Colossians 4

Colossians 4

4:1 Masters, treat your bondservants1 justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.

Further Instructions

Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison—that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.

Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

Final Greetings

Tychicus will tell you all about my activities. He is a beloved brother and faithful minister and fellow servant2 in the Lord. I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are and that he may encourage your hearts, and with him Onesimus, our faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will tell you of everything that has taken place here.

10 Aristarchus my fellow prisoner greets you, and Mark the cousin of Barnabas (concerning whom you have received instructions—if he comes to you, welcome him), 11 and Jesus who is called Justus. These are the only men of the circumcision among my fellow workers for the kingdom of God, and they have been a comfort to me. 12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you, always struggling on your behalf in his prayers, that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God. 13 For I bear him witness that he has worked hard for you and for those in Laodicea and in Hierapolis. 14 Luke the beloved physician greets you, as does Demas. 15 Give my greetings to the brothers3 at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house. 16 And when this letter has been read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans; and see that you also read the letter from Laodicea. 17 And say to Archippus, “See that you fulfill the ministry that you have received in the Lord.”

18 I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you.


[1] 4:1 For the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface; likewise for servant in verse 12

[2] 4:7 For the contextual rendering of the Greek word sundoulos, see Preface

[3] 4:15 Or brothers and sisters



Colossians 3

Colossians 3

Put On the New Self

3:1 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your1 life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Put to death therefore what is earthly in you:2 sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming.3 In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self4 with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. 11 Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave,5 free; but Christ is all, and in all.

12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Rules for Christian Households

18 Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them. 20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. 21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. 22 Bondservants, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters,6 not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. 25 For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality.


[1] 3:4 Some manuscripts our

[2] 3:5 Greek therefore your members that are on the earth

[3] 3:6 Some manuscripts add upon the sons of disobedience

[4] 3:9 Greek man; also as supplied in verse 10

[5] 3:11 For the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface; likewise for Bondservants in verse 22

[6] 3:22 Or your masters according to the flesh



Colossians 2

Colossians 2

2:1 For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments. For though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the firmness of your faith in Christ.

Alive in Christ

Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.

See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits1 of the world, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, 10 and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. 11 In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. 15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities2 and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.3

Let No One Disqualify You

16 Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. 17 These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. 18 Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions,4 puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, 19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.

20 If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations—21 “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” 22 (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? 23 These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.


[1] 2:8 Or elementary principles; also verse 20

[2] 2:15 Probably demonic rulers and authorities

[3] 2:15 Or in it (that is, the cross)

[4] 2:18 Or about the things he has seen



Colossians 1

Colossians 1


1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,

To the saints and faithful brothers1 in Christ at Colossae:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father.

Thanksgiving and Prayer

We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth, just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant.2 He is a faithful minister of Christ on your3 behalf and has made known to us your love in the Spirit.

And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; 12 giving thanks4 to the Father, who has qualified you5 to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

The Preeminence of Christ

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by6 him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

21 And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22 he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, 23 if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation7 under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.

Paul’s Ministry to the Church

24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, 25 of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, 26 the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. 27 To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. 29 For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.


[1] 1:2 Or brothers and sisters. In New Testament usage, depending on the context, the plural Greek word adelphoi (translated “brothers”) may refer either to brothers or to brothers and sisters

[2] 1:7 For the contextual rendering of the Greek word sundoulos, see Preface

[3] 1:7 Some manuscripts our

[4] 1:12 Or patience, with joy giving thanks

[5] 1:12 Some manuscripts us

[6] 1:16 That is, by means of; or in

[7] 1:23 Or to every creature



Saturday Study

Ephesians 6 & Philippians 1- 4 (5.27.23)

Grab your Bible, and let’s dig into Philippians chapter 1.

Paul says in Philippians 1:3, “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you.”

Paul is thankful for his blood-bought family even without their presence. That’s how blessed it is to be in the family of God.

Does your being a part of the family of God cause you to cry out with thanks to God? It means that much to Paul. It means that much to me. To be a part of this ministry is to be a part of a very special family.

Listen how Paul takes this to another level in verse 8:

Philippians 1:8 For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus.

Paul is speaking of a family of God with an affection that is greater than other relationships. It is a part of his joy and rejoicing.

It is a part of his reality—his daily reality—that gives him enduring joy.

Does the family of God do this for you?

He says this another way in Romans:

Romans 12:10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.

This is not loving one another just with deeds. It is saying, “Have feelings for each other. Desire relationship and fellowship with each other.” The idea is that our hearts know joy when we are around each other or thinking of each other or praying for each other. Because we are family!

