encounter with the glorified Jesus, he became a Christ-follower.
But it wasn’t just this that gave him spiritual stamina and endurance to run the race.
It was Paul’s complete dependence on God.
God who could overcome not only the visible forces of evil, those that beat him and imprisoned him,
those that beat him and imprisoned him,
but also the unseen forces that lurked in the darkness.
Start
Pray
In this passage tonight, Paul gives his final remarks and teaches that God is full of mercy and that his workers are chosen from all walks of life and from every part of society
Colossians 4:7–9 ESV
Tychicus will tell you all about my activities. He is a beloved brother and faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are and that he may encourage your hearts, and with him Onesimus, our faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will tell you of everything that has taken place here.
Colossians 4:7–18 ESV
Tychicus will tell you all about my activities. He is a beloved brother and faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are and that he may encourage your hearts, and with him Onesimus, our faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will tell you of everything that has taken place here. Aristarchus my fellow prisoner greets you, and Mark the cousin of Barnabas (concerning whom you have received instructions—if he comes to you, welcome him), and Jesus who is called Justus. These are the only men of the circumcision among my fellow workers for the kingdom of God, and they have been a comfort to me. Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you, always struggling on your behalf in his prayers, that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God. For I bear him witness that he has worked hard for you and for those in Laodicea and in Hierapolis. Luke the beloved physician greets you, as does Demas. Give my greetings to the brothers at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house. And when this letter has been read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans; and see that you also read the letter from Laodicea. And say to Archippus, “See that you fulfill the ministry that you have received in the Lord.” I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you.
Colossians 4:7–18 ESV
Tychicus will tell you all about my activities. He is a beloved brother and faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are and that he may encourage your hearts, and with him Onesimus, our faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will tell you of everything that has taken place here. Aristarchus my fellow prisoner greets you, and Mark the cousin of Barnabas (concerning whom you have received instructions—if he comes to you, welcome him), and Jesus who is called Justus. These are the only men of the circumcision among my fellow workers for the kingdom of God, and they have been a comfort to me. Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you, always struggling on your behalf in his prayers, that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God. For I bear him witness that he has worked hard for you and for those in Laodicea and in Hierapolis. Luke the beloved physician greets you, as does Demas. Give my greetings to the brothers at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house. And when this letter has been read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans; and see that you also read the letter from Laodicea. And say to Archippus, “See that you fulfill the ministry that you have received in the Lord.” I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you.
Col 4:7
(4:7–18)
Colossians 4 ESV
1 Masters, treat your bondservants justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven. 2 Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. 3 At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison— 4 that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak. 5 Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. 6 Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. 7 Tychicus will tell you all about my activities. He is a beloved brother and faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. 8 I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are and that he may encourage your hearts, 9 and with him Onesimus, our faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will tell you of everything that has taken place here. 10 Aristarchus my fellow prisoner greets you, and Mark the cousin of Barnabas (concerning whom you have received instructions—if he comes to you, welcome him), 11 and Jesus who is called Justus. These are the only men of the circumcision among my fellow workers for the kingdom of God, and they have been a comfort to me. 12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you, always struggling on your behalf in his prayers, that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God. 13 For I bear him witness that he has worked hard for you and for those in Laodicea and in Hierapolis. 14 Luke the beloved physician greets you, as does Demas. 15 Give my greetings to the brothers at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house. 16 And when this letter has been read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans; and see that you also read the letter from Laodicea. 17 And say to Archippus, “See that you fulfill the ministry that you have received in the Lord.” 18 I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you.
In this passage, Paul gives his final remarks and they teach us that God is full of mercy and that his workers are chosen from all walks of life and from every part of society
Just as
1 Corinthians 1:26–31 ESV
For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
Among Paul’s assistance or helpers there is
A runaway slave (engaged in ministry)
A restored backslider (now forgiven and full of zeal)
A pastor (concerned for his flock)
A doctor-turned-historian
And others who work with Paul to evangelize the Gentile world.
There are 4 sections to this closing.
1 Corinthians 1:26–31 ESV
26 For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. 30 And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31 so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
I know a lot of people might skip this section thinking there is little to learn here but
2 Timothy 3:16 ESV
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,
I think we can and will learn a lot about the Apostle Paul and how he had many people he delegated responsibilities to. T
I think we can and will learn a lot about the Apostle Paul and how he had many people he delegated responsibilities to. There were friends who were faithful and carried the Gospel of Jesus Christ into the world.
