Col. 4:2-6 - Christian Witness PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Tim Black   
Wednesday, 01 August 2007 11:14

Colossians 4:2-6
Christian Witness”
Tim Black

  1. Introduction

    1. We have now come nearly to the end of the book of Colossians. What remains in the book is today’s passage, then a long section of greetings from Paul’s fellow workers, then Paul’s farewell in 4:18. What unites these final parts of the book is that they are addressed to the Christian community as a whole. They are not addressed to individuals in their respective roles as wives and husbands, children and fathers, or slaves and masters. And these final passages do not share the particular focus on putting off the old man and putting on the Christian character of the new man. Rather, now that you have been taught to put on Christian character, and how to live in Christian relationships, Paul teaches you how to live as a Christian community. The life of a local congregation is bigger than the local congregation. It reaches out to the unbelieving world, and participates in fellowship with Christians in other congregations. So Paul teaches us in 4:2-6 about maintaining our Christian witness, and in 4:7-18 Paul shows us how we ought to send Christian greetings. As a Christian community, we witness to the world, and we send greetings to Christians.

    2. In today’s passage, Paul teaches us to maintain our Christian witness to the world. He has already taught us much of what it means to be a Christian. In the immediately preceding verses he taught us how to live as Christians in our households, and so now is a perfect time to teach us to present Christianity to the world. Now that you have your house in order, it’s time to have an open house. Invite the neighbors in, and let them see what Christ is doing in your life. Take Christ, your Christian character, your Christian relationships in the Christian community, and pour these blessings out in your neighborhood.

    3. Paul gives you two ways to do this. First, pray for our witness, vv. 2-4. Second, witness! (vv. 5-6)

    4. Outline

      1. Pray for our witness vv. 2-4

      2. Witness! vv. 5-6

Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 August 2007 11:25
Col. 4:2-6 - Study Guide PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Tim Black   
Wednesday, 01 August 2007 11:12

Colossians 4:2-6 - “Christian Witness”

Study Guide

Passage Outline

  1. Pray for our witness vv. 2-4

    1. Strengthen the foundations of your prayer life: continual, watchful, and thankful v. 2

2 Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.

    1. Pray for witness vv. 3-4

      1. That God will open a door for the gospel v. 3

3 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-

      1. That the gospel will be presented clearly v. 4

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

  1. Witness! vv. 5-6

    1. Witness in your deeds v. 5

      1. Walk in wisdom toward those outside the church

5 Conduct yourselves wisely toward outsiders,

      1. Redeem the time: make the most of every opportunity

making the best use of the time.

    1. Witness in your words v. 6

      1. Let them be “with grace”

6 Let your speech always be gracious,

      1. Let them be “seasoned with salt”

seasoned with salt,

      1. Result: You’ll know how to answer each one

so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

For Discussion

  1. What are some important ways our congregation has contact with the surrounding community?

  2. How do Colossians’ teachings about the old and new man, Christian character, and Christian relationships relate to our contact with those outside the church?

  3. How specifically can you put into practice any of the three ways Paul gives you in v. 2 to strengthen your prayer life?

  4. Give 5 examples of a “door” for the gospel we should ask God to open.

  5. What misunderstandings do the unbelievers we know have of the gospel? How should we seek to make the gospel clear to them?

  6. What is your role? Should you both pray and witness, and witness in both word and deed, or do only one? Do one more than the other? Consider 1 Peter 3:1.

  7. How should wisdom and zeal work together in our witness? How can we use either wrongly? Consider Matthew 10:16; 1 Corinthians 9:22.

  8. What are some ways to “redeem the time” when we interact with unbelievers? Consider Col. 3!

  9. Give some examples of “gracious speech.

  10. What effects will “gracious” and “salt-seasoned” speech have? Consider Matthew 5:16; 10:19.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 August 2007 11:15
Col. 3:22-4:1 - Study Guide PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Tim Black   
Saturday, 28 July 2007 06:03

Colossians 3:22-4:1 - “Slaves and Masters”

Study Guide

Passage Outline

  1. Slaves vv. 22-25

    1. Addressees


    1. Command



in everything

Who to obey

those who are your earthly masters,

How to obey

not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers,

but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord.

23 Whatever you do, work heartily,

as for the Lord and not for men,

    1. Reason: God’s future justice

Your reward

24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.

Evildoers’ repayment

25 For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality.

  1. Masters v. 4:1

    1. Addressees

4:1 Masters,

    1. Command

treat your slaves justly and fairly,

    1. Reason

knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.

For Discussion

  1. What are some of the forms of slavery that have existed in human history?

  2. What aspects of the slavery Paul addresses still exist in our employer-employee relationships today? How does the phrase “in all things” apply the workplace today?