But the word for “love” in Romans 12:10 refers to a special kind of love. It refers to “tender affection, particularly family affection.” So, the verse is calling for Christians to have “tender affection toward each other in family love.”

This is a command for how we are to relate to each other in the body of Christ—we are to feel an affection—a tender affection for each other.

We also read in 1 Peter 1:22 (NASB), “Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart.”

Here again is something much more than treating each other well. Here is something from the heart. Something earnest, something with fervor, something of family affection.

But I think Paul says it best in Philippians 1:8: “For God is my witness, how I long for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus.”

The word for “affection” is “intestines” or “inner organs.” The idea is, “I long for you and love you, not just with an act of will power, but with deep and tender affections. I miss you. I am homesick for you. I feel.”

Philippians 1:4 says, “always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy.”

I want to break this into two parts of focus: prayer and encouragement.

Pray for One Another

Ephesians 6:18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints

He wants them to know of the real brotherly love he has for them, and that it’s a love that drives him to CONSTANTLY, REGULARLY pray for them. This is a sweet thing, right? When someone is praying for you faithfully, it is very sweet. Like Paul, we are not just called to suit up and sit around. Like Paul models and commands, we are called to suit up and PRAY “AT ALL TIMES.”


Supplication means prayers. Are you praying for all the saints? Are you praying for one another?

Jesus models praying for his brothers, knowing the war they are in!

Luke 22:31-32 “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”

Paul models this all the time for us. It is a part of his JOY to pray for his blood-bought family: “always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy” (Philippians 1:4).

I love this prayer of Paul:

Ephesians 3:16-19 … according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

In your prayers for yourselves and for one another, are you asking for deepening eyes to see and ears to hear? An attentiveness to the gospel’s 24/7 work and power? That we, too, might be transformed and others around us might take on a new identity entirely from the lies and lostness of the temporary?

We need to pray for one another as an active way of loving and fighting for one another.

Romans 15:30 (NASB) Now I urge you, brethren, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God for me

The basic point of the verse is to motivate the Roman Christians to “strive” or to “struggle” or to “fight”; it’s a strong word—not just pray but strive or struggle or fight—in prayer to God for Paul as he goes to Jerusalem with a contribution for the poor Christians of the city.

Encourage One Another

Both in his prayers and in writing this letter, we see Paul encouraging his family.

It is an encouragement just to know I am being prayed for.

Hebrews 3:13 (NIV) But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.

God commanded that His people encourage each other, because He knows we need it.

In the Gospel of John, Jesus warned that “in this world you will have tribulation,” which He then followed with a much-needed encouragement: “… But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

Romans 15:5 May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus

Hear this today: If we are going to truly know and practice encouragement, we must first know the “God of encouragement.”

God cares for His people with a holy passion. The church of Jesus Christ is the blood-bought bride of His Son, and He loves us with a minute-by-minute, omnipotent care. Only in Christ do you have the care and loving engagement of the God of encouragement. Apart from Christ, you rightly sit under the perfect, just wrath of God.

Additionally, the “God of encouragement” has given us the weapon that is designed to defeat these enemies: “… the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17).

Now look at the previous verse in Romans 15.

Romans 15:4 For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

I pray that we see the joy it is for Paul to pray for and encourage his church family. I pray that you come to know the joy that it is in your life to practice these things. Even when, like Paul, you are in a hard time and maybe feeling lonely, may the ministry of prayer and encouragement be a way to stay joyful and know that you are not alone but connected to an awesome and eternal family.

Philippians 1:5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.

Paul has been praying for them because of their partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. He is acknowledging the special relationship that he has with all of his blood-bought family. His adopted brothers and sisters share an amazing bond—an eternal bond—in Jesus because of the gospel, which brought them new life in Christ and true unity. From their new birth until this point in the exile journey, they are family and partners in the mission God has given them.

Do you think about other Christians this way—even if you hardly know them?

Do you think that you share a partnership in Christ, a gospel partnership, that is a relationship like nothing else?

Think about the different people you meet along the way that truly love Jesus and share your purpose for living. This is truly a joy.

This is why the word says there are to be no divisions among you. Because you are partners in the gospel. You are not partners in a self-serving business venture that can go bad. You are not partners in a relationship where you can break up. You are not partners on a team that has a season, and then it’s over. You are partners in the gospel. Meaning from your new birth in Christ and for the rest of eternity, we are gospel partners. Paul gets this and is reveling in it. He is so pumped by this connection and bond in the gospel and the special mission that God has set before them. He is joyful to pray for them.