How people came along side him in ministry and these men and women were called by Christ to serve.
I think we can and will learn a lot about the Apostle Paul and how he had many people he delegated responsibilities to. There were friends who were faithful and carried the Gospel of Jesus Christ into the world.
These were friends who were faithful and carried the Gospel of Jesus Christ into the world.
God’s ministry requires many hands, feet, minds and talents and persistence in the work of the church.
We have to ask ourselves where we am I in His service?
1- Those who brought greetings
Colossians 4:7–9 ESV
Tychicus will tell you all about my activities. He is a beloved brother and faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are and that he may encourage your hearts, and with him Onesimus, our faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will tell you of everything that has taken place here.
There were Two envoys
It is likely that Colossians, Ephesians and Philemon where all written at about the same time and were brought by these men from Roman to Asia Minor and the Lycus valley.
Tychicus and Onesimus are two loyal and highly valued friends of the apostle Paul.
Ephesians 6:21–22 ESV
21 So that you also may know how I am and what I am doing, Tychicus the beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord will tell you everything. 22 I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are, and that he may encourage your hearts.
TYCHICUS was one of Paul’s companions but he was also a very close friend.
He was a close friend and we read about him in () where we learn that he was from Asia.
We read about him in () where we learn that he was from Asia.
It was likely that Tychicus was from Ephesus or the surrounding area.
In he is mentioned to be with Trophimus the Ephesian and was sent at least two other times to Ephesus by Paul.
Ephesians 6:21 ESV
21 So that you also may know how I am and what I am doing, Tychicus the beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord will tell you everything.
Ephesians 6:21 ESV
21 So that you also may know how I am and what I am doing, Tychicus the beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord will tell you everything.
Eph
Many years later. Paul regards Tychicus as wholly reliable and a witness to his state in prison.
2 Timothy 4:12 ESV
12 Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus.
He was also trusted to be a potential interim pastor for Titus who was the missionary Paul had placed in Create to establish all the churches on that island.
ONESIMUS is a runaway slave who is the subject of the book of Philemon.
ONESIMUS is a runaway slave who is the subject of the Epistle to Philemon. He has been recently converted and now serves Christ as Paul’s ‘beloved brother’ (v. 9). Paul is not interested in status or wealth, but in spirituality and faithfulness. Tychicus and Onesimus are both brothers to Paul through grace, men who were happy to help out and use their gifts under Paul’s direction, accepting and recognizing that he was the Lord’s servant. They are sent to ‘comfort hearts’, that is, to encourage the Colossians to keep the faith and to obey the Word of God.
Titus 3:12 ESV
12 When I send Artemas or Tychicus to you, do your best to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there.
ONESIMUS is a runaway slave who is the subject of the Epistle to Philemon. He has been recently converted and now serves Christ as Paul’s ‘beloved brother’ (v. 9). Paul is not interested in status or wealth, but in spirituality and faithfulness. Tychicus and Onesimus are both brothers to Paul through grace, men who were happy to help out and use their gifts under Paul’s direction, accepting and recognizing that he was the Lord’s servant. They are sent to ‘comfort hearts’, that is, to encourage the Colossians to keep the faith and to obey the Word of God.
ONESIMUS is a runaway slave who is the subject of the Epistle to Philemon. He has been recently converted and now serves Christ as Paul’s ‘beloved brother’ (v. 9). Paul is not interested in status or wealth, but in spirituality and faithfulness. Tychicus and Onesimus are both brothers to Paul through grace, men who were happy to help out and use their gifts under Paul’s direction, accepting and recognizing that he was the Lord’s servant. They are sent to ‘comfort hearts’, that is, to encourage the Colossians to keep the faith and to obey the Word of God.
He was a converted Christian and now serving Christ as a slave and as Paul’s ‘beloved brother’
Paul is not interested in status or wealth, but in spirituality and faithfulness.
Both Tychicus and Onesimus are brothers to Paul through grace
They were happy to help out and use their gifts under Paul’s direction
Paul was the Lord’s servant and they recognized his gifts and credentials .
