Answers for Colossians Chapter 4

Questions and Answers

1. What are the six commands Paul provides the Colossians in the first six verses? 

  • Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal - vs 1

  • Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving - vs 2

  • Pray also for us - vs 3

  • (Pray) That I may make it manifest - vs 4

  • Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time - vs 5

  • Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt - vs 6

2. Two of the commands include a purpose.

What would be the result if the commands were followed according to the purposes? 

The purpose is the futherance of the Gospel.

The results are in verses 3 and 6:

  • In verse 3 - that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ 

  • In verse 6 - that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man

Questions and Answers

1. What does it mean to have your conversation seasoned with salt? 

"Salt, among the Greeks, was the emblem of wit. Here the meaning seems to be, that our conversation should be seasoned with piety or grace in a way similar to that in which we employ salt in our food. It makes it wholesome and palatable. So with our conversation." Albert Barnes Notes on the Bible 

2. What's the focus of verses 3-6?

What's Paul telling the Colossians to do? 

The focus is on spreading the gospel.

He's telling them to pray for it and be ready to act on it.

Look at verse 3 - a prayer for an open door and verse 6 - that you may know how to answer every one. 

Questions and Answers

1. List the 11 people named in verses 7-17.

What are 5 different reasons they are mentioned? 

REASON #1 - Messengers are introduced:

- Tychicus in verse 7
- Onesimus in verse 9

REASON #2 - Some send greetings:

  • Aristarchus in verse 10
  • Mark in verse 10
  • Justus in verse 11
  • Epaphras in verse 12
  • Luke in verse 14
  • Demas in verse 14

REASON #3 - The Colossians are asked to welcome Barnabus if he comes to them - verse 10

REASON #4 - The Colossians are also asked to give greetings to Nympha - verse 15

REASON #5 - And the Colossians are asked to give a message to Archippus for Paul - verse 17

2. What do we learn of Tychicus from the following verses?

  • Acts 20:4 He was from the province of Asia

  • Ephesians 6:21 He was a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord

  • Colossians 4:7-8 He was a beloved brother, and a faithful minister and fellowservant in the Lord

  • Titus 3:12 He was sent to Ephesus (Ephesians 6:20), Colosea (Colossians 4:7), and Titus.

Questions and Answers

1. What do we learn of Onesimus from the Book of Philemon verses 10-17? 

Paul considered him:

  • a son
  • useful or profitable to himself and Philemon
  • his very heart or bowels
  • very dear to him

Paul exhorted Philemon to welcome and accept him back as a Christian brother and not just as a slave 

2. What do the following verses tell us about Aristarchus?

  • Colossians 4:10 He was a fellow prisoner with Paul
  • Acts 19:29 He was from Macedonia
  • Acts 20:4 He was one of Paul's traveling companions 
  • Acts 27:2 He was from Thessalonica (a town in Macedonia)

Questions and Answers

1. What do we learn of Mark, the cousin of Barnabas  from the following verses? 

  • Acts 12:11-12 His surname was Mark and he was also therefore known as John Mark

  • Acts 13:2-5 He accompanied Barnabus and Saul to Cyprus as a helper

  • Acts 13:13 He left or deserted Paul in Pamphylia

  • Acts 15:36-40 He departed with Barnabus to return to Cyprus, but Paul didn't want him to travel with them because he had deserted them previously

  • 2 Timothy 4:11 Paul tell Timothy to bring Mark with him to see Paul because he is profitable to Paul

  • 1 Peter 5:13 Peter regarded him as a son

After studying these verses, explain why Paul exhorts the Colossians to welcome Mark.

Paul exhorts the Colossians to welcome Mark because he had previously deserted him when he was in their region (Perga in Pamphylia). Obviously from this fourth chapter of Colossians (Colossians 4:10) and the later epistle of II Timothy (II Timothy 4:11), Mark has been restored. 

2. What is learned of Demas by studying II Timothy 4:9-11? 

Demas also deserted Paul, but he is not asked to join him as Paul asks for Mark in verse 11. Demas loved the world and that is why Paul says he departed the ministry. 

Questions and Answers

1. Some have supposed that Archippus was delinquent in his duties as a Christian leader because he is exhorted by Paul to complete the work he had received from the Lord in verse 4.

Others say he was simply being encouraged to persevere with all the heresy around him at Colossea.

From reading John 17:4, what would be the benefit to us from completing the work God has given us?

When we complete the work God gives us to do we bring glory on earth to the Lord God Almighty.

2. Why did Paul tell the Colossians to remember his chains and that he wrote the letter with his own hand?

John Gill's commentary provides an insight into why Paul may have asked the Colossians to remember his bonds or chains:

"Remember my bonds he says, partly that they might be animated to abide by the Gospel, for which, as he had told them before (Colossians 4:3) that he was in bonds; and partly to encourage them, by his example, patiently to endure what afflictions and persecutions soever they should meet with, for the sake of it; as also that they might be moved hereby, to remember him in their prayers, that, if it was the will of God, he might be released, and be yet further useful in preaching the Gospel; or however, that he might be supported in his bonds, and cheerfully bear them, and remain steadfast in his faith in Christ unto the end." John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

As far as Paul mentioning the salutation by his own hand, he probably had a scribe write the Epistle for him - he was in shackles no doubt and probably chained to a Roman guard as well - and then affixed his own signature to validate to the Colossians that it was he Paul writing to them.