Summary: To be holy is to be His. His church is made up of those who are His. Within any Christian church, we will find examples of faithfulness, fellowship, forgiveness and friendship.
As you may know, I am not a movie-watcher. I get too fidgety before the movie is over. Maybe I’m ADD or something; I don’t know. But there is a handful of movies I have enjoyed. My favorite movie is Dunston Checks In. I want to play a clip from that movie for you this morning.
(PLAY CLIP OF FINAL CHAPTER OF DVD – SHOWING THE CREDITS FOR THE MOVIE)
The Plot is a little thin and the characters are not well developed in this clip, are they? I took the time to count and there are 278 names that appear as the credits roll at the end of this movie. Does anyone actually read this stuff? This is a little better than some that scroll at warp-speed so that no normal person could read the names if he wanted to. But again, what normal person would want to read the names at the end of a movie?
When you get to the end of one of Paul’s epistles, does it not seem a bit like watching the credits at the end of a movie? Nobody actually reads that stuff either, do they? But perhaps we should because they introduce us to people who were significant in the life of the first century church. If we look at the significant characters, we may find significant characteristics.
In Colossians 4:2-18, Paul wrote these words:
2 Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. 3 And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. 4 Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. 5 Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. 6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
7 Tychicus will tell you all the news about me. He is a dear brother, a faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. 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. 9 He is coming with Onesimus, our faithful and dear brother, who is one of you. They will tell you everything that is happening here.
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.) 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. 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. 13 I vouch for him that he is working hard for you and for those at Laodicea and Hierapolis. 14 Our dear friend Luke, the doctor, and Demas send greetings. 15 Give my greetings to the brothers at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house.
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.
17 Tell Archippus: “See to it that you complete the work you have received in the Lord.”
18 I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you.
If the Christian church at Colosse is in any way typical of other churches, we can learn a lot about the Lord’s church from Colossians 4:7-18. Within the lines of those verses, we learn that within any Christian church, we will find examples of faithfulness, fellowship, forgiveness and friendship. May I point out some examples from the credits at the end of the letter?
First, there are examples of faithfulness. Among those are people who had labored alongside Paul and who had proven themselves to be faithful in service.
§ Note the name of Tychicus. Paul said of him that he was “a dear brother, a faithful minister and a fellow servant in the Lord.” The name of Tychicus appears five times in Scripture: once in the book of Acts and once each in Paul’s epistle to the Ephesians, his letter to Titus, his second letter to Timothy and this epistle to the Colossians. In each case, when Paul mentions Tychicus, Tychicus is working, serving, laboring with Paul and for the Lord.
Don’t you know some “Tychicuses” around here? Some people that every time you see them, hear about them or think of them, it is in the context of faithful service? Every church has a few and every church wants more.