A Study Of Colossians 4:15-18

A Study Of Colossians 4:15-18

A study of Colossians 4:15-18 reveals the importance of authentic relationships in the church, making disciples, and ministry engagement of church members.

A study of Colossians 4:15-18 reveals the importance of authentic relationships in the church

V.15 Give my greetings to the brothers at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house.

As Paul concludes his theological teaching he turns his attention to another important matter. Fostering authentic relationships. Because he asks the Colossians to greet the brothers at Laodicea and the house church that meets in the home of Nympha.

Start up churches in first century Christianity often met in homes. Especially since congregations were usually small. But hosting regular meetings in a home is no small thing. Then or now, because it takes much preparation. Perhaps specifically mentioning Nympha in his greeting was a way to affirm her.

Regardless, it reminds us that Christianity is a journey of faith with other believers. And those relationships must be intentionally nurtured and maintained.

A study of Colossians 4:15-18 reveals the importance in making disciples

V.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.

Paul’s apostolic teaching was considered authoritative by the early Christians. And his letters were passed around and read among the churches. But rather than let a ministry position inflate his ego, he recognized his own sin, unworthiness, and God’s grace to him. Look at Romans 7:15-20, 1 Timothy 1:15, and 1 Corinthians 15:9-10 for examples.

Nevertheless, Paul recognized his teaching as authoritative because he instructs the Colossians to swap letters with the Laodiceans. Did he know his writing was inspired by the Holy Spirit? It’s unclear if he knew, but we know because 1 Timothy 3:16-17 confirms it.

What happened to the letter to Laodicea? Some scholars speculate it was today’s book of Ephesians and others say the original letter was lost. Regardless, we know our Bible today is God’s complete word and we need not worry about anything missing.

A study of Colossians 4:15-18 reveals the importance of ministry engagement of church members

V.17 And say to Archippus, “See that you fulfill the ministry that you have received in the Lord.”

We get more background information about Archippus in Paul’s letter to Philemon where he calls him a “fellow soldier.” Philemon hosted a house church and Archippus was part of it. And some scholars suggest, possibly his son. The title “fellow soldier” indicates a ministerial role. Perhaps as a pastor, but more likely a lay leader.

And notice the ministry was “received in the Lord.” In other words, God calls lay leaders into ministry too. Because pastors can’t possibly carry out church ministry by themselves. Of course, that doesn’t mean every church volunteer position requires a special calling. Often, the only qualification is a willing spirit and obedient heart. But when God calls we should respond with obedience.

On a practical note, pastors often prayerfully seek God’s guidance for filling various church leadership roles. And from pastoral experience I can tell you He often brings certain people to mind. So if a staff member approaches you about a particular ministry opportunity in your church, don’t immediately turn it down. It might be God’s way of calling you.

V.18 I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you.

In the midst of Paul’s concern for the Colossians he asked for their thoughts and prayers on his behalf. He was still in prison, uncertain of the future, and needed prayer support. A good reminder that while pastors often pray faithfully FOR their congregation, they still need prayers from FROM their congregation too.

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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A Study Of Colossians 4:15-18

A Study Of Colossians 4:12-14

A study of Colossians 4:12-14 affirms the importance of prayer, maturity and assurance in following God’s will, and loyal ministry workers.

A study of Colossians 4:12-14 affirms the importance of prayer

V.12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you, always struggling on your behalf in his prayers…

Paul affirms Epaphras twice in this letter for his dedication to ministry. In 1:7 and again in V.12. Epaphras came to faith under Paul’s influence, then started the Colossian church and ministered in a pastoral role. He visited Paul in prison to express his concern about the false teaching that was negatively impacting the Colossians, and it prompted Paul’s letter to the church.

The Greek word for “struggling” is agōnizŏmai, which means to struggle, labor fervently, contend with an adversary. In other words, Epaphras was emotionally and spiritually invested in the Colossian church. And his prayers reflected the heart of a loving pastor fiercely battling spiritual forces on behalf of his flock.

A study of Colossians 4:12-14 affirms the importance of maturity and assurance in following God’s will.

That you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God. 

The Greek word for “mature” is tĕlĕiŏs, which means complete in mental and moral character. Not perfection, as in no sin. But it describes a disciple of Jesus who is growing and maturing in faith. The Greek word for “fully assured” is plērŏphŏrĕō, which means to carry out fully, completely assure, entirely accomplish, most surely believe, and make full proof of.

