Summary: How to message about dealing with the suffering.
Appropriate Response To A Divine Mystery
Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, 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. 25 Of this church I was made a minister according to the stewardship from God bestowed on me for your benefit, so that I might fully carry out the preaching of the word of God, 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. 28 We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ. 29 For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me.
Answers the question of what to do and how to respond to the supremacy of Christ and the greatness of the salvation that has been accomplished on our behalf.
1. Suffer Joyfully For The Gospel
Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep. 26 I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren; 27 I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure.
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; 13 but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation. 14 If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. 15 Make sure that none of you suffers as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler; 16 but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name. 17 For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 AND IF IT IS WITH DIFFICULTY THAT THE RIGHTEOUS IS SAVED, WHAT WILL BECOME OF THE GODLESS MAN AND THE SINNER? 19 Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.
2. Serve God From A Sense Of Calling
3. Proclaim Jesus Christ To Make Every Disciple Complete
28 We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ.
Notice the word “every”. It is three times repeated.
This emphasizes that the teaching and admonishment of Biblical truth is for EVERYONE. It is not just a few – or not just the super spiritual types. But the deepest spiritual truths are for EVERY believer.
This truth is further emphasized by the phrase “all wisdom”.
In all wisdom or in other words, “In every form of wisdom”.
Thus opposed to the idea of esoteric and exoteric wisdom represented by the false teachers; higher knowledge for the few philosophic minds, and blind faith for the masses.
In christian teaching the highest wisdom is freely open to all.
God’s plan for every believer is to learn and understand “all wisdom”
God wants you to know everything there is to know about Him.
In fact God wants you to not only know everything. He wants you to also be everything that Jesus is. Not God. You can’t ever be God, but you can be conformed to the shape, the image,the person of Jesus Christ.
For whom He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son
until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.
4. Live The Christian Life In The Strength Of God’s Might
verse 29 For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me.