We have come to the end. In this summary of Colossians 4, we wrap up our study of this New Testament epistle! I absolutely love Paul’s exhortation to give ourselves to prayer and gratitude. These are the glue that holds so much of our spiritual growth in place. It seems fitting that Paul ends his letter in this way.
What is the Main Message of Colossians 4
Let’s start with a quick summary of the first three chapters of Colossians.
We discovered early on that Paul is the author of the book of Colossians. First, we learned there were many ideas and doctrines that were discussed among and around the Colossian church. Paul’s purpose in writing was to warn the believers in this area against the dangers of following after these empty philosophies. Rather, they were to seek out the wisdom and knowledge found in Christ.
Paul spent much of chapters 1 and 2 reminding the Colossians of Christ’s lordship over all creation and the redemption that we have in Him.
Then, in chapter 3 Paul encourages his readers to walk according to the new life they have been given rather than according to the elementary principles and teachings of the world. He also gave some practical advice for how they were to conduct themselves as children of God.
In this final chapter of Colossians, Paul encourages the believers to continue in the grace they have been given and gives his final greetings.
Summary of Colossians 4
This last chapter of Colossians may appear short and sweet, but there is much we call pull from this passage to apply to our lives today. Let’s go through and see what lessons we can learn from Colossians 4.
Colossians 4:2-6 Summary
Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving; 3 praying at the same time for us as well, that God will open up to us a door for the word, so that we may speak forth the mystery of Christ, for which I have also been imprisoned; 4 that I may make it clear in the way I ought to speak. 5 Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. 6 Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.
I love Paul’s exhortation in this passage about the practice of prayer.
Let’s do some word studies.
Devote: to be earnest towards, to persevere, be constantly diligent, to attend assiduously all the exercises, to adhere closely to, to attend continually (give self), continually wait on
I wasn’t sure what the word “assiduously” meant so I looked it up. Assiduously: with great care and perseverance.
Alert: watch (literally or figuratively), be vigilant, wake, be watchful
To put verse 2 in my own words:
With thanksgiving, I am to continually give myself to the exercise of prayer with great perseverance and attentive care.
Oh, and look at that it even rhymes! LOL!
But seriously, the Lord really convicted me as I dug deeper into this verse and looked at the original meanings of these words. My prayer life falls so short of where it needs to be. I need to be giving more of myself to prayer. I want to be a woman who prays without ceasing!
Paul spent much of the previous chapter outlining how believers should live and conduct themselves. In chapter 4:2 we also see the importance of maintaining an attitude of thanksgiving. Gratitude is so important to Christian conduct.
Wisdom has also been a theme sprinkled throughout this epistle. We need to be walking in the wisdom found in Christ. This is the wisdom we need in knowing how to conduct ourselves towards outsiders.
As to all my affairs, Tychicus, our beloved brother and faithful servant and fellow bond-servant in the Lord, will bring you information. 8 For I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know about our circumstances and that he may encourage your hearts; 9 and with him Onesimus, our faithful and beloved brother, who is one of your number. They will inform you about the whole situation here. 10 Aristarchus, my fellow prisoner, sends you his greetings; and also Barnabas’s cousin Mark (about whom you received instructions; if he comes to you, welcome him); 11 and also Jesus who is called Justus; these are the only fellow workers for the kingdom of God who are from the circumcision, and they have proved to be an encouragement to me. 12 Epaphras, who is one of your number, a bondslave of Jesus Christ, sends you his greetings, always laboring earnestly for you in his prayers, that you may stand perfect and fully assured in all the will of God. 13 For I testify for him that he has a deep concern for you and for those who are in Laodicea and Hierapolis. 14 Luke, the beloved physician, sends you his greetings, and also Demas. 15 Greet the brethren who are in Laodicea and also Nympha and the church that is in her house. 16 When this letter is read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans; and you, for your part read my letter that is coming from Laodicea. 17 Say to Archippus, “Take heed to the ministry which you have received in the Lord, that you may fulfill it.” 18 I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. Remember my imprisonment. Grace be with you.
At first glance, this section just appears to be a lot of greeting. However, it gives us some historical context.
We learn that Paul is sending this letter to them by means of Tychicus and Onesimus. We also learn that Paul is writing this letter from prison.
Paul mentions Epaphras in verse 12. We learned earlier that he was the one who shared the gospel with them initially. We also see his care and concern for their continued maturity in Christ.
Final Thoughts on this Summary of Colossians 4
Paul had spent the first three chapters of this epistle explaining how we are complete in Christ. He wraps it all up in this final chapter with an exhortation to give themselves to prayer and thanksgiving, and to conduct themselves in wisdom. These themes were threaded throughout the whole book. In this final greeting, Paul is giving them one more reminder of how to walk and live as children of God.
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