The Simple Truth 2-Minute Bible Study

What Does Colossians 3:22-4:1 Mean?

April 12, 2021 Julie Carruth
The Simple Truth 2-Minute Bible Study
What Does Colossians 3:22-4:1 Mean?
Chapters
The Simple Truth 2-Minute Bible Study
What Does Colossians 3:22-4:1 Mean?
Apr 12, 2021
Julie Carruth

(NLT) Colossians 3:22 Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything you do. Try to please them all the time, not just when they are watching you. Serve them sincerely because of your reverent fear of the Lord. 23 Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. 24 Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward and that the Master you are serving is Christ. 25 But if you do what is wrong, you will be paid back for the wrong you have done. For God has no favorites.

4:1 Masters, be just and fair to your slaves. Remember that you also have a Master—in heaven.

Show Notes Transcript

(NLT) Colossians 3:22 Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything you do. Try to please them all the time, not just when they are watching you. Serve them sincerely because of your reverent fear of the Lord. 23 Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. 24 Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward and that the Master you are serving is Christ. 25 But if you do what is wrong, you will be paid back for the wrong you have done. For God has no favorites.

4:1 Masters, be just and fair to your slaves. Remember that you also have a Master—in heaven.

Hey, welcome to The Simple Truth. I’m Julie Carruth.

In Colossians chapter 3, Paul teaches us to serve and love one another as though we were serving and loving Christ himself, and today’s verse is no different, as Paul writes in verse 22 from the NLT, “Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything you do. Try to please them all the time, not just when they are watching you. Serve them sincerely because of your reverent fear of the Lord. And verse 23, “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.

Many scholars believe that Paul gives a significant portion of this letter to slaves because Onesimus, a runaway slave was visiting Paul in Rome while Paul was in house arrest awaiting trial. Onesimus would be delivering this letter to the Colossians along with a letter to Philemon, Onesimus’ master. 

And while we don’t own slaves, this portion of the letter is still as relevant to us today whether we are an employee or an employer. Paul says to obey your masters, or in today’s paraphrase, it might read, obey your boss, and always work hard for them whether they witness it first-hand or not. Meaning, don’t cut corners when they’re not watching.

Why? Paul says because you are working for the Lord. 

Paul continues in verse 24, “since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”

This was a radical thing for Paul to state here – that the slave will receive an inheritance from the Lord as his reward. Under ancient Roman law, slaves could not possess any property and Paul is saying that not only will they receive an inheritance, but this inheritance is from the God of the universe who sees his hard work.

But Paul doesn’t stop with the slave. He turns his attention towards the Master as he writes in chapter 4 verse 1, “Masters, provide your slaves with what is right and fair because you know that you also have a Master in heaven.

In ancient Rome, slaves were seen as  property of the master. But Paul says, “Not anymore.” Everyone is equal in God’s eyes and must be treated with honor and respect. Paul reminds the slave owner, or if applying to our present day, the business owner, to do everything as though he was doing it for Christ because Christ is his master. 

So, your Simple Truth for today: No matter who we are, whether a husband, wife, child, slave, or business owner, we are to do everything as if we are doing it for Christ.

Have a blessed day. I’ll see you again tomorrow.