| Back to Home Page | Back to Book Index |


Colossians Chapter Four                            


I. Content of the Chapter


The Principles of Christians’ Life

A.  How the masters deal with the bondservants (v.1);

B.  How to pray (v.2-4);

C.  How to deal with those who are outside (v.5);


Introductions, Greetings and Exhortations

A.  Concerning Tychicus and Onesimus (v.7-9);

B.  Concerning Aristarchus, Mark and Justus (v.10-11);

C.  Concerning Epaphras (v.12-13);

D.  Concerning Luke and Demas (v.14);

E.  Concerning the church in Laodicea and Nymphas (v.15-16);

F.  Concerning Archippus (v.17);

G.  Paul’s salutation by his own hand (v.18);


II. Verse by Verse Commentary


Col. 4:1 Masters, give your bondservants what is just and fair, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.

YLT: “The masters! that which is righteous and equal to the servants give ye, having known that ye also have a Master in the heavens.”

Meaning of Words:just and fair”: equitable, equal and right;

Literal Meaning:give your bondservants what is just and fair”: deal with the bondservants in an equitable, fair and equal manner;

“Knowing that you also have a Master in heaven”, it means that the masters shall deal with the bondservants equally for the sake of not only the law on the earth but also the Lord in heaven ---- He is the Lord of all, to whom the masters will give their account.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    The meaning of “equality” in Christianity is deeper and more practical than “that” in the law or human relationship. Therefore, only in the Lord there is true “equality”.

2)    The reign of Christ is the bulwark of the righteousness and liberty among men. Where there is no Christ, there is no true righteousness. Where there is no Christ, there is no true liberty.

3)    The masters shall treat their bondservants justly and fairly. And the masters are neither allowed to focus their eyes on individual profits without thinking of the servants, nor treat them dishonestly or dock their wages.

4)    Man’s power and wealth are of God. Therefore, every man should give his account to God concerning how he uses power and wealth.

5)    We should honor men’s right of life. Though “what we have” are different, it is the same of “what we are”. No matter the masters or the bondservants, both of them are created by God.

6)    No man can interrupt a mighty and wealthy man with how he uses his power and wealth. Therefore, such man tends to abuse his power and wealth. This is the danger of him.

7)    If you are kind to others, God will be kind to you. He is a righteous God, and yet never respects of persons.


Col. 4:2 Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving;

YLT: “In the prayer continue ye, watching in it in thanksgiving;”

Meaning of Words: “continue earnestly”: be earnest towards, attend continually, continue, adhere closely to; “being vigilant”: keep awake, watch, be watchful;

Literal Meaning: “continue earnestly in prayer, keep steadfast and persevering in prayer without any slothfulness (Luke 11:5-13; Eph. 6:18). It unveils that the one who prays keeps confiding in God and waiting for the will of God all the time. 

  “In it”: in prayer;

“Being vigilant with thanksgiving”, “being vigilant”: do not let anything divide our heart;

The whole verse means that we shall continue earnestly in prayer by watching and thanksgiving and be vigilant in thanksgiving.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    This verse points out the three key elements: perseverance, vigilance and thanksgiving. None of these three can be excluded.

2)    Believers generally know about the importance of prayer. However, prayer is the matter mostly ignored in our individual life.

3)    Prayer is not a casual matter, but a kind of persevering labor.

4)    Prayer is not only a kind of spiritual fellowship or enjoyment, but also a kind of service.

5)    Strictly speaking, prayer is also believers’ spiritual warfare in order to deal with the worst enemy, Satan.

6)    If we desire to continue earnestly in prayer, we have to be vigilant. Both of them are inseparable parts in spiritual life. If one is not watchful in prayer, he will be unable to continue in prayer or receive effects.

7)    If one is too comfortable in his fleshly life and too smooth in his daily life, he may ignore prayers.

