COLOSSIANS 4: Three Last Things

Read Slowly. Read with purpose. Don’t rush.

Colossians 4:2-6 (ESV):
Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. 3 At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison – 4 that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak. 5 Conduct yourselves wisely toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. 6 Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”

The Apostle Paul then closes the letter of the Colossians. I would like to highlight three points of guidance from verse 4:2-6 to you:
To Pray
To be Thankful
To be Salty

To Pray is emphasized the type of prayer that helps one say alert (watchful prayer). Prayer is about spiritually living not just bodily surviving. Prayer is the call to do this genuine living or maybe better put, action-oriented vow keeping. Also, we should do so with a prayerful heart for fellow believers. In the case of this passage, Paul himself asks for prayer.

And again, Thanksgiving is instructed as at the beginning of Colossians. I must say I know as likely do you. How easy it is to get one’s mind stuck on the harshness of life and to not do as Paul teaches earlier in the letter. We must keep our minds on things up where Christ is seated. That is key and what keeps me thankful (and I hope you too!).

He also states to be salty or “speech seasoned with salt.” I think this is a reference to be a living sacrifice before others. In the Bible, salt is used for a couple different things that are both related.

We see in the Old Testament the use of salt in the sacrificial system to get the blood out of the meat because life was within the blood. The Israelites were not to eat the blood.

Also, salt was used in covenant agreements or business type arrangements. For example, in a land deal that meant you needed to meet the requirements in your business arrangement by fulfilling payment on your loan. If you defaulted, your land would be salted and left useless. So in salting a deal, it was meant to hold you to account or keep you honest to the agreement with the knowledge of what would result if your land was salted. To break the deal would result in the salting of your land, which was the agreement if default occurred. The result thereby would be the loss of productive land and your way of making a living.

(You should, of course, do your own study on the topic because there are other views, but for what it’s worth, that is what I have gathered in my study that can be stated in a few sentences)

Temple sacrifices, in a similar way, were salted with the understanding life is dependent on God, and one must be genuine to covenant made with God. For the Israelite, that was the Old Covenant. For the Christian, the Old Covenant has fulfillment in Christ. We must remain salted in that regard knowing without Christ there is no life. So just as the sacrifices in the temple were salted so our lives, living sacrifices, should have speech salted (language that speaks to our covenant commitment in our worship of Christ) so that we are sacrifices genuine before God. This means His Spirit will be present in our very words, graciously as we serve and direct others to Christ. The worship in spirit and truth as Jesus described in John 4:24.

Jesus Christ also happened to talk about being salty.
Matthew 5:13-14, “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. 14 “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden” (NIV).

Jesus goes on in the passage about being light in the world which is what God sows His Spirit in us to do. We bring forth His Glory!

Therefore, we should be in prayer (watchful prayer), thankful, and genuine in our lifestyle before others and God. For Christians like the Colossians, that meant living for Christ without shrinking back from being genuine light. They were told to be a people of living sacrifices who worship God through Christ in spirit and truth.

I assume it is the same for us today.


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