Paul wanted the Christians to understand more about Christ. This would guard them against the false teachers. In Session 5 continues to talk to the Colossians about what their lives should look like now that the have new life through Christ. In this session Paul gives instructions for how a Christian household should function. He talks about the relationship between husband and wife, and the relationship between children and parents. He also addresses the relationship between slave and master. There has been much debate about what Paul meant about the wife's submission to the husband, and his view of the relationship between slave and master. Click on the YouTube link to hear those discussions as well as the rest of the session.
Colossians 1:15-18 NIV The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.
It’s like taking off old dirty clothes and putting on new clean fresh clothes. Paul described a Christian’s new nature. It is like clothes that he or she puts on. When people love, it is like a coat. It goes on top of all the other qualities. He gave some examples in;
Colossians 3:12-15 NIV Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
Colossians 3:15 (NLT2)15 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.
All this sounds like the fruit of the Spirit doesn’t it?
Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT2)22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
Christ brings his peace into every situation when Christians obey him. And they should always be grateful for all that Christ has done for them.
Colossians 3:16 (NLT2)16 Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.
The message about Christ is powerful. It changes people’s lives. ‘Fill your spirit’ means that it should affect every part of their lives.
This also sounds like what Paul wrote to the Ephsians
Ephesians 5:18-20 (NLT2)18 Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit,19 singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts.20 And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
This helps them to become mature. Christians sing because they are happy.
When a person becomes a Christian, his or her whole life changes. Christ is now at the centre of that person’s life. Christians should show what Christ is like. They do this as they obey him.
Colossians 3:17 (NLT2)17 And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.
2 Corinthians 5:20 (NLT2)20 So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!”
Colossians 3:18-41 NIV Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them. Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged. Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for their wrongs, and there is no favoritism. Masters, provide your slaves with what is right and fair, because you know that you also have a Master in heaven.
We see in this section not only how a Christian household functioned but also what early Christian society was like. The earliest church included persons of wealth as well as the more numerous poor, masters as well as slaves. Besides pointing out the nature of the Christian home.
Colossians 3:18-19 NIV Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.
God gives authority to husbands. A wife should choose to obey her own husband unless he tells her to do something that is wicked. So submission is a choice. A wife's submission to her husbands does not make her inferior or unequal!
Husbands and wives are absolutely equal before God, even when a wife submits to her husband. To suggest that women are inferior to men because they submit denies the equality of the Trinity doctrine. Jesus and the Father are both uncreated God, yet Jesus submits to the Father. Jesus is not less God than the Father because He submits to the Father?
Some suggest that a wife submitting to husband makes her inferior to men. This is wrong. Husbands and wives share equal rights a humans. The husband is not "higher" than the wife because she submits to him!
Ephesians 5:22-33 NIV Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
Scripture teaches that the husband must treat his wife as an equal, even though she submits.
1 Peter 3:7 NASB You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered. (emphasis mine).
A husband must submit to his employer? Is the boss categorically superior to an employee? No! They are equal in their rights as men, but one is head and the other is subordinate.
Men And Women Are Equal
Men and women are equal in God’s eyes in that both men and women are created in the image and likeness of God
Genesis 1:27 CEV So God created humans to be like himself; he made men and women.
Men and women are also equally sinners in need of grace and salvation. Redeemed men and women are equally forgiven, equally indwelt by the Holy Spirit, equally invited before the throne of grace, and equally heirs of God.
Galatians 3:26 CEV All of you are God's children because of your faith in Christ Jesus.
It was God who said that man (Adam) needed help.
Nowhere does Scripture imply that women are unequal to men in God’s eyes or that they should have less significance than men. Men and women have different roles in the home and in the church, but different roles do not indicate differing worth. A screwdriver has a different role in the carpenter’s shop than a hammer, but that doesn’t mean one tool is more valuable than the other just as no Spiritual gift is more valuable than another gift.
Are women and men equal? In some ways, yes, and, in some ways, no. Spiritually, men and women are absolutely equal. Physically, they are obviously not equal. God has chosen distinct roles for both men and women that they may complement each other in a way that most glorifies Himself. Women may be fragile in some regards, but so are many things that are most precious to us. Men and women should work together, each fulfilling their respective, distinct roles, for the common goal of glorifying God.
1 Corinthians 12:12-14 NIV Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.
Colossians 3:20-21 NIV Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.
Children should completely obey their father and their mother. This is one of God’s 10 commandments. As a matter of fact it is the first commandment with a promise.
“Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.
Exodus 20:12 NIV
Jesus obeyed his parents, although Joseph was not his physical father.
Luke 2:49-52 NIV “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he was saying to them. Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.
Parents are the ones who should teach their children about God. Parents should protect their children from evil and danger. Parents should be examples of how God loves man. The first example God as a father comes from our natural fathers and the nurture of people comes first from our mothers. Parents should give their children discipline. This helps children to know what is right and what is wrong.
But we need to be careful to fathers not be too strict. Instead, they should praise their children when they do good things. Fathers should encourage their children. Then their children will be happy. And they will grow up to become mature adults.
Colossians 3:22-4:1 NIV Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for their wrongs, and there is no favoritism. Masters, provide your slaves with what is right and fair, because you know that you also have a Master in heaven.
The Romans ruled most of the countries of the early church. About half the people in Roman society were slaves. Paul really didn't take a position on slavery. He never said what he thought about this. There were not enough Christians yet who could try to change society. Instead, Paul told the Christian slaves and the Christian masters how they should relate to each other given the current situation behave. Today we can equate slaves to employees and masters to employers. Later Christians began to affect society more as the message of the gospel spread. Now, most governments in the world agree that people should not be slaves.
In any event Paul was aware and taught that slaves and masters are equal as Christians.
Colossians 3:11 NIV Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.
Christ is Lord and master of everyone. So, both slaves and masters have to obey their master, Christ. Slaves should obey all their human master’s commands. But they must not do anything that is against God’s laws. Christ has more authority than masters have in this world.
Slaves felt that they were not important people. Nobody respected them. Jesus came as a servant.
John 13:2-5 NIV The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
Jesus said that he had come to this world to serve people.
Matthew 20:25-26, 28 NIV Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles Lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Christian slaves now serve Christ.
Romans 6:19-22 NIV I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness. When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.
This should affect the way that they work. Often, slaves did not work in the proper way when their master was not watching them.
Colossians 3:23-24 NIV Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
Christian slaves should have a new attitude to their work. They should always
work as well as they can. Their master may give them food and a place where they can live. But Christ’s rewards are far greater.
Colossians 1:12 NIV and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.
Colossians 3:4 NIV When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
1 John 3:2-3 NIV Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.
Colossians 3:25 NIV Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for their wrongs, and there is no favoritism.
Verse 25 may refer to masters as well as to slaves.
Ephesians 6:9 NIV And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him.
Because God considers everyone the same Paul speaks directly to the slave masters;
Colossians 4:1 NIV Masters, provide your slaves with what is right and fair, because you know that you also have a Master in heaven.
God is a fair judge.In Paul’s days, many masters were very severe.. Slaves did not have any rights. Paul said that now that they were in Christ Christian masters now had to behave in a different way. Because they had a master in heaven who was also his slave master, and He was fair to everybody. We can apply these same principles now to bosses and workers.