Colossians 4:13-18
Col 4:13 (KJB)
For I bear him record, that he hath a great zeal for you, and them that are in Laodicea and them in Hierapolis.
Record - Witness
Zeal - Fervor or enthusiasm
This verse continues to teach how much zeal Epaphras had for the Colossian church. There was Gnosticism brought into the church and that was one of the things that Epaphras had agonized in prayer about so the Christians would not be taken in. Not only was he fervent in prayer for Colossae but also Hierapolis and Laodicea. Paul was a witness to the fact that he was a great prayer warrior and prayed against false doctrine entering into the church.
Col 4:14 (KJB)
Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you.
Luke, who was the human author of Luke and Acts had accompanied Paul on portions of his second and third missionary journey. (2 Tim 4:10 KJV) For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia. When Paul wrote the letter to the Colossians, Demas was still faithful but maybe he began to get the desire of the big city while he was in Rome and eventually had forsaken Paul and the true Gospel. It must have been a rapid departure because 2 Timothy was only about a year or two after Colossians. (1 John 2:19 KJV) They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. Sometimes the reality is that people who we think are saved are really not and eventually they prove it by falling away.
Col 4:15 (KJB)
Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church which is in his house.
During the very early days of the church, the believers met in the houses since there were no official assemblies yet. Paul mentions Nymphas by name only once and that is here. We do not know if Nymphas was a teacher or if he just used his house to allow the Christians to meet there. If there is no church in a neighborhood and a person has a place available for meeting, then they need not be a gifted teacher or pastor, just make the place available and the Lord will send the right people to teach. So even if you have no gift of teaching, you can still be used mightily of the Lord.
Col 4:16 (KJB)
And when this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye likewise read the epistle from Laodicea.
Paul wrote his letters specifically to certain churches but they may have become cyclical letters. It is believed that the epistle from Laodicea may have been the Epistle to the Ephesians but why would it not be referred to as that, even though Ephesus was the chief city of Laodicea. There is no evidence for that either so it still remains a little mystery. Nevertheless, Paul had desired to make sure that the Colossian letter was read among all the believers and also read in the church.
Col 4:17 (KJB)
And say to Archippus, Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfil it.
Take heed to - Watch, behold, and notice
Fulfill - Make complete or supply fully
Archippus may have been the son of Philemon and Apphia because he was in the house of Philemon. (Phile 1:2 KJV) And to our beloved Apphia, and Archippus our fellowsoldier, and to the church in thy house: Paul refers to him as a strong brother in the Gospel. He may have had double duty in that he was doing ministry in both the church at Colossae and in the church in the home of Philemon. Paul encourages Archippus to take heed to the ministry the Lord has given him and that he continues to minister in the strength of the Lord, thus fulfilling his ministry calling. Paul counsels him to remain strong in the ministry. This is also an admonition for us today. If the Lord has given us a ministry, then we are to be zealous to fulfill that ministry to the best of our spiritual abilities.
Col 4:18 (KJB)
The salutation by the hand of me Paul. Remember my bonds. Grace be with you. Amen.
Remember - Recall, keep in mind, or be mindful
Paul apparently had someone else pen the epistle while he dictated it. This may have been necessary if he would have some type of physical affliction. After all the Apostle Paul went through in body, it would be amazing that he could still get out of bed in the morning. He also requests that they remember his bonds, not to feel sorry for him, but to pray about his situation and maybe the Lord would allow him to leave the prison and continue ministering. He also wanted them to realize that his situation was by the will of God and not by man. God could have freed him in a heartbeat but it was Godís plan that Paul be in prison at that time. Again we must always keep in mind that Godís ways are not our ways. He ends this Epistle by wishing them the Grace of God. The grace of God was so active in Paulís life that he desired all Christians to know that grace more intimately each and every day.