Col 4:2-6 What does it mean to “devote” oneself to prayer, and what does this teach us about the importance of prayer? See also Acts 1:14, 6:4, Rom 12:12; Mat 7:7-8, 21:22, Jn 14:13, 15:7, 16:23, 1 Jn 5:14-15. Why is it necessary for God’s people to always be prayerfully alert and watchful? See Mark 14:38, 1 Pet 5:8, Lk 12:37-39, Acts 20:28-31. What events facing the Colossians would have impressed upon them the importance of these words? What does Paul say should always accompany our prayers? See also Phil 4:6, 1 Tim 2:1. What was the mystery of which Paul speaks in Col 4:3 for which he was imprisoned? See Col 1:26-27, Eph 3:4-6. Why is it important to always pray for those who minister God’s word that they make it plain and clear? See Eph 6:19-20, Jn 3:19-20. At the same time, what is the importance of possessing a godly wisdom in the things we say in the presence of “outsiders”? See also Mat 7:6, Prov 9:7-8. What does Paul say should always season our speech? In what way is salt like grace, and what light does this relationship throw upon the sacrifices of the old covenant? See Lev 2:13, Num 18:19, Eze 43:24, Mat 5:13, Mark 9:50.
Col 4:7-9 Who was the bearer of this letter, and what additional purpose did he fulfill? To whom did Paul also send Tychicus? See Eph 6:21-22. Why would Paul feel it so important to send a messenger so great a distance to make people aware of his situation? See also Col 4:18. Where was Tychicus from? See Acts 20:4. How long did Tychicus remain a part of Paul’s missionary band? See Tit 3:12, 2 Tim 4:12. Considering that Tychicus was from Asia and that is where we find Paul most frequently directing him, what can we learn about where our most effective ministry is to be found? Who accompanied Tychicus, and why was it important that Paul mention him in this letter as a faithful and beloved brother who was one of their number? See also Philemon 1:10,15-16.
Col 4:10-14 Who was with Paul in Rome at the time of his writing this letter? Who was Aristarchus, where was he from, and where else did we find him with Paul? See Acts 19:29, 20:4, 27:2. What do you think he means by calling him a fellow prisoner? Confer Rom 16:7, Philem 1:23. Why is it significant that we find Mark with Paul? See Acts 15:37-39, 2 Tim 4:11. What light does the fact that Mark was Barnabas’ cousin throw on the disagreement Paul had with Barnabas about taking him along on the second missionary journey? Why does Paul make a distinction between those who are with him from the Jews and those who are with him from the Gentiles? What qualities of Epaphras make him an example worthy of all Christians to follow? See also Col 1:7. For what did he pray regarding the believers there in the Lycus Valley? Why would it be important for them to be fully assured in all the will of God? What do you suppose Luke was doing during this time he was in Rome with Paul awaiting his trial? Note: it was about this time that the Acts record of Paul’s life ends. What great warning does the Scripture offer us in the example of Demas? See also 2 Tim 4:10.
Col 4:15-18 What do we learn from Nympha’s example about the important ministry of women in the early church? Describe the similarities and differences between the books of Ephesians and Colossians. Considering these, do you think the letter he refers to in Col 4:16 is the letter we know as Ephesians? Note: the words “at Ephesus” in Eph 1:1 are not found in the oldest manuscripts. Who was Archippus, and what can we learn from Paul’s admonition to him? See Philemon 1:2. Are we fulfilling whatever ministry we have received from the Lord?