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BC Weekly Digest
Monday, March 2 1998

In this issue:

	Colossians 4:2
	Colossians 4:10,11
	Colossians 4:6
	Colossians 4:5,6
	Colossians 4:11
	Colossians 4:12,13
	Colossians 4:14
	Colossians 4:15-18
	Colossians 4:7-17

Colossians 4:2

4:2 "Continue steadfastly in prayer"
 Most of the great heroes of faith have been 
people who prayed for others. Job prayed for his 
three friends in spite of their accusations!
We often find Moses interceding for rebellious
Israelites. People of God pray for others, even
Jesus taught us to love our enemies and to pray 
for those who persecute us, so that we may be
sons of our Father who is in heaven (Matthew
 The apostle Paul, through inspiration exhorts:
"...that supplications, prayers, intercessions, 
thankgivings, be made for all men; for kings and
all that are in high place; that we may lead a
tranquil and quiet life in all godliness"...
(1 Timothy 2:1,2).
 Let us continue steadfastly in prayer for all
people that God's purpose and will may be done.
J.Lee Roberts 


Colossians 4:10,11

Colossians 4:10,11 (OPV)
10 [The following] send you greetings: Aristarchus, my 
fellow-prisoner, and Mark, the cousin of Barnabas (about 
whom you received instructions: welcome him if he comes 
to you),
11 and Jesus, called Justus. These are the only ones from 
among the circumcision who are my fellow-workers in the 
kingdom of God, men who have been a comfort to me.
4:10 "Aristarchus, my fellow-prisoner"
  This was not the only time Aristarchus shared Paul's 
persecutions. Aristarchus and Gaius were seized by the 
riotous crowd at Ephesus during Paul's third missionary 
journey. They are called "men of Macedonia, Paul's 
companions in travel" (Acts 19:29). Aristarchus was among
those who accompanied Paul from Greece to Asia (Acts 20:4).
Here it is further specified that Aristarchus was from 
Thessalonica. (Tychicus was also in this group, as was 
already mentioned.)
  After Paul goes to Jerusalem and is imprisoned for more 
than two years, we find Aristarchus accompanying him again
as he is sent to Rome (Acts 27:2). Here Aristarchus is 
called "a Macedonian of Thessalonica." Aristarchus is also
mentioned as giving greetings at the close of Paul's letter
to Philemon (verse 24).
  Once again, although we know very little about him, we 
know that Aristarchus was a faithful servant of Christ who
was willing to face dangers as he traveled about with Paul
preaching the good news of salvation through Christ.
4:10 "Mark, the cousin of Barnabas"
  Mary, Mark's mother, lived in Jerusalem, and a group of
Christians were gathered at her house praying when Peter 
was released from prison (Acts 12:12). Barnabas and Saul 
took John Mark with them when they returned to Antioch from
Jerusalem (Acts 12:25). Mark had gone with Barnabas and 
Paul on the first missionary journey. But after they passed
through Cyprus, Mark returned to Jerusalem from Pamphylia,
rather then continuing with them on the rest of their 
journey. For this reason, Paul did not want to take Mark 
along on the second journey, so he and Barnabas went to 
different areas, with Barnabas taking Mark to Cyprus where
he had been along on the first trip (Acts 15:37-41).
  The island had a large Jewish population and Barnabas was
a native of Cyprus (Acts 4:36). Since he was Mark's cousin,
Mark's family may have originated there as well.
  Peter mentions Mark in his first letter, calling him
"Mark, my son," which indicates, if not that Mark had 
become a believer through Peter's influence, at least that
they had a close "father-son like" relationship (1 Peter 
  Mark was able to regain Paul's confidence. Now, some ten
years after Paul had not wanted to take Mark along, we find
him working closely with Paul once more (see Philemon 24 
also) and continuing to do so for many years (2 Tim 4:11).
  Mark wrote the Gospel which bears his name, a masterpiece
of dynamic brevity. Three men present when Colossians was 
written, Paul, Mark and Luke, would be among the most 
influential writers in the history of the world. A casual 
observer at the time probably would have scoffed at the 
idea! Among them, through the inspiration of the Holy 
Spirit, they penned two thirds of the New Testament.
4:11 "Jesus, called Justus"
  "Jesus" was a common name at the time. It is the Greek
form of the Hebrew "Joshua" which means "Jehovah saves."
We know nothing else about this Jewish Christian.
4:11 "The only ones from among the circumcision who are 
my fellow-workers"
  Although Paul was a Jew, since God had chosen him to be
the apostle to the Gentiles (Acts 9:15; Gal 1:16; 2:9; 
Eph 3:8), it is understandable that many of his fellow 
workers would be of other nations. These fellow Jews, who
were also preaching among the nations, were a source of 
comfort to Paul.
Roy Davison


