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Week 2

February 10, 2023

Week 2

Let’s look at the word made simple for this week.

Topic: Spiritual Disciplines for New Life



Colossae. In Phrygia, in the western part of the Lycus River Valley, Colossae (sometimes written "Colosse") was a thriving city. It was well recognized for manufacturing wool that had been dyed colossus, a purple color produced from the cyclamen flower. Jews and Gentiles routinely got married to each other. Many Greeks continued to follow their ancient, pagan religions, despite the fact that there was a large Jewish community and the Christians were thriving like their brothers and sisters in neighboring Laodicea.


It is assumed that Paul had never visited Colossae before writing to the Colossians based on Colossians 2:1 ("I want you to know how hard I am contending for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not met me personally," NIV). Paul wrote his letter to the Colossians while he was still imprisoned in Rome (A.D. 61). The Colossian church was founded by Archippus, Philemon, and Epaphras, three prominent Christians in Colossae. They requested the aid of Paul to confront the heresy in the city. The Gnostics denied Christ's personhood because they disagreed with the concept of the Incarnation, the act in which He assumed human flesh. Additionally, they denied Christ's supremacy and His place in creation (Padfield, “The Church at Colosse in Asia Minor”). They valued human logic and philosophy (Colossians 2:8). Paul made an effort to overcome this by elaborating on salvation, establishing Christ's identity, starting a polemic against the Gnostic theory, and providing useful ways to put our trust in Christ's death and resurrection into practice.

The word "watch" from Colossians 4:2 is the Word Made Simple for this week's teaching. The Greek word for watching intently is gregoreuo (gray-gor-YOO-o). It is necessary to view it in the context of prayer. In religious practice, one should never pray carelessly or without intention. Prayer must be deliberate, concentrating on our thoughts and words, and continuously looking for a response. As the disciples failed to "watch" with Jesus during prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, we are aware that we, in our flesh or as humans, will frequently break this mandate. However, God calls us to remain attentive and focused, especially when we are praying for others or in intercessory prayer. Our all-powerful God can be contacted through prayer. It is a great privilege and duty and should not be handled lightly. Thankfully, even though our flesh is weak, the Holy Spirit is watching over us and praying for us. As we pray, let's consciously watch with God! Watch.

Take a Peek

1. Continue to pray (Colossians 4:2–4)

2. Communicate with Grace (vv. 5–6)

Please open your Bible

1. Continue to pray (Colossians 4:2–4)

In the middle of Paul's explanation of how Christians should live out their faith, the text for today opens. He urges believers in chapter 3 to live lives that are a reflection of Christ and to put their attention on God's things rather than earthly ones because they have a new life in Christ (vv. 1–3). He exhorts them to abandon the many faults of their former selves (vv. 5–9) and take up the virtue of holiness as it is described in verses 12–14. Paul said: "Let the gospel of Christ dwell among you fully as you teach and admonish one another with all knowledge via psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts," maybe to make sure that no believer was misled by the Gnostic doctrine. And in everything you say and all you do, give thanks to God the Father through the Lord Jesus, praising him in the name of the Father through him (3:16–17, NIV). He wanted the Colossians to learn from the Bible, not from any other outside idea, and to realize that Jesus Christ should be central to everything they do. He then sets guidelines for all aspects of Christian culture, including wives, husbands, children, servants, and employers (3:18–4:1).

The Colossians receive additional guidance from Paul in verse 2 of today's text as a mentor of faith. According to Matthew Henry (Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible, online), this passage maintains the responsibilities of the Christian master while also providing practical guidance for all believers to adhere to. Since prayer is crucial to the Christian life, Paul advises believers to "continue in prayer" (v. 2). This statement conveys the idea that prayer should be pursued urgently, with disciplined vigilance, and with a grateful heart. In order to provide opportunities for them to preach the Gospel, Jesus also advises the believers to pray diligently for him, the ministers, and the church's leaders. The mystery of Christ, which states that "by the gospel, the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus," is especially relevant in this situation (Ephesians 3:6, NIV). For precisely this message, Paul was put in prison. This was a request Paul had made often while he was imprisoned (Ephesians 6:19). We see here that even the mentors in the faith need the prayers of their charges to help strengthen them in their mission.

2. Communicate with Grace (vv. 5–6)

Monitoring one's behavior, both verbally and physically, is another discipline Paul advises Christians to practice. "Live intelligently among the unbelievers, and make the most of every chance," he writes (Colossians 4:5, NLT). Christians should use every chance to show how their lives have been inspired by their faith (Ephesians 5:15–17). In fact, Paul advises that they should speak "with grace, seasoned with salt" in their "speaking" (conversation, discourse) (from Colossians 4:6, KJV). Christians should speak and communicate in ways that are consistent with where they stand with Christ. Vulgar language, insults, and foolish talk of any type are not appropriate in Christian conversation (Ephesians 5:4). Paul uses salt, a preservative that prevents spoilage, as a metaphor for grace. According to Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible, "Grace is the salt which seasons our talk, makes it delicious, and prevents it from corrupting" (online version). Christians need to be careful not to let their words become corrupted. The Gnostics' opposition to the Christian faith probably produced a hostile environment, thus the Christians needed to be equipped to handle any situation that came their way. They would be prepared to respond to anyone appropriately if they were consistent in their prayer and watched what they said.

Know your Bible summary

In a time when most of us have a lot going on in our lives, we could occasionally find ourselves putting our spiritual beliefs on hold. But if we are not careful, we might harm our Christian walk. Instead, we should pray and then observe those who strengthened our faith to see how they manage to live for Christ. We may then help new believers in learning once we have developed discipline.

Time to have a self-discussion

(Colosse 4:1) How should a Christian pray? Why is it recommended for Christians to pray for their leadership (v. 3)? How would a Christian communicate? (v. 6). What specific steps should Christians continue to take to maintain a disciplined prayer life?

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