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Summary: Message 7 in our exposition of Colossians exploring what Paul considered the heart of ministry.

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Chico Alliance Church

Review

It is so easy to get sidetracked and focused on the wrong thing. Some people spend their whole life climbing the ladder of success only to discover it is leaning against the wrong wall. Paul writes to the believers at Colossi to keep their focus sharp and clear. He writes to encourage their hearts in a world that would burden their hearts and destroy the joy of being cherished subjects in the kingdom of God. He helps them to be clear on the supremacy of Christ over all creation as well as the sufficiency of Christ for all creation. The proper driving force of an effective minister of Christ is the glorious message of restored relationship with God. At the heart of all the labor and striving, proclaiming, admonishing, teaching and presenting is the astonishing message of hope of restored glory that Paul dedicated his life to declare. Today I shift want to draw our attention to the heart of the ministry. Today we explore the absolute core issue of Christianity. In indwelling Christ!

Introduction

American Christianity has diluted the core issue of the Gospel for decades. Everyone claims to be a Christian these days. It is only a matter of mental or verbal assent to a system of belief that makes me a Christian. If I decide to change beliefs, I cease to be a Christian. Paul seeks to protect these believers from delusion and dilution of the heart of the Gospel. Paul wrote to encourage their hearts by fixing their focus on the reality of their position in Christ. These truths generate a heart overflowing with gratitude. As the early pilgrims stopped to recognize God’s abundant blessing in the new world, today we stop to give thanks for the abundant spiritual blessing as Children of the New Covenant in the kingdom of God.

I. Paul Exhibits Powerful Prayer 1:3-12

II. Paul Exalts God's transfer Program 1:13-23

III. Paul explains his personal ministry 1:24-2:5

A. The heart of the minister

B. The heart of the ministry

1. Christ indwells us

Paul writes concerning the ministry given him by God.

25God has given me the responsibility of serving his church by proclaiming his message in all its fullness to you Gentiles. 26This message was kept secret for centuries and generations past, but now it has been revealed to his own holy people. Col. 1:25-26

• It was a mystery hidden from past generations.

• It is a mystery now manifested or made known to His saints.

to make manifest or visible or known what has been hidden or unknown,

to manifest, whether by words, or deeds, or in any other way, make actual and visible, realized

to make known by teaching, to become manifest, be made known

to expose to view, make manifest, to show one’s self, appear

to become known, to be plainly recognized, thoroughly understood who and what one is

The verb action given “manifest” is point time passive.

This mystery was hidden but at a point in time (coming of Christ) God made it known to all men.

• It is the truth concerning the indwelling Christ our only hope of restored glory.

27to 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. Col. 1:27 NASB

For it has pleased God to tell his people that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too. For this is the secret: Christ lives in you, and this is your assurance that you will share in his glory. Col. 1:27 New Living Bible

You see, God created man as a glorious manifestation of the image of the invisible God.

What is man, that You take thought of him? And the son of man, that You care for him?

5Yet You have made him a little lower than God, And crown him with glory and majesty!

6You make him to rule over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet,

7All sheep and oxen, And also the beasts of the field, 8The birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea,

Whatever passes through the paths of the seas.9O LORD, our Lord, How majestic is Your name in all the earth! Psalm 8:1-9

Man’s acquires glory by reason of his relationship to the one who created Him. It is in the context of a high view of God that we may discuss a high view of man. However, because of rebellion and a fatal separation in relationship with the Creator, the glory once manifested by reason vital relationship with the glorious Creator became horribly marred. Even though man remained a bearer of God’s image, the image now manifesting in the world was a disastrous distortion of the original design. Having lost any hope of a restoration to the original design, man, instilled with an inward aspiration for reflecting the Creator’s glory, sought to establish his own glory apart form relationship to the creator.

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