Colossians 4:6

4:6 "Always let your speech be with grace..."
 Would you rather beat someone in a scriptural
argument, or lead someone to a loving
 I was once called before a director for repeating
information that did him harm. The report I
repeated was wrong - and I was wrong for
repeating it and for not checking first with the
director (please read Matthew 18:15).
 It was a humiliating lesson, learned the hard
way, but so very beneficial to my spiritual
growth!! How I have tried since to let my speech
always be with the grace of Jesus!
 These scriptures have really been helpful:
1) Ephesians 4:15,16. I want to always speak
the truth in love and to grow in every way like
Christ - that as a working part of His body, the 
church, I may help it to be built up in love.
2) Ephesians 4:29. I continually ask God's help
that what I do say will edify and give grace to
those who hear.
J.Lee Roberts


Colossians 4:5,6

Colossians 4:5,6 (OPV)
5 Walk in wisdom in the presence of outsiders, making full
use of the time.
6 Always let your speech be with grace, seasoned with salt,
that you may know how you ought to answer each one.
There are so many verses in Colossians which are like those
in Ephesians.  Verse 6, above, particularly reminds me of
Eph. 4:29-32.  The following is from the American Standard

  "Let no corrupt speech proceed out of your mouth,
but such as is good for edifying as the need may be, that it
may give grace to them that hear.  And grieve not the Holy
Spirit of God, in whom ye were sealed unto the day of
redemption.  Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and
clamor, and railing, be put away from you, with all malice:
and be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving each
other, even as God also in Christ forgave you."

	This passage may be easy enough to understand, but
it is more difficult to enact in our lives.  So many
families and churches have been harmed or destroyed because
some have not learned this important lesson.  Oh, how much
better and happier our lives will be when we all follow this

	Christians must not compromise the truth by
accepting or condoning error, but they surely must be kind,
tender-hearted and forgiving to please the God of our

David Arnold


Colossians 4:11

1) "fellow workers IN THE kingdom of God"  --  WHAT IS THIS SAYING ABOUT THE
2) "in" is translated from "eis" (ice) which is normally translated as "for"
or "unto" which indicates a purpose
3) "the" is precise in contrast to "a" which is general
4) Keep in mind that God directed Paul to write, to be this precise. (2 Tim.
5) For what purpose?  For what were Paul and his fellow workers laboring?
Laboring for the body, the church in which Christ is supreme.  Quality life
is found only in Jesus, doing all in his name.  (Found in Colossian letter.)
6) God is true.  His Word is true.  No conflict.  No dishonesty.
7) Paul and his fellow laborers were working for the body of Christ which is
the church which is the kingdom of God.  They worked together for the same
8) The church was in existence.  The kingdom of God was in existence.  The
church is in existence.  The kingdom of God is in existence.  (Cf. Mark 9:1
or we have some old people running around!)
Grover W. Hastings


