Colossians 4

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Chapter Summary

  • v1-6 - This opening passage is actually a continuation of chapter three, which began describing characteristics of God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved back in v12. Chapter four adds two characteristics:

  • Be devoted (literally: be full of might and power towards) prayer.

  • Even though physically your head may be bowed and your eyes closed, remain ever watchful as you pray.

  • Make the most of every chance you have with outsiders,

  • literally walking alongside them in life.

  • Paul writes that your conversation should be seasoned with salt. I like how the artist for today's headline graphic put it: this means that "what we say about Christ and about the Christian life should be made as appetizing as possible."

  • v7-15 - Paul was not a one man band. So often the letters he wrote end with him thanking multiple partners that pressed on toward the goal with him, and this letter to the Colossians is no different.

  • Some of these names represent people we don't know much about (notice the guy named Jesus in v11. It goes to show just how common that name was then).

  • Other names are quite familiar. Two of the gospel writers are mentioned: Mark and Luke.

  • One name that may not be familiar now, but will be more so tomorrow when we read the short letter tomorrow to Philemon: A slave named Onesimus, who's described here as "our faithful and dear brother, who is one of you (v9)." Social categories such as slave and free, rich and poor, etc., which have so much meaning here in this world have no meaning whatsoever in the Kingdom of God.

  • v16-17 - Even though we call Paul's epistles by the name of the church it was originally sent to (Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, etc), these were open letters meant to be passed around so that all the churches could benefit. Verses like this one are just one of the reasons we can be certain that these letters written to people in a specific time thousands of years ago and a specific place thousands of miles away still remain authoritative for us today.

  • v18 - After dictating the letter to a scribe, Paul often signed them with his own handwriting.