Colossians 4

* Masters to do their duty towards servants. (1) Persons of all

ranks to persevere in prayer, and Christian prudence. (2-6) The

apostle refers to others for an account of his affairs. (7-9)

Sends greetings; and concludes with a blessing. (10-18)

1 The apostle proceeds with the duty of masters to their

servants. Not only justice is required of them, but strict

equity and kindness. Let them deal with servants as they expect

God should deal with themselves.
2-6 No duties can be done aright, unless we persevere in

fervent prayer, and watch therein with thanksgiving. The people

are to pray particularly for their ministers. Believers are

exhorted to right conduct towards unbelievers. Be careful in all

converse with them, to do them good, and recommend religion by

all fit means. Diligence in redeeming time, commends religion to

the good opinion of others. Even what is only carelessness may

cause a lasting prejudice against the truth. Let all discourse

be discreet and seasonable, as becomes Christians. Though it be

not always of grace, it must always be with grace. Though our

discourse be of that which is common, yet it must be in a

Christian manner. Grace is the salt which seasons our discourse,

and keeps it from corrupting. It is not enough to answer what is

asked, unless we answer aright also.
7-9 Ministers are servants to Christ, and fellow-servants to

one another. They have one Lord, though they have different

stations and powers for service. It is a great comfort under the

troubles and difficulties of life, to have fellow Christians

caring for us. Circumstances of life make no difference in the

spiritual relation among sincere Christians; they partake of the

same privileges, and are entitled to the same regards. What

amazing changes Divine grace makes! Faithless servants become

faithful and beloved brethren, and some who had done wrong,

become fellow-workers of good.
10-18 Paul had differed with Barnabas, on the account of this

Mark, yet he is not only reconciled, but recommends him to the

churches; an example of a truly Christian and forgiving spirit.

If men have been guilty of a fault, it must not always be

remembered against them. We must forget as well as forgive. The

apostle had comfort in the communion of saints and ministers.

One is his fellow-servant, another his fellow-prisoner, and all

his fellow-workers, working out their own salvation, and

endeavouring to promote the salvation of others. The effectual,

fervent prayer is the prevailing prayer, and availeth much. The

smiles, flatteries, or frowns of the world, the spirit of error,

or the working of self-love, leads many to a way of preaching

and living which comes far short of fulfilling their ministry.

But those who preach the same doctrine as Paul, and follow his

example, may expect the Divine favour and blessing.

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