v. 2 “Continue in prayer.” Continue steadfastly in prayer, persevere in prayer, devote yourself to prayer.
One of the most common sins among Christians today is prayer-less-ness.
We are exhorted to pray by many of the Biblical writers.
“Men aught always to pray and not to faint.”
“Pray without ceasing.” Evening, morning, and noon will I pray.
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit.
Praying in the Holy Spirit.
Prayer is the Christian’s vital breath, it is the life of the new man. One cannot live a victorious life apart from prayer.
One’s service cannot be faithful apart from prayer.
The soul flourishes in the atmosphere of prayer.
Prayer is communion with God.
Our Lord retired to the desert mountain or garden to commune with God.
From such seasons of fellowship He returned to do some of His mightiest deeds.
Our testimony and service will be fruitless without it.
We cannot pray effectively if we are not communing with God each day.
“Watch in prayer with thanksgiving.”
Be alert in prayer, be wide awake in prayer, give your whole mind to prayer. Watch for the answers.
Thanksgiving for past blessing should accompany prayer for present and future blessing.
We aught to be grateful to God and lavishly express our thanks to Him for His blessing, small and great. Describe the human aspect.
God loves to give, but He delights to hear us say “Thank you.”
v. 3 Paul is the greatest preacher and teacher of this dispensation.
He, above all, realized the power of prayer in his ministry, and so he requested the prayer of God’s people for his work.
“Praying also for us that God would open a door of utterance unto us.”
He asks the Colossians to include him in their prayers.
He asks them to pray particularly that God would open doors for the preaching of Christ, for whom I am in chains.
Paul at this time was a Roman prisoner. This was his first imprisonment.
Many in like circumstances had given up in despair as they languished in prison.
Not so Paul. His spirit was restless; the evangelist within him cried out for new opportunities for service.
He asked for prayer that new doors of utterance would be opened.
God heard these prevailing prayers and answered.
From the gloom of the cell came the revelation of God, The Prison Epistles. At a later day then came The Pastoral Epistles.
These letters have brought countless blessings to many millions throughout the centuries.
Prison guards were also reached, many in Caesar’s palace heard the gospel and believed.
The lesson here is this: do not let circumstances get you down, but use them, through prayer, to turn defeat into victory.
The prayers of God’s people opened up doors of utterances to preach Christ in a special and powerful way.
v. 5 “Walk in wisdom, toward them that are without, redeeming the time.”
Show tact in your behavior to the outside world, making the most of every opportunity to share Christ.
We should always be alert to tell people of Christ, we must seize every opportunity in the light of the Judgment Seat of Christ.
As we witness we must use wisdom, tact, and our life must be commensurate with our witnessing.
v. 6 “Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how you ought to answer every man.”
Be kindly, make your message attractive, study to find the best way to talk to each person.
Closing Salutation v. 7-18
This last portion is mainly a study of personalities.
We do not know much about Tychicus.
He is mentioned twice in this epistle and also in Ephesians 6:21-22.
Paul speaks of him in both passages as a “beloved brother” and a “faithful minister.”
Tychicus was a much loved brother and fellow-worker.
He adds a third expression in this passage “a fellow servant in the Lord.”
Quite a commendation from Paul to Tychicus.
In Tychicus we see a combination of the shepherd’s heart and the prophet’s spirit.
Men of such caliber are rare today.
Paul sent this beloved fellow-servant and Onesimus to Colosse to tell them of his present circumstances so that they may be encouraged.
v. 9 Onesimus.
This brother is described as being “faithful and beloved.”
Being young in the faith, he was not so mature as Tychicus, but he was faithful and much-loved.
We know more about him than most of the others mentioned.
The short letter to Philemon tells us a lot about him.
He was Philemon’s slave. He had stolen from his master, and then ran away to Rome.
While there he met Paul and was brought to know the Lord.
Paul eventually sent him back to Philemon accompanied by Tychicus who carried the personal letter from Paul to Philemon.