  3. What would you say is Paul’s general response to slavery? Consider 1 Cor. 7:20-23, Philemon 8-10, 17-18; Col. 3:11.

  4. How does Paul transform slaves into employees, and employees into servants of God, in this passage?

  5. What is “eye-service?” What would it mean to serve your employer with a “divided heart?”

  6. Does Paul teach that it is more important for a servant to bend his back or his will?

  7. Give an example of a time the knowledge you were serving the Lord made you more willing to do a difficult job.

  8. What does Paul mean when he says slaves will receive “the inheritance?” In what way is it a “reward?” Is it a reward you deserve? Consider Col. 1:12; Luke 17:10.

  9. Who would expect to be shown partiality—slaves or masters? Consider Lev. 19:15.

  10. What do the words “justly and fairly” mean? Can masters believe they have no obligations to their slaves? How can an employer treat an employee “justly and fairly?”

  11. Why should a master or employer do this? Consider Lev. 25:42; 1 Cor. 6:19-20, 7:23.

  12. How does your Master in heaven treat you?

Last Updated on Saturday, 28 July 2007 06:08
Col. 3:22-4:1 - Servants and Masters PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Tim Black   
Tuesday, 24 July 2007 13:50

Colossians 3:22-4:1
Servants and Masters”
Tim Black

  1. Introduction

    1. The issue

      1. In our passage today Paul teaches us the reciprocal duties of slaves and masters. We rarely experience slavery directly in America today, but because the relation between slaves and masters was uniquely economic we should recognize that Paul’s exhortations still apply to our roles as employers and employees.

    2. Application

      1. So to help us better recognize how Paul’s words apply, I want you to think of the most disagreeable, painful, loathsome job you have ever done. The one you would easily call slave labor. Maybe it was mowing the lawn, or cleaning the bottom of a dumpster. Diapers. My father said building trails for the Forest Service as a summer job taught him that he didn’t want to do that the rest of his life. What was the worst job you ever had?

      2. I also want you to think of the job you have right now; the main form of service to others that occupied your time this past week, or this past year.

      3. Now in that job, you are in the position of a servant, and Paul’s words to slaves apply to you.

    3. Context

      1. Onesimus.

        1. Length. Paul spends considerably more ink on the relations of slaves and masters than on those of husbands and wives or parents and children. This is likely because Paul’s letter to the Colossians has a special concern for a slave named Onesimus, about whom we learn in more detail in the book of Philemon.

        2. Onesimus. Onesimus was from Colosse 4:9, and though his name means “useful” he had been a useless slave to his master Philemon, from whom he had unjustly escaped, but had become a Christian under Paul’s teaching while Paul was in prison, and so Paul rightly calls him a brother in Christ, and now that he is a believer Paul commends him to Philemon as most useful in furthering Christian ministry. Paul exhorts Philemon, if Philemon considers Paul his equal, to consider Onesimus his equal as well. Paul does not command Philemon as if Philemon is his slave, but cleverly leaves Philemon free to decide whether to treat Onesimus as a freedman or a slave.

        3. Paul’s general response to slavery. You can see here part of Paul’s general response to slavery. Paul does not wage war against slavery, but he gives us the gospel which can leaven society so that slavery more and more becomes nonexistent. The principles of Christianity will destroy, and have destroyed, most forms of slavery with which it comes into contact.

    4. Outline Even though today’s passage is longer than the preceding ones addressing wives and husbands and children and parents, Paul follows the same outline with which we have become familiar:

      1. Addressees

      2. Command

      3. Reason

Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 July 2007 13:52
Col. 3:20-21 - Study Guide PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Tim Black   
Wednesday, 18 July 2007 10:59

Colossians 3:20-21 - “Children and Fathers”
Study Guide

Passage Outline

  1. Children v. 20

    1. Addressees


    1. Command

obey your parents in everything,

    1. Reason

for this pleases the Lord.

  1. Fathers v. 21

    1. Addressees


    1. Command

do not provoke your children,

    1. Reason

lest they become discouraged.

For Discussion

  1. What 5-7 chief kinds of authority relationships are mentioned in the Bible? Are there any other authority relationships you can think of?

  2. In what way does the parent-child relationship take a leading role among the other authority relationships in a person’s life? Consider the promise in the 5th Commandment.

  3. What is the main goal of the parent-child relationship?

  4. Give some examples of some ways children should obey their parents, and some ways adult children should honor their parents.

  5. What does it mean that children should obey their parents “in all things?”

  6. What does the reason “for this pleases the Lord” or “for this is pleasing in the Lord” teach us about the right ways we should motivate and discipline our children? How are children concerned about pleasing others?

  7. Is Paul addressing only fathers, or mothers as well in v. 21? Why does Paul say “Fathers” rather than “Parents?”

  8. What are some ways to provoke your children? What are the results?

  9. What are some ways to not provoke your children? What are the results?

  10. How does our heavenly Father treat us, and what example does He provide us as we care for our children?

  11. Discouraged” in v. 21 can be loosely translated “no passion.” What is its opposite, and what biblical means should parents use to seek to not discourage their children?

Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 July 2007 11:00
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