Colossians 4:10-18 / In the Book

Posted on December 6, 2015


This is the twenty-fifth and final message in a verse by verse exposition of the book of Colossians. This message was delivered at Hillcrest Baptist Church on the evening of December 6, 2015. This message deals with our need to be faithful servants, and encourage one another in their ministries. This post contains an audio recording of the sermon, as well as my sermon notes (sermon notes are not necessarily a complete transcript).

Col 4:10-18


The pastoral epistles, which included the letter to the church at Colossae, were written during Paul’s imprisonment in Rome approximately 60 through 62 A.D.

There is a group labeled “fellow workers” (Colossians 4:11)—Tychicus, Onesimus, Aristarchus, Marcus, and Justus. They were the men who ministered to Paul in Rome. There were also friends from the third missionary journey: Epaphras, Demas, Nymphas, and Archippus from the cities around Colossae who kept in close contact and probably supported Paul financially. Luke, the “beloved physician,” apparently joined Paul on the second missionary journey on the trip to Rome (Acts 16).

Several godly attributes are identified.

  • Beloved brother” is used to emphasize the intense relationship that Paul had with some of these men.
  • Faithful minister”, along with “fellow servant” and “fellow worker,” stresses the service Paul enjoyed with them.
  • Fellow prisoner” is an obvious identification.

We see Mark listed as being with Paul. Some years earlier, Mark had disappointed Paul badly. Shortly afterward, Paul and his best friend, Barnabas, had disagreed so hotly over Mark that they had parted company. Paul had gone his way and Barnabas, taking Mark with him, had gone another way. The story evidently was well known, and a stigma had become attached to Mark’s name although Paul had long since forgiven Mark. Paul’s concern here that Mark’s name be cleared.

Be that as it may, Mark was with Paul at Rome, and that would be commendation enough. Mark was a converted Jew, so he was one of the few Hebrew Christians willing to be by Paul’s side during his imprisonment.

Laboring fervently” is used to speak of Epaphras, who was always praying for the church at Colossae with great zeal.

  • Colossians 4:12

This and other lists such as the 16th chapter of Romans give us precious insight into the lives of godly men and women who shared the lives of key leaders and made their ministry more effective.

Three cities (Ephesus, Philippi, and Colossae) were close together and were near Laodicea.

Paul instructs Nymphas to read the Colossians letter to the church at Laodicean. These letters weren’t meant for just one specific group of Christians, they were meant for all Christians. As such, God has immortalized His word, so that we Christians (2000 years later, and on a different continent) are still reading them.

  • Matthew 24:35

God uses His word to prepare each of His children to the ministry which He has called them. We, likewise, are to encourage each other to fulfill that calling.

  • 2 Timothy 3:16-17
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:11
  • Hebrews 10:24
  • Colossians 3:16

In the closing of this letter, which many people overlook, we see some wonderful examples. Forgiveness, encouragement and grace are all demonstrated.

No wonder these people were so special to the Lord, that they should be mentioned in this book. May it please the Lord Jesus to have us so named in “the books” of eternity.

Revelation 20:12

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