Paul sent them to ‘comfort hearts’, to encourage the Colossians in keep the faith and to obey the Word of God
To encourage the Colossians to keep the faith and to obey the Word of God
I can imagine these men were very savvy to the ways of the world in addition to being Encouraging and Comforting men.
Traveling the long distances in times when Christians were persecuted by the government and the Jews was dangerous
For that matter traveling on the roads of the ancient world was very dangerous and full of people wanting to take your money and possessions
The man beaten and stripped in the parable of the Good Samaritan was not a one time event in those days. Jesus used common things in His parables to explain important things about the Christian life.
Jesus used it as a common example.
It is clear that these men were well suited for the mission Paul sent them on.
Colossians 4:10–14 ESV
Aristarchus my fellow prisoner greets you, and Mark the cousin of Barnabas (concerning whom you have received instructions—if he comes to you, welcome him), and Jesus who is called Justus. These are the only men of the circumcision among my fellow workers for the kingdom of God, and they have been a comfort to me. Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you, always struggling on your behalf in his prayers, that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God. For I bear him witness that he has worked hard for you and for those in Laodicea and in Hierapolis. Luke the beloved physician greets you, as does Demas.
the man
Col 4:10-
2- Those who sent greetings
Colossians 4:10–14 ESV
Aristarchus my fellow prisoner greets you, and Mark the cousin of Barnabas (concerning whom you have received instructions—if he comes to you, welcome him), and Jesus who is called Justus. These are the only men of the circumcision among my fellow workers for the kingdom of God, and they have been a comfort to me. Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you, always struggling on your behalf in his prayers, that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God. For I bear him witness that he has worked hard for you and for those in Laodicea and in Hierapolis. Luke the beloved physician greets you, as does Demas.
Col
There were Three Jews
Aristarchus, Mark and Justus are fellow workers and long-term Jewish friends of Paul.
They worked with Paul for the glory of Christ in the local churches.
They were team players focused on not just local church growth but on the health of those churches.
They were never too busy ‘doing their own thing’ to help out.
Their ministry blessed Paul personally because he was encouraged by their friendship.
The word ‘comfort’ (v. 11) speaks of consolation and relief.
We get the English word ‘paregoric’ from the Greek word for comfort used here.
It means to sooth and settle.
When I was a kid my mom would make me drink a medicine called paregoric to help with an upset stomach. It contained a high amounts of Opium.
We learn is that ARISTARCHUS came from Thessalonica
He was with Paul during the riots at Ephesus ().
and In we see that he also was with Tychicus at Troas where they waited while Paul went to Jerusalem where he was arrested by the Romans at the demand of the Jewish leadership.
When this letter was written Aristarchus was prisoner in Rome with Paul.
He was a volunteer willing to suffer for the kingdom of Christ.
MARK is the cousin of Barnabas and the writer of the second Gospel.
We first meet Mark or “John who was called Mark” in .
When Herod imprisoned Peter in Jerusalem, a miracle occured while he was sleeping between two soldiers
Acts 12:7–8 ESV
And behold, an angel of the Lord stood next to him, and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him, saying, “Get up quickly.” And the chains fell off his hands. And the angel said to him, “Dress yourself and put on your sandals.” And he did so. And he said to him, “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me.”
Acts 12:7
The angel led Peter out of the jail and Peter went to the house of Mary Mark’s mother
Where a group was gathered, and praying for Peter while he was in the jail.
Later we learn that Mark accompanied Paul and Barnabas on the first missionary trip.
Twelve years prior to this, Mark and Barnabas had left Paul after a disagreement about whether Mark should accompany them on their second missionary journey. In Paul’s opinion, Mark had been disloyal and cowardly when he deserted them at the end of their first missionary tour (). Mark’s relationship with Paul is now restored and he is fully engaged in the Lord’s work and in full fellowship with the Lord’s people. In Paul said that Mark was very useful to him for the ministry, thus assuring us that Mark’s restoration to faithfulness was a permanent thing (see also ). This is so encouraging as it tells us never to doubt the grace of God and his promise to keep us from falling. Mark is no longer a liability to Paul and is to be welcomed as a fully committed co-worker of Christ. Mark is forgiven both by God and by Paul. We should not withhold our love from those whom Christ has redeemed and restored. Restoration is a wonderful certainty because God promises it in Christ (; ).
During that trip Mark left the group early and returned home unexpectedly .
