Paul's opening exhortation is framed by two imperatives, both of which convey his deep concern to evangelize the lost. The community that God has called out of the world for salvation by the gospel (see Rom 10:8) is called in turn to preach that gospel; evangelism is the church's vocation. The work of evangelism includes prayer (4:2-4) as well as proclamation (4:5-6)—a point already highlighted in the letter's opening words (1:5-9). In fact, this concluding passage connects well with Paul's opening thanksgiving (1:3-12). So Paul's exhortations to pray for the church's mission (4:2-4) and to be wise toward outsiders (4:5) form a sort of bookend, paired with its opening thanksgiving, bringing into even clearer focus the purpose of the letter's main body. That is, Paul's interest in correcting the errant philosophy concerns the church's vocation; the Christless teaching and ascetic morality of the "hollow and deceptive philosophy" (2:8) threaten the church's evangelistic mission to outsiders.
IVP New Testament Commentaries are made available by the generosity of InterVarsity Press.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your free trial.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your subscription.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
You've successfully created your account! For the best Bible Gateway experience, consider an upgrade to Bible Gateway Plus. For less than the cost of a latte each month, you'll get reduced banner ads and a huge digital Bible study library. Try it free for 30 days!