The letters to Ephesians and Colossians were carried at the same time.
v. 10 Aristarchus.
This brother was also a prisoner.
In Acts 19 we see that he was a Macedonian traveling with Paul.
He endangered his life for the sake of the gospel at Ephesus.
He is also mentioned as a fellow-laborer with Paul. Philemon 24
His name would imply that he belonged to the upper class.
He had renounced all earthly prestige to become a servant of Jesus Christ and ultimately a prisoner.
Mark was the nephew of Barnabas.
Years before he had been the cause of serious contention between Paul and Barnabas, these two men of God.
John Mark had left the first missionary team at a crucial time and returned to his mother in Jerusalem. Paul had lost confidence in him.
On the second missionary journey Barnabas wanted to take Mark with them, but Paul adamantly refused. The controversy ended in separation.
Over the years Mark had proved his recovery and restoration, and Paul says to allay any apprehension, welcome him when he visits you.
Paul mentions him as his fellow-laborer in Christ in Philemon 24.
Finally he urges Timothy to bring Mark with him when he comes to see Paul.
v. 11 Jesus or Joshua called Justus.
This brother’s recommendation was that he was just. He was a man of integrity.
The aforementioned were all converted Jews.
They worked with Paul for the extension of Christ’s kingdom, they were also a great comfort to Paul in his present circumstances.
v. 12-13 Epaphras.
This man was one of their own assembly. He was a servant or slave of Christ. He was always wrestling fervently in prayer for his brothers in Christ, laboring constantly in the work–Gospel.
The burden of his prayers was that they would stand firm despite the teaching of the false teachers. He prayed that their faith would mature, and that they would understand God’s perfect will.
This brother was a man of prayer. He was a man who cared for the well-being of the saints.
He was the one who in his concern for the spiritual state of the Colossian church, acquainted Paul of the conditions, which, in turn, drew forth this letter.
He had considerable ability as a preacher and teacher.
It was probably through him that the assembly was formed at Colosse.
Many had found Christ through his preaching.
He also taught the believers God’s word.
Then he prayed that they would enter into the truth, in all its fullness.
This earnest apostle of prayer had not confined his efforts to Colosse, but he had an intense interest in the Laodicean and Hierapolis assemblies.
v. 14 “Luke the beloved physician and Demas greet you.” Luke our dear doctor.
Luke was one of Paul’s most devoted associates.
He joined Paul’s company in Acts 16.
Thereafter in Acts the pronoun “they” was changed to “we”.
Faithful, beloved Luke stayed with Paul to the end and possibly saw him martyred.
For a time he was faithful in the work, he was a devoted helper of Paul.
But Demas failed miserably. 2 Timothy 4:10-11
“Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world, and hath departed into Thessalonica.”
During Paul’s second imprisonment, somehow he fell in love with the world, and he left him at a crucial time.
He thought the itinerant preacher’s task too hard and dangerous with no monetary rewards.
In Paul’s greatest time of need he left him.
There is no record of him falling into open sin.
He went back to Thessalonica, possibly went into some kind of business, and became a nominal member of the assembly.
He loved the present world, he chose the easy path.
v. 15 At this point salutations are sent to the Laodicean brethren.
He was probably the leading brother among them.
The local church also met in his home.
v. 16 This verse would suggest that Paul’s letters were circulated among the early churches.
This epistle to the Colossians was to be read in Laodicea.
Then a letter which had been sent to Laodicea was to be read in Colosse.
This may have been the letter to the Ephesians.
v. 17 And say to Archippus, “Take heed to the ministry,” etc.
This is a special message to this brother. He was a servant of the Lord.
He may have been slackening off in his work.
So Paul exhorts him to attend to the work that God had given him, and discharge it completely.
v. 18 Paul wrote this parting greeting.
I, Paul, add this greeting in my own handwriting.
Pray for me in my bonds. Grace be with you. Amen.
Paul ends each of his letters with a message about grace.
He was the apostle of grace.
We began our Christian life by grace, we are kept by grace, it is grace that will lead us home.