Engaging with the Expansion of the Kingdom, Colossians 4:2-6

“Engaging with the Expansion of the Kingdom”

Colossians 4:2-4:6

August 14, 2022

Faith Presbyterian Church – Morning Service

Pastor Nicoletti

The Reading of the Word

We return this morning to Paul’s letter to the Colossian church.

Paul is now approaching the close of his letter, but before he gets there, he gives the Christians in the Colossian church instruction and exhortations about how they should engage with the expansion of the Kingdom of God.

With that in mind, we turn to Colossians 4:2-6.

Please do listen carefully, for this is God’s word for us this morning.

The Apostle Paul writes:

3:2 Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison— that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.

Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

This is the word of the Lord.  (Thanks be to God.)

“All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever.” [1 Peter 1:24-25]

Let’s pray …

Prayer of Illumination

Lord, we call to you, and we ask you to save us,

so that we might be your faithful servants, and live in light of your testimonies.

We cry out to you,

and we put our hope in your words.

We gather here now,

that we might meditate on your promises.

Hear our prayer, according to your steadfast love,

according to your justice in your covenant, give us life.

And as we face opposition from those who oppose you,

Help us to know how to root ourselves in you.

Grant this, we ask, for Jesus’s sake. Amen.

[Based on Psalm 119:146-151]

Introduction

Our text this morning is largely focused on some specific things that the Apostle Paul wants the church in Colossae to do – on how he wants them to engage in the Christian life, in specific ways. And that will be our main focus as well.

But before we get to that, it’s helpful to spend just a few minutes reviewing the “what” and the “why”: What is it that Paul is calling the Church to be engaged with, why does he call them to be engaged in it, and then we can focus on his main point of how we should do that.

What Paul Calls the Church to Be Engaged With

So first, what does the Apostle Paul call the church to be engaged with in this passage?

Paul here calls the church to be engaged with the expansion of the kingdom of God, in how we relate to God, and in how we relate to outsiders.

Let me say that again: Paul here calls us, as the church, to be engaged with the expansion of the kingdom of God, in how we relate to God, and in how we relate to outsiders.

That is Paul’s calling on us in this text. That’s the “what.”

Why Paul Calls the Church to Be Engaged with It

Second, though, we might ask why: Why does Paul call on us, as the church, to be engaged with the expansion of the kingdom of God?

It’s a question we need to ask, because to Christians and non-Christians alike, the idea of expanding the kingdom of God – of working so that more and more people believe what we believe, and live as we seek to live – this often seems to many like an unnecessary add-on to our faith. In our hyper-individualistic culture, we can easily see our faith as simply a matter between us and God, and so encouraging others to adopt our faith can seem like an extra add-on at best, and an offensive insult to other people at worst.

So why does Paul call on us to be engaged with the expansion of the kingdom of God?

I think it’s helpful to begin with clarifying what we mean by the “kingdom of God.”

The kingdom of God is where God’s power and authority is brought to bear on every power and every creature, so that all people recognize his reign. [Frame, 87] In other words, it is where people recognize that Jesus is Lord, place their trust in him, pledge their loyalty to him, and live their lives for him. That is the kingdom that Christ proclaimed in his ministry, and that is being extended now through the proclamation of the gospel. That is the kingdom that will come in its fullness when Christ returns and completes the defeat of all his enemies.

So why would we as Christians want to see that expanded? Why are we not content to let our faith be a private matter?

There are a lot of ways we could answer that question, but the simple answer is that what drives us to want to see the kingdom of God extended is love for God and love for our neighbor.

First, we want to see the kingdom of God extended because we love Jesus Christ, we want him to be glorified by all people, we want him to receive the honor from this world that he deserves – because he is the Maker of this world, as God the Son who has existed from all eternity; he is the Redeemer of this world, as one who came and died to save it and make it new; and he is the King of this world, who deserves the loyalty of all his subjects. We want to see the kingdom of Christ extended because we love him.

Second, we want to see the kingdom of Christ extended because we love our neighbors. We know that this world is broken. We know that all people have sin. We know that sin leads to death. And we know that human beings are destined for eternity. Each person will live forever, either in Christ’s kingdom, in joy and glory, or outside of Christ’s kingdom, in darkness and despair. And we want to see those around us embrace Christ and so enter his kingdom, so that they may dwell with him forever, because we love them.