Skip verse 6, as we will come back to it in a moment, and look at verse 7 with me:

Philippians 1:7 It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel.

Some might say it is strange he is so pumped about someone he hardly knows. They may even say, “I think it is weird that your similar religious convictions create such a strong bond.” But it is not religion or religious similarities. Those are superficial!

What does Paul say it is? He says together they are “… all partakers with me of grace” (Philippians 1:7).

This is why he holds them so dearly in his heart. This is why he feels this way about them. This partaking of grace causes them to run this race together despite what they face—imprisonment, the defense of the gospel, and the confirmation of it. They are suffering, but they endure.

For us to embrace being “partakers of grace,” we must rightly understand grace.

Grace defined: Unmerited favor (or an undeserved gift) given by an unobligated giver.

Grace is a gift from God! He is not obligated to give (His obligation is justice, judgment, wrath). We are not deserving to receive (we deserve His judgment, wrath).

It is in the gospel of grace in which Paul’s joy is grounded. It is like a well springing up to eternal life despite his circumstances.

Ok, moving on. Look back at verse 6 with me:

Philippians 1:6 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

Paul is joyful despite his separation from normal life and loved ones in that he understands the faithfulness of God to finish what he began. Paul is joyful, for he understands the saints will endure to the end and persevere to the end. WHY? Because their salvation belongs to the Lord.

Their faith is a gift from God and will endure to the end. How does he know? Because it belongs to God. Notice what he says: “HE who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Therefore, it is not up to you. If you are free, you are free indeed. If you are truly saved, you are saved forever. God doesn’t make a mistake in anything.

Do you remember we studied this in John chapter 6?

John 6:37b-40 “and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”

Here we see the beautiful doctrine known as Perseverance of the Saints.

Listen to the promises of Christ concerning the security of the saved ones as I highlight them here:

John 6:37b “whoever comes to me I will never cast out.”

They will not be cast out. God will not change His mind and reject them later. We did nothing to gain His love or acceptance. We can do nothing to lose it. We are forever His! Forever secure in His power. When the storms rage in your life, do you stand in this assurance?

John 6:39 “… I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day.”

We cannot be lost. Every one of His sheep are precious in His sight. Not only are we precious, but we will stand with Him in victory. He will raise us up on the last day.

John 6:40 “For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”

Eternal life–not eternal death and destruction.

Philippians 1:6 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

Are you SURE? Do you rest on who you are in Christ no matter your circumstances?

He will bring it all to completion. He will finish what He began in you!!!

This is why Paul endures in joy! In what else do we have this kind of assurance and confidence as the house is raging on fire, our child is dying of cancer, our spouse abandons us for another? Only in Jesus. He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion!

Ok finally:

Philippians 1:9-11 And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

9a: “And it is my prayer that”

Again, Paul loves his adopted family and is praying for them.

And what is his prayer for them?

9b: “your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment”

What did Jesus tell us about love?

John 13:34 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.”

Mark 12:29-31 Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

1 John 4:19-21 We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.

I could go on and on. We are to walk and talk in love—love for one another and for our enemies.

This doesn’t mean we don’t stand on truth, for love is not love if not in truth.

Notice how he says it abounds—In knowledge and discernment.

The love of God is of God. Therefore, we must know and discern what God says is loving and true.

Not just go with our gut—our instinct—because our flesh is deceitful and self-serving, through and through.

So, Paul is praying that our “love may abound more and more.”

Why? Because it is the love of God that is at work in us and causing us to love others like He loves us.

What is the purpose of this?

10: “so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ”

So that we may approve what is excellent: the things that honor God.

I think it is the process of discerning true faith in Jesus—of a life that honors God.

Why? So we, the people of God, are pure and blameless for the arrival of the Groom—Jesus Christ.

Paul is saying, “This is the primary work, the work of love, of gospel testimony. The work of disciple making, raising up those who are excellent and pure and blameless as they grow in sanctification.”

Why? Because the Groom is coming for His bride. Because this work is the greatest thing in this life that we get to do. It is the joy of our lives to make ready the bride of God for the wedding feast of our Lord.

11a: “filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ”

Where does the power to do these things come from? NOT FROM YOURSELF!

From God, “THROUGH JESUS CHRIST.” The fruit of righteousness or the Holy Spirit is the result of Christ at work in us. I want the tree of my life in Christ to bear much fruit—to be FILLED!

And ultimately, why do we do these things that Paul is praying for the church to do?

11b: “to the glory and praise of God.”

This is my prayer for you and yours as we live to make much of His holy name.

By His grace and for His glory,

Pastor Joshua Kirstine

Disciples Church