Colossians 4:12,13

Colossians 4:12,13 (OPV)
12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a slave of Christ Jesus, 
greets you, always striving for you in his prayers, that 
you may stand complete and fully assured in all the will 
of God. 
13 For I testify about him, that he is making a great 
effort for you, and for those in Laodicea, and for those 
in Hierapolis.
4:12 "Epaphras"
  In chapter 1, verse 7, we learned that the Colossians had
heard the gospel from Epaphras, and that he had told Paul 
about the brethren at Colossae.
  In Paul's letter to Philemon, he calls Epaphras his 
fellow-prisoner (Philemon 23). If the two letters were 
written at the same time as some suggest, that would mean 
Epaphras was also in prison with Paul when Colossians was 
written, though it is somewhat strange that Paul doesn't 
mention this. Of course, Tychicus was to give more details
in person about their situation, so it would not have to be
mentioned. But it is also possible that Philemon had been 
written some earlier, and that in the meantime Onesimus had
returned to help or to visit Paul.
4:12 "A slave of Christ Jesus"
  Although this is 'hidden' in many English translations
which for some reason seem to want to avoid the word 
'slave' and incorrectly translate it as 'servant,' the
Christians in the New Testament regularly referred to 
themselves as 'slaves' of Jesus Christ and of God. This is
done by Paul (Rom 1:1; Titus 1:1), James (James 1:1), 
Peter (2 Peter 1:1) and Jude (Jude 1).
  They considered it a privilege to be the slave of 
such a great Master. Do we think of ourselves as God's 
slaves? Or does the idea make us feel uncomfortable? That
doesn't leave much room for being in charge of our OWN
lives does it? 
  Yet, Christ has indeed purchased us. "Or know ye not that
your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, 
which ye have from God? and ye are not your own; for ye 
were bought with a price: glorify God therefore in your 
body" (1 Cor 6:19,20 ASV. See also 1 Cor 7:22,23). 
  Peter said that false teachers would arise among 
Christians "denying even the Master that bought them" 
(2 Peter 2:1).
  Jesus paid a very high price for us. "Pass the time of
your sojourning in fear: knowing that ye were redeemed,
not with corruptible things, with silver or gold, from 
your vain manner of life handed down from your fathers; 
but with precious blood, as of a lamb without spot, [even 
the blood] of Christ" (1 Pet 1:17b-19 ASV).
4:12 "Always striving for you in his prayers"
  Epaphras prayed fervently for the Colossians. The idea
of 'striving in prayer' goes back to the time of Jacob.
When Jacob returned to his homeland we read this marvelous
account: "And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a 
man with him until the breaking of the day. And when he saw
that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of
his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob's thigh was strained, as
he wrestled with him. And he said, Let me go, for the day 
breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou
bless me. And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he 
said, Jacob. And he said, Thy name shall be called no more
Jacob, but Israel: for thou hast striven with God and with
men, and hast prevailed. And Jacob asked him, and said, 
Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is 
it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him 
there. And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for,
[said he], I have seen God face to face, and my life is 
preserved" (Gene 32:24 ASV).
  As you read this, many puzzling questions probably come
to your mind. But do not allow your questions to distract 
you from the wonderful and clear message. In our wrestling
with God (and all the great men of faith in the Scriptures
'wrestled' with God), He allows us to prevail if we are 
persistent! How many of you fathers ever wrestled with your
young children? And who won? Also see the story of the 
unjust judge told by Jesus to His disciples "to the end 
that they ought always to pray and not to faint" 
(Luke 18:1-8).
4:12 "That you may stand complete and fully assured in all
the will of God"
  The prayer of Epaphras shows his own spiritual depth and
understanding. So often we do not pray for the things that
are really important. Epaphras wanted the Colossians to
be whole, to stand firm and to have confidence in all the
will of God. To the extent that this prayer was realized,
nothing else really mattered.
4:13 "He is making a great effort for you, and for those 
in Laodicea, and for those in Hierapolis"
  This no doubt includes the prayers of Epaphras on their
behalf. But it may also refer to more. From various things
mentioned in the New Testament it is clear that churches
often sent one of their own members to take financial help
to Paul and also to stay and work with him on their behalf.
Thus it is also possible that this refers to the work 
Epaphras was doing on their behalf and with their support.
  Maybe the word of God would spread faster today if 
churches would unchain the preacher they support from the
pulpit and send him into the mission field for a few years.
Many congregations have a dozen or more capable speakers
who could 'do the preaching' in the pulpit while he was
Roy Davison