Love of God and love of neighbor answers the “Why?” of why Paul calls on us, and why we should be motivated, as the church, to be engaged with the expansion of the kingdom of God.

How Paul Calls the Church to Do It

And that then leads us to our main focus this morning, the how: How does Paul call us to be engaged with the expansion of the kingdom of God?

And while Paul calls us to this engagement in a range of ways throughout his letters, in this particular passage he focuses on two ways that we are to be engaged in this work: We are to be engaged in how we relate to God, and in how we relate to outsiders.

And that will be our focus for the rest of this morning: on how we are to relate to God for the expansion of Christ’s kingdom, and how we are to relate to outsiders for the expansion of Christ’s kingdom.

How to Be Engaged, Part 1: In Our Relationship with God

So first, how are we to relate to God for the expansion of Christ’s kingdom?

And the answer Paul gives us is prayer. But he gets more specific than that. In verses two through four Paul tells us four specific ways we are to pray.

Prayer That Is Watchful

First, Paul calls us to prayer that is watchful. We see that in verse two.

That word “watchful” is used in a few different ways in the New Testament, as a literal or a figurative call to stay awake and alert, and to watch. [Moo, 320-321; Wright, 155]

Sometimes it is used to describe the way that Christians should watch for the second coming of Christ. [e.g.: Matthew 24:42,43; 25:13; Mark 13:34,35,37; Luke 12:37; 1 Thessalonians 5:6; Revelation 16:15].

Other times it is used for a general call to be watchful of a coming threat. [e.g.: Matthew 26:38,40; Mark 14:34,37]

Still other times, it is used as a call to watch against temptations to sin. [e.g.: Matthew 26:41; Mark 14:38; 1 Peter 5:8]

While all these meanings may be in mind here, I suspect that there is a special emphasis, given the context, on the call to watch for threats and temptations to come, and to pray in response. [Arnold, 2299]

Such threats can come in the form of persecutions, but they more frequently come in the form of temptations.

In Matthew 26:41 and Mark 14:38 Jesus says to his disciples “Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation.” In 1 Peter 5:8 the Apostle Peter writes: “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” We are called on as Christians to be watchful. And it seems that one of the things that Paul calls us to here, as we engage with the unbelieving world, is to be watchful and prayerful about the temptations and possible persecutions that may come from the world.

And both actions are important. First, we are to watch. We are to be alert. We are not to bury our heads in the sand about the ways that we and other Christians may be persecuted for our faith, or may be tempted away from our faith.

Are there ways that you fail to be watchful? Do you tend to downplay the temptations that you, or your children, or other Christians you know will face from some non-Christians? Do you tend to pretend that you or they are impervious to such temptations? Do you tend to avoid information about the suffering and persecutions other Christians overseas face? Whether it comes to persecution of the brethren, or temptation from the world, Paul calls us to watch.

But very importantly, he calls us to be watchful in prayer. We are to look with clear eyes at the temptations and threats that we and other Christians face not so we can fret about them, and not even primarily so that we can come up with a strategy for them, but before everything else, so that we can pray about them. Paul here calls us to see those threats and temptations, and then to pray about them.

How do you need to do that? Where do you need to be watchful and prayerful?

After all, if we want to see the expansion of the kingdom of Christ, we must also pray against its retraction – against the kingdom being attacked and reduced, whether through temptations to sin among God’s people, or threats of suffering.

Prayer That Is Thankful

Second, in verse two, Paul calls us to pray not only with watchfulness, but also with thanksgiving.

And that combination, for most of us – or at least for me – is really important.

Because when I watch – when I set my eyes on the threats that face me or those that I love, one of the first things that goes out the window for me is thankfulness.

My mind can quickly become consumed with the negatives: with the things that are not the way they should be, the threats that may impose themselves on us, the temptations that we will have to resist. To be watchful means, necessarily, to look at the negatives around us.

But Paul also calls us to look to the positives. He also calls us to look to the good things that Christ has already done for us, the good things he is doing even now, and the even greater things he has promised to do at his return … and then he calls us to give thanks.

Paul doesn’t want naïve optimists, who fail to watch for the threats and temptations against the kingdom of God. But he also doesn’t want cynical pessimists who fail to see and give thanks for the good things that Christ has done, is doing, and will do.

Where do you need to see those things and respond to God in prayer with thanksgiving?

