Increasing in Knowledge by Walking in Wisdom
Book of Colossians Chapter 4
Wisdom is the proper use of knowledge according to the Webster dictionary.
It can also be said that Wisdom is the opposite of “philosophy”.
The absolute truth of wisdom is that wisdom is one of the names of Jesus Christ the Messiah!
1Co 1:24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, “Christ the power of God, and “the wisdom” of God”.
1Co 1:25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
1Co 1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, “who of God is made unto us wisdom”, and “righteousness”, and “sanctification”, and “redemption”:
1Co 1:31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.
In other words, who are those who are wise? Those who have chosen Jesus Christ!
If we are walking in the truth of the Lord, we are walking in wisdom!
If we lack any other wisdom, we need only to ask the Lord in a prayer of faith.
Jas 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
Jas 1:6 But let him ask in faith,
We should always be growing in wisdom as we grow in the knowledge of the Lord!
*****Col 4:2 Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;
Col 4:3 Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds:
Col 4:4 That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.
We must always remember, prayer can move the hand of God if it is a prayer of faith and in the will of God, but every prayer should begin with thanksgiving for what God has already done, and this only after acknowledging the Almighty God, our Heavenly Father.
We are also to keep watch and be aware of the times we are in, according to prophecy.
We are in the Church Age yes, but we must be aware of the times and the seasons!
Most important of all, we are to “continue” our walk with our Lord!
We must pray for our local church, but also for all the “Body of Christ”!
We should prayer for others, but we should also desire that others would pray for us. This is what the “Body of Christ” is all about!
We must also pray for the lost! The more we pray for the lost, we will realize they are in great danger of the wrath of God and are in need of salvation. We do not have the power to save them, but we do have the knowledge to lead them to Jesus who can save anyone at any time, and anywhere!
We should also pray for the missionaries, that God would provide their needs, provide fruit for their labor, but also that God would open new doors for the “Gospel” of Jesus Christ.
If the Holy Spirit is working prior to the arrival of the missionary, souls will be saved!
God will never send a missionary to a place, He has not already sent the Holy Spirit!!!!!!
We must certainly pray for our Pastors!
We should pray that they should always have liberty to preach the “Gospel”.
We should pray that our pastor has many opportunities to preach the Gospel.
We should pray that our pastor be filled with the Holy Spirit of power.
We should pray that our pastor is free to preach the whole counsel of God without rebuke.
We should pray that our pastor is on fire for God.
We should pray that God would keep them healthy!
Heb 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: “for they watch for your souls”, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.
SO, it is only those who have moved on from “babes in Christ” to true disciples who can walk in the wisdom of the Lord!
*****Col 4:5 Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.
Col 4:6 Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.
Our greatest witnessing tool, is the way we live out our lives before others, not just other brothers and sisters in Christ but, also before the lost of this world.
Christianity is a daily walk!
Christianity is a life shaped and controlled by the Lord who is our true “Wisdom”!
Christianity is a life that by itself is instructive to those who are lost!
A lot of things could be said about “redeeming the time” but in a true sense, the Holy Spirit means to make the best use of our time after we know we are the redeemed of the Lord. (I know I fail in this things myself)
We are to walk wisely because the truth is, we are certainly in the army of God but, we are always walking in the enemies’ territory.
Our greatest attempt should be for us to be ambassadors for Christ. Remember ambassadors are sent from a foreign land to improve the relations beteen countries. We are only pilgrims in this world for our home is in Heaven!
We are certainly to be standfast for the Lord, and unmovable in the ways of Jesus Christ!
Our speech must always be with “grace”!
We know that “Grace” is the unmerited favor of God and this must be instilled in us so that when we speak to the lost, we are to understand that they also must see this unmerited favor of the Lord through our actions and speech toward them.
Rom 13:7 Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.
Rom 13:8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
We will always get better results if we do not first offend those we are seeking to lead to the Lord!