Colossians 4:14

Colossians 4:14 (OPV)
14 Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas send you 
4:14 "Luke"
  Luke was with Paul when he wrote this letter, and also 
when he wrote to Philemon (verse 24). Since Paul does not 
include him among those "from among the circumcision" 
(verse 11) we know that Luke was not a Jew. He was also 
with Paul later, when he wrote Second Timothy (2 Tim 4:11).
  In addition to these brief specific references, there is
no reason to doubt that Luke was the writer of one of the 
Gospels and the book of Acts, although the author's name is
not stated in the text.
  By noticing when Luke changes from 'they' to 'we' in Acts
we can deduce that he traveled with Paul from Troas to 
Macedonia. "They came down to Troas" (Acts 16:8). "We 
sought to go to Macedonia" (Acts 16:10).
  When Paul went to the riverside at Philippi, Luke says: 
"We spoke with the women assembled there" (Acts 16:13). 
  When Paul leaves Philippi, the narrative changes to 
'they' (Acts 16:40) and does not return to 'we' until about
seven years later when Paul is leaving Philippi to go to 
Troas (Acts 20:5,6). Then 'we' is used until they arrive at
Jerusalem and go to see James (Acts 21:18).
  The account of Paul's arrest and two-year imprisonment 
centers on Paul, so it is not possible to know whether Luke
was with Paul during this entire period. When Paul sets 
sail for Rome, however, "we" is used again (Acts 27:1) and
the first person is used until they arrive at Rome (Acts 
28:16). It is not possible to know how long Luke stayed at
  The above indicates that Luke worked closely with Paul 
for many years.
4:14 "Demas"
  Demas was also among those who sent greetings in Paul's
letter to Philemon (verse 24). Later, in Second Timothy, 
Paul gives this sad report: "Give diligence to come shortly
unto me: for Demas forsook me, having loved this present 
world" (2 Tim 4:9,10a ASV).
  Earlier, Paul had told Timothy: "Suffer hardship with 
[me], as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier on 
service entangleth himself in the affairs of [this] life;
that he may please him who enrolled him as a soldier" 
(2 Tim 2:3,4 ASV).
Roy Davison