There’s a progression of thought in the word order–mature, fully assured, and will of God. As you grow in faith as a Christ-follower, you increase in knowledge and trust in God. This in turn, produces a greater sense of assurance in your understanding of God’s will.

However, in western Christianity, we tend to over emphasize God’s unknown will for each believer and ask: What is God’s will for my life? Although here, Paul may be speaking corporately. What was God’s will for the Colossian church?

Certainly, he had in mind the false teaching that was threatening the church. God’s will did not include false teaching in the church about Jesus Christ. But even considering God’s will for a church is limited. Instead, we should first ask, “What is God’s will for the world?”

A study of Colossians 4:12-14 affirms the importance of loyal ministry workers.

V.13 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 Greek word for “worked” is pŏnŏs, which means to toil, hard labor, and anguish. In other words, Epaphras physically exerted himself to the point of perhaps, painful soreness. Because ministry has a physical component to it too. Programs are planned and organized. Curriculum material prepared. Facilities cleaned and set-up. And it all takes work. Although for Epaphras, it was obviously a labor of love. In addition, Laodicea and Hierapolis were neighboring cities that apparently, also had Christian churches. And Epaphras ministered there as well.

Paul mentions Luke with a tone of affection as the “beloved physician.” And again in Philemon 24 and in 2 Timothy 4:11 as Paul’s only companion. In Acts 27, it appears Luke traveled with Paul on his sea voyage to Rome and likely on other trips as well. We also know Luke was a Gentile who also authored the New Testament books of Luke and Acts.

Paul mentions Demas one more time in 2 Timothy 4:10 as a deserter in the middle of a missionary journey, “because he loved this world.” Indeed, a sad legacy to leave in scripture.

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.

Looking for a Bible Study for yourself or small group??

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Four Ways God Reveals Himself To Humanity

Four Ways God Reveals Himself To Humanity

Four ways God reveals himself to humanity. If God exists, how does he reveal himself to us? Here are four ways the Bible identifies.

Four ways God reveals himself to humanity. God reveals himself through scripture.

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (ESV, 2 Timothy 3:16-17)

Humans wrote the Bible. But God’s Spirit supernaturally inspired each author to write exactly what He wants us to know. Its absolute truth addresses all matters of life. And it describes how to live in a manner that glorifies God.

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (ESV, Hebrews 4:12)

In addition, scripture is more than ink on paper. God’s words are alive and active. And meant for you to read, meditate on, and saturate into your heart and mind. So, when you engage them in your thoughts and actions, they manifest a life of holiness and righteousness. Not perfectly, but in one that honors God.

Four ways God reveals himself to humanity. God reveals himself through creation

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. (ESV, Romans 1:19-20)

God’s fingerprints mark all of creation. However, belief is a choice. And you can deny his existence and instead, believe in evolution. But you’ll miss the beauty, majesty, and splendor of an Almighty God. And the sense of wonder his creation inspires. A pageantry beyond our comprehension. And a masterpiece of intelligent design. Or, if you prefer, dumb luck.

But that choice is a life characterized by pride, dominated by sin, and without hope.

Four ways God reveals himself to humanity. God reveals himself through His church

For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit. (ESV, 1 Corinthians 12:12-13)

Is the church an organization or a building? Neither. It is the body of Christ. A congregation of Christ-followers indwelled and unified by God’s Spirit. And a melting pot of race, culture, language, socioeconomic, and political differences with one thing in common–the desire to love and follow Jesus Christ.

The church gathers to worship, fellowship, and support one another. And when it ministers in Jesus’ name, the church displays God’s love through his people.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. (ESV, Galatians 5:22)

The fruit of the Spirit is visible evidence of God’s presence in the lives of His people. Broken due to sin. But as believers imitate Jesus and honor God through righteous living, it reflects, in a small way, the righteousness of God.

Four ways God reveals himself to humanity. God reveals himself through Jesus Christ

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (ESV 1:1)

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (ESV, John 1:14)

For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily. (ESV, Colossians 2:9)

Who is Jesus Christ? Scripture provides a clear answer. He is the Son of God. Fully human and fully divine. He lived a perfect life. Taught God’s truth. Performed miracles. Died on a cross for our sins, and rose from the grave three days later. And those who believe in and follow him by faith are granted eternal life.

Jesus Christ is God’s complete revelation of himself to humanity. And if you miss this one, probably, nothing else will convince you. But when you recognize Jesus as God, confess him as Lord, and follow him, your life is changed forever.

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.

Looking for a Bible Study for yourself or small group?