A good thought is this: “these we are witnessing to already know how to be lost, what they do not know is how to be saved”.
Our speech must be well seasoned with the same “grace” that Lord offered to each of us!
Pro_11:30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.
We must remember that the key to be a good witness is to “walk wisely” in your own life!
We must also understand we do not seek to understand the sinful ways of the lost, we come to show them the godly ways of the Christian.
We must also realize that evil company can be infectious!
Psa 106:35 But were mingled among the heathen, and learned their works.
We do not have to needlessly expose ourselves to ridicule!
Amo 5:13 Therefore the prudent shall keep silence in that time; for it is an evil time.
Remember as a Christian we are God’s “jewel” and we should always be radiant before the eyes of others!
If those who are lost do not see a difference in your life as compared to their own, they will never see a reason to seek the Lord!
And now Paul begins to close out this great epistle.
*****Col 4:7 All my state shall Tychicus declare unto you, who is a beloved brother, and a faithful minister and fellowservant in the Lord:
Col 4:8 Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that he might know your estate, and comfort your hearts;
We will see as Paul closes out this epistle a great list of Christians who traveled with Paul at one time or another and who were all concerned about this church and the false teaching that had entered into this church.
This what we have to do with those who would teach a false doctrine. We must gather against them with the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ!
Paul begins with Tychicus.
Some may say who is this Tychicus, but Tychicus traveled greatly with the Apostle Paul. He was a native of Asia and you can find his name in the Book of Ephesians, Colossians, 2 Timothy, Titus and the Book of Acts.
Act 20:4 And there accompanied him into Asia Sopater of Berea; and of the Thessalonians, Aristarchus and Secundus; and Gaius of Derbe, and Timotheus; and of Asia, Tychicus and Trophimus.
Tychicus was so full of Jesus Christ that he could go anywhere at any time and fill in for any pastor and be welcomed.
Tychicus actually delivered the epistles of Paul to the Ephesians, the Colossians, and Philemon.
He would go on special missions for Paul. He even went to the island of Crete and gave Titus a much-needed rest.
He was not only a beloved brother in the ministry, not only a faithful minister of the Gospel, but Paul said he was a fellow-slave to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Next was Onesimus:
*****Col 4:9 With Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They shall make known unto you all things which are done here.
We know Onesimus as the escaped slave of Philemon who after meeting the Apostle Paul, realized after he was saved that he needed to return to his owner and face the consequences for the things he had done, and he did.
He also became a beloved brother in Christ to Paul and many others.
Onesimus became a brother to all the brothers in the church in Philemon’s house. We should point out that there are never to be any social distinctions in the church.
A slave can sit on the same pew as the king!
We should also note that, it is very possible that there were others in this church that owned slaves and who also witnessed these things.
The poorest person is to be just as welcome and loved as the richest person.
And we should never forget how the Lord measures the tithe!
Luk 21:1 And he looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury.
Luk 21:2 And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites.
Luk 21:3 And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all:
Luk 21:4 For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had.
You might say well we would have a better building program with the rich, but the truth is, we can have a better blessing program with those like this poor woman this day observed by Jesus Christ, but the church must remain open to both, so we can learn all these lessons that Christ Jesus points out to us.
I will say it again, every step Jesus took, and every word Jesus spoke are great lessons for us all to learn!
Next was Aristarchus.
*****Col 4:10 Aristarchus my fellowprisoner saluteth you, and Marcus, sister’s son to Barnabas, (touching whom ye received commandments: if he come unto you, receive him;)
Aristarchus was a Macedonian of Thessalonica.
He was one of the Christians attacked by that mob of Ephesus.
Remember these Christians were not so much attacked for preaching the Word of God as they were attacked because a union of silversmiths and metalworkers who had stirred up the city because they were losing the business of supplying idols made for the worship of the goddess Diana.
Aristarchus was a fellow prisoner of Paul while he was in Rome.
This man stood by his beliefs even if it cost him his life. He also stood side by side with all other Christians and he would never desert his brothers and sisters in Christ.