Colossians 4:15-18

Colossians 4:15-18 (OPV)
15 Greet the brethren who are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and
the church that is in their house.
16 And when this letter has been read aloud among you, be 
sure that it is also read aloud in the church of the 
Laodiceans, and that you also read the one from Laodicea.
17 And say to Archippus: See that you fulfill the ministry 
which you have received in the Lord. 
18 By my hand, the greeting of Paul. Remember my 
imprisonment. Grace be with you.
4:15 "Nymphas"
  This is the only mention of Nymphas. It is not certain
whether this is a man or a woman since some manuscripts 
have the masculine and some the feminine form of the name.
4:15 "The church that is in their house"
  As in parts of the world today where the church is small,
many congregations in New Testament times met in homes. 
  Also during periods of persecution, Christians often meet
in homes to avoid danger.
  When a congregation departs from the word of God and 
introduces false doctrine and unscriptural practices, it 
can be necessary for a few who remain faithful to meet in 
homes until their number increases again.
  Jesus has promised: "For where two or three are gathered
together in my name, there am I in the midst of them" (Matt
4:16 "When this letter has been read aloud"
  In the gatherings of early Christians, large portions of
Scripture were often read aloud. How much Scripture is read
aloud in gatherings and how much is included in sermons, 
reveals the importance that is placed on the word of God.
  My parents once visited a congregation when traveling and
had some difficulty finding the building. My father 
mentioned to the teacher after the Bible class that not a 
single passage of Scripture had been read. The teacher 
replied: "You were five minutes late. You missed the Bible
4:16 "That you also read the one from Laodicea"
  In the Old Testament certain writings of prophets are 
mentioned that the Holy Spirit did not preserve for 
posterity. This is evidently also true of this letter.
  Some suggest that he might be referring to the letter to
the Ephesians (which is similar to Colossians and was 
written about the same time) of which the Laodiceans had
received a copy. But there is no real evidence for this.
Some are incorrectly bothered by the idea that Paul could
have written letters that were not preserved.
  At a much later time, when John was on the Isle of 
Patmos, he was instructed by the Lord to send a letter to
the church at Laodicea (Rev 3:14-22) in which He said they
were 'neither hot nor cold' and were depending on their 
material riches without realizing they were in the depths
of spiritual poverty.
4:17 "Archippus"
  Paul's letter to Philemon is co-addressed to Archippus: 
"Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother,
to Philemon our beloved and fellow-worker, and to Apphia 
our sister, and to Archippus our fellow-soldier, and to the
church in thy house" (Philemon 1,2 ASV).
  Since Paul asks that a message be passed on to Archippus,
he evidently did not expect him to be there when the letter
was read, possibly because he lived at some other city in 
the area, or because Paul knew he would be away.
4:17 "See that you fulfill the ministry which you have 
received in the Lord"
  This may refer to his appointment as an evangelist, since
Paul uses similar language regarding Timothy: "But be thou
sober in all things, suffer hardship, do the work of an 
evangelist, fulfill thy ministry" (2 Tim 4:5 ASV). 
4:18 "By my hand, the greeting of Paul"
  Paul's letters were often transcribed by someone else 
(Rom 16:22). He would place a greeting in his own hand at 
the end, however, so they would know the letter was genuine
(See 1 Cor 16:21; Gal 6:11; 2 Thes 3:17). False epistles 
had evidently been circulated in his name (2 Thes 2:1,2).
4:18 "Remember my imprisonment"
  A similar admonition was sent to the Hebrews: "Remember 
them that are in bonds, as bound with them; them that are 
ill-treated, as being yourselves also in the body" 
(Heb 13:3 ASV).
  When we suffer hardship it is always encouraging to know
that others are thinking about us and praying for us.
4:18 "Grace be with you"
  This was a favorite benediction of Paul's (1 Tim 6:21; 
2 Tim 4:22; Tit 3:15 and Heb 13:25, if Paul wrote Hebrews.)
  Paul was always conscious of God's grace in his own life
because he had persecuted the church: "For I am the least 
of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle,
because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of
God I am what I am" (1 Cor 15:9,10a ASV).
  Paul wanted to see God's grace extended to others and he
worked tirelessly to that end. He wanted all men to know 
about the salvation God offers through the sacrifice of
Jesus Christ.
Roy Davison


Colossians 4:7-17

 Here in chapter four we see that Paul practiced 
the instructions he had given Timothy:"And the 
things which thou hast heard from me...,the same
commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to
teach others also"(2 Timothy 2:2).
 He lists ten of his fellow workers united in building 
up the kingdom and encouraging others in doing
the same. 
 Under the new covenant every christian is
commissioned to service as priest and ambassador
to present the Lord's message of grace and 
reconcilation (1 Peter 2:5-9; 2 Corinthians 5:18-21).
 Will we refuse to take heed to our own individual
ministry to fulfill it?
J.Lee Roberts


Colossians 4:15-18

4:17 Archippus.
  Many excuses are given for not fulfilling 
one's ministry.  Some of the common ones
are that one is too young or too old, not
educated or ashamed because of past sins
even though they are forgiven.
  Archippus may have given up his work in
order to "let someone else" do their part.  
  Remember, beloved friend, that you have a 
ministry whether it be preaching, writing, 
visiting the sick or just encouraging others.
The message to you (sent indirectly to brother
Archippus) is:  Don't give up--fulfill your 
Charles Hess