In we read that Mark and Barnabas left Paul after a disagreement about whether Mark should accompany them on their second missionary journey.
In Paul’s opinion, Mark had been disloyal and cowardly when he deserted them on the first trip.
Sometime after that Mark and Paul’s relationship was restored and he is fully engaged in the Lord’s work and fellowship with the Lord’s people.
In Paul said that Mark was very useful to him for the ministry
Mark’s restoration to faithfulness was a permanent thing and assures us that it was lasting
1 Peter 5:13 ESV
She who is at Babylon, who is likewise chosen, sends you greetings, and so does Mark, my son.
This is encouraging to us, we must never doubt the grace of God and his promise to keep us from falling.
Philippians 1:6 ESV
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
phil
(see also ). This is so encouraging as it tells us never to doubt the grace of God and his promise to keep us from falling. Mark is no longer a liability to Paul and is to be welcomed as a fully committed co-worker of Christ. Mark is forgiven both by God and by Paul. We should not withhold our love from those whom Christ has redeemed and restored. Restoration is a wonderful certainty because God promises it in Christ (; ).
Mark is no longer a liability to Paul and is to be welcomed as a fully committed co-worker of Christ. Mark is forgiven both by God and by Paul. We should not withhold our love from those whom Christ has redeemed and restored. Restoration is a wonderful certainty because God promises it in Christ (; ).
This is also an example of why we should forgive others because God forgives
1 John 4:19 ESV
We love because he first loved us.
1 John 4:19
Ephesians 3:20–21 ESV
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
We should not withhold our love from those whom Christ has redeemed and restored.
Jude 24 ESV
Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy,
Jud
and He loved us first .
JUSTUS, also called Jesus.
Restoration is a wonderful certainty because God promises it in Christ (; ).
JUSTUS, also called Jesus. His was a common name among the Jews. A man called by that name was nominated as a replacement apostle for Judas Iscariot (), while another of the same name lived in Corinth and was a supporter of Paul (). If the Justus of is neither of these two (and that is what most commentators think) then he is mentioned only here in the New Testament and represents the ‘unknowns’ in the Lord’s service: those myriads of believers—ordinary people—with nothing particularly special to note about them, who yet have been chosen and given grace to be ‘fellow workers for the kingdom of God’. No matter how ‘unknown’ believers may feel in their own little place, they contribute to the growth of the kingdom when they use their gifts and walk in obedience to Christ.
Jesus was a common name among the Jews and like many Jews during this time in history; this man took Greek name.
Justus was a Greek name.
In when the 11 Apostles were looking for a replacement for Judas Iscariot the man who betrayed Jesus, a man with the same name was nominated
when the 11 remaining Apostles were looking for a replacement for Judas Iscariot a man with the same name was nominated
Another with the same name lived in Corinth and was a supporter of Paul ().
Most commentators believe that this was not the same Justus as either one of the other two and this is the only place this man is mentioned New Testament
He is one of the ‘unknowns’ in the Lord’s service:
He represents the hundreds of thousands or millions of ordinary people who have nothing special to note but who are chosen and given grace to be ‘fellow workers for the kingdom of God’.
Two esteemed friends (vv. 12–14)
Those who are willing to say YES to be slaves of the Lord Jesus
Two esteemed friends (vv. 12–14)
EPAPHRAS. who we have already meet in chapter 1 and It is generally accepted that he is the pastor of the church at Colossae and its founder.
We learn that he was a prayerful man, he was praying that the Colossians might ‘stand perfect and complete in all the will of God’ (v. 12).
He also prayed ‘labouring fervently’
He wrestled and strived in prayer for them. The Greek used here represents a man toiling at work until he is thoroughly weary or exhausted.
I am not as prayerful as I should be and can never imagine being thoroughly exhausted from it.
What he prayed. ‘That you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God’ (v. 12). There was need for them to grow up spiritually and be mature in the things of Christ, remaining firm in the truth. Paul preaches to achieve it (1:28) and Epaphras prays for it to be so. The word ‘perfect’ (teleioi) means ‘to finish the process’. There is, in New Testament religion, such a thing as progressive sanctification: an increase in holiness and the possibility of growing into a deeper love for God, Christ and the brethren (see ). The Colossians are complete positionally (2:10) but here the will of God is in view so that they will be able to resist the ‘spoilers” errors (cf. 1:9). Epaphras prays that they will persevere in the faith, in accordance with the will of God, and that their commitment to the truth in Christ Jesus their Lord will continue.
