- this morning we're going to move into a new section of our study of the
book of Colossians.
- of course the theme of the book is well known by now -- the preeminence
- he laid that doctrine out in the first chapter
- then he said in chapter two -- he had a great conflict, or wrestling
in his heart
- according to verse 2:4 - because he was afraid someone might
beguile them, or lead them away from the belief that Christ
- He's sufficient for their salvation
- He's sufficient as their model
- He's sufficient for their growth
- He's sufficient to help them solve the problems of life.
- he spent the rest of chapter two warning them of things that would draw
them away from this belief and this lifestyle
- now, in chapter three -- he's saying -- here's what people who believe
in the preeminence of Christ look like:
- they set their affections on the things of heaven and not on the
things of earth.
- they put off sinful habits and replace them with godly ones
- they let the word of Christ dwell in them richly
- the preeminence of Christ affects their relationships at home
- it affects their relationships at work (like we've been studying
the last three weeks)
- this morning, we want to begin studying Colossians 4:2-6 //looking at
the preeminence of Christ and the way we speak.
- read 4:2-6
- there are a lot of important truths in this passage...but you can see
that the theme is communication, or speech, or what we do with our
- this is a very, very important subject...and it will probably take us
at least three weeks to get through these verses.
- today, we're going to talk about:
- the speech of prayer
- then next week -- the speech of proclamation
- lastly, -- the speech of purity
- let's think together about the power of a person's speech.
1. Words are very powerful
- words, even a few of them, can make an incredible difference
a) Ladies and gentlemen, have you reached a verdict?
- yes, we have your honor, we find the defendant __________.
- those are powerful words.
b) You're sitting in the doctors office, your palms are clammy,
you're nervous, the tests have come back...
- the doctor says -- the tumor was benign.
- powerful words
c) Warren Wiersbe, in writing on these verses said, for every word
contained in Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf, 125 lives were lost in WW
d) it's a small wonder that the Scriptures tell us, "Death and life
are in the power of the tongue." (Prov. 18:21)
2) Words are also important because they reveal the heart.
- one translation of Matthew 12:34 says; "The mouth speaks from what
the heart is filled with."
- Sigmund Freud went to great lengths to try to uncover the supposed
- word association
- dream analysis
- of course the Scripture says nothing about the existence of the
- but it has much to say about the heart -- the most
comprehensive term to biblically describe our inner man
- we are to give much attention to our inner man--we're to guard
- since that’s true, that makes the subject of these verses very
- "the mouth speaks from what the heart is filled with."
- our speech is a very important subject.
3) Communication is one of the clearest areas of difference between the
saved and the lost. (MacArthur)
a) the unredeemed mouth is characterized by:
1. evil - Prov. 15:28
2. sexual immorality - Prov. 5:3
3. deceit - Jer. 9:8
4. curses - Ps. 10:7
5. oppression - Ps. 10:7
6. lies - Prov. 12:22
7. destruction - Prov. 11:11
8. vanity - II Peter 2:18
9. flattery - Prov. 26:28
10. foolishness - Prov. 15:2
11. madness - Eccles. 10:12-13
12. carelessness - Matt. 12:36
13. boasting - Rom. 1:30
14. false doctrine - Titus 1:11
15. evil plots - Ps. 37:12
16. hatred - Ps. 109:3
17. too many words - Eccles. 10:14
18. gossip - Prov. 26:22
b) the redeemed mouth is characterized by:
1. confession of sin - I John 1:9
2. confession of Christ - Rom. 10:9-10
3. edifying speech - Eph. 4:29
4. talk of God's law - Ex. 13:9
5. praise to God - Heb. 13:15
6. blessing of enemies - I Peter 3:9
7. talk about God - Ps. 66:16
8. wisdom and kindness - Prov. 31:26
9. gentleness - Prov. 15:1
- obviously, we could add a lot more to these lists -- but as they stand,
they provoke some important questions:
1) How are you doing on this important matter of communication?
2) Is the way you speak measurably different than those who don't
- now, with that in mind, let's go back and begin a careful study of Col.
- as you look at the passage -- there are some clear transitions that
explain why we're dividing these verses the way we are.
- in verse 2 -- Paul is talking about what kind of speech?
INPUT - prayer
- but then in verse three -- there's actually a transition
- he starts the verse talking about prayer (i.e. - pray for us)
- but then right in the middle of the verse he begins talking about a
different kind of speech
- INPUT - what kind of speech is that?
- evangelistic speech, speech of proclamation
- that continues through in verse 4
- then verse 5 is a general verse--you kind of wonder how that fits
in until you read verse 6, and you see that Paul is still talking
about our speech.
