"THE EPISTLE TO THE COLOSSIANS" Chapter Four OBJECTIVES IN STUDYING THIS CHAPTER 1) To consider the importance of prayer, and proper conduct toward those who are not Christians 2) To appreciate the value of those workers in the kingdom who assisted key players like Paul and contributed so much to the spread of the gospel SUMMARY Paul concludes his section on "The Christian Solution" as an alternative to the heresies being proposed at Colosse with exhortations to prayer and proper conduct. His desire is that they devote themselves to prayer with vigilance and thanksgiving. A special request for prayer in his behalf is made, that God might give him an open door for the word of God, and that he might make the mystery of Christ known. Their own conduct is to be with wisdom toward outsiders, making good use of their time. This includes speaking with grace, knowing how one ought to answer others (1-6). Paul then mentions several companions, starting with Tychicus and Onesimus who were evidently the bearers of this epistle, and who would inform them of Paul's circumstances. Special greetings are also sent from brethren with Paul. These included three Jewish brethren (Aristarchus, Mark, Jesus called Justus), a brother who was from Colosse (Epaphras), a beloved physician (Luke), and one we know from another epistle (Demas, cf. 2 Ti 4:9) who later forsook Paul (7-14). Finally, greetings are sent to those in Laodicea and the church meeting in the home of Nymphas, along with a charge to exchange epistles with the church in Laodicea. With a final exhortation for Archippus to fulfill his ministry, Paul signs off using his personal signature, asking that they remember his chains, and praying for grace on their behalf (15-18). OUTLINE I. EXHORTATIONS TO PRAYER AND PROPER CONDUCT (2-6) A. DEVOTE YOURSELVES TO PRAYER (2-4) 1. Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant with thanksgiving (2) 2. Pray for ministers of God, like Paul (3-4) a. That God would open a door for the Word (3a) b. That Paul would make the mystery of Christ manifest (3b-4) B. CONDUCT YOURSELVES PROPERLY (5-6) 1. Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of your time (5) 2. Speak with grace, properly answering each one (6) II. PAUL'S COMPANIONS (7-14) A. COMMENDATION OF HIS MESSENGERS (7-9) 1. Tychicus (7-8) a. A beloved brother, faithful minister, and fellow servant in the Lord (8a) b. Sent by Paul to inform them of his circumstances, and to comfort their hearts (8b-9) 2. Onesimus (9) a. A faithful and beloved brother, from Colosse (9a) b. He also will inform them of Paul's circumstances (9b) B. GREETINGS FROM HIS FRIENDS (10-14) 1. From Aristarchus, a fellow prisoner (10a) 2. From Mark, a cousin of Barnabas, whom they are to welcome if he comes (10b) 3. From Jesus, called Justus, who together with Aristarchus and Mark are Paul's only fellow workers for the kingdom of God who are of the circumcision (11) 4. From Epaphras (12-13) a. One of their number at Colosse (12a) b. A servant of Christ in their behalf (12b) 1) Laboring fervently for them in prayers 2) Praying that they may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God c. Paul bears witness of his great zeal (13) 1) For those at Colosse (13a) 2) For those in Laodicea and Hierapolis (13b) 5. From Luke, the beloved physician (14a) 6. From Demas (14b) III. CONCLUDING REMARKS (15-18) A. PERSONAL MESSAGES (15-17) 1. Greet the brethren (15) a. Those who are in Laodicea (15a) b. Nymphas and the church in his house (15b) 2. Exchange epistles (16) a. Once this epistle is read, see that it is read in the church of the Laodiceans (16a) b. You also read the epistle from the church in Laodicea (16b) 3. A charge to Archippus, that he take heed to his ministry received from the Lord, and to fulfill it (17) B. A PERSONAL SIGNOFF (18) 1. Salutation written by his own hand (18a) 2. A plea to remember his chains (18b) 3. A prayer that grace be with them (18c)
REVIEW QUESTIONS FOR THE CHAPTER Move your mouse pointer underneath each question to see the answer.
1) What are the main points of this chapter? 2) In calling them to earnest prayer, what four things does Paul ask of them? (2-4) 3) How were they to walk? (5) 4) How were they to speak? (6) 5) How is Tychicus described? Why was Paul sending him? (7-9) 6) How is Onesimus describe? Why was Paul sending him? (9) 7) What three men were Paul's only fellow workers for the kingdom of God who were of the circumcision, i.e. Jews? (10-11) 8) What is said about Epaphras in relation to the churches in Colosse, Laodicea, and Hierapolis? (12-13) 9) Who else sends greetings? (14) 10) To what two groups does Paul send greetings? (15) 11) What was to be done with the epistle after it had been read to the church? (16) 12) What was to be done with an epistle coming from Laodicea? (16) 13) What special charge does Paul tell them to give to Archippus? (17) 14) How does Paul confirm that this epistle was from him? (18) 15) What final request does Paul ask of the Colossians? (18) 16) What final prayer does Paul offer in behalf of the brethren? (18)