Thursday, February 10, 2022

2022.02.10 Hopewell @Home ▫ Colossians 4:7–15

Read Colossians 4:7–15

Questions from the Scripture text: Whom does Colossians 4:7 introduce? What three things is he called? What will he do? What does the apostle emphasize in Colossians 4:8a? What does he want to know from Tychicus (verse 8b)? What does he want Tychicus to do to them? Whom else is Paul sending (Colossians 4:9)? What does he call him? Where is he from? What will he do? What four people greet them in Colossians 4:10-11? Concerning whom do they receive special instruction (verse 10)? What does the apostle call these men in verse 11? From what identity are they? What have they proved to be? Who greets them in Colossians 4:12? What does the apostle call him? What is he always doing? For what, specifically, does he pray? What does the apostle testify that Epaphras has (Colossians 4:13)? For whom? Who else greets them in Colossians 4:14? Whom does the apostle ask them to greet (Colossians 4:15a), and especially whom in that church (verse 15b)? 

Believers communicate with one another. The apostle sends Tychicus with news (Colossians 4:7). To get news from the Colossians (Colossians 4:8). Along with Onesimus, who will also bring the news (Colossians 4:9).  It’s not surprising that we would communicate with one another. We have a God Who is triune in Himself. Being relational is part of Who He is. And He has redeemed us by the Son, Whom He also calls the “Word.” His Spirit announces to us the gospel, the “good news.” He created by His Word, upholds all things by His Word, gives faith by His Word, sanctifies by His Word, and preserves by His Word.  

Colossians has been a book about how Christ has the first place in all things, and believers are united with Him in heaven and being made like Him by His Word. So, we ought to take away from this section that some of the Christ-likeness in the apostle and his associates can be seen in their interest in knowing one another and how things are with one another. Ought we not have such an interest? “Social media” is a proverbial whipping boy today, but it can serve a good purpose. Letters and messengers are, after all, a form of social media.

Believers greet one another. Aristarchus and Mark greeted (Colossians 4:10). The latter is notable, because it implies a patching up of the disagreement at the end of Acts 15. The apostle commands the Colossians to welcome him. Jesus Justus greeted (Colossians 4:11). Epaphras greeted (Colossians 4:12). Luke and Demas greeted (Colossians 4:14). And the Colossians were to greet: the Laodiceans, Nymphas, and Nymphas’s household (Colossians 4:15). Though it has become common to talk about “house churches,” this latter probably referred to a large, Christian household. Every Christian household should be a “church in the house.” And so we do well to greet one another within a house, and greet other believers from other houses. Again, this is not surprising, since there is love and fellowship within God Himself, and one of the main things that the gospel has done is reconcile us to God and to one another. This ought to be expressed in the pleasure that we have in one another’s fellowship.

Believers comfort one another. The apostle sent Tychicus to comfort their hearts (Colossians 4:8). Aristarchus and Mark and Jesus Justus had comforted the apostle (Colossians 4:11). The two words are different, and the first one actually comes from the same word that describes the ministry of the Holy Spirit to us. The meaning is much broader than comfort (encourage, rebuke, counsel, help, etc.), and it is a reminder that believers ought to seek and seize whatever opportunity we may to do whatever good we can to one another.

Believers pray for one another. There is one thing that we can always do for one another: pray. Epaphras labored in prayer for the Colossians (Colossians 4:12). He labored fervently in prayer for them. The goal of his praying was the same as the goal of the “comfort” ministry that we ought to have for one another: that they would stand perfect and full/complete in all the will of God. There’s nothing better for us to aim at for one another than heaven, so there’s nothing better for us to aim at for another than each other’s being fit for heaven. 

What aspects of our Lord’s character, and fruit of our Lord’s work, is showing up in your relationships and interactions with other believers?

Sample prayer:  Lord, we thank You for the fellowship that You have given us in Your Spirit, and in Your Son. Forgive us for failing to treasure and love one another as we ought. We are selfish in our thoughts, often uninterested in how things are going with others. We lack intentionality about comforting one another’s hearts or welcoming one another. How often can it be said of us that are fellow laborers? That we labor fervently for one another in our prayers? That our great aim for one another is to see each other perfect and complete in all the will of God? That we have great zeal for one another? But all of these come from Christ, Who has done and continues to do all of these things for us. And we have just read from Colossians about many believers in whom Christ had done such work by His Spirit. So, count Christ’s righteousness for us, and do the same work in us by Your Spirit, which we ask in Jesus’s Name, AMEN!

Suggested songs: ARP67 “O God Give Us Your Blessing” or TPH400 “Gracious Spirit, Dwell with Me”

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