Archive for January 15th, 2021

Colossians 4:3-6

In Colossians 4:3-6 Paul asks the Colossians to pray for them. Paul seemed to say, “As long as we are on the subject of prayer, please pray for us!” But Paul didn’t ask for prayer for his personal needs (which were many), but that God would open to us a door for the word. The focus is on his ministry and reaching people for Christ. “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.” Paul uses the illustration as an open door to describe the opportunity to share the gospel. He uses it in several other letters as well.

The message Paul wants to deliver is Christ, in spite of the fact that he was in prison because of that. Even though Paul was in chains in a Roman prison for his faithfulness to the gospel, he knew that he needed to speak it in a way that would make it clearly evident. Paul wanted prayer that he would continue to make the gospel clear to all who heard, even if it meant more chains. Paul’s desire is to have the Holy Spirit give him the words he needed to share Christ crucified. Robertson wrote “Wonderful as Paul’s preaching was to his hearers and seems to us, he was never satisfied with it. What preacher can be?”

Paul goes on to give some instruction on how we should live. “Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time.” The Christian life isn’t only lived in the prayer closet. There also must be practical, lived-out Christianity, which lives wisely toward those in our patch. How we speak has a lot to do with this. Paul also addresses the topic of time, encouraging us to use it wisely. The reality is that time in one of the most precious gifts God gives us, and also one that expires moment by moment. We need to be focused on using our time well, in how we live and relate to those around us. There are no do-overs with time. Once it is gone, it is gone forever!

Paul does give some direction on how we should speak to those around us. “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” Paul encourages us to speak with grace. Wright explained “The word ‘grace’ has, in Greek as in English, the possible double meaning of God’s grace and human graciousness.” Paul does want us to have a conversation flavored or seasoned with words that will cause the listener to be drawn in for more. We also need to know scripture so we can answer others with God’s truth, not our own interpretation of what is true. God cares both about the prayer closet and the public street, and He wants us to care about both also.

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