A Study Of Colossians 4:12-14

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.

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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 4:12-14

A Study of Colossians 3:14-17

A study of Colossians 3:14-17 reveals a binding and harmonious love, hearts ruled by Christ, the word’s dwelling place, and thankful hearts.

A Study of Colossians 3:14-17 reveals a binding and harmonious love.

V.14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

Christ-followers are not perfect, but are called to pursue godliness. In V.12-13, Paul lists some of those godly traits, describing them as a wardrobe of new clothes we should put on and wear. And in V.14, the final garment is love. The Greek word for “love” is agapē, which represents God’s unconditional love. It is love, not based on the worthiness of its object, but the nature of the one loving. In other words, God loves us because it is his very nature, not because we deserve it. And as Christ-followers, we should love others in the same way. It is the expression of loving actions more than feelings.

The Greek word for “binds” is sundĕsmŏs, which means uniting principle, control, band, and bond. We might picture it as a belt that pulls and holds a clothing ensemble together. And the Greek word for “perfect harmony” is tĕlĕiŏtēs, which means perfection and the state of completion. So, love is the final piece that completes a Christ-follower’s, godly wardrobe.

A Study of Colossians 3:14-17 reveals hearts ruled by Christ.

V.15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.

The Greek word for “peace” is ĕirēnē, which means peace, quietness, and rest. However, like Shalom, its Old Testament counterpart, ĕirēnē, is often used throughout the New Testament to communicate more than simply an absence of conflict. It can indicate a sense of rest, reconciliation with God, and a benefit of salvation.

The Greek word for “rule” is brabĕuō, which means to arbitrate, govern, and rule. Therefore, the peace of Christ should govern our hearts and guide our conduct among the body of Christ. And it should also foster an attitude of gratitude.

A Study of Colossians 3:14-17 reveals the word’s dwelling place.

V.16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…

The Greek for “word” is logos, which means word, as in something said. Paul likely means the Gospel story and the known teachings of Jesus. The Greek for “dwell” is ĕnŏikĕō, which means to inhabit or dwell in. And the Greek for “richly” is plŏusiōs, which means copiously and abundantly. In other words, we should abundantly fill ourselves with and meditate regularly on God’s word.

Today, the entire Bible guides us as disciples of Jesus. And as we regularly plant its words in our hearts and minds, they powerfully directs us in godly living.

Teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom…

The Greek word for “admonishing” is nŏuthĕtĕō, which means to put in mind, to caution or reprove gently. As secular culture grows increasingly hostile towards the gospel, Christ-followers will find refuge in a loving, local church. It’s where we’ll find encouragement, support, and accountability to lead lives that glorify God.

Singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

When the angels appeared to the shepherds to announce the birth of Jesus, they sang, “Glory to God in the highest.” Today, we continue to celebrate Jesus’ atonement for our sin. And with thankful hearts, lift up our voices to him in song.

A Study of Colossians 3:14-17 reveals thankful hearts.

V.17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

The Christian life involves a complete change in perspective. Because Jesus Christ is both our Savior and Lord.

The Greek word for “Lord” is kuriŏs, which means supreme in authority, controller, God, and master. And it represents one of the greatest challenges in discipleship. Rather than self-determination, we are called to submit ourselves to the rule of Jesus Christ. He is the master we seek to please, glorify, and imitate by living according to his Word.

We should also stay mindful that our freedom cost Jesus his life as Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians.

You are not your own, you’ve been bought with a price. (ESV, 1 Corinthians 6:19)

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

Looking for a Bible Study for yourself or small group?

Check out Philippians Bible Study For Individuals and Groups.

When God Gets Your Attention

When God Gets Your Attention

When God gets your attention. He speaks from a Godly source, validates his word, and his word is final.

God generally works through ordinary people and events. But he sometimes reveals himself in extraordinary ways that inspire awe and wonder. And they remind us that while God is sovereign over the universe, he still involves himself in the details our lives. Because he wants a personal relationship with each one of us and sometimes uses unusual means to get our attention and present a choice. Such is the story of Ahaziah, the king of Samaria. The story is told in 2 Kings 1:1-18.

When God gets your attention he speaks from a Godly source

People are inherently spiritual. Even those who reject the Biblical God often seek spiritual substitutes to follow and worship. Like Ahaziah, king of Samaria, which was the capital of Israel at the time. After Ahaziah was seriously injured in a fall, he sent messengers to ask the pagan god Baal-zebub if he would get better.

However, God told the prophet Elijah to intercept the messengers on their way. Elijah told them to inform the king he should have inquired of the true God of Israel, not Baal-zebub. Therefore, the God of Israel says he will die.

This gets King Ahaziah’s attention.

When God gets your attention he validates his word

We commonly seek a second opinion when we receive bad news. And question the validity of a voice that might be God. Is God really speaking? Is it simply a dream? Our imagination? Is the source trustworthy or should we fact check? That’s what King Ahaziah did.

He sent a military captain with fifty shoulders to directly confront the source. The prophet Elijah.

