Lesson 11: Making a Difference (Colossians 4:2-18)
Day One Study
1. Read Colossians 4:2-18. Anything in particular interesting to you in this passage?
2. Remembering the rest of the letter you have already studied, why do you think Paul tells the Colossians to be devoted to prayer, keeping watchful or alert?
Focus on the Meaning: In prayer we call on God to work, and we express our faith in Him…The Christian who does not pray is demonstrating independence from God (cf. John 15:5)…The accompanying exhortation to ‘keep awake, be on the alert’ (gregoreo) is drawn from the imagery of guard duty (Nehemiah 7:3; Mark 14:34, 37). (Constable’s Notes on Colossians, p. 50)
3. Read verse 2 again. What is to be our “attitude” in prayer?
· How do you think your attitude can make a difference in your prayer life?
· Relate this to what you learned in Colossians 3:15-17.
Scriptural Insight: The repeated emphasis on thanksgiving makes this epistle one of the most “thankful” books in the New Testament (cf. 1:3, 12; 2:7; 3:17; 4:2). (Constable’s Notes on Colossians, p. 50)
4. Staying Healthy: Is there something that you are praying for today? How can you have an attitude of thanksgiving? List at least three things for which you can be thankful in your circumstance/situation.
5. For what two things does Paul ask in Colossians 4:3?
6. Why is it so important for Paul, and us, to be able to proclaim the gospel clearly? See also Ephesians 6:19-20 and 2 Timothy 4:2-3.
7. How can we be “wise” toward unbelievers (“outsiders”)?
· Ephesians 5:3-20—
· 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12—
· 1 Peter 2:13-17—
8. What do you think Paul means when he says we should make the most of every opportunity (literally, “buy up the time”)?
9. What does it mean to have your conversation be full of grace, in a sense “seasoned with salt?” Examine what is said in Colossians 3:12-17 and Ephesians 4:29, 30 to derive your answer.
Focus on the Meaning: “Speech most effectively expresses what is inside the believer. The Christian’s speech should mirror the gracious character and conduct of his or her God by demonstrating love, patience, sacrifice, undeserved favor, etc. Salt probably represented both attractiveness, since salt makes food appealing, and wholesomeness, since salt was a preservative that retarded corruption in food…one should wisely suit his or her speech to each need.” (Constable’s Notes on Colossians, p. 51)
10. Why would you want to watch your words?
11. Staying Healthy: Does your speech mirror the gracious character and conduct of your Lord? Ask your Lord to reveal to you speech that doesn’t mirror Him and trust Him to help you replace it with grace-filled speech.
12. Staying Healthy: Are you praying daily for an open door in which to share the gospel with someone? If someone asked you what the “gospel” or the “Good News” is, would you be able to tell them?
· Write down simply the content of the Gospel message that you would need to communicate to win someone to Christ, including verses. For help, see 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 and Romans 10:9-10.
· What skills or information do you need to sharpen up?
Day Two Study
13. Read Colossians 4:2-18. Looking specifically at vv. 7-18, view these names as representing real people with real functions in their world. Beside each name, give Paul’s comments about the person and their function in the church / ministry. Follow cross-references to see what else is mentioned about them. Add information from online Bible study websites such as . Use all this information to “draw” yourself a word picture about who they were. You will be, after all, be seeing them in heaven. They will likely know your name and story so you should know theirs!
· Jesus Justus—
· Laodicean brothers—
14. In this passage, we see one of the ways women were very important to the establishment of the early church. See also Romans 16:3-5 and 1 Corinthians 16:19. What do you think Nympha’s (and Priscilla’s) ministry involved for her?
15. Staying Healthy: Your home is one of your most valuable assets for ministry. Is your home used in any way for the Lord? If not, why not? What is holding you back?
16. How did Paul conclude this beautiful letter?
Jesus Christ is above all powers and authorities, in all believers, and is all we need for earth and heaven!!