1Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven.
2Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;
3Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds:
4That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.
5Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.
6Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.
7All my state shall Tychicus declare unto you, who is a beloved brother, and a faithful minister and fellowservant in the Lord:
8Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that he might know your estate, and comfort your hearts;
9With Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They shall make known unto you all things which are done here.
10Aristarchus my fellowprisoner saluteth you, and Marcus, sister's son to Barnabas, (touching whom ye received commandments: if he come unto you, receive him;)
11And Jesus, which is called Justus, who are of the circumcision. These only are my fellowworkers unto the kingdom of God, which have been a comfort unto me.
12Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.
13For I bear him record, that he hath a great zeal for you, and them that are in Laodicea, and them in Hierapolis.
14Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you.
15Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church which is in his house.
16And when this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye likewise read the epistle from Laodicea.
17And say to Archippus, Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfil it.
18The salutation by the hand of me Paul. Remember my bonds. Grace be with you. Amen.
Today's Scripture Meaning
Masters to do their duty towards servants. (1) Persons of all ranks to persevere in prayer, and Christian prudence. (2-6) The apostle refers to others for an account of his affairs. (7-9) Sends greetings; and concludes with a blessing. (10-18)
Verse 1: The apostle proceeds with the duty of masters to their servants. Not only justice is required of them, but strict equity and kindness. Let them deal with servants as they expect God should deal with themselves.
Verses 2-6: No duties can be done aright, unless we persevere in fervent prayer, and watch therein with thanksgiving. The people are to pray particularly for their ministers. Believers are exhorted to right conduct towards unbelievers. Be careful in all converse with them, to do them good, and recommend religion by all fit means. Diligence in redeeming time, commends religion to the good opinion of others. Even what is only carelessness may cause a lasting prejudice against the truth. Let all discourse be discreet and seasonable, as becomes Christians. Though it be not always of grace, it must always be with grace. Though our discourse be of that which is common, yet it must be in a Christian manner. Grace is the salt which seasons our discourse, and keeps it from corrupting. It is not enough to answer what is asked, unless we answer aright also.
Verses 7-9: Ministers are servants to Christ, and fellow-servants to one another. They have one Lord, though they have different stations and powers for service. It is a great comfort under the troubles and difficulties of life, to have fellow Christians caring for us. Circumstances of life make no difference in the spiritual relation among sincere Christians; they partake of the same privileges, and are entitled to the same regards. What amazing changes Divine grace makes! Faithless servants become faithful and beloved brethren, and some who had done wrong, become fellow-workers of good.
Verses 10-18: Paul had differed with Barnabas, on the account of this Mark, yet he is not only reconciled, but recommends him to the churches; an example of a truly Christian and forgiving spirit. If men have been guilty of a fault, it must not always be remembered against them. We must forget as well as forgive. The apostle had comfort in the communion of saints and ministers. One is his fellow-servant, another his fellow-prisoner, and all his fellow-workers, working out their own salvation, and endeavouring to promote the salvation of others. The effectual, fervent prayer is the prevailing prayer, and availeth much. The smiles, flatteries, or frowns of the world, the spirit of error, or the working of self-love, leads many to a way of preaching and living which comes far short of fulfilling their ministry. But those who preach the same doctrine as Paul, and follow his example, may expect the Divine favour and blessing
Today's Scripture Application
Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue in the book of Colossians with Chapter 4 and in our text we see Paul ending this letter to the Church in Colosse to continue in Prayer, season our words as salt, and that Christ alone is our source for living the Christian life. In making application we see that Christ Alone is all we need to live today in this lost world as He is in control of All. How about you? Do you see that Christ is all you need? Let us learn from our text today and the reminder of Paul in this Book of Colossians that Jesus-Christ is all we need to live the Christian life as He is our Shield, our Provider, our Protector, our Everything.
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Dr. David Burnette
Director, The United States Bible Society, Inc.