Bible Study Notes on Colossians from Colin Wall (4)
Colossians Chapter 3 v 18 to the end of Chapter 4
The last part of Chapter 3 deals with Christian relationships. Paul is consistent in his teaching on rules for Christian families as he also explains them in his letter to the Ephesian church (Read Ephesians Chapter 5 v 22 to Chapter 6 v 9).
To readers today within our culture and society which promotes equality, these rules may seem inappropriate and alien. Some critics find these rules disparaging and no attempt should be made to transfer them to our modern world. However, we need to realise that they were written in the context of the society in which Paul lived at the time. Whatever ones opinion about whether to apply the rules strictly or not, they provide some important guidance for how Christian families and all families should live.
The relationship between a husband and wife should be based on two sided submission, putting the other first in their relationship. Their love or one another should be seen in action as well as in words. Respect and love should be at the heart of this relationship. There are rights and duties in the relationship between parents and children too. Children are to do what their parents ask and parents should not be overbearing but be considerate and respectful of the feeling and wishes of their children.
Do you think that such ideals as Paul expresses are realistic or too challenging in family life today? What does Paul say in verses 23 and 24 which can help families become more harmonious?
Respect and commitment are also stressed by Paul in relationships between slaves and masters. This has resonance today in relationships between those in and under authority. How do you think Paul’s teaching could apply to work relationships?
In Chapter 4 v 1-6 Paul talks about the relationship between the Christian and the outsider.
Verses 2-4 - Speaking to God about people
Verses 5-6 – Speaking to people about God
Effective evangelism begins with persevering prayer. Paul states that we must pray for opportunities to preaching the gospel. Do you prayer for such opportunities each day? What do you think it means when Paul says …. ‘let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt’?
In the final section, Paul gives final greetings and instructions. Such sections are so easy to be read over quickly. However, they are so encouraging. Read verses 7 to 18 to see the way the church was growing and how faithful Christians were playing their part in building up the church and being faithful disciples of Jesus Christ. Let us follow their example in serving Christ in our lives each and every day.