Colossians 4

4:1 Masters [Christian slave owners], provide your slaves with what is right and fair, because you [slave owners] know that you also have a Master in heaven.

4:2 Devote [to be persistent; cf. Lk. 18:1; 1 Thess. 5:17] yourselves to prayer, being watchful [watch for God’s answers; be vigilant in devotion] and thankful.

4:3 And pray for us, too, that God may open a door [open door of reception to the message] for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery [the gospel being made available to the Gentiles] of Christ, for which I am in chains.

4:4 Pray that I may proclaim it clearly [we must seek to communicate the gospel clearly and effectively], as I should [speaks of a divinely-ordained necessity; cf. Rom. 1:14].

4:5 Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders [unbelievers]; make the most of every opportunity [literally “redeeming the time” which means “to go to market and make a purchase”; just as a buyer seizes a bargain when he finds one, so too must the Christian seize an opportunity with an outsider; coveys a sense of urgency].

4:6 Let your conversation be always full of grace [when Jesus began his public ministry, people were “wondering at the gracious words which were falling form his lips” (Lk. 4:22); we must be like Jesus in our speech with others], seasoned with salt [salt makes people thirsty; our kind and encouraging words should make outsiders thirst for the things of God; our seasoned speech should make the non-Christian thirst for the answer that is found only in Christ], so that you may know how to answer everyone [our speech must be appropriate for both the opportunity and the person].

4:7 Tychicus [trusted co-worker and colleague of Paul; also mentioned in Acts 20:4; Eph. 6:21; 2 Tim. 4:12; Titus 3:12] will tell you all the news about me. He is a dear brother, a faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord.

4:8 I am sending him to you for the express purpose that you may know about our circumstances and that he may encourage your hearts.

4:9 He is coming with Onesimus [Philemon’s runaway slave], our faithful and dear brother [Onesimus was a part of the Colossian community of believers], who is one of you. They will tell you everything that is happening here.

4:10 My fellow prisoner Aristarchus sends you his greetings, as does Mark, the cousin of Barnabas. (You have received instructions about him; if he comes to you, welcome him.)

4:11 Jesus, who is called Justus, also sends greetings. These are the only Jews among my fellow workers for the kingdom of God, and they have proved a comfort to me.

4:12 Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured.

4:13 I vouch for him that he is working hard for you and for those at Laodicea and Hierapolis.

4:14 Our dear friend Luke, the doctor, and Demas send greetings.

4:15 Give my greetings to the brothers at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house.

4:16 After this letter has been read to you, see that it is also read in the church of the Laodiceans and that you in turn read the letter from Laodicea.

4:17 Tell Archippus: “See to it that you complete the work you have received in the Lord.”

4:18 I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you.

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