Colossians 4 doesn’t make many sermon illustrations in the church today. I think it’s because the chapter only contains 18 verses and the last 12 are Paul saying this person says hi.
However, I think we overlook a major lesson when we don’t look at this chapter properly.
Colossians 4 shows how big Paul’s team is, and what’s more, there are probably a lot of other names missing from his list.
I believe this is a stark reminder to us all, that if we’re serving Christ alone, we might not be doing it right. We were all built to live in a community, and Paul shows the joy of living in one.
I’ll go into it in more depth below, but I think one of the greatest things Christianity has going for it, is how much we love each other. In fact, John 13:35 States that they will know us by our love for each other.
The world doesn’t love like a true follower of Christ. In fact, they marvel at it. I think showing true love for each other is even better than performing miracles. Loving someone who’s harmed you is a miracle in itself too.
4 Masters, be just and fair to your slaves. Remember that you also have a Master—in heaven.
2 Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. 3 Pray for us, too, that God will give us many opportunities to speak about his mysterious plan concerning Christ. That is why I am here in chains. 4 Pray that I will proclaim this message as clearly as I should.
5 Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. 6 Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.
That first verse is something that people will use against Christians all the time. They say the bible is condoning slavering with it.
That can’t be further than the truth, if anything the Bible brings freedom to all people. Especially marginalized ones.
However, the people who make such statements usually have a few misconceptions.
They are judging the past with their viewpoints from the present.
The physical world is finite. God is more worried about the spirit which is eternal.
I’m not saying God doesn’t care if you’re a slave or not. God doesn’t condone slavery, nor does he like it. However the world is a sinful place, and some evil institutions have existed for long periods of time.
In fact, slavery is worse today than ever before. The sex trade is worldwide with Atlanta and Chicago being hubs of it here in America. (which is supposed to be free).
Sometimes people have to fall into the depths of depravity to realize how much they need Christ. But someday Jesus will come back and judge everyone by their actions. I wouldn’t want to be a slave owner on that day.
In the first verse of Colossians 4, Paul is laying the groundwork for slavery to be abolished in our minds. He’s telling masters to be good to their slaves and to be just and fair with them.
In Colossians 4 Paul is also stating that we need to live wisely among nonbelievers. This means we should take every opportunity to share the gospel, and live righteously as we live among them.
Remember, Jesus came to free us all. The physical circumstances don’t matter as much since they are temporary. We need to look at the kingdom of God more, that’s what truly matters rather than social status.
Colossians 4: Paul’s Final Instructions and Greetings
7 Tychicus will give you a full report about how I am getting along. He is a beloved brother and faithful helper who serves with me in the Lord’s work. 8 I have sent him to you for this very purpose—to let you know how we are doing and to encourage you.
9 I am also sending Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, one of your own people. He and Tychicus will tell you everything that’s happening here.
10 Aristarchus, who is in prison with me, sends you his greetings, and so does Mark, Barnabas’s cousin. As you were instructed before, make Mark welcome if he comes your way. 11 Jesus (the one we call Justus) also sends his greetings. These are the only Jewish believers among my co-workers; they are working with me here for the Kingdom of God. And what a comfort they have been!
12 Epaphras, a member of your own fellowship and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends you his greetings. He always prays earnestly for you, asking God to make you strong and perfect, fully confident that you are following the whole will of God. 13 I can assure you that he prays hard for you and also for the believers in Laodicea and Hierapolis.
14 Luke, the beloved doctor, sends his greetings, and so does Demas. 15 Please give my greetings to our brothers and sisters at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church that meets in her house.
16 After you have read this letter, pass it on to the church at Laodicea so they can read it, too. And you should read the letter I wrote to them.
17 And say to Archippus, “Be sure to carry out the ministry the Lord gave you.”
18 HERE IS MY GREETING IN MY OWN HANDWRITING—PAUL.
Remember my chains.
May God’s grace be with you.
Colossians 4 The Ending of The Book
The last 12 verses of Colossians 4 don’t have a lot of knowledge at first glance. However, when you take a deeper dive, you’re really seeing the community of the church in action.
Paul is telling people to pass his letters around to other churches, and he’s mentioning people on his team that is coming to visit, and others that are just saying hi.
This is the way our churches should be. We should be united, and love one another.
It’s also the way the world should see us. I love Colossians 4 because its message is quick and easy to see.
Sterling grew up in the suburbs of Minneapolis. As a kid he loved skateboarding but mostly did street riding. He injured his ankle badly when he dropped into his first half pipe. His skateboarding slowed down after that, but he still loved the sport. While in his 20's he needed to make a change, so he did some world traveling with a motivational speaking group. Through it all, he visited 46 states and 3 continents and eventually lived in Mississippi. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina tore through the state. He jumped into the fray, helping mobilize support for the evacuees of New Orleans & The Gulf Coast. During the aftermath he helped run a shelter and drove food & medical supplies to affected areas by truck. Currently he lives in Minneapolis, runs his snowboard shop, and shreds Vail Whenever he can.