Colossians 3:18-4:6, July 21, 2019
Our Responsibilities As Believers
3:15-17 What directs our new life? The peace of Christ stems from its source so it is divine in nature and it is given control over our hearts – it rules and unifies making us members of one body. The message of Christ dwells within us, is at home within us. Let it dwell in us richly as without it we are spiritually poor. There is a reason we find favorite verses to memorize or join bible studies – it is so God’s word may dwell in us richly.
3:18 Wives. Submit yourselves or be subject to the direction of your husband – the verb used means constant daily submission. This submission involves both love and obedience. However the wife and husband are personal equals, but the wife is subordinate for functional purposes not unlike Christ and the Father.
But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the wife is the husband, and the head of Christ is God.
1 Corinthians 11:3 NIV
3:19 Husbands. Two commands for husbands. Love and love at all times, continuously, and in all situations. Christ is our example as given in Ephesians 5:25-27
Husbands, love your faves, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, with stain or winkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.
Ephasians 5:25-27 NIV
We are not to be bitter or harsh towards our wives instead we are to always remember no matter how tough our wives appear to be, they are the weaker vessel:
But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always ben prepared to given an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the house you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.
1 Peter 3:15 NIV
… and they are our equals before God.
3:20 Children. What is a child? Those still dependent upon their parents for their daily physical needs, not yet married, not yet of legal age as an adult. Obedient children put themselves under the authority of their parents as they should, listen to directions from parents, and do as they are told without complaint or rebellion. This comes with a promise:
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” – which is the first commandment with a promise – “so that it may go well with you and that you enjoy long life on the earth.
Ephesians 6:1-3 and Deut. 5:16
3:21 Fathers/Parents. Like begats like. We do not want our children to lose heart, become discouraged. We want them to be encouraged, we want to guide and encourage them, to become what God wants them to be.
3:22-24 Slaves. More here than on other positions. Likely because Onesimus is mentioned in 4:9 a runaway slave who is the subject of the letter to Philemon. Verse 23 is a valid verse for each and every single one of us.
However an incredibly difficult verse for anyone who was a slave in the Roman Empire whose master was not a Christian. Today we have no real idea of what that is like, except we have bosses and jobs and we can be replaced as if we were without real value and real needs. Not so simple to replace if we are living by verse 23.
3:25 Anyone. Everyone, no matter their position, will be repaid for their wrongs – there is no favoritism.
4:1 Masters. The masters referred to here are definitely believers. Masters will one day give an account for how they have treated others. A master today might be a boss, a parent, an older sibling, a senior member of a team and their behavior as such matters and will be judged.
4:2-4 Everyone & Prayer. Prayer is the very breath of spirituality. Devote yourself to prayer. Pray for yourself, pray in thankfulness, pray for others, pray for Paul. Pray the mystery of Christ can and will be shared.
4:5-6 Everyone & Witness-Salt. Unsaved people surround us. They watch us and listen. Some curious, some hostile, some wanting what we have – maybe. The maybe is why we must be consistent between what we say and what we do. Our witness, our walk as Christians, consists of what we say and what we do. Do we conduct ourselves with wisdom? Spiritual wisdom begins with a very real fear of God:
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Proverbs 1:7 NIV
and the joy of Christ:
My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
We are to reach the unsaved just as we were once unsaved:
…remember that at the time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world.
When you have an opportunity, you are instructed to make the most of it that i ndividual may not have another opportunity to hear about Jesus. Thus your speech must be consistent and reflect the grace we have received. Salt? Salt enhances taste and makes food more appetizing, but too must salt makes food bitter and too little makes food tasteless. Be prepared to address anyone and answer the question “Why Jesus?”
But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.
1 Peter 3:15