Summary: The 6th message of 13 in an expository series on the book of Colossians.
A Pastor’s Heart
1I want you to know how much I am struggling for you and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not met me personally. 2My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, 3in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments. 5For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how orderly you are and how firm your faith in Christ is. 6So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, 7rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
Intro: A Pastor’s Heart
Question: What is the greatest quality of a minister or disciple of Christ?
Verse: 1I want you to know how much I am struggling for you and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not met me personally.
Word: struggle (agon) to agonize in striving for the finish line.
Idea: Scripture teach us that Jesus loved the church so much that He laid down His life for her. To Ephesians elders, Paul challenged them to, “shepherd the church of God which He purchased w/ His own blood.
Paul loved the church so much that he gave his life and service completely to her. His love for the church was captivated by his love for Christ. Paul fully understood the truth expressed in 1 John 4:21.
Verse: This commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also. 1 Jn 4:21
Setting: Paul was writing to two churches of which he had neither personally planted nor visited. In fact, he likely knew of not one believer in either of these churches, and yet he agonized over them in prayer wanting to encourage, comfort, and strengthen them. He longed to visit w/ them, yet he was shackled to a Roman guard under house arrest.
Trans: Nonetheless, like a loving parent though, Paul commended these believers and challenged them to be a strong tower both individually and corporately in their respective cities. Thus, he offers them five objectives and encouragements to assist them in their quest to be a Great Commission church in a sinful world. He calls them to uphold that very evidence of an abiding life.
Verse: I am the vine and you are the branches, any man ho abides in Me and I in him, will bear much fruit, but apart from me you can do nothing. Jn. 15:5
I The Church should be Strong in Heart
Verse: 2My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart…
Word: encouraged (parakaleo) to call alongside to appeal to, comfort, exhort and strengthen.
Idea: Paul desired that the Colossian Christians would be strong in their inner person.
Word: heart – refers to bowels – the inner man. In Greek/Hebrew culture, the heart usually referred to the lower part of the abdomen – a person had such strong emotions that they felt it (butterflies).
It refers to the center part of man that is so emotionally moved he is motivated to move to physical action.
Idea: Paul desired that the Colossian believers would be so moved emotionally by Christ in them that they would be people of conviction and compassion moved to stand firm w/ power in their daily walk w/ Christ.
II The Church should be United in Love
Verse: …and united in love,
Word: united (sumbibazo) knit together or bring together
Note: While Paul desired that the Colossians possess a strength of conviction, Paul understand that genuine conviction manifest itself in active, mutual love for others. Thus, Paul reminded the Colossians that faith w/out love was not faith, but rather only a mental assent. Instead he exhorted them to realize that while faith alone saved, that genuine faith always manifested itself in the activity of love.
Idea: Not only do we have a common faith in a common Savior, but we also possess a common mission to love one another. This love is fueled by Christ in me allowing me to love anyone and everyone unconditionally.
Verse: By this will all men know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. 1 Jn
Quote: In John 13, the point was that if an individual Christian does not show love toward other true Christians, then the world has a right to judge that he is not a Christian. Here (in John 17:21) Jesus is stating something else which is much more cutting, much more profound: We cannot expect the world to believe that the Father sent the Son, that Jesus’ claims are true, and that Christianity is true, unless the world sees some reality of the oneness of true Christians. Now that is frightenin. Should we not feel some emotions at this point? Schaffer