LUKE is the author of the third Gospel and the book of Acts.
He was a companion of Paul during his missionary journeys and accompanied him to Jerusalem and during his dangerous journey to Rome
Read Luke and Acts if you want to know more about this man.
We often refer to Luke, as a Gentile Christian, and he probably came from Antioch, which was a town in southern Turkey or Asia Minor.
He was a medical doctor and as such was a valuable travelling companion to the missionary team.
Luke is called ‘ the beloved physician’ and when we read about Paul’s ‘thorn in the flesh’ in 2 Corinthians which, was likely a significant health problem we can understand why Luke was of great help to Paul personally.
Luke was also a historian of the highest quality.
His account of the historical Jesus and the information he gives concerning the Jewish and Roman leaders through out Luke and Acts is verifiable and accurate with non-biblical historical writings from the first and second century.
Lastly we read about one endangered soul (v. 14b)
DEMAS is a mystery.
As part of Paul’s missionary team he proved to be a valuable helper
But we remember him most because of what Paul wrote in 2 Timothy.
He was listed in Timothy with the same friends as we find here in ,
But in Timothy we are told “Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica.”
2 Timothy 4:10 ESV
For Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia.
He was physically and spiritually separated from Paul.
He had given into the desires of the world and was likely never a true Christian or had abandoned Christ and Paul both physically and spiritually.
is told ‘Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world’ (). This was not only a physical but also a spiritual separation. He had succumbed to worldliness. This reminds us of the Parable of the Sower and the consequences of the seed not falling on ‘good ground’ (). Sadly, in the New Testament there is no record of his restoration. This is a reminder that Christians need to make their calling and election sure ().
Just like the Parable of the Sower in () the condition of his heart was like the ground where weeds and thorns and the care for the world choked out the potential fruit the mature plants were designed to produce.
There is not any New Testament record of his restoration.
2 Peter 1:10 ESV
Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall.
This is a reminder that Christians need to make the call and election of God sure ().
3- In (vv. 15–17) we are introduced to those who were receiving the greetings.
Colossians 4:15–17 ESV
Give my greetings to the brothers at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house. And when this letter has been read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans; and see that you also read the letter from Laodicea. And say to Archippus, “See that you fulfill the ministry that you have received in the Lord.”
Col
Paul wants his greetings and teachings be passed on: To the brothers and sisters in the church of Laodicea
To the brothers and sisters in the church of Laodicea
Nympha (v. 15)
All or part of the Colossian church met in the house of Nympha
We have no other information about this person but the hospitality and love they had made them willing to support and help a growing church in times of persecution by opening their home for the gathering of the saints.
tells us about the conversion of Lydia. a prominent women in Philippi who was a seller of purple cloth who was converted and opened her home for the church.
(; ) tells us that churches were meeting in home at this point because the Jews were running Christians out of the synagogs.
Until the 19th century, or the 1800s most English translations presented Nympha as a man. But continued research and new manuscripts have shown that a more accurate translation is feminine.
The Epistle to the Colossians is also read to the church that met at Laodicea
, so that the message could be shared as an act of Christian friendship and evangelism (v. 16). Is this an example of consecutive preaching in the early church? At the very least we see the gathered church hearing and meditating on the Word of God (see ).
The Laodiceans (vv. 15–16)
This is how the writings and words from the Apostles not just Paul was spread among the many churches that were developing in the first century.
. This is how the writings and words from the Apostles was spread among the many churches that were developing in the first century.
What is ‘the epistle from Laodicea’? Is it:
Letters were swapped and read to other churches helping all the churches receive encouragement and teachings.
In v17 we read “see that you also read the letter from Laodicea.” this can be somewhat misleading but most commentators believe that Paul was referring to a letter also written by him to the Laodiceans.
A letter written from Laodicea? John Calvin supported this view, which was first mooted in the fourth or fifth century A.D.
Either this letter was lost or was not considered inspired but the early church fathers and was left out of the Biblical Canon
Archippus (v. 17)
A letter written by Paul from Laodicea and now lost?
The letter written and sent by Paul to Philemon? If Philemon lived in Colosse, this would be unlikely.