8)    Thanksgiving is the main element in prayer. Thanksgiving cannot be missed in prayer, because when we have fellowship with God, we touch Him with thanksgiving. Once we give thanks, our spirit will become alive.

9)    If one has a grateful heart, his prayer will never be tedious or dreary. If one has a watchful spirit, he will not feel weary in prayer.

10) This verse unveils the prayers that God pleases:

a)    It is not only “prayer” for oneself but also “fellowship” with God.

b)    It is continuous, so we have to “continue earnestly” in prayer.

c)    It is not only done with mouth, but also with the whole heart, so we have to “be vigilant”.

d)    It cannot be done by ourselves, but by God, so we have to “give thanks”.


Col. 4:3 meanwhile praying also for us, that God would open to us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in chains,

YLT: “praying at the same time also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to speak the secret of the Christ, because of which also I have been bound,”

Literal Meaning:open to us a door for the word, it means giving the chance to preach the word

“To speak the mystery of Christ”, the operation and fulfillment of the eternal will of God are in Christ, so He is the content of the gospel. The mystery of Christ is opened and or revealed to men only when Christ is introduced and revealed to men. 

“For which I am also in chains”, Paul was imprisoned for the sake of preaching Christ.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    Whether a preacher is able to fulfill his ministry is significantly connected with the prayers of common believers. Every believer has great responsibility for the growth of the church.

2)    Paul prays for them firstly (Col. 1:3, 9) and then asks them to pray for him. He who is indisposed to pray for others is unworthy of asking others to pray for him.

3)    Paul does not ask believers to pray for his own profit (e.g. the release of him), but for the preachment of the gospel. Therefore, the starting point of prayer is still for all, not for oneself.

4)    We do not ask God to lighten or prevent the burdens of our works by prayers, but ask Him to enable us to fulfill the works entrusted to us.

5)    Today, many believers are willing to support the life and works of the preachers by money, but only few are disposed to spare time to pray for the preachers.

6)    Though we have no eloquence to preach, if we are able to pray for the preachers, we have just partaken of their eloquence ---- prayer can dominate the gifts of God.

7)    The earnest prayer of a believer who is of the least learning and lowest status can still fulfill great works. Therefore, every believer is able to have part in the building of the church through prayers for the Lord’s workers.

8)    If God does not open the door for the word or give the chance for us to preach, we can do nothing. Moreover, even though the door for the word is open, we still need to pray to God.

9)    Whether there is “opportunity” for the gospel is one thing, and whether one is able to “preach” the gospel is another one. And the “opening” of the gospel does not rely on the eloquence of men, but the gracious gift of God.

10) The word Paul shall “preach” is none other than “the mystery of Christ”. Today, what the preacher preaches is the gospel irrelevant to Christ ---- the social gospel etc. Paul says that is not gospel, but another gospel (Gal. 1:6-7).

11) Christ is the only gospel of men. Only if men in the world hear Christ, can they be delivered from sins or the world. Only when we Christians have heard more of Christ and known Him deeper, will we be saved from all the difficulties like the flesh, selves, the laws, the letter etc. so as to enter into the salvation deeper.

12) Paul prays at the outset of this epistle (Col. 1:3), as well as in the end. The former is prayer for them, and the latter is the demand for them to pray for him. However, the center of prayer still remains in the gospel. The gospel is the theme of our prayers all our life. 


Col. 4:4 that I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.

YLT: “that I may manifest it, as it behoveth me to speak;”

Meaning of Words:make manifest”: expose, reveal;

Literal Meaning:as I ought to speak”, speak not more or less; what he speaks is according to the true meaning of the right topic and explains the profound things in a simple way.

  “It”: “the mystery of Christ”;

  “Make it manifest”, make it understood, or seen or revealed;

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    The mystery of Christ cannot be utterly revealed by man’s words.

2)    Even a gifted man like Paul finds it difficult to manifest the mystery of Christ with proper words, not to say the common preachers. Therefore, they should not preach flippantly without close reliance upon God.