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A Study Of Colossians 4:15-18

A Study Of Colossians 4:10-11

A study of Colossians 4:10-11 reveals the importance of second chances, willing ministry workers, and Christian support.

A study of Colossians 4:10-11 reveals the importance of second chances

V.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 and Jesus who is called Justus.

Aristarchus, a Macedonian from Thessalonica, appears in Acts 19:29 with Paul in Ephesus, and in Acts 20:4 and 27:2 as one of Paul’s travelling companions. Here Paul calls him a fellow-prisoner indicating he’s also confined with Paul.

The Greek word for “welcome” is dĕchŏmai, which means to accept and receive. But why did Paul ask the Colossians to accept and receive Mark? Perhaps because Mark had abandoned Paul and Barnabas on a previous missionary journey, which earned him a black mark with Paul. And Paul had possibly told others about Mark’s unreliability in ministry. But apparently, Mark had redeemed himself so Paul let the Colossians know Mark was back in his good graces.

Redeeming a Christian brother or sister

Mark was Barnabas’ cousin who caused a rift between Paul and Barnabas recorded in Acts 15:36-41. Barnabas wanted to take Mark on another missionary journey, but Paul objected since Mark abandoned them on the last one. The two men disagreed so they split and went separate ways. Paul took Silas and Mark accompanied Barnabas.

You’d expect Paul to show Mark a little more grace. Especially considering how much he wrote on the subject.

Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. (ESV, Galatians 6:1)

Granted. The context in Galatians is about restoring a Christian brother that sinned. But the truth is we all sin, make mistakes, and disappoint others. But we serve a God of second chances. And that’s the whole idea behind Grace. Barnabas seemed to get this. Of course, Mark was also family and that probably helped. Although we don’t know how, somewhere along the way Mark proved himself and Paul’s faith in him as a ministry worker was restored.

A study of Colossians 4:10-11 reveals the importance of willing ministry workers

V.11 These are the only men of the circumcision among my fellow workers for the kingdom of God…

“Men of circumcision” is a literal translation of the Greek word pĕritŏmē. It is another way of calling them Jews, which is how the NIV and other Bible versions translate it.

“Fellow workers” is the Greek word sunĕrgŏs, which means a co-laborer, companion in labor, and workfellow. In other words, Paul affirms the positive work ethic of his fellow workers. They rolled up their sleeves and assisted him in his ministry effort.

Today, it’s commonly said that twenty percent of a church congregation does eighty percent of the work and gives eighty percent of the money. The others occupy pew space. And Jesus appears to support the idea when he said, “the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.” (ESV, Matthew 9:37)

The church, however, should function like a beehive of ministry where everyone participates. Paul describes it as one body with many parts in 1 Corinthians 12:12-14. We all have gifts and abilities to invest in God’s Kingdom and for His glory. And we experience the highest sense of purpose and fulfillment when we do.

A study of Colossians 4:10-11 reveals the importance of Christian support

And they have been a comfort to me.

“Comfort” is the Greek word parēgŏria, which means consolation, comfort, and an address alongside. The point is discipleship is a lifestyle of serving alongside others for the Kingdom of God. Not just when and where it’s convenient. But sacrificially.

But Jesus also said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” (ESV, Matthew 16:24)

So, discipleship goes beyond donating money, inspirational social media posts, and encouraging words to the pastoral staff. It is a personal and sacrificial investment of time and energy. And working together in ministry as a body of believers.

And sometimes coming alongside another has very little to do with your gifts, abilities, or profound words. But simply the power of your presence. Because your presence as a Christ-follower includes the comforting presence of God’s Spirit.

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.

Looking for a Bible Study for yourself or small group??

Check out Philippians Bible Study For Individuals and Groups.

Are You Saved?

Are You Saved?

Are you saved? It’s a question Christians often ask. But if you’re unfamiliar with Christianity it may seem strange to you. Saved from what? Here are three Bible teachings that explain its meaning and why the answer is important.

Are you saved? The Bible teaches sin is the main problem.

Let’s start with a fundamental question. Is humanity basically good or evil? The answer is debated. Some people are kind and generous. Others mean and vindictive. But no one is good or bad all the time. Our behavior changes based on circumstances, desires, relationships, and emotions. And they all fluctuate every day. So, in reality, everyone is both in different times and situations.

The Bible says this is because of sin.

