by Pastor Steve Ellison
The first two chapters of Colossians are written so that we might see Jesus more clearly.
The last two chapters of Colossians are written so that we might be able to examine ourselves to see if we have indeed seen the Savior as He is. Chapters three and four test us to see if our character is a non-sinning character. That does not mean we don’t sin but rather that when we do sin, we are out of character.
Second, if we have seen Christ clearly, all divisions (prejudices) will be removed from our lives. Third, we will live lives of thanksgiving and praise to God. Fourth, we will have Christ centered relationships. Fifth, we will have a missionary heart like God.
This last characteristic of a person who has seen the Savior clearly is very important. The Christian will obey more faithfully in heaven, worship more truthfully, sing more beautifully, serve more authentically, etc. and etc.
One thing the Christian will not do better in heaven is to evangelize. If we are to fulfill God’s command regarding soul-winning it will be here and now.
Colossians 4:2-6 explains this missionary attitude, “Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving; 3 praying at the same time for us as well, that God will open up to us a door for the word, so that we may speak forth the mystery of Christ, for which I have also been imprisoned; 4 that I may make it clear in the way I ought to speak.
5 Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. 6 Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.” (NASU)
God has always had a place for His Name and His Testimony on the earth. Under the new covenant, God has privileged believers to be that place. That is a sobering responsibility as well as tremendous honor.
Verses 2-4 indicate that we are to trust God and rely on His work to make this true in our lives. We are told to simply be thankful and devote ourselves to prayer. We are told what to pray for. Just as in the book of Acts, the apostle’s request is for an opportunity to share the gospel and for clarity of speech.
Ephesians 6 and Acts request prayer also for boldness in sharing the good news about forgiveness of sin found in Christ. Prayer is the illustration; trusting God is the reality illustrated by praying.
Verses 5-6 provide the second piece of God’s evangelism program. The direction given is simple to live. As we go about our daily lives, we are to conduct ourselves (i.e. live) in the sight of unbelievers in such a way that they will want to be like us and also see Christ as the loving Savior that He is.
We are told to live in such a way that our speech is filled with grace and truth. Words without grace will not be received. Words without truth will not have any “salt-like” qualities. Salt adds flavor. Salt is a healing agent.
As verse 6 plainly states, our responses to our dealings with a lost and dying world are of the utmost importance. This is God’s plan for missions.
If we see Christ clearly as presented in Colossians 1-2, missions will flow naturally from our hearts. We are called upon to simply trust God and live accordingly before a hurting world that desperately needs Christ.