Colossians 4:5-6 pt 1

Steve Viars March 11, 1995 Colossians 4:5-6

 

- we're studying the book of Colossians
- these last three weeks, we've been talking about the subject of
    communication.
     - of course, as with everything we've looked at in chapter, this
       subject needs to be understood in the context of the preeminence
       of Christ.

     - you can tell how important Jesus Christ is to a person by
         listening to them speak.

- let's take a minute and think about how that’s true in ways other than
   what this passage addresses.
     - INPUT - How would you complete this sentence:  A person who
               believes Jesus Christ is preeminent will speak in a way
               that is _________.

- we've been studying Col. 4:2-6--
    - two weeks ago we looked and verse 2 and studied prayer
    - last week we looked at verses 3-4 and studied the speech of
        proclamation (evangelism.)

    - Verses 5-6 are more general verses, but they contain some very
        important truths.
          - in fact, these are the kind of verses that would be good for
              most of us to study and memorize.
               - there are many ways you and I can apply these verses
                  each day.

- read verses 5-6

- Paul begins by saying that we must:

I. Walk Wisely

    - let's start by asking:

    A. What does it mean to walk wisely?

       - INPUT - How would you answer this?

           - seeing life from God's point of view.
           - properly evaluating circumstances and making godly decisions
           - putting everything in life through a biblical grid
           - making a biblical choice
           - considering the brevity of life
           - viewing circumstances from the perspective of eternity.

- INPUT - What is the relationship between this and the previous verses
          we studied last week on evangelism?  Why would Paul be
          addressing this topic?

          - a person who really wants "doors of utterance" is going to
            walk in a way that "qualifies him to utter"

       - Can you imagine what a terrible thing it would be if the Lord
         gave a person a clear opportunity to witness (say, for example,
         at the time of a death), but because they hadn't been walking
         wisely they had disqualified themselves from speaking?

(by the way - what should a person do who finds himself in that
  predicament?  -- ask forgiveness, then utter!)

- so Paul says -- we need to walk wisely.
- let's push this one step further:

    B. How does a person become wise?

        - INPUT?

        (farm out verses)

       1) worship - Prov. 9:10 - the fear of the Lord is the beginning of
            wisdom.

            - people who have a right fear and reverence of God are well
               on their way to being wise.
            - on the other hand, those who are flippant in their view of
               God, and their view of life, and their view of truth---are
               well on their way of being foolish (or better--confirmed
               in the foolishness they already possess.)

       2) prayer - James 1:5, Psalm 119:105

             - when's the last time you prayed for wisdom?
             - do you make it a habit, especially in times of trials and
                difficulties, to stop and ask God for wisdom?

       3) Bible study - Col. 3:16, Prov. 2:1-5, II Tim. 2:15

             - are your habits of studying and applying the Scripture
                 resulting in wisdom?
             - is it natural for you, during the week, to ask--what does
                 the Scripture say about this situation?
                   - what biblical truths would apply to what I'm facing
                       today and how would they apply?
                   - what am I going to have to change in my thinking,
                      speech, and behavior because of what the Scripture
                       says?

       4) godly instruction - Col. 1:28

           - remember, back to the early part of this book...
             - Paul told these folks that he had been praying for them
                that they would be "filled with the knowledge of his will
                in all wisdom and spiritual understanding."
             - a few verses later, he speaks of "Christ in you, the hope
                of glory; whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching
                every man IN ALL WISDOM, that we may present every man
                perfect in Christ Jesus."


- another important question to answer from this verse is:

    C. Before whom are we to walk wisely?

        - "those that are outside"

        - INPUT - who is that?
             (those outside the church -- those who don't know the Lord)

              - how important an issue is that?  (cf. I Thes. 4:12,
                  I Tim. 3:7)

              - INPUT - what would say about the person who would say
                  things like;
                    - "I don't care how I come off to others"
                    - or "I don't care about my reputation,"
                    - "What they think is their problem"??

                    (tie to the preeminence of Christ -- this sort of
                     indifference is surely not like the compassion our
                     Lord had for people, and His desire to minister to
                     as many persons as He could)

- INPUT - what are some times when it is especially difficult to do this?

              - now, we do have to put some balance on this point.
              - INPUT - if you walk wisely before those who are outside
                  as this verse commands---does that mean every
                  unbeliever in your life is going to sing your praises?

                     - cf. Rom. 12:18  (develop)

- now, we could turn this idea around and look at it from the perspective
   of:

    D. What does it mean to walk foolishly?

        - this is a partial list, but there are some behaviors the
           NT especially connects with foolishness:

        1. living for money - I Tim. 6:9

        2. living legalistically - Gal. 3:1, 3

        3. living jealously or with selfish ambition - James 3:16
              (worldly wisdom)

- so this part of the verse gives us an excellent area to evaluate
- Are we walking wisely?
    - are we walking wisely especially before those who don't know the
        Lord?

- the second half of the verse explains more about walking in wisdom by
    commanding us to:

II. Make the Most of Opportunities

    - the point is -- wise people redeem the time
         - wise people make the most of the opportunities God gives

    - its important to note that the word used here for time is not the
        word chronos -- minutes on the watch
           - instead, its chairos -- opportunities.

    - redeeming the time means making the most of each opportunity God
       gives us each day.

    - illustration - Tuesday - schedule blown//but many opportunities
         - someone asked on the way out, How was your day?
         - answer - depends on what measuring stick you use.  (develop)

    - this is an important issue in the Scripture:

        1) Psalm 90:12 - so teach us to number our days, that we may
              apply our hearts unto wisdom.

              - people who are numbering their days make the most of each
                opportunity the Lord brings across their path.

        2) John 9:4  - I must work the works of Him that sent me while it
              is day, for the night cometh, when no man can work.

             - INPUT - what does this verse contribute to our discussion?

                - we can't take it for granted that we'll always have
                  tomorrow, and that we'll always have tomorrow's
                  opportunities to "make the most of."

        3) Romans 13:11-14

             - READ

             - the point I'd especially like us to see from these verses
                is that men and women who are making the most of
                opportunities have learned how to control their "lusts of
                the flesh."

             - INPUT - what are some lusts of the flesh we'll have to
                  control in order to make the most of the opportunities
                  God gives?

                   - I must have....
                   - I want .....
                   - I need ....

 

- so we're talking about making the most of the opportunities God gives
    each day.

- often, the reason we don't make the most of today's opportunities is
    because we think things like, "I can't wait till..."

- Dave and Janice Cody - dramatic reading of "The Magic Thread"

 

- let's talk about how you and I might fall into the "trap" illustrated
    by this story -- and thereby fail to make the most of the
     opportunities each day.


- on the white board, I'm going to make two columns:

I can't wait til ______.           The opportunity that could be missed.

Steve Viars

B.S. - Bible, Baptist Bible College
M.Div. - Grace Theological Seminary
D.Min. - Westminster Theological Seminary

Pastor Steve Viars has served at Faith Church since 1987. He and his wife Kris were married in 1982 and have two married daughters, a son, and two grandchildren. Pastor Viars’ gifted teaching ministry, enthusiasm for the Word of God, and organizational skills are instrumental in equipping Faith Church. He oversees the staff, deacons, and all Faith ministries and serves on the boards of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, Biblical Counseling Coalition, Vision of Hope, and the Faith Community Development Corporation.

Read Steve Viars’ Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Viars to Faith Church.

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