Colossians 1:26-29


Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: Whereunto I also labor, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.

THE SUBJECT OF THE MINISTRY (vv. 26-27) – What is it that we are saying? proclaiming? What is the message?

  • The Manifestation Of The Mystery (v. 26) – “Even the mystery which hath been hidden from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to His saints”
    • Ages = times
    • Generations = people
    • Mystery = was hidden from times and people, now known
    • We are to teach people the mystery. What is this mystery?
    • THE SECRETS OF GOD DISCUSSED
      • God has some secrets that He never reveals– Deuteronomy 29:29 – This is where our intelligence ends and God’s begins.
      • God has some secrets that He reveals only to special people
        • Psalm 25:14
        • Proverbs 3:32
        • Some things that He only reveals to the righteous.
      • God has some secrets that He hid in the past but has revealed to all the saints in the New Testament
        • These are the mysteries.
        • Something that was never revealed in the Old Testament to anybody, but is now revealed in the New Testament to everybody who is a Christian.
    • THE NEW TESTAMENT MYSTERIES DELINEATED
      • The Mystery of the Incarnate God (Colossians 2:2-3, 9)
      • The Mystery of Iniquity (2 Thessalonians 2:7)
      • The Mystery of the Rapture (1 Corinthians 15:51-52)
      • The Mystery of Babylon (Revelation 17:5, 7)
      • The Mystery of the Church (Ephesians 1:9-10; 3:3-6, 9a; 6:19)
      • The Mystery of the Bride (Ephesians 5:23-32)
      • The Mystery of Israel’s Unbelief (Romans 11:25)
      • Not used it in the sense of some secret teaching, rite, or ceremony hidden from the masses and revealed to an exclusive group of people.
      • A mystery is something that was hidden in the past and is now revealed in the New Testament.
  • The Makeup Of This Mystery (v. 27)
    • The indwelling Christ–Christ in you.
    • They never knew that the Messiah would indwell the very bodies of His people.
    • They never understood the relationship of an indwelling Messiah to the Gentiles—the mystery of the church.
    • Our message is to tell people that the living God wants to come and dwell in their life.
      • Ephesians 3:4-6
      • Not to try to live a better life.
      • Not imposed rituals or a self-styled alteration of life.
      • Not saying, “Could you make your New Year’s resolution every month?”
    • OUR RICHES IN CHRIST
      • Ephesians 1:18
      • Ephesians 3:16
      • Colossians 2:2b-3
      • Romans 9:23
      • Romans 11:33a
      • God is rich in knowledge, wisdom, mercy, grace, and love…and He deposited it all in us.
    • CHRIST’S RESIDENCE IN US
      • Ephesians 3:19b
      • Ephesians 3:17a
      • John 6:56
      • John 14:17
      • John 14:23
      • Romans 8:9-10
      • 2 Corinthians 6:16b
      • Galatians 2:20a
      • That’s the subject of the ministry, and “the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27)
      • The only glory that a man could ever have is obtained only when Christ is dwelling within him.

THE STYLE OF THE MINISTRY (v. 28a) “Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom”

  • The Elements Of Proclaiming
    • Preach = proclaim
    • Not just living the life
    • Not necessarily formal preaching that Paul is referring to with this term, he’s simply referring to speaking the truth.
    • Two components: a negative (warning) and a positive (teaching)
      • WARNING
        • The Simple Definition
          • Warning means “to admonish.”
          • To warn someone is to give encouraging counsel in view of sin and impending punishment.
        • The Shared Responsibility
          • Colossians 3:16a
          • Romans 15:14
          • 1 Thessalonians 5:12–If every Christian has the responsibility to admonish, certainly it is the responsibility of every pastor as well.
      • TEACHING
        • Teaching is imparting positive doctrine.
        • We impart positive doctrine by teaching the Word of God.
        • Done “in all wisdom”
        • The proclaiming that we do, then, is to involve warning and teaching
        • To unbelievers a believers
  • The Extent Of Proclaiming
    • “Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.”
    • Who are we supposed to warn and teach, then? Everybody…every man.
    • Be committed to opening our mouths and proclaiming.
    • Let’s commit ourselves to speak for the Lord– warning about negative behavior and teaching positive truth in all wisdom.

THE SUM OF THE MINISTRY (v. 28b) – What is the goal of the ministry? The maturity of the saints.

  • The Priority Of Perfection
    • EPHESIANS 4:11-12
    • GALATIANS 3:3
    • HEBREWS 13:20-21
  • The Progress To Perfection – Philippians 3:12
  • The Process Of Perfection
    • Second Timothy 3:16-17 tells us how we are to become mature:
    • So, how do you get there? By taking the Word of God and making it a part of your life. That’s your spiritual food. A child matures because he eats. A Christian matures because he feeds on the Word of God.
  • The Preacher Of Perfection – The goal of the ministry is to bring people to maturity; to “present every man perfect in Christ Jesus” (v. 28b).
  • The Potential Of Perfection
    • The potential for perfection is possible in Jesus Christ for every man, in every age, in every society.
    • The Lord Jesus Christ can perfect every man.
    • There is one reality for every man–Jesus Christ can make any man like Himself.

THE STRENGTH OF THE MINISTRY (v. 29)

  • Our Perspective (v. 29a) – “For this I also labor, striving…”
    • HARD WORK
      • Labor = “to toil to the point of exhaustion.”
      • The ministry is work!
      • 2 Corinthians 11:23-28.
      • And he worked his fingers to the bone to earn his own living and the living of everybody who traveled with him (Ac. 20:34).
      • The ministry isn’t easy. It takes work, it takes toil, and it takes effort.
    • MAXIMUM EFFORT
      • Striving = agony
      • To fulfill the Word of God in your life takes maximum effort for your entire life.
      • Sounds too self-generated and humanistic. . .  Look at the rest of the verse.
  • The Power (v. 29b) – “according to His working, which worketh in me mightily.”
    • We’re not alone in our ministry.
    • The only way we can work hard is in His energy and power.
    • 2 Corinthians 4:16
    • God gives us the power to minister.
    • From the human viewpoint I work hard, but all of it would be nothing more than ashes if it wasn’t the energy of God that was energizing me.
    • So when I accomplish anything, it isn’t because I worked hard, it’s because God did it–He energized, He gave the power, He gave the resource.
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