Salute the brothers which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church which is in his house.
Salute the brethren that are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the Church that is in their house.
I. THE SALUTATION
1. To the brethren of Laodicea, who are called also "the Church in Laodicea. The apostle had a deep interest in them, because they were exposed to the same spiritual dangers as the Colossians. They dwelt in a rich, commercial city, and seem to have degenerated spiritually many yearn afterwards (Revelation 3:14-16),
2. To Nymphas and the Church in their house. This was an eminent Christian of Laodicea, probably a rich man, and certainly full of zeal for the cause of God, for his house was the meeting place of a Church. He was evidently a centre of religious life in this important locality.
II. HIS COUNSEL TO THE COLOSSIANS. And when this Epistle hath been read among you, cause that it be read also in the Church of the Laodiceans; and that ye also read that from Laodicea."
1. The nearness of these Churches to each other, as well as their exposure to the risks of the same heretical teaching, explains this counsel. The letter from Laodicea was probably the Epistle to the Ephesians, which was of an encyclical character, and was now carried by Tychicus to the Churches of Proconsular Asia.
2. It is the privilege as well as the duty of private Christians to read the Scriptures. (John 5:39.)
3. This is a plain proof that the Scriptures are to be read publicly in the Church. (Acts 13:15.)
III. HIS INDIVIDUAL COUNSEL TO ARCHIPPUS. "And say to Archippus, Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfil it."
1. The position of Archippus. He was a member of the household of Philemon, and probably his son (Philemon 1:2). He held some office in the Church, for he is called "a fellow soldier" of the apostle. If he was a minister at Laodicea, as some suppose, the counsel addressed to him throws a significant light upon the condemnation of the Laodiceans many years afterwards for their lukewarmness. If, however, he was a minister at Colossal, as is more natural, the apostle's counsel recognizes the right of the Colossian Christians to exercise discipline or reproof in the case of their teachers.
2. The admonition to Archippus. He was to fulfil his ministry.
(1) It was a ministry received by him.
(a) He was not self appointed.
(b) He received it, not only from the Lord, but in the Lord, whose grace prepared him for it and kept him in it. Therefore his responsibility was all the more serious.
(2) It was a ministry to be fulfilled. He was "to make full proof of his ministry" like Timothy (2 Timothy 4:5). He was to "stir up the gift of God" (2 Timothy 2:6). He was to hold on till the end, shaking off lethargy and listlessness, showing the people the whole counsel of God, refuting all sorts of sins and errors, and being "instant in season, out of season" (2 Timothy 4:2) in all labours for Christ.
(3) There was need for the apostle's warning counsel. "Take heed." This individual warning would not have been sent in an Epistle designed for the whole Church if there had not been some failure of effort or duty on the part of Archippus. There is always need for ministers to "take heed to their ministry," considering
(a) the dignity of their office;
(b) the value of immortal souls;
(c) the risks to which the flock are exposed from errors, sin, and worldliness;
(d) the account that is to be given to God. - T.C.
Parallel VersesKJV: Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church which is in his house.