Colossians 4:7-18 Fulfilling The Will Of God.

In this list of Paul’s friends he marks out what made them his friends-what characterized their persons and behaviour. What he said about Tychicus was threefold-“a beloved brother, faithful minister, and fellow servant in the Lord” (v. 7a Cf. Eph. 6:22; II Tim. 4:11-12). It was for this reason that Paul entrusted him with the task of informing them of all the news surrounding Paul’s work, and to comfort them (vv. 7b, 8b). This was also why he was sending him to find out about the Colossians (v. 8a). Onesimus was also “a faithful and beloved brother,” he seems to have been from Colosse, but he seems to have been a member of the laity and not a fellow minister (v. 9 Cf. Philemon 10). Paul also sent his greetings from others with him, Aristarchus a fellow servant, and Mark, Barnabas’ cousin, who they should also receive if he should come to them (v. 10 Cf. Acts 19:29; 20:4; 27:2). These, along with Justus, were Paul’s “fellow workers for the kingdom of God” (v. 11). Paul also notes the fact that these were of the circumcision, and they were a great comfort to him.

Like Onesimus, Epaphras seems to also have been from Colosse, who was also a “bondservant of Christ” who also sent his greetings, and laboured “fervently” in prayers for them, that they would “stand perfect and complete in all the will of God” (vv. 12-13 Cf. Philemon 23). Paul repeats this idea of perfection as that which began this letter, and the goal of his ministry, which also reiterated what Christ Himself taught (Cf. Mt. 5:48). Epaphras, no doubt along with Paul and his other companions, were praying for the successful purpose of their ministry-to “present every man perfect in Christ Jesus” (1:28). This was the way of wisdom. This was the goal of their teaching. To stand was to be secure. The perfection that Paul wrote about is paralleled here by being “complete in all the will of God.” The emphasis here seems to be on ‘all’. To be perfect and complete, is to know and live all the will of God in all of life. This was the ministry that Archippus was to “fulfill” (v. 17). There were also others who sent their greetings (vv. 14-15). Paul also intended his letters to be circulated among the churches (v. 16), with grace (v. 18).

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