A study of Colossians 4:1-5 teaches the importance of steadfast prayer in balanced relationships, for effective Gospel sharing, and walking in wisdom towards unbelievers.

A study of Colossians 4:1-5 teaches the importance of steadfast prayer in balanced relationships

Masters, treat your bondservants justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven. Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.

Balanced relationships involve a fair exchange of give and take. Except our selfish nature “takes” much more than it “gives.” Although Paul is specifically addressing the Roman practice of slavery in this passage, perhaps the supervisor and subordinate relationship in today’s workplace is a modern comparison.

“Justly” is the Greek word dikaiŏs, which means equitable, right, and just. And “fairly” is the Greek word isŏtēs, which means likeness in condition or proportion and equity. Although slaves under Roman law were considered property with no human rights, Paul called for higher standards from Christ-followers by reminding them of their heavenly master. Likewise, bosses should treat subordinates like equal human beings and not production units for the organization.

“Continue steadfastly” is the Greek word, prŏskartĕrĕō, which means to continue in, be earnest towards, persevere, and be constantly diligent. “Watchful” is the Greek word, grēgŏrĕuō, which means to keep awake, be vigilant, and watchful.

In other words, we should persistently pray for God’s help to diligently live out our faith at work. And while we may command authority in an organizational hierarchy, we are still under God’s authority and expected to manage those relationships according to Biblical principles.

“Thankfulness” is the Greek, ĕucharistia, which means gratitude, and thankfulness to God as an act of worship. It carries an expectation for God to guide our relationships in ways that glorify him.

A study of Colossians 4:1-5 encourages prayer for effective Gospel sharing

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— that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.

Although Paul was in prison as he wrote this letter, he still looked for ways to share the gospel. Read Philippians 1:12-14 where he describes a creative method he used with prison guards.

And keep in mind that sharing the Gospel doesn’t always mean a complete Gospel presentation. It’s okay to share nuggets of Biblical truth when there’s a small opening and moment to share. Maybe a scripture verse or story, answer to prayer, or personal experience from your Christian walk.

Also notice that Paul carefully considered the words he used and the manner he spoke. Because sharing the Gospel is more than dumping the Roman Road to salvation on someone like an evangelistic firehose. It’s considering every person as a unique individual, seeking to understand their perspective, and offer them clear Biblical truth.

A study of Colossians 4:1-5 teaches walking with wisdom towards non-believers

Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

The gospel message is the crown jewel for salvation. The difference between heaven and hell. A priceless treasure for all who receive it. And we should freely share it with all who will listen. Unfortunately, many won’t.

Walk in wisdom— The Greek word for “walk” is pĕripatĕō, which means to walk at large, to live, and deport oneself. “Wisdom” is the Greek word sŏphia. And “outsiders” represents unsaved people. In order to share the Gospel, we must be willing to engage the secular culture. But we need to be careful about what we say and how we act. In other words, our walk should match our talk.

Tips on sharing the gospel

Best use of time–I admire Christ-followers who articulately defend the gospel. But an ongoing debate with people who obviously reject Christianity is not the best use of time. As Jesus said, it is “casting pearls before swine.” (ESV, Matthew 7:6). Especially when there are many others open to hearing the Gospel. So listen to God’s Spirit for when it’s time to move on. Because the harvest is plentiful, workers few, and time is short.

Gracious speech seasoned with salt— “Gracious” is the Greek word charis, which means graciousness of manner, acceptable, and the divine influence upon the heart. It is from where we get the word “charm.” It is not our job to “save” someone because only God’s Spirit can convict sinners. However, salt increases thirst. So we should strive to present the gospel in a persuasive manner that gains a person’s interest.

How you ought to answer people–The best way to answer people is with scripture. It is, after all, God’s word. He can best speak for himself. And don’t let feeling inadequate in Bible knowledge stop you either. Satan always whispers that in our ear to keep us quiet. We all have at least one powerful witness. Our own story of what God has done in our life.

Chip Tudor is an author, blogger and professional writer. He publishes books, humorous Christian drama, and thought provoking blogs from a Christian worldview. This blog is originally published here.

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