We need more such men as Aristarchus today.
Heb 13:3 Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.
Almost everyone remembers John Mark (Marcus) in this Scripture.
Everyone remembers how Mark got off to a bad start.
Act 12:25 And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem, when they had fulfilled their ministry, and took with them John, whose surname was Mark.
Mark was a Jew and the son of one of the many Marys that had followed Jesus.
Act 12:12 And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying.
This was the house that was praying for Peter and it was Peter who led Mark to the Lord for his salvation.
Mark joined Paul and Barnabas on their first missionary journey, but it seems he may have been just too young to step out into this evil world.
Act 13:8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith.
Act 13:9 Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him,
Act 13:10 And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?
Act 13:11 And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand.
Notice it was just after this event that Mark went back to Jerusalem.
There are many things in this world that would scare a “Babe in Christ” where the mature Christian would withstand.
Act 13:13 Now when Paul and his company loosed from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia: and John departing from them returned to Jerusalem.
We should also understand if you have not been called of God to the missionary field then, it is very hard to be of much use.
The Holy Spirit had called Barnabas and Paul, but Mark needed to grow stronger in the Lord, so his faith would not fade, and he did.
Mark later joined Barnabas when He and Paul felt they could cover more ground if they split up.
Mark had rebuilt his reputation and had become very useful not only to Paul but also to the Lord in the ministry.
2Ti 4:11 Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry.
Paul wanted these Colossians to know this thing. Marcus was to be received as a child of God and a very valuable member of Paul’s team of missionaries.
Paul even had a man named Jesus, who was called Justus so there would be no confusion!
*****Col 4:11 And Jesus, which is called Justus, who are of the circumcision. These only are my fellowworkers unto the kingdom of God, which have been a comfort unto me.
The name Jesus was a popular name but as a missionary it would cause confusion because the Lord Jesus had certainly raised from the dead.
Justus was another Jew from Rome who had turned to Jesus Christ.
The Jews in Rome were strict religionist so not many of them were saved.
Act 28:24 And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not.
Act 28:25 And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers,
Act 28:26 Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive:
Act 28:27 For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
This was the final turning point for Paul to spend his time and effort on the Gentiles and the epistles began to flow from his hand and others, all inspired by the Holy Spirit.
I believe this is also why wrote the Book of Romans, also inspired by the Holy Spirit, but a place so full of the world and of evil and immorality!
Justice had remained with Paul in Rome until the very last.
It is time to note that the Jewish people are so full of religion that they struggle just as these Roman Jews had done.
Religion is not a manner of salvation!
Religion cannot make anyone acceptable to God, because only Jesus Christ can do this thing!
Mat 5:20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.
The Pharisees were the most religious of all Jews!
Paul wrote of these Jews so full of religion in the Book of Romans:
Rom 10:1 Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.
Rom 10:2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.
Rom 10:3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
Rom 10:4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.
We see much of this still around today, not only the Jews but in many others who say they are religious.
We can also see many Christian churches so full of religion they have forgotten the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ!
Paul moves on to Epaphras.
*****Col 4:12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.
Col 4:13 For I bear him record, that he hath a great zeal for you, and them that are in Laodicea, and them in Hierapolis.
So far, all the names mentioned have all been Jews who have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul had this phrase he used that he always adhered to.
Rom_1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
Rom_2:10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:
Epaphras was the pastor to this church at Colossae and he had gone to Rome to get Paul’s advice on how best to handle the false teaching that was going on in his church.
Epaphras was a faithful minister, a faithful servant, and a fellow servant of all these things to Jesus Christ.
Epaphras was so committed and so dedicated to take the Gospel to the Gentiles that Paul called him his fellowprisoner in Christ Jesus!
This pastor reminds me of our own pastor, he did everything he could, even toiling in prayer for the members of his church.
Of course, the church belongs to Jesus Christ and Epaphras knew this also.
