Social Network Links
Powered by Squarespace
Search the Riddleblog
"Amillennialism 101" -- Audio and On-Line Resources
« Apologetics in a Post Christian Age (Audio) -- Faith and Reason (Part Three) | Main | This Week at Christ Reformed Church (October 22-28) »

"Continue Steadfastly In Prayer" -- Colossians 4:2-18

The Tenth and Final in a Series of Sermons on Colossians

Whenever we preach through a letter such as Paul’s letter to the church in Colossae, we can become so preoccupied with its message and application to our own situation, it is easy to forget that these letters were intended to be read aloud to a congregation composed of first century Christian believers–our brothers and sisters in Christ–with whom we will spend an eternity.  When we come to the end of a New Testament letter such as this, if we take the time to consider this material, we can gain a fascinating glimpse into the lives of those people who served this church, who worshiped in this church, as well as learning of their comings and goings while at the same time witness our Lord’s faithfulness to his people two thousand years ago in the midst of a very pagan first century Greco-Roman world.

Paul was imprisoned in Rome when his letter to Colossians was written.  Not sure of the outcome of his appeal to Caesar, Paul he makes no comment on whether or not he plans to visit the cities of the Lycus Valley (Colossae, Laodicea, and Hieropolis).  Paul had never been to Colossae (2:1) and did not know personally many of the Christians there–in contrast to his letters to Philippi or Ephesus, cities in which he had stayed and therefore knew well many of the members of the church to which he was writing.  In light of the present uncertainties, Paul’s messengers Tychicus and Onesimus will come to Colossae in person and fill them in the details which Paul is not able to include in his letter.  But it becomes obvious that as we read Paul’s closing words to the Colossians, we are indeed reading someone else’s mail.
We now wrap-up our ten part series on Paul’s letter to the Colossians.  Next time we’ll begin a new series on Galatians, likely the first canonical letter written by Paul, as early as 47-48 AD.  As we wrap up our time in Colossians this week, we will do something a bit differently.  Given the personal nature of this closing section, we will begin by looking at Paul’s closing comments (vv. 7-18) before we turn to Paul’s exhortation to the Colossians to continue in prayer and to be faithful in their Christian witness, found in vv. 2-6.  The application in this section speaks directly to us and our situation, so verses 2-6 are a more suitable place to end our time in this epistle.

The closing material (vv. 7-18) contains a number of directives to the Christians in Colossae as Paul has much to say, but little space and time to do so.  He commissions two messengers to take this letter to Colossae (vv. 7-9).  He also sends a series of greetings (in vv. 10-15).  Next, Paul directs that this letter is to be forwarded to the church in Laodicea (v. 16) because, presumably, as a neighboring church to Colossae, the Laodiceans faced the same false teaching as the Colossians.  Finally, Paul exhorts a man named Archippus about his ministry (v. 17), before sending his blessing to the Colossians (v. 18).

Paul wraps up by endorsing the messengers he is sending back to Colossae, two men named Tychicus and Onesimus.  In verses 7-9, Paul details that “Tychicus will tell you all about my activities.  He is a beloved brother and faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord.  I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are and that he may encourage your hearts, and with him Onesimus, our faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will tell you of everything that has taken place here.”  Tychicus plays a prominent role in Paul’s later ministry.  According to Acts 20:4, Tychicus was from “Asia” (Asia Minor–Turkey) and accompanied Paul on his final visit to Jerusalem (to bring famine relief to the Jewish Christians from their Gentile brothers and sisters in Greece).  Paul speaks quite highly of Tychicus, calling him a beloved brother and faithful minister.  He too is a fellow servant of the Lord–recalling Paul’s previous discussion about how all Christians are servants of Jesus, their true and heavenly master

To read the rest of this sermon:  Click Here

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.