Useful Bible Studies > Colossians Commentary > chapter 3

Whether we are rich or poor, we must all obey God

Colossians 3:25

People who are not honest are constantly making excuses for their wrong behaviour. They imagine themselves to have a right to take what does not belong to them. A poor person’s excuse may be that his employer will not pay him properly; so, he steals from the employer. A rich person’s excuse may be that his workers are not clever enough to demand their proper wages; so, he does not pay them properly.

Elsewhere, the Bible warns rich people and employers very strongly to deal with their workers in an honest manner (James 5:1-6). Here in Colossians 3:25, however, Paul is writing particularly for the benefit of Christians who were slaves. Their situation at work was extremely hard; but God still wanted them to work in an honest, careful and responsible manner. They must remember that, as Christians, Christ was their true master, and not any person. Christ would therefore reward them if they did their work well. So, they must work in the manner that pleases Christ. That was as true for them, as it is for a rich person. Whether we are rich or poor, we must all obey God.

God is the judge of all people, and all his judgements are right (Genesis 18:25; Revelation 20:12). As our judge, he will show no special kindness to any person, whatever their nation, whether they are rich or poor (Romans 2:6-11). So now, he urges all people to turn from their evil deeds (Ezekiel 18:23; Acts 17:30), and to invite Christ into their lives (Acts 2:38). He wants to forgive our wrong and evil deeds; he will show us how to live in the way that pleases him (for example, see Ephesians 4:28).

Next part: Advice for Christian employers (Colossians 4:1)


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© 2019, Keith Simons.