Putting Christ First: Ministering Together: Colossians 4:7-18

May 29th, 2017

Putting Christ First: Ministering Together

Colossians 4:7-18

The Couriers (v. 7-9)

  • Paul ends his letter by telling the Colossians who he is entrusting this correspondence to
  • Tychicus: One of Paul’s traveling companions (Acts 20:4)
    • Delivered the Letters of Ephesians, Colossians, Philemon, and Titus
    • He is described by Paul as a beloved brother, a faithful minister and a fellow servant
  • Onesimus: The servant that Paul wrote to Philemon about
    • Who met Paul in his prison, and came to Christ (v. 10)

      • Paul became deeply attached to him (v. 12, 15)
    • These men were not just passive letter-carriers
      • They were fellow ministers of the gospel who would often elaborate on the letter (see Eph. 6:21-22)

 

Ministry Partners (v. 10-15)

  • Paul goes on to extend greetings from all those who are ministering with him
  • 3 Jewish coworkers
    • Aristarchus: A Thessalonian who was possibly imprisoned with Paul (Acts 19:29; 20:4; 27:29; Rom. 16:7; Phlm 23)
    • Justus: Whose Hebrew name was Jesus*
    • Mark: Barnabus’ cousin over whom Paul and Barnabus split company (see Acts 15:37-39)
      • But, he reconciled with Paul (2 Tim. 4:11)
      • And later worked with Peter in Rome (1 Pet. 5:13)
        • Where he wrote the Gospel which bears his name
      • 3 Gentile coworkers
        • Epaphras: The local convert who brought concerns to Paul which prompted the letter
        • Luke: The doctor who wrote the book of Acts and the Gospel which bears his name
        • Demas: Who later abandons Paul (2 Tim. 4:9)
      • Those working locally
        • The church in Laodicea: Paul’s desire is to encourage fellowship between the local churches

          • Colossae and Laodicea are less than 12 miles apart
        • Nympha and the church which gathered in her home
          • Possibly a wealthy widower who opened her large home for local Christians to meet in

 

 

The Church Universal (v. 16-18)

  • Again, Paul encourages the church to be working outside of just its immediate community
  • He also encourages them to encourage their brother Archippus to do what God has called him to do
  • He closes the letter with a greeting in his own hand
    • Since normally he used a scribe

 

 

So What?

  • We are not called to live and minister alone

    • We need partners
    • Both in our congregation and in others
    • And even those with whom we have had issues in the past
  • And we need to encourage each other in the ministries to which we are called
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Putting Christ First: New Life at Work Colossians 3:22-4:1

May 15th, 2017

Putting Christ First: New Life at Work

Colossians 3:22-4:1

Social Structures

  • Paul’s focus here is show how our new identity in Christ is not meant to undo existing social structures

    • But rather to transform us in them
  • That being said: Read your own mail!
    • Focus on what God is calling you to do
    • Not on what others should be doing

 

Putting Christ First at Work (3:22-4:1)

  • Bondservant ≠ slaves like in US history

    • They were employees for a fixed period of time
    • Who were often well compensated
    • And were rarely forced into labor
    • The modern equivalent would be employees
  • Masters = employers/bosses
  • Employees are called to obey their bosses
    • Not just when they are looking
    • Not to just get ahead
    • But, by way of service to God
      • The Lord is every Christian’s true Master
    • Bosses are called to treat their employees well
      • Not exploiting them
      • Not making things unnecessarily hard on them
      • Treating them like God treats you
        • Because you both have the same Boss over you

 

What if they aren’t Christians?

  • What if my spouse, or my children, or my boss, or my employer is not a Christian, am I required to still act this way?
  • Yes, and even more so!
    • Because your behavior to them is a testimony to the God you serve to them
    • You are the Gospel they are reading!

 

So What?

  • If we are new in Christ:

    • How we treat our family should reflect that
    • How we act at work should convey that
  • Are you new in Jesus?
    • Is our life showing that to those around us?

