Summary: Battling discouragement in Christian service
It’s Worth the Trouble
Introduction: Ever get discouraged in your service for Christ? Maybe you feel like you are not making a difference. Maybe you have come under persecution, or ridicule for your faith in Christ. If so this sermon is for you, be encouraged to know that your time and trouble are not ill spent. When talking about service, it’s worth the trouble.
1. Paul’s suffering: He knew what suffering was about, at the time of the writing he was in prison for preaching the gospel…he also had endured many trials see 2 Cor. 11:23-28
2. Paul’s rejoicing: Comes from a Greek word cairo, that simply means to be glad…Paul was glad he was suffering for the sake of the church because it meant he was making an eternal difference in their life
I. Service is Worth the Trouble Because the Gospel Must Be Proclaimed; 1:24-29
A. Because it is a stewardship; 1:24-25
1. The idea of stewardship is that one has been entrusted with the care for someone else’s property
2. Have you ever thought of the gospel as God’s property entrusted to you, with the commission to invest it in someone else’s life?
3. Notice we have been given the stewardship for the benefit of others
4. Illustration: If you had a sick friend and had medicine that would make them well would you give it? What about if you had an eternally terminally ill friend?
B. Because it is a revealed mystery; 1:26
1. The secret was Jesus, hidden by God, revealed at the correct time
2. It was hidden in the past, but now revealed to the saints
3. Since the saints have this mystery, it is still hidden to those who do not know Jesus, it is our duty to share the mystery
C. Because it contains the riches and hope of glory; 1:27
1. This word “riches” points to the worth of the gospel, priceless
2. This word “hope” points to the impact of the gospel, it gives meaning to life and promises for afterlife
3. Notice though, that these things are only available through “Christ in you”…the world does not these things to offer
a. Illustration: Attempting to find these things in the world is like ordering a Big Mac at Wendy’s, it’s not there. If we wish to offer our friends hope for this life and for eternity, we must take them where it can be found, only in Jesus.
D. Because it is for every man; 1:28-29
1. The Jews would have disagreed because they felt that God only accepted them
2. The Gnostics of Colosse would have disagreed because they felt salvation was reserved for the intellectually elite.
3. We must understand that salvation is available to all, not matter their past
4. Notice that Paul did not say that he admonished and taught those who were open…he witnessed to every man
5. Our job is not to get results, our job is to present the good news to every man
1. This text not only talks about the worth of evangelism, it also encourages Christians that church service is worth the trouble
2. Paul’s struggle: The Greek word is used to describe contest, struggles, efforts at public games, the toil and conflict to obtain victory. Notice each one is hard work, but the prize is worth it.
II. Service is Worth the Trouble Because the Church Must Be Edified; 2:1-5
A. Must be edified for its encouragement; 2:1-2a
1. Illustration: This word was used in secular history to describe a group of soldiers who had lost their desire to fight. The commander sent an officer to give “encouragement”. These words gave the soldiers the desire to continue the battle.
2. Christians need encouragement to continue the battle
B. Must be edified for its fellowship; 2:2b
1. Described here as “knit together in love”
2. The word translated knit refers to a body held together and strengthened through ligaments
3. The love and encouragement that we offer one another is what holds us together, it’s what makes us strong
C. Must be edified for it spiritual knowledge; 2:2c-3
1. Paul uses the word "apokrutho" to describe the “hidden knowledge”, this was in direct opposition to the Gnostics who referred to their books of knowledge with the same word
2. What he is saying is that there are no “special revelations” to elite Christians, our job is to grow together in the knowledge of Christ
D. Must be edified for its theological stability; 2:4-5
1. This is described as “stability in faith” and “good discipline”
2. These are actually military terms which describe troops not breaking ranks or defecting when the enemy attacks
3. The enemy was attacking the Colossian church through false teachers, the same as today