I invite you to take a look at my notes for this passage. Grab your Bible, set a spell and jump into Colossians with me..
Verse 24: Rejoice, Sufferings – We as Christians endure the suffering that Jesus would be facing if He was on the earth today. Jesus told us that the world would not like us, because it did not like Him. Plus instead of facing persecution with dread, Paul saw his persecution as a time to be joyful in the Lord and His ever present care.
You and I have a different understanding of suffering for our faith than did Paul. We live in a pretty insulated society where we don’t do much suffering. We think we are suffering if we don’t have electricity or a/c for over 4 hours. What Paul was talking about was completely different from what we paint as ‘the lack of creature comforts’.
In the New Testament when suffering is described it is often accompanied by the word, ‘patience’. Patient suffering. Jesus suffered patiently. The apostles suffered patiently. When it occurs we will have the opportunity to show the love of Jesus to people who don’t deserve it. But then we didn’t deserve it either. In Paul’s case, he wasn’t suffering for himself; rather he was suffering for the sake of the new church there in Colossae.
Verse 25: Minister (servant – one who serves food), Stewardship, Fully Carry out, Preaching of the Word of God (at that time it was the sayings and teachings of Jesus, the active involvement of God in the lives of people, and to the OT. It was not a reference to a NT book).
Verse 26: I have two items here before you – I laid out 2 containers in front of the congregation. They are identical sized containers. One of them I will freely share with you (contained mini cup cakes with butter frosting and slivered almonds). It costs nothing to you and you will love it. It is ready, the time is right and I kept it under wraps until now.
I also have a 2nd container. Unfortunately you will only be able to see the contents of the other container if you have been to a certain training class and know the special password. Otherwise, sorry no admittance. You don’t just don’t qualify.
Mystery, Manifested to His Saints – In Greek pagan religion mystery meant a secret teaching revealed to a select few who had been initiated into an inner circle. For us the mystery was simply something that was hidden from past generations but is now revealed by the Lord. Jesus now lives in Gentile and Jewish believers. Plus He now brought Gentile and Jew together into one body.
Verse 27: Riches (abundance of the blessings) of the Glory (splendor and brightness) of this Mystery among the Gentiles, Christ in you, the Hope of Glory – ultimately the glory of being in the presence of the Lord in heaven!
Verse 28: Proclaim (announce and declare), Admonishing (warn strongly), Teaching (explaining), Wisdom (living life skillfully), Present Every Man Complete (some translations use the word ‘perfection’ here. The more accurate translation is complete, full grown or mature – and this is not referring to how old you are – it is referring to your spiritual maturity). Each one is important, needs discipling and needs to grow!
Verse 29: Labor (Paul is willing to weary himself to the point of exhaustion for this cause), Power (Greek word energia), Mightily…
Verse 1: Struggle (Greek word used is like the contest you would see between 2 teams), Laodicea – the sister city of Colossae – about 11 miles away. The two churches were to share the letters that Paul wrote them (See Col 4:16)
Verse 2: Hearts may be Encouraged (comforted, strengthened), Knit Together (to unite, come together for a common cause) In Love, Full Assurance (most certain confidence) of Understanding, True (correct and precise) Knowledge of God’s Mystery – Christ Himself. The false teachers in Colossae spoke of initiating people into a superior knowledge so they could understand mysteries. Paul taught that we could understand the mystery of God without all the secret ‘mumbo jumbo’. Simply knowing Jesus is to know the mystery. The Gnostics taught that Jesus emanated from the Father and only shared some of the attributes of being God. Paul taught that Jesus had all of the attributes of God and knows all things. The Gnostics taught that only people with certain ‘secret knowledge’ were part of the elite group. Paul taught that every believer had access to Jesus and His wisdom.
Verse 3: In Him: All the Treasures (storehouse where valuable things are kept) of Wisdom (Greek word – Sophia) and Knowledge (Greek word – gnosis),
When we hear the word treasures, we think of things like buried treasure, and sunken ships in the Caribbean. The treasure here is God because He has all the wisdom and knowledge. He alone is the storehouse. No one compares to Him!
Verse 4: Persuasive Argument (enticing words that lead someone astray from the truth)
People who have been deceived by false teaching, or by cults or by the occult try so hard to make their ‘thing’ sound so mainstream, so harmless, so desirable. Resist it and stay on course with Jesus!
Verse 5: Your Good Discipline (experience, you have it together) and the Stability (steadfastness, firmness) of your Faith
In our faith walk there is a place for self discipline, stability and steadiness. As Christians, remember we are soldiers in the Lord’s army and we need to walk in self discipline, stay in spiritual shape, and be ready to do whatever He says when He gives the order!
- We will probably never suffer to the extent that Jesus did. We however may experience (real) suffering from time to time. Rather than bristle at it (and shout unfair), I pray that when we face it with patience, let Jesus live His life through us, that those who are persecuting us will be convicted by our godly attitudes and actions.
- Remember we are all ministers. Ministers are servants and not VIPs.
- God’s Mystery was fully disclosed to us at the perfect time and all can enjoy it! There is nothing secretive about it. If you hear someone talking about secret knowledge, an elite inner core, or similar themes, then beware.
- Jesus in you is what it is all about! Jesus in us gives us life more abundantly now and eternally when you breathe your last and step into glory!
- Be a healthy part of helping a younger Christian along in their faith. Be willing to answer their questions, share your ups and downs and pray for them!
- Who wants man’s empty wisdom when God offers true wisdom?
- Keep your guard up against teachers and persuaders who make their non-Christian teachings sound better than life. They aren’t better, they’re dangerous!