The worker of the church (Col1:24-29)
Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church. 25 I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness— 26 the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. 27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.28 He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. 29 To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.
At the above, as we thought, the worker of the gospel means the worker of the church. The church is the people who was pulled out of the world to the outside. It is not the system or, the building. In other words, the church was the Christian who was born again by the power of the Holy Spirit. And they belong to Christ, the head of church. So the Scripture calls for him the chosen people, the covenant people. Who is the noblest person in the world? It is the church. Why is the church the noblest community in the world? Because it is the church of Christ. That Christ’s possession. In Mt 16:16, as Peter confessed, we should confess, “ You are Christ and the son of living God.” I shall build my church on it. It means not only the confession of Peter but the confession of us . If we confess that Jesus is my Lord and the Son of God, we can become the church. So we thank that I abide in Christ and Christ abides in me. It is very mysterious event in our lives. So we live as church In the earth. Even though we meet some suffering in our lives, our identity as the church cannot be changed. Any Christians lives in the church and as the worker of the church in his whole lives. If any christians leave the church, It proves that he may be a non Christian or, very sinful Christian. So we have to assure that we are the worker of the church and also have to live a worker of the church in our whole lives. In the text what did the Apostle Paul find out in his serving about the church?
First. The church is filled with the glory of the secret.
Verse 26 says, “ the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people.“ So he enjoyed the blessing in his heart. (26-27) “ the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” In the verse he shouted that the church is the hope of glory. What is the secret here? It is the most mysterious grace that can solve every problem. In our Christian lives Christ is the secret of all secrets to reach the glory of God. Do you believe in it? In the honor of man, the property, and the prosperity we should see Christ as the master key.
Especially Paul emphasized that the secret of the redemption is Jesus Christ who had been hidden before the creation.
In our present situation the power of the hades is very strong in our lives. At this time we have to solve that problems with our absolute master key, Jesus Christ. Have you solved your problems in your lives? For example, according to Acts 27:14, “Before very long, a wind of hurricane force, called the Northeaster, swept down from the island.”, when he meet the severe problem in his journey as Yourogula that was a storm on the water. Then many men might be drowned in the water because of the sudden storm. Also Paul was included in the hurricane, Then how could he apply his secret, Christ to that situation? Only he accepted that situation in his heart to look at the providence of God in silence. It was his positive action in his life. Whenever everybody was fallen in the darkness on the water. He assured that God shall save them. Because the Lord stood up by the apostle promised the absolute protection. (23-24) “ Last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me24 and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.” Why did he delivery out of the miserable situation? What is the main point? It was the his ultimate goal , the mission of the gospel he should preach the gospel to Caesar in Rome. In order to preach Christ to Rome, the Lord needed the Apostle Paul. The solution of the mission centric method must be the master key. Finally Paul really preach and teach the word of God at Rome. 28:23 says, “23 They arranged to meet Paul on a certain day, and came in even larger numbers to the place where he was staying. He witnessed to them from morning till evening, explaining about the kingdom of God, and from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets he tried to persuade them about Jesus.” God solved his sever problem with Christ and his gospel.
In our school life we have to apply the master key, Christ. How can we apply that to the other issues?
First we have to understand the Word of God. rightly.
Second we have to ray faithfully God before God.
Third, we have to think all things that depended on the Scripture.
Fourth we have to is mission plan in his life. –
Second, the church is the men who will be filled with the remained suffering of Christ in his body.
Verse 24, “Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church.” Here what does “ what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s affliction” means not to help the cross of Christ, but the remained affliction of ion , trial , tribulation and suffering. Christ. It means the suffering of the church for Christ’s word in the world. We are walking through the lots of suffering after our salvation. Until we attain to the ultimate goal of our salvation we have to walk on the narrow road. The road is full of many temptation. So we need to endure through walking the road. Paul says after he was suffered by the enemies at by God’s grace he was awakened he exhorted to the church such things And after he finished his temporary ministry. He exhorted that in the future, many wolves will come o church in the future. , “9 I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock.30 Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.31 So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.“(29-31) In the world the suffering of church smally or greatly, we have to accept the reality in our lives. Sometimes we are suffered for our sins or, sometimes we meet the trial of training . Anyway we have to know that information. Then we should pass students over the situation by the repentance and the endurance.
My beloved students, in this school I want to encourage new students to keep God’s calling faithfully. I thank God for your faithful obedience for God’s calling. I expect that every student get through this course with your wonderful vision.
Third, the church were the men who serve faithful to Christ and his words in his present life.
What is the church? It is filled with the glory of Christ’s secret and with the remained suffering of Christ. And also the church is the faithful people to serve humbly.
(1) Verses 28-29 says “28 He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. 29 To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.
“ How did Paul serve for Christ? He devote himself to the Lord in his ministry. He preached the gospel and exhorted each person.
(2) Ex: Acts 20:18-21 says ““You know how I lived the whole time I was with you, from the first day I came into the province of Asia.19 I served the Lord with great humility and with tears and in the midst of severe testing by the plots of my Jewish opponents.20 You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you but have taught you publicly and from house to house.21 I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus. “
II Corinthian 6:3-10 , “3 We put no stumbling block in anyone’s path, so that our ministry will not be discredited.4 Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses;5 in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger;6 in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love;7 in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left;8 through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors;9 known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed;10 sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything. “
- My beloved students, Be faithful to your studying, your ministry and your lives. We have to see the glorious church in the world that the Scripture reveals to us.
When we die before God , can you confess that I served your church faithfully?
Do you have the obvious vision in your heart to serve the Lord as 24 elders in the heaven revealed in the revelation chapter 4-5 ?
During you stay in the world without hesitation serve to his church faithfully as your wonderful privilege. And then God provide your grace to us in your lives.
- My beloved student, Learn to love the church as Paul assured. Our Lord are searching for the worker of the gospel as well as the worker of the church.
- As we know , John Knox wanted to listen to the commentary of Ephesian written by John Calvin before his death. Why did he want? Because He wanted to participate into the glory of the church. May the grace of God’s illumination be with you all.