Col. 4:5 Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time.

YLT: “in wisdom walk ye toward those without, the time forestalling;”

Meaning of Words: “redeem”: buy up, ransom, rescue from loss; “time”: opportunity, season, occasion; “walk”: tread all around, follow, be occupied with;

Literal Meaning:redeeming the time”, there are two aspects of meaning: 1) we have to pay the price to “buy up” the time that is spent in vanity and spend every hour well; 2) every hour is the “opportunity” given by God to us. We shall seize every opportunity to lead a meaningful life.

  This verse encourages us to “seize the opportunity” to preach the gospel of Christ (see 2Tim. 4:2)

  Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside”, “those who are outside”: the unbelievers outside of the church; the whole verse means that believers shall walk in wisdom among the unbelievers so as not to offend unbelievers or cause their misunderstanding.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    The true wisdom of men is manifested in two points: one is making good use of time, and the other is having good contact with those who are outside.

2)    Time is the best precious matter in the world. Once a quarter is passed,  a quarter is decreased. Believers shall not waste time, but shall redeem our time and devote it to the Lord.

3)    Our spiritual life is not tomorrow, but the present. One who does not seize opportunity does not cherish the present. That is to say, if one is unable to meet God or serve God at present, he is the one who is of the least prosperity.

4)    Someone says, “We would rather love the past than the present. Yesterday is over and tomorrow is not in our hands. Only the present is worthy to be loved.”

5)    The best way of testifying the gospel for believers is their daily conversation (Phil. 1:27) and words (Col. 4:6). And the conversation of a believer is connected with how he applies his time.

6)    In fact, seldom has man believed the Lord for being persuaded. Therefore, we Christians should remember one thing ---- we have to attract men to receive Christ by the testimony of life, not words.

7)    The wisest way of getting along with those who are outside is living out Christ before them and letting them always see God from us.


Col. 4:6 Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.

YLT: “your word always in grace -- with salt being seasoned -- to know how it behoveth you to answer each one.”

Meaning of Words: “grace”: graciousness, favor, gratitude, thanks; “season”: prepare, spice with stimulating condiments;

Literal Meaning: “let your speech always be with grace, it means that one’s speech is gentle, kind and sober, and not rude or abrupt so as not to cause the antipathy of others or embarrassment.

“Seasoned with salt, salt can be used to season. On one hand, it indicates that we Christians shall have wise words, not give dull and tedious and rigid sermon. On the other hand, the words are meaningful, thus bringing about reconciliation to men in the world and leading them to turn to Christ gradually.

“That you may know how you ought to answer each one”, if we have practice in words, we will know what kind of word is suitable to answer those who need the gospel (1Pet. 3:15).

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    Christians should speak carefully so as not to humiliate the name of the Lord.

2)    If believers often receive “grace” from the Lord in their daily life, their words will be seasoned with “grace” unconsciously. Thus, they have spiritual power to speak to inspire others.

3)    If we lack grace in words, it must be caused by our lack of prayers (v.2). If we pray for everything, we must be grateful to God and show grace to others.

4)    The words of believers should be as salt, coordinating the interpersonal relationship and making peace instead of disputes. 

5)    The words of believers should be sapid, not tasteless. And seasoning is a kind of art, which should be acquired by heart. Man has to put in time and effort in order to let his word seasoned with salt.

6)    Whether the words are appropriate has a lot to do with the result of the preachment of the gospel. The wise wins souls (Pro. 11:30). Christians should speak with influence and wisdom and know how to respond.

7)    We shall not always rebuke when we preach the gospel so as not to raise an antipathy among those who hear the gospel and make them close the door of their heart.

8)    Many unbelievers do not come to seek the word for the purpose of the pursuit of the truth, but for the purpose of creating difficulties for believers or refuting them. Therefore, we have to prepare ourselves to answer carefully for the Lord.


Col. 4:7 Tychicus, a beloved brother, faithful minister, and fellow servant in the Lord, will tell you all the news about me.

