Paul's Message to the Church
He became a minister (v. 25). The word “minister” (diakonos) means “primarily denotes a servant, whether doing servile work, or as an attendant rendering free service” (WEV 272). Paul viewed himself as a minister or servant of Christ (Rom. 1:1; 1 Co. 3:4-7).
He was a steward of the gospel. The word “stewardship” (oikonomia) means “primarily denoted the manager of a household or estate” (WEV 74). He was “allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel” (1 Th. 2:4). We must be found faithful as stewards of the gospel (1 Pet. 4:10).
Paul preached to benefit others. His ministry was “for the sake of His body” (Col. 1:24 b). The stewardship of the gospel was given to Paul for the brethren (Col. 1:25 b).
He preached the mystery. This mystery is now revealed (Col. 1:26; Eph. 3:2-11; Rom. 16:25-26; Eph. 1:9). The mystery is “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27).
He presented a full gospel. His passion was “to fulfill the word of God” (Col. 1:25 a). “Every minister is bound” “to fulfill the word of God” “in his ministry” (Pulpit 39). This is done by proclaiming the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27). One must also rightly divide the word of truth (2 Ti. 2:15). The promises of the word must be applied correctly (Luke 4:21).
Paul’s mission was to the gentiles. “To them God willed to make known… this mystery among the Gentiles” (Col. 1:27). He had been “separated from his mother’s womb” to preach “Him among the Gentiles” (Gal. 1:15-16). As Paul stood before King Agrippa, he rehearsed his encounter with Jesus on the Damascus highway. When he asked, “Who are you Lord?”, Jesus replied, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. But rise and stand up on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of the things which you have seen and of the things which I will yet reveal to you. I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you, to open their eyes, in order, to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they have received forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among these who are sanctified by faith in me.” (Acts 26:15-18)
Up to this point Paul’s thrust is on the supremacy of Jesus Christ. Now as he lifts his pen to explain the mystery, once again he puts the focus on Christ. What is the mystery? “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27). Jesus lives in us (Gal. 2:20). “The heart is Christ’s chamber of presence: shall we not, therefore keep it with all diligence” (Pulpit 3a). Jesus is “the hope of glory” because as our forerunner, he has carried the anchor of our hope within the veil (Heb. 6:19-20). Without that hope we would of all men be most miserable (1 Co. 15:19). We search the scriptures for through them we “might have hope” (Rom. 15:4; 1 Pe. 3:15). In connecting the dots between suffering and hope, Paul wrote the Roman brethren, “And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance and perseverance character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Rom. 15:3-5).
May the Lord bless you and keep you!
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