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Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: Paul's letter to the Colossians

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 FRAMEWORKS: Colossians 4

In this ‘Framework' we use our usual text PLUS comment style to enable you, as simply as possible, to catch the sense of his writing.

[Note: Because it is sometimes difficult to follow the flow of a letter like this, we have added a synopsis of each chapter & passage to help clarify where Paul is going with his writing.]

[Chapter 4 Synopsis: pray, take opportunities, speak well, ones coming with this letter, greetings from and greetings to, and some final instructions]

 

v.2-6 Further Instructions
v.7-18 Final Greetings

 

v.1 ([continuing] employers treat you employees rightly for God watches) Masters, provide your slaves with what is right and fair, because you know that you also have a Master in heaven.

 

v.2-6 Further Instructions

 

[Passage Synopsis: make prayer the core of your life, pray for Paul, be an opportunity-grabber and speak well]

 

v.2 (ensure prayer is at the heart of your lives) Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.

v.3 (and please pray for us) And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains.

v.4 (pray I will be able to proclaim the message even though in prison) Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should.

v.5 (watch how you treat outsiders, taking every opportunity to be Christ to them) Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.

v.6 (speak kindly and wisely so as being able to respond to them well) Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

 

v.7-18 Final Greetings

 

[Passage Synopsis: the two who are coming with the letter, those sending greetings, special greetings & final instructions]

 

i) The ones coming

v.7,8 (I'm sending Tychicus with this letter to inform you about us) Tychicus will tell you all the news about me. He is a dear brother, a faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. I am sending him to you for the express purpose that you may know about our circumstances and that he may encourage your hearts.

v9 (Onesimus, who you know, will come with him and confirm it) He is coming with Onesimus, our faithful and dear brother, who is one of you. They will tell you everything that is happening here.

 

ii) The ones sending greetings

v.10 (two others you know also send greetings) My fellow prisoner Aristarchus sends you his greetings, as does Mark, the cousin of Barnabas. (You have received instructions about him; if he comes to you, welcome him.)

v.11 (as does Justus)   Jesus, who is called Justus, also sends greetings. These are the only Jews among my co-workers for the kingdom of God, and they have proved a comfort to me.

v.12,13 (also Epaphras) Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured. I vouch for him that he is working hard for you and for those at Laodicea and Hierapolis.

v.14 (as well as Luke and Demas) Our dear friend Luke, the doctor, and Demas send greetings.

 

iii) To whom special greetings come and to whom this letter should be read

v.15 (pass on greetings to those at Laodicea as well as the church in the home of Nympha) Give my greetings to the brothers and sisters at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house.

v.16 (afterwards, send this letter on to Laodicea to be read) After this letter has been read to you, see that it is also read in the church of the Laodiceans and that you in turn read the letter from Laodicea.

v.17 (encourage Archippus to fulfil his ministry) Tell Archippus: “See to it that you complete the ministry you have received in the Lord.”

v.18 (see, it's me writing, pray for me here in prison and may God's grace be yours) I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you.