Meditation Verse: Col. 3:23

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Putting Christ First: New Life in Practice. Colossians 3:18-4:1

May 8th, 2017

Putting Christ First: New Life in Practice

Colossians 3:18-4:1

Social Structures

  • Paul’s focus here is show how our new identity in Christ is not meant to undo existing social structures

    • But rather to transform us in them
  • That being said: Read your own mail!
    • Focus on what God is calling you to do
    • Not on what others should be doing

 

Putting Christ First at Home (3:18-21)

  • Wives are called to submit to their husbands

    • Submit (hypotassō): Suggests a voluntary willingness to recognize and put oneself under the leadership of another

      • It is to recognize a relationship of order established by God (v. 18b)
      • But it is conditioned by the husband’s submission to God (see Eph. 5:22)
    • Husbands are called to love their wives
      • Like Christ loves His Church (see Eph. 5:23)

        • Sacrificially
      • “Do not be harsh”= Do not make them bitter, resentful
      • This was counter-cultural
    • Children are called to obey their parents
      • Obey: follow their instructions

        • Again, as long as it is not in contradiction with God’s truth
      • This pleases God because it means we are living under His rule for our lives (see Eph. 6:1-3; Ex. 20:12)
    • Fathers* are called to be encouraging to their children
      • Not give rules for rules’ sake
      • Not irritate or embitter
      • Again, this was counter-cultural

 

Putting Christ First at Work (3:22-4:1)

  • Bondservant ≠ slaves like in US history

    • They were employees for a fixed period of time
    • Who were often well compensated
    • And were rarely forced into labor
    • The modern equivalent would be employees
  • Masters = employers/bosses
  • Employees are called to obey their bosses
    • Not just when they are looking
    • Not to just get ahead
    • But, by way of service to God
      • The Lord is every Christian’s true Master
    • Bosses are called to treat their employees well
      • Not exploiting them
      • Not making things unnecessarily hard on them
      • Treating them like God treats you
        • Because you both have the same Boss over you

 

What if they aren’t Christians?

  • What if my spouse, or my children, or my boss, or my employer is not a Christian, am I required to still act this way?
  • Yes, and even more so!
    • Because your behavior to them is a testimony to the God you serve to them
    • You are the Gospel they are reading!

 

So What?

  • If we are new in Christ:

    • How we treat our family should reflect that
    • How we act at work should convey that
  • Are you new in Jesus?
    • Is our life showing that to those around us?

Meditation Verse: Col. 3:23

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Putting Christ First: Changing Clothes, part 2: Putting on the New. Colossians 3:12-17

May 1st, 2017

Putting Christ First: Changing Clothes, part 2: Putting on the New

Colossian 3:12-17

Putting on New Clothes (v. 12-14)

  • Because we are new in Christ

    • Chosen and loved by God
    • Set apart for God
  • We should seek to emulate Jesus with:
    • Compassion (lit. ‘guts of pity’): To be moved by what moves Him
    • Kindness/Generosity: To look to the needs of others
    • Humility/Modesty: To think of ourselves rightly
    • Meekness: To not being overly impressed by a sense of one’s self-importance
    • Patience: being self-controlled in the face of provocation
    • Tolerance: Putting up with the struggles of others
    • Forgiveness: Letting go of the wrongs that others have done to us
  • All of these are just how Jesus treats us
    • And all of which can be summed up in one command: Love each other! (John 13:34-35)

 

Taking Up New Residents (v. 15-16)

  • We are called to let Christ’s peace rule in us*

    • This is a call to let Jesus take control of our lives

      • “Heart”: Place of will, decision
      • “Rule”: Umpire, arbiter
    • Peace should always take precedence in the life of a Christian, because of the peace we have with God through Christ
      • Which should lead to gratitude
    • We are to let Christ’s word dwell in us*
      • The truth of the Gospel should transform us
      • And we should encourage each other deeper and deeper into that truth through:
        • Teaching: Show what is right
        • Admonishing: Correcting what is wrong
        • Praising God together

 


 

Living Out a New Mission (v. 17)

  • With our new identity in place

    • And our thinking & words being conformed to Christ
  • We are called to let everything we do and say reflect Jesus to the world
  • This is result of putting Christ first in our lives

 

So What?

  • Are we letting Jesus transform our lives?

    • So we are loving each other the way He loves us
    • And so we are reflecting Him to the world

 

Meditation Verse: Col. 3:17

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