Colossians 4* Masters to do their duty towards servants. (1) Persons of allranks to persevere in prayer, and Christian prudence. (2-6) Theapostle 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 theirservants. Not only justice is required of them, but strictequity and kindness. Let them deal with servants as they expectGod should deal with themselves. 2-6 No duties can be done aright, unless we persevere infervent prayer, and watch therein with thanksgiving. The peopleare to pray particularly for their ministers. Believers areexhorted to right conduct towards unbelievers. Be careful in allconverse with them, to do them good, and recommend religion byall fit means. Diligence in redeeming time, commends religion tothe good opinion of others. Even what is only carelessness maycause a lasting prejudice against the truth. Let all discoursebe discreet and seasonable, as becomes Christians. Though it benot always of grace, it must always be with grace. Though ourdiscourse be of that which is common, yet it must be in aChristian manner. Grace is the salt which seasons our discourse,and keeps it from corrupting. It is not enough to answer what isasked, unless we answer aright also. 7-9 Ministers are servants to Christ, and fellow-servants toone another. They have one Lord, though they have differentstations and powers for service. It is a great comfort under thetroubles and difficulties of life, to have fellow Christianscaring for us. Circumstances of life make no difference in thespiritual relation among sincere Christians; they partake of thesame privileges, and are entitled to the same regards. Whatamazing changes Divine grace makes! Faithless servants becomefaithful 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 thisMark, yet he is not only reconciled, but recommends him to thechurches; an example of a truly Christian and forgiving spirit.If men have been guilty of a fault, it must not always beremembered against them. We must forget as well as forgive. Theapostle had comfort in the communion of saints and ministers.One is his fellow-servant, another his fellow-prisoner, and allhis fellow-workers, working out their own salvation, andendeavouring to promote the salvation of others. The effectual,fervent prayer is the prevailing prayer, and availeth much. Thesmiles, flatteries, or frowns of the world, the spirit of error,or the working of self-love, leads many to a way of preachingand living which comes far short of fulfilling their ministry.But those who preach the same doctrine as Paul, and follow hisexample, may expect the Divine favour and blessing.
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