“And say to Archippus, ‘Take heed to the ministry which you have received in the Lord, that you may fulfill it.'”
“And say to Archippus, ‘Take heed to the ministry”
Archippus was a minister at Colosse. Paul challenges the church to admonish him to do his work diligently. Evidently, he was sidetracked with things of less moment.
Archippus may be the son of Philemon (Phile 2). He may have ministered in Colosse in Epaphras’ absence. In Philemon, Paul asked Philemon to free his slave Onesimus. Now he chastises Philemon’s son for not staying sharp in the ministry. Philemon remained his friend, however!
“Take heed” means to watch out. The ministry is not the ability to balance a cup of tea or make proper clucking noises at any party. “Take heed” in this context means to concentrate on ministry. Some ministers do everything but teach the Word. Here Paul says, “Get with it; above all else, teach the Bible to your congregation” (cf. 1 Tim. 4:16; Ac 20:28; 2 Tim. 4:5; 1 Tim. 1:12; Acts 20:24).
“Ministry” is used in three ways in the New Testament: 1) leader of the national entity (Rom 13:1,2), 2) universal priesthood of the believer (2 Cor 3:6-4:1), and 3) pastor of the local church (Eph 3:7; 6:21). Here the idea is the pastor of the local church.
The pastor must stay sharp in Bible teaching for the ministry’s sake.
Pastors need to “take heed” to their ministry. Heaven and hell are at stake. They should try to be as sharp as possible to honor the privilege of the church given to them. Biblical-oriented preaching is at the core of pastoral ministry.