Archippus (v. 17)
The Epistle of Paul to the Ephesians? This theory has many advocates but lacks conclusive proof.
A letter written by Paul to Laodicea written at the same time as this epistle but now lost? If we remember that Tychicus would need to travel through Laodicea to go to Colosse it would seem strange that there was no letter from Paul. Why leave Laodicea out? Not all of Paul’s letters have been preserved (see, for example, ). There is an apocryphal Epistle to the Laodiceans which was made between A.D. 300 and 400 to fill in the gap in the manuscripts, but by the eighth century it was ‘rejected by all’ (Jerome).
There is the possibility that there was no letter at all! If there was, why the greetings in v. 15?
None of the above throws any doubt on the doctrine of the inerrancy of Scripture.
Archippus (v. 17)
Archippus was a member of the church in Colosse and most likely the interim pastor after Epaphras left for Rome to see Paul.
Paul speaks to him directly, as he must faithfully discharge the ministry he has received ‘in the Lord’.
Archippus was given:
A PERSONAL MESSAGE from Paul:
This was meant to encourage Archippus to ‘take heed’.
Throughout history great leaders encourage their followers to serve a higher purpose.
Lord Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, told his sailors and marines that ‘England expects every man to do his duty’
This is no different for those who battle for souls in the church of our Lord Jesus.
Christ expects all believers to do their duty in the ministry given to each one of us.
Whether in preaching, teaching, leading or serving in the local church or missionary effort.
All the believers need to use their gifts as slaves to Christ
Just like the slaves in the Parable of the Talents
For the one slave who hide what the master gave him
“It will be taken away. And cast the worthless slave into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
the one who uses what he is given to the best of his ability will hear:
“Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much.”
Paul gave this same encouragement to the young Timothy
“what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless slave into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’will be
Matthew 25:14–30 ESV
“For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here, I have made five talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here, I have made two talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’ But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
Paul gave this same encouragement to the young Timothy
1 Timothy 4:16 ESV
Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.
1 Tim
This was also A PUBLIC MESSAGE: ‘Take heed to the ministry you have received in the Lord’. This exhortation was given in support of Archippus and the ministry he was called by God to discharge. What was this ministry? Perhaps he was the elder in charge while Epaphras was gone (as some suggest), or one of the body of elders and deacons? Whatever it was, he could not run from his responsibility now that Paul had so openly spoken of it! The Lord expects us to do his will when vows have been made.
(). This was the same exhortation which Paul gave to Timothy ().
A PUBLIC MESSAGE: ‘Take heed to the ministry you have received in the Lord’. This exhortation was given in support of Archippus and the ministry he was called by God to discharge. What was this ministry? Perhaps he was the elder in charge while Epaphras was gone (as some suggest), or one of the body of elders and deacons? Whatever it was, he could not run from his responsibility now that Paul had so openly spoken of it! The Lord expects us to do his will when vows have been made.
A POINTED MESSAGE: ‘fulfil it’. Archippus obviously needed this exhortation, but why? Had he lost heart (, )? Had he lost his love for the brethren? Had he found the office to which he was called too demanding, and did he now want to relinquish it? We just do not know. But we can be sure that the Holy Spirit meant him to hear this. God wanted him to complete the work he had received from Christ his Lord.
4 - Final thoughts
Colossians 4:18 ESV
I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you.
Often Paul dictated his letters and would write a few words with his own hand to make sure people knew he was the author of the letter.
You can see this in (2 Thes.; 1 Cor) and here in Colossians
This was necessary so that the Apostle’s words would be authoritative for faith and practice in the churches.
Remember Paul’s chains was to remind the Colossians he need their prayers.
All of our pastors, volunteers and servants in the church need our prayers.
Those who serve Jesus Christ full time, part time or just serve as faithful servants are not immune to hardship or injustice in a fallen world.
There are imprisoned pastors all over the world, in Turkey, Iran, China and many other countries. Some of these are local pastors from these countries but some are foreign pastors or missionaries from numerous countries including American who are there to share the gospel.
Sometimes at great personnel risk.
They need our prayers.
