Summary: Paul speaks directly to the believers in how they should be acting in public.

Colossians 4:1-6 [NLT]

February 13, 2013

Oak Park Baptist Church – Wed Bible Study Series

Colossians Bible Study

Paul’s teaches on how Christians should pray and interact with others:

In ch1-2 Paul was all about exalting Christ and the sufficiency of Christ for salvation and for walking and living out our faith!

We learned last week that ch3 is not Paul’s support of HIS list of things over the false teacher’s list of things…but it is a list of what one’s life IN CHRIST should look like or reflect… not a list of things to DO but a list of things that should BE!

Tonight we begin ch4 and the home stretch in the book of Colossians. As we begin ch4 we see Paul continuing in his teaching on what the life of a believer should look like and what the world should see from one who is IN CHRIST!

We have been chosen by God and saved and God has called us to lay aside the sinful attitudes and acts of our old nature and has called us to dress ourselves with the Christ-like clothing called heartfelt compassion, humility, kindness, gentleness, patience, and forgiveness of one another! But Paul teaches us that the ONE most important aspect for one who is IN CHRIST is that we LOVE as Christ loved.

Paul calls for our lives to be a message to the world… that the world see us living FOR Christ and that our lives would speak volumes about Jesus! In fact in 3:16 Paul urges that our lives reflect the Messiah… he says let Messiah dwell richly among you! In other words, let Him shine forth in His love and reflecting His grace, mercy and forgiveness… OUR LIVES must reflect Christ!

Tonight we begin ch4 and it continues where we left off in ch3 last week. We had spoken about servants and how they were called to be submissive to their masters and work for their masters NO MATTER how their masters had acted!

Paul told the servants to work as if they were working for Jesus… that is because when we are IN CHRIST we ARE working for Jesus, in whatever we do…so tonight we see how Paul addresses the other side of this issue as he speaks directly to the masters…

In v1 Paul states very clearly:

1Masters, treat your bondservants justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.

Paul turns the tables on the masters. I am sure that there were many masters who agreed with Paul about the servants obeying their masters, but they were not expecting THIS! In fact, this subject was hardly EVER addressed!

Who told a master how to treat his own possession? Who had the authority to tell a master how to treat his slave? Paul had taught that ALL who are IN CHRIST were equal under the sight of God…

God shows NO favorites! SO… masters living right and showing the love, mercy and grace of the Savior applies to YOU TOO!

So he says, treat them fairly and justly… Now I want us to ONCE again realize to whom this letter was intended! Was Paul speaking to slave owners NOT in the church? NO! Paul’s letter was addressed to the fellowship in Colossae, not to those businessmen OUTSIDE of the church!

This means that within the church at Colossae that there were those who were servants or slaves and then there were those who owned servants or slaves! Here in v1 Paul is speaking to this last group! He was speaking to slave owners within the fellowship!

What Paul says to these slave owners does not sound terribly forceful, but let’s look at his words again:

1Masters, treat your bondservants justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.

The word that is translated as ‘treat’ or many translations have it translated as ‘supply’ or ‘give’… it is the Greek word pah-reck’-oh which basically means to be the source of… or to cause to happen…

When we look at what Paul is saying here he was instructing these slave owners to become the source of what is right and fair to those servants under their charge!

In other words, you MUST live out your faith by being the cause of what is fair and just with those who work for you… you are NOT to be a source of pain or suffering, but a source of goodness and fairness…

This was NOT the norm in the society Paul lived in… the master was the FORCE… the master was the BOSS… and he could do as he pleased. Usually this meant treating people ANYWAY he pleased to suit himself or profit for himself! And usually this was NOT good news for the servants… who would be abused.

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