The last two days, I’ve encouraged you to investigate the people listed in the final section of Colossians chapter four. Today, I’m providing a few questions to help get you started in case you procrastinated or are hesitating to dig in (smile). You might be surprised what you’ll uncover about some of these first century believers and how we much we have in common with them.
The first century believers were living in an era that was hostile to their beliefs. They had a passion to share Christ and were willing to lay down their lives to do so. But some, walked away from their calling. The world held their hearts.
What holds your heart?
If this study has done nothing else, I hope it has encouraged you to consider what you hold as “most precious.” What are you dedicating your life to? Who are you living for?
Consider the people listed at the conclusion of Colossians 4 as you work through the questions below:
- Which of these individuals was a slave who had deserted his master (the master was in the church at Colossae)?
- Which of these individuals would later desert Paul and the ministry? (Hint: see yesterday’s post)
- What kind of warning does his life provide for us?
- Who are the three Paul lists as “men of the circumcision” and what does that mean (vv. 10–11)?
- Paul mentions that these men have been “a comfort” to him (v. 11). In what ways do you think they may have encouraged Paul? To answer this question, it will help to research and find other Scriptures where Paul uses this same term (comfort). It doesn’t appear to mean “physical comfort” (see Philemon v.7; 2 Cor. 1:3–11; 7:4–13).
- Verse 12 indicates that Epaphras had “worked hard” for three churches in Asia Minor. Name the three churches and list any references to these churches that you find in other places in Scripture.
- Why do you think Paul mentions that this greeting is written in his own hand? (Also see 1 Cor. 16:21 and 2 Thess. 3:17.)
- What do you think Paul is asking when he says: “Remember my chains” in his closing statement (v.18)?
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