Section 12, Chapter 5
He recommends constant prayer and wisdom. Various salutations.
4:1. Masters, do to your servants that which is just and equal: knowing that you also have a master in heaven.
4:2. Be instant in prayer: watching in it with thanksgiving.
4:3. Praying withal for us also, that God may open unto us a door of speech to speak the mystery of Christ (for which also I am bound):
4:4. That I may make it manifest as I ought to speak.
4:5. Walk with wisdom towards them that are without, redeeming the time.
4:6. Let your speech be always in grace seasoned with salt: that you may know how you ought to answer every man.
4:7. All the things that concern me, Tychicus, our dearest brother and faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord, will make known to you.
4:8. What I have sent to you for this same purpose, that he may know the things that concern you and comfort your hearts:
4:9. With Onesimus, a most beloved and faithful brother, who is one of you. All things that are done here, they shall make known to you.
4:10. Aristarchus, my fellow prisoner, saluteth you: and Mark, the cousin german of Barnabas, touching whom you have received commandments. If he come unto you, receive him.
4:11. And Jesus that is called Justus: who are of the circumcision. These only are my helpers, in the kingdom of God: who have been a comfort to me.
4:12. Epaphras saluteth you, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, who is always solicitous for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and full in all the will of God.
4:13. For I bear him testimony that he hath much labour for you and for them that are at Laodicea and them at Hierapolis.
4:14. Luke, the most dear physician, saluteth you: and Demas.
4:15. Salute the brethren who are at Laodicea: and Nymphas and the church that is in his house.
4:16. And when this epistle shall have been read with you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans: and that you read that which is of the Laodiceans.
And that you read that which is of the Laodiceans. . .What this epistle was is uncertain, and annotators have given different opinions concerning it. Some expound these words of an epistle which St. Paul wrote to the Laodiceans, and is since lost, for that now extant is no more than a collection of sentences out of the other epistles of St. Paul; therefore it cannot be considered even as a part of that epistle. Others explain that the text means a letter sent to St. Paul by the Laodiceans, which he sends to the Colossians to be read by them. However, this opinion does not seem well founded. Hence it is more probable that St. Paul wrote an epistle from Rome to the Laodiceans, about the same time that he wrote to the Colossians, as he had them both equally at heart, and that he ordered that epistle to be read by the Colossians for their instructions; and being neighbouring cities, they might communicate to each other what they had received from him; as one epistle might contain some matters not related in the other, and would be equally useful for their concern; and more particularly as they were equally disturbed by intruders and false teachers, against which the apostle was anxious to warn them, lest they should be infected by their pernicious doctrine.
4:17. And say to Archippus: Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfil it.
4:18. The salutation of Paul with my own hand. Be mindful of my bands. Grace be with you. Amen.
THE FIRST EPISTLE OF ST. PAUL TO THE THESSALONIANS
Thessalonica was the capital of Macedonia, in which St. Paul, having preached the Gospel, converted some Jews and a great number of the Gentiles: but the unbelieving Jews, envying his success, raised such a commotion against him that he, and his companion, Sylvanus were obliged to quit the city. Afterwards he went to Athens, where he heard that the converts in Thessalonica were under a severe persecution, ever since his departure; and lest they should lose their fortitude, he sent Timothy to strengthen and comfort them in their sufferings. In the meantime St. Paul came to Corinth, where he wrote this first Epistle, and also the second to the Thessalonians, both in the same year, being the nineteenth after our Lord's Ascension. These are the first of his Epistles in the order of time.