Thursday, March 4, 2010

Putting Christ First: Colossians 4: Mature Relations Include Informing, Greeting, And Bible Fellowship

Theme: You should put Christ first.

Closing Remarks (4:7-18)

Mature believers inform others about their circumstances (7-9). Paul would send Tychicus and Onesimus to inform the Colossians about his situation in prison. He refers to them as "faithful", brothers and fellow servants of the Lord. Mature relations include informing others of your situation.

Mature relations include greeting one another (10-15). Paul sends greetings from the brethren who are with him, and calls on them to greet the brethren. He asks the Colossians to welcome Mark, Barnabas' cousin, if he comes to them (10). Those who send greetings are referred to again as "fellow workers" in the gospel ministry (11).  Epaphras was especially concerned for their welfare, laboring earnestly for them in prayer, that they might stand complete and fully assured in all the will of God (12-13). This fits a major thread of the book, that believers are complete in the wisdom of Christ, and should not submit themselves to the philosophy of man. He calls on the Colossians to greet the brethren who are in Laodicea and in the house-church of Nympha (15). Mature relations include an exchange of greetings and good will.

Another part of mature relations among those who are complete in Christ, is Bible fellowship (16). Paul instructs the believers to read this letter among themselves, to have the Laodiceans read it, and to read the letter which would come to them from Laodicea. Mature relations include fellowship in God's Word. 

In closing, Paul encourages Archippus to fulfill his ministry in the Lord (17; cf. Heb. 10:24). This again fits the thread that we are fulfilled, or complete in Christ. He also asks them to remember that he is in prison (18), and wishes God's grace to them. Mature relations include encouraging and praying for others as they minister for the Lord.

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