YLT: “All the things concerning me make known to you shall Tychicus -- the beloved brother, and faithful ministrant, and fellow-servant in the Lord --”

Meaning of Words:Tychicus”: fortuitous, fortunate; “faithful”: trustworthy, sure, ture; “minister”: deacon, attendant; “servant”: slave, ministrant;

The Background: Tychicus”, it was said that he was the messenger sent by Paul to send this epistle; he sent the epistle to the church in Ephesus (Eph. 6:21) for Paul.

Literal Meaning:a beloved brother, a member of the family of God;

“Faithful minister, a member who shoulders some service in the church;

“And fellow servant in the Lord”, a member in the fellow-workers;

This verse indicates that the workers have close relationship with the church. And the church at that time could not but care for the conditions of the Lord’s workers. Therefore, Paul not only wrote to the church in Colosse but also sent someone to tell them all things about him.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    It is the necessary condition for the Lord’s servants ---- love men and keep faithfulness to the Lord.

2)    The fellow workers ought to love one another and cooperate with each other and be the Lord’s servants together. Today, the common phenomenon is: the fellow workers may attack against and intrigue against each other and not bear one another.


Col. 4:8 I am sending him to you for this very purpose, that he may know your circumstances and comfort your hearts,

YLT: “whom I did send unto you for this very thing, that he might know the things concerning you, and might comfort your hearts,”

Meaning of Words: “send”: dispatch, transmit; “comfort”: encourage, exhort;

Literal Meaning:I am sending him to you for this very purpose, Paul was imprisoned at that time. And it was far away from Rome to Colosse. And the journey was rather uneasy then, so Paul said he sent him “for this very purpose”.

“Comfort your hearts”, Paul feared the church in Colosse was discouraged by his imprisonment, so he specially sent Tychicus to comfort and encourage them.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    Though Paul fell in difficulties himself, he still considered others. A true worker of the Lord cares for the children of God, not himself.

2)    Paul’s circumstances can become the comfort of believers in the church in Colosse. Such “circumstances” must not refer to his external conditions, but his internal conditions and attitudes.

3)    The normal circumstances of believers will comfort those who have heard it. Contrarily, the abnormal circumstances will make those who have heard sorrowful.

4)    We shall also learn from the examples of believers in Colosse who often care for the conditions of the Lord’s workers, for they are often concerned about us for the sake of the Lord.


Col. 4:9 with Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will make known to you all things which are happening here.

YLT: “with Onesimus the faithful and beloved brother, who is of you; all things to you shall they make known that here.”

Meaning of Words:Onesimus”: profitable;

The Background:Onesimus” was a slave, a bondservant in the house of Philemon who was a believer in the church in Colosse. He had ever escaped from his master secretly and met Paul in Rome and was saved because of the gospel Paul preached. Paul took this opportunity to send him back and asked Philemon to accept and forgive him (Philem. 8-19).

Literal Meaning:with Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, it indicated that Onesimus was truly changed after he was saved and he loved Paul and did all things entrusted to him.

“Who is one of you”, here Paul emphasized that he was one of you and was the same with you.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    In the church, no matter one’s background in the past was, we are all beloved brothers in Christ without any distinction.

2)    We shall see the present of a man, not his past. And we shall not judge or treat a man according to his failure in the past.


Col. 4:10 Aristarchus my fellow prisoner greets you, with Mark the cousin of Barnabas (about whom you received instructions: if he comes to you, welcome him),

YLT: “Salute you doth Aristarchus, my fellow-captive, and Marcus, the nephew of Barnabas, (concerning whom ye did receive commands -- if he may come unto you receive him,)”

Meaning of Words:Aristarchus”: best ruling; “Barnabas”: son of comfort; “cousin”: sister’s son; “Mark”: who is courteous; “instructions”: commandments, orders; “receive”: accept, take;

The Background:Aristarchus”, a fellow worker of Paul, who often accompanied Paul in the journey to preach the word of God (see Acts 19:29; 20:4; 27:2).

