Week 14: Colossians 4:7-18
Faith in Jesus Christ transforms us. God brings us out of the domain of darkness and places us in the kingdom of his Son whom he loves. In Christ, God is putting everything right again - bringing everything back into an appropriate relationship with himself. This reconciling of all things happens through Jesus and because of Jesus so that he can be first in everything. When we choose to follow Christ, he gives us a new purpose. We are called to put Jesus on display for the benefit of others. By walking with Christ each day, we become rooted and built up in him, established in our faith. Believing the truth of the gospel protects us from false teaching and impacts every area of our lives. In light of our new identity, we take off the old self and put on the new self, dressing ourselves in the character of Christ. This ongoing transformation brings everything in our life under the Lordship of Jesus. Everything we say, everything we do, every relationship we have, all of it takes on new meaning and importance as we let Christ work in us and through us.
This week we conclude our series in the book of Colossians. Paul finishes this letter by writing about a number of individuals who partnered with him in ministry. His words give us insight into how our faith in Christ and being on mission for Christ can foster deep, godly friendships. This life of transformation in Jesus was not meant to be lived on our own. God has called us to grow and serve him in community with others. And this kind of community thrives on mission, crosses social barriers, forgives failures, and cares for others from the heart.
What qualities make someone a good friend?
Getting into the Text:
1. (Colossians 4:7-17) Paul refers by name to different friends and partners in ministry. For each of the following people, identify what Paul values about his relationship with them and describe the role they had in the ministry.
Tychicus (see also Ephesians 6:21-22) Onesimus (see also Philemon 10-18)
Aristarchus (see also Acts 19:28-29 and 27:1-2) Justus
Mark (see also Acts 15:36-40 and 2 Timothy 4:11) Luke
Epaphras (see also Colossians 1:7-8) Nympha
Archippus (see also Philemon 1-2)
2. What united all of these different people with Paul? Where do you see evidence of crossing social barriers, forgiveness, and heart-felt caring in these relationships?
1. Has your experience of Christian community been anything like the network of relationships Paul describes at the end of this letter to the Colossians? What aspects of your friendships do you thank God for? How might the Lord want to do some transforming work when it comes to your friendships?
2. Looking back over our whole study in the book of Colossians, what one or two things do you hope to give attention to as you continue to live out the transformed life in Christ?