Elijah was sitting on a hill when they arrived. Not a particularly impressive posture for a messenger of God. And the captain was bold and confident. He commanded Elijah to come down from the hill. To which Elijah replied, “If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty.” ( ESV, 2 Kings 1:10) ZAP! Nothing left but a heap of ashes.

King Ahaziah sent another captain with fifty soldiers and the scene was repeated. The captain of a third group, however, wised up. He fell on his knees before Elijah and pleaded for his life and those of his men. And God told Elijah to go with them to see King Ahaziah.

Today, God commonly validates his word through scripture, the counsel of Godly people, and divinely orchestrated events. But in this story, God clearly spoke and validated his word through Elijah the prophet.

When God gets your attention his word is final.

Scripture does not record everything said between Elijah and king Ahaziah when they met. Did king Ahaziah seek forgiveness? The text doesn’t say. But he is presented with a choice. He can…

  • Repent before God
  • Reject God
  • Ignore God’s word and hope God doesn’t mean what he says

It’s doubtful king Ahaziah repented because God generally relents before a contrite heart. Ahaziah more likely refused to give up his false god. And perhaps, like the two, crispy fried captains thought God would not follow through on his word.

So Elijah repeated God’s words of judgment on king Ahaziah. Since he turned to the false god Baal-zebub rather than the true God of Israel, he would not get better, but die. And it happened according to God’s final word as spoken through Elijah.

But the story could have ended differently. God gained king Ahaziah’s attention and gave him two opportunities. First, to put his own heart right before God and second, lead his people to also follow and worship the God of Israel. But he didn’t which is also in God’s providence. God allows us all to freely choose.

The story demonstrates God’s grace and justice. King Ahaziah rejected God’s grace and therefore, received justice. And the same offer of grace and justice is presented today in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Only one question remains.

Does God have your attention?

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

Looking for a Bible Study for yourself or small group?

Check out Philippians Bible Study For Individuals and Groups.

A Study Of Colossians 4:12-14

A Study Of Colossians 2:20-24

A Study of Colossians 2:20-24 covers the submission to religious regulations, human precepts and teachings, and the attraction of self-made religion.

A study of Colossians 2:20-24. The submission to religious regulations

V.20 If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world…

Paul asks a rhetorical question because he already knows the answer. And it goes back to those “elemental spirits” (Greek = stŏichĕiŏn) he mentioned in 2:8. They were possibly the pagan gods from Greek culture the Colossians followed in their lives before Jesus Christ. He is presenting a challenge to them regarding their new faith. In Christ they have died to their former life. So why go back to it? Paul affirms this new life in 2 Corinthians 5:17.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

Why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations…

The Greek word for “regulations” is dogmatízō, which means to establish a decree and what seems to be right. In other words, why do you let things with no power over you, control you anyway, because they sound right?

It’s also a fair question for today. Are there extra regulations you follow because they sound right, but actually enslave you?

A study of Colossians 2:20-24. Human precepts and teachings

21 “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch”

Paul doesn’t specifically mention the regulations, but points out their controlling features. And he does so in a sarcastic tone that increases in its level of exaggeration. Don’t handle, taste or even touch. In a modern context, he might add: perhaps you should wear a hazmat suit to avoid all contamination!

However, this was not a completely new teaching. Jesus addressed this subject with the Jewish religious leaders in Matthew 15:1-20 and Mark 7:1-23. Certainly, there are people, places, and things we should avoid. And practicing regular spiritual disciplines will promote a holy life. But following Jesus Christ is more than a list of “do’s and don’ts.” It’s a life meant to set us free, not weigh us down.

22 Referring to things that all perish as they are used—according to human precepts and teachings?

Paul disqualifies them for two reasons: First, they are temporal in nature. Food that disappears because it is either consumed, or eventually goes bad and is thrown out. Secondly, they are based on strictly human instructions. Here again, Jesus speaks on this matter.

This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me;  in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men. (ESV, Matthew 15:8-9)

The attraction of self-made religion

The self-help section of every bookstore tells a story. Humanity has an insatiable appetite for self-improvement, self-reliance, and self-sufficiency. Is it any wonder we also seek a self-made religion?

V.23 These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body…

The Greek word for “self-made religion” is ĕthĕlŏthrēskĕia, which means voluntary and unwarranted piety. In other words, false humility. We want to look good to other people. In physical attractiveness, perceived character, and moral uprightness. Although outward appearance doesn’t always reflect the condition of a person’s heart. But it’s God’s primary concern and how he sees us.

 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” (ESV, 1 Samuel 16:7)

The futility of external controls

But they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.

The Greek word for “indulgence” is plēsmŏnē, which means gratification and satisfying. In other words, external restraints don’t satisfy fleshly desires so they won’t control human passions. It is a battle all Christ-followers face in this life. Paul admits his own struggle in Romans 7:15-20.

But we are not powerless.

When tempted by Satan, Jesus answered by quoting scripture. It is our most effective defense too. In addition, since desires and passions take root in our mind, we should saturate our minds with scriptures. And rather than NOT think certain thoughts, purposefully guide them towards positive ones.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. (ESV, Philippians 4:8-9)

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