Epaphras prayed that above all, this church would come to know the complete will of God and then do it perfectly!
This should also be a prayer for our own church! We already know the revealed will of God, so this prayer is for something special!
Eph 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
Epaphras worked hard, not only for his own church but for all the surrounding churches. (Laodicea, Hierapolis)
And everyone loved Luke.
*****Col 4:14 Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you.
Luke was also a Gentile Christian and he was not one of the apostles as many think.
Most everyone knows that the Apostle Paul has more books of the New Testament accredited to him, the next being the Apostle John.
Luke is accredited with the Book of Acts and the Book of Luke and Luke wrote more words that the apostle Paul, though it is the message that is most important and not the number of words and Luke has a great message.
The thing we must always remember is that the Lord says all Scripture is profitable for us!
2Ti 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
2Ti 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
No one’s writings are of anymore importance than the next because we need the to complete Word of God to have the greatest understanding of our Father in Heaven, His Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Luke was a missionary and evangelist himself and very valuable to Paul but maybe his greatest act to Paul, was that as a physician, he kept the apostle Paul going all those years.
I also personally believe that it was Luke who penned the words to the Book of Hebrews as Paul dictated them to him.
Luke was not an eye witness to the gospel events, but he did investigate these events from those who were eyewitnesses. so, we can see how accurate the Gospel’s really are when we compare them.
Then we have Demas:
Demas traveled with Paul for some period of time and was dedicated to the Lord for that period of time but what is remembered of this man is that he later turns his back on the Lord.
This is a life of tragedy because our walk with the Lord is to be daily walk.
He was a fellow laborer of Paul at one time:
Phm 1:24 Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas, Lucas, my fellowlabourers.
Here in this Scripture, Paul has nothing to say of him. (and Demas, greet you)
Now he is just known as someone who quit on God.
2Ti 4:10 For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.
Demas forsook the apostle Paul and Paul said the reason was that he loved this present world more than the work of the Lord.
This is the same reason, so many quit on the Lord today!
And Paul continues:
*****Col 4:15 Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church which is in his house.
We know that the church in the city Laodicea has been made famous for the Scriptures written in the Book of Revelation:
Rev 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
Rev 3:15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
Rev 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
Rev 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
What we see that this church also had a humble beginning in the home of Nymphas.
The thing we should understand is, that even this church had the opportunity to read and study the Scriptures of the apostle Paul.
*****Col 4:16 And when this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye likewise read the epistle from Laodicea.
We must understand the books of the New Testament were all written to the Church and not to the pastor of those churches.
His job was to read and teach the Word of God given to him that had been prepared by the Holy Spirit.
1Th 5:27 I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren.
And the church is expected to obey these words as all the Word of God!
2Th 3:14 And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.
We should also understand that just because an epistle is mentioned here from Laodicea does not mean that Paul wrote an epistle that is missing because all his epistles were passed from church to church.
*****Col 4:17 And say to Archippus, Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfil it.
Archippus, the son of Philemon had begun his own ministry and was now teaching and preaching at this church in Colossae.
Every young preacher needs to be encouraged.
*****Col 4:18 The salutation by the hand of me Paul. Remember my bonds. Grace be with you. Amen.
When we see these things in Paul’s epistles we can know that though Paul did not actually write all the words in his epistles, he would normally take the pen in the end and write the last few words.
There were many reasons for this, but the main thing was that all these Christians knew that these were the words of the apostle Paul as given to him by the Holy Spirit.
Remember the church in Corinth had been given some bad writings that were claimed to be from Paul because Paul’s hands were mostly crippled.
Paul would not allow this to happen again!
Paul adds for the Church to remember his bonds as he had previously asked.
Col 4:3 Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds:
As Christians, if we cannot be encouraged by the character of the apostle Paul then we should feel ashamed.
With all the things that happened to the apostle Paul and he remained true to the Gospel, our little petty tribulations do not mean very much.
Next week the Book of Ephesians.