We must always remember suffering is ordained by God for believers. Job suffered all for the glory of God
Job 2 ESV
1 Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them to present himself before the Lord. 2 And the Lord said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” 3 And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil? He still holds fast his integrity, although you incited me against him to destroy him without reason.” 4 Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “Skin for skin! All that a man has he will give for his life. 5 But stretch out your hand and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse you to your face.” 6 And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your hand; only spare his life.” 7 So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and struck Job with loathsome sores from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. 8 And he took a piece of broken pottery with which to scrape himself while he sat in the ashes. 9 Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die.” 10 But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips. 11 Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this evil that had come upon him, they came each from his own place, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. They made an appointment together to come to show him sympathy and comfort him. 12 And when they saw him from a distance, they did not recognize him. And they raised their voices and wept, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads toward heaven. 13 And they sat with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his suffering was very great.
Paul tells the young pastor Timothy
Paul tells the young pastor Timothy
2 Timothy 3:12 ESV
Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,
The Holy servant of God, Jesus was no exception and suffered for all of us.
Isaiah 53:7–8 ESV
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people?
IS
Isaiah 53:7–8 ESV
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people?
Job 2 ESV
Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them to present himself before the Lord. And the Lord said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil? He still holds fast his integrity, although you incited me against him to destroy him without reason.” Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “Skin for skin! All that a man has he will give for his life. But stretch out your hand and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse you to your face.” And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your hand; only spare his life.” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and struck Job with loathsome sores from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. And he took a piece of broken pottery with which to scrape himself while he sat in the ashes. Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die.” But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips. Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this evil that had come upon him, they came each from his own place, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. They made an appointment together to come to show him sympathy and comfort him. And when they saw him from a distance, they did not recognize him. And they raised their voices and wept, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads toward heaven. And they sat with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his suffering was very great.
Daily grace
(; ; ), our Saviour being the chief emple of this (). Paul knows that prayer will help ().
Daily grace
Lastly Paul writes ‘Grace be with you.’
Paul began with grace (v1:2) and ends with it.
We start the Christian life because of God’s grace freely given to us.
Ephesians 2:8 ESV
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,
() and we require it until the end of the journey. Paul speaks to all the Colossian believers (the pronoun ‘you’ is plural). They need grace to keep them from falling under the control of the ‘spoilers’, and to keep them strong in the Lord and the power of his might. Grace is necessary to do God’s will, fulfil his work and live holy lives. Christ promises grace right to the end (; ). ‘Amen’ is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew word meaning ‘surely’, from the root meaning ‘to be firm’. It is used to express agreement (; ) and is the expression of agreement used by the churches (; ). It means ‘So let it be’. It is also translated as ‘verily’ in the AV, ‘most assuredly’ in the NKJV and ‘I tell you the truth’ in the NIV (cf. ).
and we require grace until the end of our journey.
() and we require it until the end of the journey. Paul speaks to all the Colossian believers (the pronoun ‘you’ is plural). They need grace to keep them from falling under the control of the ‘spoilers’, and to keep them strong in the Lord and the power of his might. Grace is necessary to do God’s will, fulfil his work and live holy lives. Christ promises grace right to the end (; ). ‘Amen’ is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew word meaning ‘surely’, from the root meaning ‘to be firm’. It is used to express agreement (; ) and is the expression of agreement used by the churches (; ). It means ‘So let it be’. It is also translated as ‘verily’ in the AV, ‘most assuredly’ in the NKJV and ‘I tell you the truth’ in the NIV (cf. ).
Paul is speaking to the Colossian and us today (the pronoun used here in Greek is plural)
YOU!
We need grace to keep us from giving into the false teaching, temptation and sin
We need grace for the same reason
It is only by His grace that we will be strong in the Lord and the power of his might.
Grace is necessary to do God’s will
Most important is that Jesus promises us grace until the end of everything.
Just before Jesus ascended into heaven in he said “I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
“I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Matthew 28:20 ESV
teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
FOR FURTHER STUDY
Pray
1. God is called ‘the Amen God’ (). What does this mean? Read ; ; and .
2. What are the signs that a believer is backsliding, and what can be done about it ()?
TO THINK ABOUT AND DISCUSS
1. What sins do not allow men to return to full-time Christian ministry?
2. Notice how Paul’s prayer (1:9) and Epaphras’ prayer (4:12) concur. What does this tell us about how we should pray for the churches of the saints (see also ; ; ; , )?
Ian S McNaughton, Opening up Colossians and Philemon, Opening Up Commentary (Leominster: Day One Publications, 2006), 89–99.
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