The Mystery Revealed, Christ is Enough, so Walk in Newness of Life
What an amazing book and study Colossians has been! There’s been so many rich and glorious treasures that we’ve unearthed, wouldn’t you agree?! Now as we come to the end, there is one last exhortation I believe Paul has for us. It’s the second to last verse in the entire book and, therefore, can be easily overlooked. Nevertheless, I believe that this short exhortation is a timely word for us today.
“And say to Archippus, ‘See that you fulfill the ministry that you have received in the Lord.’”
Who was Archippus?
This verse appears at the end of the section greeting and exhorting specific people within the Colossae congregation. So we can assume that Archippus was a Colossian or at least lived in the general region. Bible commentators also speculate that he might have been Philemon’s son, but we don’t find that explicitly stated in Scripture. What we do know about Archippus is that he was involved in some form of ministry, and this is all that we really need to know about this semi-obscure person. For as we look at Paul’s exhortation to Archippus, we will eventually forget about that name and insert our own.
Now that we know who Archippus was, let’s look at what Paul told him to do. “See that you fulfill the ministry that you have received in the Lord.” Those were Paul’s words to Archippus. The word fulfill here literally means “to make replete, to cram, level, satisfy, execute, finish, accomplish, complete.” But fulfill also has the sense to do all this above and beyond--kind of like the definition “to cram.” Archippus wasn’t just to complete the ministry; he was to complete it well. He wasn’t just to execute his tasks in mediocrity; he needed to execute them to the best of his ability.
Why was Archippus charged to fulfill his ministry? Because he had received it in the Lord. This was a task and responsibility specifically given to him by God. Therefore, he needed to be faithful to it and bring it fully to completion with excellence.
How This Applies to Us
Likewise, we may not be in “official” ministry positions, but we’ve all been given a ministry by the Lord. We all have a task that God has assigned to us, a work to complete, and a job to accomplish. These are our fields and realms of ministry, and we also need to be faithful in them and see them to completion with excellence. We can’t just drop the ball and quit. We must see our job, our task, our responsibilities through, because they have been given to us by God.
So as we finish out this Colossians Study, let’s close with this final thought and question: am I fulfilling the ministry God has placed before me?
Sometimes the job gets tough, sometimes the way seems lonely, and sometimes it seems like the work will never be done, but what sets apart a faithful servant from all the rest is that he sticks with what has been assigned to him and sees it to completion. We all want to be found faithful servants before the Lord, right? So let’s heed Paul’s exhortation to Archippus, and the similar one given to Timothy, and purpose to fulfill our ministries.
“As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”
~II Timothy 4:5