This week we will learn how to walk in Christ. We will be looking at the heavenly focus (1-4), how to live a holy life (5-17), and living the Christian life in all relationships (18-4:1). We will be encouraged and challenged as we study Colossians 3.
PRACTICAL LIVING FOR BELIEVERS IN JESUS CHRIST
And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. (3:17)
Paul taught the Colossians about Jesus, then about the believers being complete in Jesus and why, now he has explained how to live holy lives. So his next logical step is to teach about relationships concerning wives, husbands, children, fathers, servants, and masters. He makes the point that each of these relationships is contingent on their relationship to God. Chapter 3, verses 18 through Chapter4, verse 1, explains.
Living the Christian life in all relationships (18-25, 4:1)
18 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them. 20 Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. 21 Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged. 22 Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eye service, as men pleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God; 23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; 24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. 25 But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons. Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven.
Verse 18: Wifely submission cannot be forced; it must come from her own free will. As it is fit in the Lord means the wife’s submission to her husband is proper in her relationship with Christ; submission rendered to her husband is submission rendered to Christ.
Verse 19: Ephesians 5:25 explains the duty of the husband is to love his wife. The Greek word for love is agapao, the same affection with which “God so loved the world” (John 3:16). This type of love is a willing and sacrificial giving of oneself for the benefit of another, without thought of return. Be not bitter against them might be translated, “Do not be harsh toward them.” The husband who loves his wife will not be rude, unkind, or cruel toward her. This implies that wifely submission is gained in part by the husband’s love.
Verse 20: Obedience to parental authority is pleasing to the Lord in the child’s relationship to Him. The obedience given to parents is obedience given to Christ.
Verse 21: Fathers can provoke their children to anger by injustice, loss of temper, undo severity, cruelty, favoritism, suppression, sarcasm, ridicule, and misuse and abuse of authority.
Verse 22-25: Eyeservice is work done only when the master is watching. Christian slaves were to work hard even when the owners were absent. Singleness of heart means a sincere disposition. Do it heartily means the slave is to perform his slave duties wholeheartedly, doing the best job he can with all his strength. A slave could be enthusiastic in carrying out his menial tasks because they were done, not so much for his earthly master (unto men), but for his heavenly Master (to the Lord).
Verse 1, Chapter 4: The reason earthly masters should give their servants that which is just and equal is that the masters themselves also have a Master in heaven. As they want Him to be just and fair with them, so they must be towards their servants.
- SEEK THOSE THINGS ABOVE
- LIVE HOLY LIVES PLEASING TO GOD
- DWELL IN UNITY WITH FELLOW BELIEVERS
Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain, 907 715-4001