The second way we are to engage with God and the expansion of his kingdom is to give thanks for his kingdom and its past, present, and future blessings.

Prayer That Is for Missionaries & Ministers

Third, Paul gets specific. In verses three and four he writes: “At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison— that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.”

Paul here prays for a door to be open “into the hearts, minds and lives of individuals and communities” that he’s ministering to, so that the word of God – not the word of Paul or the word of a particular program – but so that the word of God would enter into and bring transformation to their hearts, their minds, and their lives. [Wright, 156; Moo, 322-323]

To this end, Paul asks for prayer that he might speak the mystery of Christ – the gospel message – with clarity, to those who hear him, wherever he may be, even while he is in prison. [Moo, 323, 325]

Paul reminds us here that we must pray for those who are engaged in missions and ministry. We should pray that the Lord would open doors in the hearts, minds, and lives of the individuals and the communities they are reaching out to. We should pray that the Word of God would enter into their hearts, minds, and lives, and bear fruit. And we should pray for those doing the work. We should pray for God to help and sustain them. We should pray for God to help them endure hardships. And we should pray that God would help them to clearly communicate the gospel of Christ to others.

Paul calls us here to pray for the work of those in ministry and missions.

Prayer That Is Steadfast

Fourth, Paul calls us to pray with steadfastness. And actually, that is the first thing he says, in verse two, though I wanted to save it for last.

As one commentator puts it, Paul’s point with that phrase is “that believers should pray […] habitually and with perseverance.” [Moo, 319]

Our prayers for the expansion of the kingdom – our prayers of watchfulness, thankfulness, and intercession for those in missions and ministry, are to be habitual prayers. They are to be prayers we make over and over again. They are to be steadfast prayers, made from week to week and season to season in our lives.

Practical Application

Now, if it hasn’t already, then I think this is the point where the guilt sets in for most of us who are Christians.

Some of us fail to pray watchfully. Some of us pray about our concerns, but we often fail to give thanks. Some of us pray about our own lives, but we fail often to pray for the work of ministry and missions of the kingdom of God. But most of us know our prayer lives are not steadfast … but are often irregular and haphazard.

I’ve been reading a book lately on habits … and as we think about the call to habitual prayer, let me give two pieces of advice derived from it.

This is, in many ways, just advice. It’s not the only way to pursue these goals, and it may not work for everyone. But I think there’s some wisdom in it for some of us.

First, in your prayer life, don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Some of us can spend lots of time coming up with deep and elaborate and ambitious visions for what our prayer lives ideally should be. We can spend a lot of time planning. Maybe we even do some research. And then we launch our grand new prayer life. And then in a day, or a week, or a month, the whole thing has fallen apart. We tend towards all-or-nothing thinking. [Clear, 142-143]

Instead, I’d urge you to just try to take one step of improvement in your prayer life. And then, when you’ve been doing that for a while, take another step. Focus on patient and humble, but lasting growth in your prayer life, not an overnight spiritual makeover.

Ask yourself today – this afternoon –: what is one realistic step forward you can take to be more engaged through prayer with the expansion of Christ’s kingdom?

Second, consider committing yourself to a practice with others, rather than just telling yourself that you’re going to muster up a lot of willpower to do this on your own. [Clear, 81-90, 113-124, 205-211]

Environment – and the environments we choose – often have more effects on our practices and our habits than shear willpower.

So choose, and commit yourself to, an environment – a practice with other people – that will help you pray more in these ways.

The first, and most obvious way to do this is to come to our Wednesday night prayer meeting. As I’ve said before, you come, and we give you updates on missionaries we know, and then we pray for them. If you just get yourself here, and commit yourself to doing that weekly (or even, to begin, just monthly!), that alone will increase how much you pray for the expansion of the kingdom.

Or, if you can’t make it to prayer meeting, then maybe find one or more other Christians, and set up a prayer time with them. It can be in-person, or over Zoom, or over the phone. It can be for an hour a week, or it can be for fifteen minutes a week. And don’t just share prayer requests, but actually pray. And pray not only for your own needs, but those of the kingdom. The church emails out a PDF of missionary letters every Wednesday afternoon. Pick one or two requests from that. And by doing it together, you’ll be more likely to do it than if you were simply left to yourself.

If you are already doing things like that, maybe you might add more prayer for the kingdom in your family life, or in your personal life.