  “The cousin of Barnabas”, the author of the Gospel of Mark, who was also called John. In the first missionary journey of Paul, he carried Mark with him. Possibly, Mark could not bear the hardships in the journey and draw back in the midway (Acts.13:5). Before starting out for the second missionary journey, there arouse a sharp contention between Paul and Barnabas, so that they separated from one another (Acts 15:36-40). More than a decade had passed when Paul wrote this epistle. We can infer from this epistle that Mark had been already forgiven and appreciated by Paul and became a good helper of Paul (2Tim. 4:11)

Literal Meaning:about whom you received instructions”, Mark might be sent by Paul to visit and confirm the local churches in many places. Paul specially wrote an official letter to introduce Mark.

“If he comes to you, it suggests that he is just about to start or he is on the way.

“Welcome him”, possibly, Paul is afraid that they do not trust in Mark because of his past.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    Aristarchus might be disposed to “accompany” Paul in prison. Only the one who really loves and fears his brothers can devote himself for them and accompany them to suffer the tribulations together.

2)    We can learn from the story between Paul and Mark and the transformation later (see “the background”) that:

a)    The spiritual conditions of the fellow workers decide whether they can work together. If their conditions are worse, they must not work together.

b)    Though we shall not agree with the present weakness of brothers, we shall still not judge immediately. Some day, his condition may be changed by the grace of the Lord. And we shall still work with him together without any grudge against him.

c)    Mark, who was well-cared for and unable to bear much labor, was changed completely. The precondition of the Lord’s worker is ---- labor for the Lord (Acts 20:35).

d)    Paul has a wide mind and lets the history of Mark go ---- he is the example of the Lord’s workers. It is not fearful of the contention or misunderstand or complains among the fellow workers, but is fearful that they are unable to bear and forgive one another and be reconciled again.

e)    At this time, Paul’s attitude towards Mark is on one hand due to the change of Mark and on the other hand the softer spirit and wider mind of Paul to the fellow workers, proving that the measure of Christ in him indeed increases. If we are always strict with and unkind to our fellow workers, it shows that we have little growth in Christ.


Col. 4:11 and Jesus who is called Justus. These are my only fellow workers for the kingdom of God who are of the circumcision; they have proved to be a comfort to me.

YLT: “and Jesus who is called Justus, who are of the circumcision: these only fellow-workers for the reign of God who did become a comfort to me.”

Meaning of Words:Jesus”: savior; “Justus”: just; “comfort”: consolation;

Literal Meaning: “Jesus”, at that time, there were also other men of the Jews who were called “Jesus” (Acts 13:6). Therefore, he was also called “Justus”.

  “Who are of the circumcision”: the Jews;

  These are my only fellow workers for the kingdom of God”, the kingdom of God includes the Jews and the Gentile believers. And Paul’s service is mainly towards the Gentiles (Acts 9:15; Gal. 2:9). Therefore, most of those who are with Paul and please to receive his dispatching are Gentile believers. Only the three Jewish believers ---- Aristarchus, Mark and Jesus ---- are disposed to work together with Paul among the Gentiles.

Enlightenment in the Word: the Lord’s servants should surpass the idea of race and blood relationship.


Col. 4:12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a bondservant of Christ, greets you, always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.

YLT: “Salute you doth Epaphras, who of you, a servant of Christ, always striving for you in the prayers, that ye may stand perfect and made full in all the will of God,”

Meaning of Words: “labor fervently”: struggle, strive; “complete”: accomplish, full; “perfect”: complete; “stand”: abide, establish;

Literal Meaning: there are several features of Epaphras:

1)    “Always”: continue to pray persistently;

2)    “For you”: not for oneself, but for the church ---- bring men to God in prayers;

3)    “Laboring fervently”: spare no effort in a striving spirit;

4)    “Prayers”: it is not aimless prayer, but prayer with a particular purpose;

5)    Pray that the church shall be “complete” and stand firm;

This verse suggests that he cares for the church in Colosse and fears that they are deceived by the heretical doctrines.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    Prayers is the most fundamental and important element for a servant of the Lord.

