Summary: In this sermon we look at how to have a fruitful personal ministry through the words of Paul in Colossians 1:24-29

Paul’s Elements of a Fruitful Ministry

“How to Glorify Christ in our lives”

Colossians 1:24-29

October 11, 2009

Your Name ____________________

Introduction and review:

In Colossians 1:15-19 the apostle Paul showed us the preeminence of the God/Man Jesus Christ!

In Colossians 1:19-22 the apostle Paul showed us the work of Christ in reconciling God and man through the blood of His cross.

Paul then disclosed a cautionary note

23 - if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard....

This is a caution on the need to finish well, this is a caution on the need to keep our eyes fixed on the preeminent and exalted Christ.

Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith.....

Hebrews 12:2

Paul now shifts His focus, because undoubtedly the person of Paul and His ministry was under attack from the false Gnostic teachers.

With the exalted reconciler Christ in view, Paul is going to lay out His personal ministry and in doing so reveal elements of a fruitful ministry!

He is going to answer the question: How do we glorify that Christ in our lives and ministry?

Element 1- Ministry is a Stewardship

23d and of which I, Paul, was made a minister.

25a of this church I was made a minister according to the stewardship from God bestowed on me for your benefit,

Stewardship comes from the Greek word oikonomia(G3622 οἰκονομία)

It carries with it the meaning of administration(particularly within a household or estate)

Minister comes from the Greek word Diakonos(G1249 διάκονος)

It is where our word deacon comes from and means servant!

It carries with it the illustration of a table waiter, who delivers the chef’s food to the customer unaltered

Jesus Christ has entrusted us with the ministry of delivering His Gospel unchanged to the world around us!

… and you shall be my witnesses...... Acts 1:8

Ministry is not only done by Pastors and Elders but by the entire body of Christ!

Element 2- Ministry embraces suffering

24a Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake

How can Paul rejoice in suffering? Because He realizes suffering must happen in order for lives to be changed.

Jesus suffered for redemption to be accomplished and as servants of Christ we will suffer for the redemption message to be spread!

Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted

2 Timothy 3:12

24b and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body, which is the church in filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions

What does Paul mean He fills up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions?

Is Paul saying Christ’s death on the cross was not enough? NO!

“The sacrificial sufferings of Christ are over, but His body, the church, experiences suffering because of its stand for the faith.”

Warren Wiersbe, Be Complete

Jesus Christ as the head of the body feels the sufferings of the church!

Acts 9:4

Element 3- Ministry involves full proclamation

25c so that I might fully carry out the preaching of the word of God

28 We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ

Preaching is the center of God’s plan for the salvation of the world.

The church is built on the preaching and teaching of God’s word!

Fully Carry Out- To make replete(abundantly supplied, abounding)

26 that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints,

27 to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of Glory

We abundantly supply preaching, because our hope is found in Christ indwelling us.

What is the focus of our preaching? We proclaim Him – Vs. 28a

Element 4- Ministry is done with a Shepherds Heart

28 We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ

Admonishing comes from the Greek word noutheteō

To caution or reprove gently

Its warning people who are are caught in sin, through God’s word, to repent and come back to Christ

Teaching is to present the truths found in God’s word so that every believer is living out of a Godly worldview!

Who are we teaching and admonishing? Every Man

What is the purpose?

28c so that we may present every man complete in Christ!

While we will never reach perfection here on earth, we want to see consistent growth!

What is growth? It is the measured, constantly increasing capacity(in me) to experience the life of Christ imparted by the Holy Spirit.

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