This will look different for everyone, but I urge you, don’t leave this in the abstract. Decide today one concrete thing you’re going to do – one small step you’re going to take – to pray a bit more steadfastly, with watchfulness, and thanksgiving, and an eye to the ministries and missions of the kingdom.

All of that is the first way Paul calls us to be engaged with the expansion of the kingdom of God: to be engaged with it in our relationship to God, through prayer.

How to Be Engaged, Part 2: In Our Relationships with Outsiders

The second big way Paul calls us to be engaged with the expansion of the kingdom of God is through our relationships with outsiders – by which Paul means non-Christians. [Moo, 326; Wright, 157n67].

We see this in verses five and six. Paul writes: “Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”

Paul is calling us to a few things here when it comes to our interactions with non-Christians.

Walking with Wisdom & Making the Best Use of the Time

First, in verse five, he calls us to walk in wisdom towards outsiders.

Now, when we think of walking in wisdom, one of the first things that comes to mind is to walk with caution – to be careful. Jesus similarly warns, when he sends his disciples out into a hostile world, to be “wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” [Matthew 10:16] And we could be sure that Paul would say the same thing.

But Paul has already emphasized the wisdom of caution earlier in this letter, where he warned against being wrongly influenced by false teachers – a caution that we too must take to heart. We must be careful that in our connections with non-Christians they are not influencing us in a way that draws us away from Christ. That’s a point Paul has already made.

But here Paul’s emphasis seems to be different. Here Paul’s emphasis is on the wisdom of opportunity. And we see that in light of his next phrase.

Paul says, “Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time.” That phrase translated “making the best use of” literally means “buying up.” [Moo, 328]. As one commentator puts it, the sense is that “every opportunity is to be snapped up like a bargain.” [Wright, 157]

Paul is telling us, as we interact with non-Christians, to be wise in spotting opportunities to put forward the gospel in word or in deed, and to not just see those opportunities, but to act on them – to buy them up like a bargain you happened to come across, whether you were expecting it or not.

That can take a variety of forms. But Paul here focuses on three elements of what it should look like when it comes to our speech.

Speech That Is Gracious

First, he says in verse six, it means that our speech should be gracious.

In Paul’s Greek the phrase has a possible double meaning of both including God’s grace, and also being characterized by human graciousness. [Wright, 157] And it seems likely that Paul means to imply both: we are to speak of the grace of God, and we are to be sure that our speech to outsiders is itself gracious. [Moo, 330]

So first, when we speak to non-Christians, we are to be gracious in how we do it – not brash or condescending, but full of grace.

Speech That Is Seasoned with Salt

Second, he says in verse six, it means that our speech should be “seasoned with salt.”

This phrase was an idiom in the ancient world to describe speech that is engaging – that is “winsome and witty” as one resource puts it. [Moo, 331] When taken in the context of Paul’s ministry and in light of his previous exhortation, as one writer puts it, here “Paul is calling on Christians to speak with their unbelieving neighbors and friends with gracious, warm, and winsome words.” [Moo, 331]

And to do that well often means that we really know – and we strive to know – the people we are talking to. As we noted in our sermon on “Outreach” as part of our theological vision series back in May [https://www.faithtacoma.org/vision-nicoletti/our-theological-vision-aspirational-values-evangelism-outreach-mission], Paul adjusted the way he talked about Christ and the gospel depending on who he was talking to, in order to make it more engaging for the hearts and lives of those he spoke to. And this was not just some technique, but it was the fruit of genuine care and love. And so it should be in our lives as well.

We should seek to speak to non-Christians in a way that really engages them, which means really knowing them, which often means that before we speak, we really listen to them.

Speech That Aims to Answer Each Person

Third, Paul says in verse six that he is calling us to do all this: “so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” Which means that we are to actually give people gospel answers.

This is an important point for some of us. Because in being gracious and in being engaged, we need to be careful to make sure we don’t miss the central point, which is sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with people – putting before them the thing they most need.

Paul, again, notes that we need to know “how” we “ought to answer each person” – another reminder of the attentiveness we need to have to each individual. But implied in Paul’s words, of course, is that we actually do answer them with the gospel by pointing them to Christ.