Are you saved? The Bible teaches we all sin and it separates us from God

Sin is moral behavior that disobeys God’s law. And we are all guilty of it. The most familiar sins are the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20. But both the Old and New Testaments discuss other forms of sin too. And it includes both our actions and our thoughts.

Everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (ESV, Matthew 5:28)

Furthermore, sin has a penalty, which is eternal separation from God.

For the wages of sin is death. (ESV, Romans 6:23)

So, we all sin, which carries the penalty of eternal death, And it’s why we need salvation. But how?

Are you saved? The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ is Savior to the world

Jesus Christ is God’s provision. And scripture calls him the Son of God. In other words, God in human flesh. Jesus lived a sinless life, died on a cross for our sins, and rose from the grave three days later. What we call Easter. Why is this significant? Because Jesus paid the penalty for our sin and conquered death. So, we can conquer it too.

Therefore, you are saved by confessing your sins, asking Jesus for forgiveness, and receiving him as Savior and Lord.

Eternal life is not a matter of whether your good deeds outweigh all the bad. But if you believe in and trust Jesus for salvation. And it takes us back to the first question.

Are you saved?

Chip Tudor is an author, blogger and professional writer. He publishes books, humorous Christian drama, and thought provoking blogs from a Biblical worldview.

A Study Of Colossians 4:15-18

A Study Of Colossians 4:6-9

A study of Colossians 4:6-9 affirms gracious words and wholesome conversations, brotherhood and servant leadership in ministry, and encouraging one another.

A study of Colossians 4:6-9 affirms gracious words and wholesome conversations.

V.6 Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

Seasoned with salt: Salt was used to preserve and keep food pure, add taste, and it also increased thirst. All that can apply to Paul’s meaning. As Christ-followers, we should maintain pure conversations using wholesome language. Especially within a secular culture that embraces profane words and sexual innuendos. But we don’t have to be seriously dull and lack personality. Rather, we should exude joy and enthusiasm as people who live zestfully and share a positive message of hope.

Know how you ought to answer each person: Many Christ-followers claim exact opposite. Fear in witnessing and lack of Bible knowledge silence them when God’s power is readily available. Because “perfect love casts out fear” ( 1 John 4:18) and “God’s power is made perfect in your weakness.” ( 2 Corinthians 12:9). Furthermore, God will supply your words. (Luke 12:12)

A study of Colossians 4:6-9 affirms brotherhood and servant leadership in ministry.

V.7 Tychicus will tell you all about my activities. He is a beloved brother and faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord.

Tychicus and Onesimus delivered Paul’s letter to the Colossian church. Tychicus is mentioned in Acts 20:4 as one of Paul’s traveling companions. And Onesimus was a runaway slave that Paul led to Christ.

Paul commends Tychicus as a beloved brother, faithful minister, and fellow servant. “Beloved brother” combines the Greek agapētŏs, which means dearly, well, and beloved with adĕlphŏs, which means brother or much like a brother. “Minister” is the Greek diakŏnŏs, which means deacon, minister, and servant. In this context, Paul likely means it as someone who ministered in God’s name rather than a church position title. “Fellow servant” is the Greek word sundŏulŏs, which means fellow slave to either a human or divine master. Paul uses the word doulos in Philippians 1:1 to describe himself as a servant of Jesus Christ. So ascribing the same word to Tychicus suggests a close kinsmanship between the two of them.

Jesus likewise, taught the importance of servant leadership, and demonstrated it when he washed the feet of his disciples. It is regularly preached from today’s pulpit, but not always practiced in church, hierarchical structures that function in a top down, authoritarian chain of command.

A study of Colossians 4:6-9 affirms encouraging one another.

V.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.

Paul was writing from prison and the Colossian church probably wanted to know how he was doing. Most likely expecting the worst, which makes this verse an unexpected surprise.

The Greek word for “encourage” is parakalĕō, which means to exhort, be of good comfort, and call near. So rather than bad news, Tychicus was delivering encouraging news from Paul. Why? Maybe because Paul’s focus was not on himself, but on spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

V.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.

Notice Paul does not call Onesimus a runaway slave. But presents him as an equal, Christian brother. One of you. Confirming what John says: But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. (ESV, John 1:12)

Of course, we are to treat everyone–Christian or not–with equal respect because each person is made in the image of God. And God loves us all. But Christians also share a spiritual and eternal relationship as adopted sons and daughters of God. And therefore, all earthly titles and distinctions, are replaced with brother and sister in Christ.

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.

Looking for a Bible Study for yourself or small group??

Check out Philippians Bible Study For Individuals and Groups.