2)    The condition of the “spirit” of the one who prays can be felt and discerned by others.

3)    The prayer of Epaphras is the same with the prayer of Paul for the church in Colosse (see Col. 1:9). Both of them are of the same mind and often pray together and thus they have touched the need of the church.


Col. 4:13 For I bear him witness that he has a great zeal for you, and those who are in Laodicea, and those in Laodicea.

YLT: “for I do testify to him, that he hath much zeal for you, and those in Laodicea, and those in Hierapolis.”

Meaning of Words:Laodicea”: justice, judgment of the people; “Laodicea”: holy city; “great”: much, abundant; “zeal”: heat, fervent mind; “bear witness”: testify, be well reported of;

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    Though prayer is a kind of enjoyment, it is also a kind of “zealous” service. Especially, when we pray for the church, we shall resist the evil power fervently.

2)    Epaphras is the fellow worker in the church in Colosse, and he still cares for the condition of the local church nearby. The Lord’s workers should not care for only the works of the church they are in but ignore other local churches.


Col. 4:14 Luke the beloved physician and Demas greet you.

YLT: “Salute you doth Lukas, the beloved physician, and Demas;”

Meaning of Words: “Luke”: illuminative, shining; “Demas”: that of the people;

Literal Meaning:Luke the beloved physician”, the writer of the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts; probably, Paul gained him during the second missionary journey of Paul (Acts 16:8-10, “they” has become “we”). From then on, Luke followed Paul all the way and accompanied him to Rome (Acts 28:14).

  “Demas”, the fellow worker of Paul (Philem. 24), he loved the world and rejected Paul later (2Tim. 4:10). Paul here did not mention any word of praise concerning Demas. Possibly, he had already found the problem in the spirit of Demas.


Col. 4:15 Greet the brethren who are in Laodicea, and Nymphas and the church that is in his house.

YLT: “salute ye those in Laodicea -- brethren, and Nymphas, and the assembly in his house;”

Meaning of Words:Nymphas”: bridegroom;

Literal Meaning:the church that is in his house”, it was inferred that the church in Laodicea was in the house of Nymphas.

  Apparently, this verse mentions three groups of men: 1) “the brethren in Laodicea”; 2) “Nymphas”; 3) “the church that is in his house”;

  However, actually, “Nymphas” is a member if the “the church in his house”, as well as one member of “the brethren in Laodicea”. And Paul particularly greets the individual brother Nymphas.

  Moreover, “the brethren who are in Laodicea” emphasize individual believers; “the church that is in his house” emphasizes the corporate church. Therefore, both of them do not refer to two different groups of men. And therefore, in the next verse, Paul only mentions “the church”, not “brethren”, for the letter is read before the whole church.

Enlightenment in the Word: blessed is the believer who opens his house for the gatherings of the church.


Col. 4:16 Now when this epistle is read among you, see that it is read also in the church of the Laodiceans, and that you likewise read the epistle from Laodicea.

YLT: “and when the epistle may be read with you, cause that also in the assembly of the Laodiceans it may be read, and the from Laodicea that ye also may read;”

Meaning of Words: “epistle”: letter;

The Background: in the early church time, the New Testament had not been composed yet. All the churches handed round the letters of the apostles and then copied them word for word and kept them for reading. That is the origin of the so-called “old scriptures”. Afterwards, the New Testament was compiled after the confirmation in “the Great Conference in Carthage” 397 AD, including 27 books altogether ---- the Book of Colossians was among the New Testament.