This often takes courage. This often takes boldness. But making the best use of the time means knowing when it is time to speak truths to them about Christ – even truths that may be uncomfortable to say … even truths that may offend. The most loving thing we can do for those around us is to point them to Jesus. At some point that needs to be done overtly. It always runs the risk of offending. As Paul highlights, we are to be gracious and winsome to avoid unnecessary offense. But we cannot let a fear of offense keep us from loving others through pointing them to Christ.

And so Paul here calls us to “walk in wisdom with outsiders, making the best use of the time” with speech that is “gracious,” and engaged, intended to answer them by pointing them to Jesus.

Practical Application

Now, as we consider all of these directions, we need to make overt an assumption that underlies them all.

As one commentator puts it: “Paul’s comments assume that the Colossian believers are vitally involved in the local community and have ample opportunities to interact with outsiders in a way that would commend the gospel to them.” [Arnold, 2300]

Which is an important reminder – and maybe even an intentional point on Paul’s part, that while, as he warned them earlier in this letter, the Christians in Colossae must resist the influence of false teachers, Paul didn’t want them to withdraw from the unbelieving world, but rather, he expected them to engage with non-Christians around them, seeking to bring them to know and trust Christ. [Moo, 327]

Paul assumes that the Christians he is writing to will have regular interactions with non-Christians. And while he doesn’t get into the shape of those interactions, I’d suggest two major forms they may take.

Some of our interactions with outsiders – most of them, actually – will take place outside of the church.

Sometimes they will be in intentional, programmatic ways we do that: in mission trips, work we do in different ministries, ways we volunteer with outside Christian service organizations, and so on. These are good and intentional ways we should seek to serve non-Christians, and if you’re not already, then you may need to consider whether and how the Lord might be calling you to make the best use of the time – to snatch up particular opportunities like a bargain – for serving non-Christians in one of those ministries.

But many other opportunities outside the church will come not through programs, but through the more organic connections of our daily lives. They will come as we interact with neighbors, with co-workers, with non-Christian family members, with parents of our children’s friends, with those who share a hobby of ours, and so on. And Paul here calls us to be mindful of how we conduct ourselves in those relationships. Are we being wise? Are we being alert and intentional about making the most of each opportunity to display the gospel to them in word or in deed? Are we making sure that our speech is gracious and engaged? Are we working to answer them well?

This is how Paul calls us to conduct ourselves in our interactions with non-Christians outside the church.

But I also think there is a way that we must apply this to outsiders – to non-Christians – who are here with us in the church.

As I’ve pointed out before, in First Corinthians 14:23 we see that Paul seems to expect self-professed-non-Christians to be present with the church when it gathers and even when it worships.

I was listening to theologian James Eglinton recently, and, summarizing some of Abraham Kuyper’s later writings, Eglinton made the point that the church today, in our cultural setting, probably needs to be even more intentional about cultivating a space within the church community itself for self-professed non-Christians.

Eglinton explains that, as Kuyper, writing back in 1907, saw it, we might think of the Christian community in something like concentric circles. You always have, as a center circle “a core of people who are professing, active Christians, with a really vital faith.” And then, in past centuries in the West, you had, as a next ring around that, a large nominal Christian population as well. These were those who, as Kuyper puts it “went along with Christianity, rather than living along with it.” They were “carried along by Christianity rather than very actively swimming along with it.” [These are Eglinton’s translations/paraphrases of Kuyper.] And in some settings, this circle of nominal Christians could encompass most people in the culture. But today, that second ring of nominal Christians is largely gone. Kuyper saw that happening in Europe over 100 years ago, and we certainly see it today in Western Washington: our culture no longer esteems historic, orthodox Christianity, and so it no longer rewards someone for being a nominal Christian. And so that second circle out has largely disappeared in our culture.

Now, on one level, that’s not all bad, because it helps us see more clearly whether someone is sincere in their faith.

But while that may not be bad, other effects of this shift are bad. And one those bad effects is that while that next circle out of nominal Christians tended to have at least some understanding of Christianity (even if they didn’t fully embrace it), today, most non-Christians in our secular culture are, as Eglinton puts it, “functionally totally illiterate about Christianity.”

