Showcase: Discipleship

  • Discipleship by Dallas Willard +

    Dallas Willard is one of the best thinkers and writers in the world today; it is a blessing to Christ's Read More
  • Living as a Disciple by Dallas Willard +

    How Does the Disciple Live? An older talk, now published in the Spring 2009 issue of Radix magazine, Vol. 34:3. Read More
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Don  Carsonhttp://www.biblestudytools.com/rsv/1-kings/17.html

http://www.biblestudytools.com/rsv/colossians/4.html

http://www.biblestudytools.com/rsv/ezekiel/47.html

http://www.biblestudytools.com/rsv/psalms/103.html

1 Kings 17; Colossians 4; Ezekiel 47; Psalm 103

HERE AND THERE IN THE New Testament we are suddenly given brief glimpses of arrays of Christian people.

Romans 16 provides such a snapshot, and Colossians 4:7–18 provides us with another. The men and women briefly introduced lived entire, complex, interlocked lives, of which we know almost nothing. But they are our brothers and sisters in Christ; they faced temptations, overcame challenges, discharged very different tasks, and played out their roles in diverse strata of society. The brief glimpses afforded here fire our imaginations; our fuller curiosity will be satisfied only in heaven.

A few comments may hint at some of the things that may be learned from the information Paul's letter provides.

(1) Paul kept a team of people working with him. One of their roles was to travel back and forth between wherever Paul was and the churches for which he felt himself responsible. Combining Paul's letters with Acts, it is often possible to plot some of their constant travels. Here, Paul sends Tychicus to the Colossians with explicit pastoral purposes (Col. 4:7–8).

(2) The "Mark" of Colossians 4:10 is almost certainly John Mark, and the author of the second Gospel. Here he is identified as a relative of Barnabas. This may account, in part, for the dispute between Barnabas and Paul as to whether Mark should be given a second chance after he withdrew from the first missionary expedition (Acts 13:5, 13; 15:37–40). Certainly by the end of Paul's ministry, Mark had been restored in the apostle's eyes (2 Tim. 4:11).

(3) Paul's co-workers often included both Jews and Gentiles (Col. 4:11). It does not take much imagination to recognize the challenges and stresses, as well as the blessings and richness, that this arrangement entailed.

(4) Epaphras emerges as a formidable model. He is "always wrestling in prayer" for the Colossian believers. What he prays, above all, is that they "may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured" (Col. 4:12). How the church of Christ needs prayer warriors with similar focus today!

(5) The "Luke" mentioned in Colossians 4:14 is almost certainly the author of Luke and Acts, and a Gentile (since he is in the Gentile part of this list, Col. 4:11ff.). This makes him the only Gentile writer of a New Testament document. Demas is mentioned in the same breath, but he is probably the same one who ultimately deserts the mission and the Gospel (2 Tim. 4:10). Good beginnings do not guarantee good endings.

(6) Churches in the first century did not have their own buildings. Believers regularly met in the homes of their wealthier members. Nympha of Laodicea is one of the wealthy women of a wealthy city, and the church there met in her home (Col. 4:15).

http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/loveofgod/

 

Reflections to Consider

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Publications

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Music

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Audio & Video

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Favorites

  • Christ the King Sunday by Art Going (Holy Trinity Chatham) +

    A thoughtful discussion of how we function as colonizers for Christ the King.  Read More
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  • Praying to the Father-David Hyman, Holy Trinity Chatham +

    What does it mean to pray to our Father? Read More
  • Success by David Hyman, Holy Trinity Chatham +

    As followers of Jesus, how should we measure success? Read More
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Hidden Blessings

  • God's Healing Touch by Sylvia Gunter +

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  • The Healing Day by Bill Fay +

    It will be okay on the healing dayno more coldest placeon the healing day Read More
  • Inner Healing by Judith MacNutt +

    The following is a clip from a teaching at the MacNutt's Level I School. While brief, it provides a good Read More
  • Healing Ministry & Spiritual Warfare by Judith MacNutt +

    Judith MacNutt on the relationship between spiritual warfare and healing ministry. Read More
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