Literal Meaning:the epistle from Laodicea”: the Book of Ephesians written by Paul; according to the textual research of the Bible scholars, the Book of Ephesians was an official letter to the churches in Asia Minor. Therefore, in the best old scriptures, there was not the word “in Ephesus” in the first chapter, verse one.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    The revelation and guidance of the Spirit given to one certain local church shall also be delivered to all the local churches (Rev. 2:7). Therefore, if any of all the churches has some message of the Lord, that church shall pass it to one another. If any of all the churches has the messenger (worker) of the Lord, that church shall still have fellowship with each other.

2)    All the local churches are “one body” of Christ (1Cor. 10:17). Concerning the organization, the administration of each local church is separated without being attached to anyone or any group. Concerning the spiritual relationship, all the local churches have fellowship with one another.


Col. 4:17 And say to Archippus, "Take heed to the ministry which you have received in the Lord, that you may fulfill it."

YLT: “and say to Archippus, `See to the ministration that thou didst receive in the Lord, that thou mayest fulfil it.'”

Meaning of Words:Archippus”: horse-ruler; “take heed to”: behold, look; “ministry”: attendance, minister, service;

Literal Meaning:Archippus”, a believer in the church in Colosse, there was very likelihood that he was the son of Philemon (Philem. 2). Probably, when Epaphras remained in Rome, he entrusted the great responsibility of shepherding the church in Colosse to Archippus. Therefore, Paul exhorted him to take heed to his ministry, lest the heretical doctrines should deceive believers.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    We shall never ignore, but take heed to all the ministries entrusted by the Lord, no matter large or small, significant or insignificant.

2)    What the Lord asks for His servants is “faithfulness and prudence” (Matt. 24:45). “Take heed to ---- it is the manifestation of prudence; “the ministry” ---- it is the manifestation of faithfulness;


Col. 4:18 This salutation by my own hand--Paul. Remember my chains. Grace be with you. Amen.

YLT: “The salutation by the hand of me, Paul; remember my bonds; the grace with you. Amen.”

Literal Meaning: after Paul’s exhortation and greeting from verse seven to seventeen, he gave the salutation “by his own hand”, for the most of Paul’s epistles were dictated by him and written by others (Rom. 16:22). At the end of the epistle, Paul wrote his name as a sign (2Thess. 3:17) and presented the salutation.


III. Outlines of the Spiritual Lessons


The Dual Aspects of the Life of Christians

A.   To God ---- prayer (v.2-4);

B.   To men in the world ---- testimony (v.5-6);


The Manifestations of Redeeming the Time

A.   Continue earnestly in prayer (v.2);

B.   Be vigilant in it with thanksgiving(v.2);

C.   Pray for others (v.3-4);

D.   Proclaim Christ (v.3-4);

E.   Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside (v.5-6);


The Relations of Paul with Tychicus (v.7)

A.   A beloved brother ---- love one another;

B.   A faithful minister ---- share joys and sorrows;

C.   A fellow servant ---- work together;


Redeem the Time

A.   The reason for redeeming the time ---- for the Lord is the master of all (v.1);

B.   The manifestations for redeeming the time (v.2-6);

1.    Continue earnestly in prayer;

2.    Be vigilant in it with thanksgiving;

3.    Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside;

C.   The examples for redeeming the time (v.7-15);

1.    Tychicus ---- a faithful servant of the Lord;

2.    Onesimus ---- his change after he was saved;

3.    Aristarchus ---- be in prison for the Lord;

4.    Mark ---- though he was failed, he has now turned back;

5.    Jesus ---- a fellow worker of Paul, who is a comfort to Paul;

6.    Epaphras ---- labor fervently for the church in prayers;

7.    Luke ---- follow Paul and love him;

8.    Nymphas ---- open his house to the church;

D.   The exhortations for redeeming the time (v.16-18):

1.    Read the epistles ---- receive the spiritual teaching;

2.    Exhortations to Archippus ---- exhort others;

3.    Remember the servant of God’s servants ---- care for the Lord’s workers;