- so again, we'll be talking about:
1) the speech of prayer
2) the speech of proclamation
3) the speech of purity
- let's spend the rest of our time talking about this important matter of
- Paul gives us four things that ought to characterize the way we pray:
I. Pray With Perseverance
A. Meaning and parallel passages
- the word that is used here means "to be steadfast"
- to hold fast and not let go
- to be courageously persistent
- giving constant attention to it
- of course there are many other passages that make such an
1) Pray at all times - Eph. 6:18
2) Pray without ceasing - I Thes. 5:17
3) Be devoted to prayer - Rom. 12:12
4) The disciples "all continued with one accord in prayer -
5) The early church "continued steadfastly...in prayers" - Acts
- of course we're not talking about a constant vocalization of
- instead these verses are also talking about an attitude of
prayer -- "having a God-consciousness that relates every
experience of life to Him."
- but these verses indicate a whole lot more vocalization of
prayer than most of us do.
- Paul is saying that our prayers ought to characterized by
- we're not going to take time to do so, but we could also look at
two parables that our Lord told to illustrate this point in
Luke 18:1-8, and Luke 11:5-10.
- one of the most important things we could say about this point is that
we must be sure we are BEING STEADFAST by:
B. Persevere to pray biblically.
- it would be a terrible thing to be working at something and
find out that our effort was taking us in a wrong direction.
- so let's bring some other truths in here and tie them back to
this idea of perseverance.
1. Pray to confess our sins (I John 1:9, Matt. 6:12)
- a good question to ask this morning would be, "Am I showing
that I believe in the preeminence of Christ by steadfastly
using my tongue to confess sin? is that part of my speech?
2. Pray to offer praise to God (Matt. 6:9)
3. Pray for power to overcome sin (Eph. 6:18, Matt. 6:13)
4. Pray for the needs of others (I Thes. 5:25)
5. Pray for your own needs (Matt. 6:11)
6. Pray in the name of Christ (John 15:16)
7. Pray for the glory of the Father (John 14:13)
- now, let's tie this back in to what Paul said to the Colossians
- how well are we doing at continuing in prayer?
- are you steadfast?
- are you persevering?
- are you steadfast in your prayers of praise?
- are you steadfast in your prayers to overcome sin?
- probably a good question to ask at this point is:
C. Why we should pray this way.
- there's a number of answers for why God wants us to persevere
in our prayers:
1. That’s often how long it takes to change our wills.
- this isn't a matter of "talking the Lord into something."
- prayer is an opportunity to remind us who we are and who God
- often it takes time to submit our wills to the will of the
Father---perseverance in prayer allows us to do that.
2. To demonstrate the importance of the object for which we're
- if we persevere in our prayer for a person who doesn't
know the Lord, we have the opportunity to demonstrate
how much we love that person.
3. To show the genuineness of our faith.
- often when we fail to do what this passage is commanding,
we show the weakness of our faith.
- Faith doesn't say -- I know God will
- Faith says - I know God can.
- so let me ask you this morning...
- when it comes to this matter of communication
- when it comes to the matter of how you use your tongue
- when it comes to the matter of praying....
- is one of the words that would be used to describe your prayer
II. Pray With Alertness
- the passage also says, "watch in the same" or "keep alert."
- the word that is used there is the same from which we get the name
- which means - "I am alert" or "I am awake"
- of course, when you think of this word in the most literal sense,
what event do you think of?
- the disciples falling asleep in the Garden of Gethsemanea
- Matt. 26:40-41 - "What, could you not watch with me one
- Paul is talking about much more than just "staying awake" when we
- the idea here is being spiritually awake, or spiritually aware.
- remember, many times the Lord used the phrase "watch and pray"
(Mark 13:33, 14:38)
- INPUT - what kinds of things would characterize "alert praying?"
- of course, this gives us another important question to ask -- when it
comes to the matter of how you use your tongue in prayer
- would it be accurate to describe your prayer as being "alert?"
III. Pray With Thanksgiving
- this is the fifth time in this small book that the subject of
thanksgiving has come up. (1:12, 2:6, 3:15, 3:17)
- INPUT - how is "praying with thanksgiving" different than the way
many of us pray? (simply pray for needs)
- INPUT - what's wrong with that? (views God as some sort of "cosmic
- INPUT - When is this especially difficult? (trials--the very time
when I should be careful to give thanks--for the
opportunity to grow)
IV. Pray With An Evangelistic Heart
- Paul says in verse 3, "pray for us, that we would have an open door
- we're going to talk about this more tonight in our commissioning
service for the Stilwells.
- are we praying specifically for our missionaries, and for
- that God would give us a door of utterance
- and that we would be faithful to "go through that door."
- we will study this matter more thoroughly next week, but how would
you do if we evaluated your prayers exclusively on this