Summary: Jesus Christ provides us with our purpose and the power to accomplish our purpose.
Good morning and welcome to our continuing journey together through the book of Colossians. If you recall, the book of Colossians is actually a letter that Paul wrote while in prison and he wrote it to the Christian Church in Colosse. Paul had never been to Colosse but he had an influence on Epaphras who took the Gospel message to Colosse and started a church there.
Last week we looked at chapter 1:15-23 which is where Paul gives a very clear description of who Jesus Christ is and what He did for us. To summarize, Paul reminds us that Jesus Christ is God in the flesh, He existed with God in the beginning, and that all things were created by Him and for Him. Paul led us into realizing that Jesus Christ holds supreme authority over all creation in heaven and on earth to include people and governments. Then Paul dropped a bomb on us. He told us who we are apart from Jesus Christ’s saving grace. Apart from Christ we are alienated from God. We are enemies with God and at war with Him in our mind. I don’t know about you but I’ve read Revelation and I know who wins the war so I definitely don’t want to be on any other side than God’s. But praise be to God that Jesus Christ made peace for us through His blood shed on the cross for all who believe that Jesus Christ was crucified on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins, that he was dead and buried for three days, he rose from the grave, ascended into heaven where He purchased a place for you and me by His sacrifice and offers us that place in heaven and forgiveness of sin as a free gift.
Let’s start today’s message with a question, “Why are you here?” “What is your purpose for being here and what is your purpose in life?” There have been many books written to help people determine and /or define their purpose and some decide to come up with a mission statement that directs their lives. Everything and everyone has a purpose. For example, The Taj Mahal is one of the most beautiful and costly tombs ever built, but there is something fascinating about its beginnings. In 1629, when the favorite wife of Indian ruler Shah Jahan died, he ordered that a magnificent tomb be built as a memorial to her. The shah placed his wife’s casket in the middle of a parcel of land, and construction of the temple literally began around it. But several years into the venture, the Shah’s grief for his wife gave way to a passion for the project. One day while he was surveying the sight, he reportedly stumbled over a wooden box, and he had some workers throw it out. It was months before he realized that his wife’s casket had been destroyed. The original purpose for the memorial became lost in the details of construction. SOURCE: Dr. James Dobson, Coming Home, Timeless Wisdom for Families, (Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton; 1998), p. 122.
In Chapter 1:24-2:7 Paul focuses upon the Purpose of the Church, the Power to achieve that purpose and a Proposal for what the church gains. It is also our purpose because Paul tells us that “you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” We need to stay focused on our God given purpose so that we do not get consumed by our earthly mission and overlook our primary purpose.
Let’s read the text and see what God’s Word has for us today.
24 Now I rejoice in what was suffered 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 saints. 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 We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. 29 To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me.
2:1 I 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. 2 My 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,