What are we to do about that? How can we bridge that gap? Well, part of Kuyper’s suggestion is that we need to re-create that second circle of non-believers who are gathered around the church. But rather than it being a circle out in the world of people who are just nominally “going along with” Christianity, it needs to be a circle within the community of the church, or people who do not yet believe what we believe, but who are seeking to understand what we believe, and who, in the meantime, want some level of connection and belonging in our church community. The long-term hope, of course, is that such people will come to faith, and will move from that second circle to the inner circle of true believers. But some people may need to spend some time … even a lot of time … in that second circle before they’re ready to enter the center one. [Grace in Common, 33:00-35:47 & 39:00-41:44]

Which means that we should be delighted when non-Christians join us on Sunday morning, or at any of our gatherings. We should welcome them, and as a congregation we should be hospitable to them. It means that we should be patient with them as the Lord works in their lives, and we should seek to interact with them and love them as Paul outlines for us here in this passage: answering their questions in a way that is gracious and engaged.

It means, as well, that you need to consider who the Lord might be putting in your life, and calling you to invite to church some time, for some sort of event.

And it also means that if you are a non-Christian here this morning, then you are sincerely welcome here.

We want to get to know you. We want you to participate with us as you are able. We want you to listen with us to the words of the Scripture, and consider what they mean for you.

You can do a lot here, even if you are still working out exactly what you believe.

That said, at the heart of what unites us as a community is our faith in, and our commitment to Jesus Christ. And so, if you have not yet given your life to Christ, you will feel, at times, that disconnect. You will feel, at times, like a bit of an outsider. And those feelings and those reminders are not bad things, they’re just an honest acknowledgement of where you are right now.

We have something of a reminder of that every Lord’s Day when we come to the Lord’s Supper. This symbolic meal is, like its antecedents in the Old Testament, set aside for those who have, in faith, given their lives to the Lord. If you haven’t yet done that, you don’t need to feel awkward about being with us, while not participating in the Lord’s Supper. Instead, it really is an opportunity to be honest with yourself and with the Lord, about where you are. You’re not just out there, on the outside, but you’re here, with Christ’s people. At the same time, you have not yet taken the step to cling to Christ by faith and become one of his people. It is a moment in the service for you to consider where your heart is, and how the Lord is calling you to take that step in faith, towards him.

We are happy for however our congregation has been a blessing to you. But make no mistake, Christ is, by far, the most valuable thing we have to offer you. We hope you will come to know him. And in the meantime, we’d love to get to know you better, and we’re happy to answer any questions you may have.

Conclusion

Paul here calls on Christians to be engaged with the expansion of the kingdom of Christ – both in how we relate to God in prayer, and in how we relate to outsiders.

And what should drive that engagement is love: a love for God, a love for Christ’s kingdom, and a love for the non-Christians that the Lord has put in our lives.

Brothers and sisters, do not forget that Christ loved us when we were outsiders. He prayed for us even before we came to know him. He walked with wisdom and made the best use of his time on earth, to save us. He sent his Spirit to draw us to himself with gracious truth, seasoned with salt, answering our questions, and revealing to us the mystery of the gospel.

This is the love that Christ has shown each and every one of us. Let us show the same love to those around us, in how we pray, in how we speak, and in how we live.

Amen.

This sermon draws on material from:

Arnold, Clinton E. Introduction and notes to Colossians in The ESV Study Bible. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2008.

Clear, James. Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones. New York, NY: Penguin Random House, 2018. [This book, it seems to me, contains a lot of common grace wisdom and insights that can be helpful. That said, it is not written from a Christian perspective and promotes a naturalistic understanding of a human being and human life.]

Eglinton, James. Comments on the “Grace in Common” podcast episode titled “Listener Q & A” June 27, 2022. https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/listener-q-a/id1609942093?i=1000567826978 or https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9hbmNob3IuZm0vcy84MjZkYWJkYy9wb2RjYXN0L3Jzcw/episode/OGUxODA4ZGYtYTUyZi00NzcyLTliYTUtNmE2YWZkN2UyMTBk?ep=14

Frame, John M. Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Christian Belief. Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 2013.

Moo, Douglas J. The Letters to the Colossians and to Philemon. The Pillar New Testament Commentary Series. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2008.

Nicoletti, Steven. “Our Theological Vision – Aspirational Values: Evangelism, Outreach, and Missions.” Faith Presbyterian Church. May 8, 2022. https://www.faithtacoma.org/vision-nicoletti/our-theological-vision-aspirational-values-evangelism-outreach-mission

Wright, N. T. Colossians and Philemon: An Introduction and Commentary. Tyndale New Testament Commentaries. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 1986.

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