Summary: An exposition of Colossians 1:24-29.
There are two kinds of books that always sell well……mysteries and love stories.
The gospel is both.
It is a mystery,…. long hidden,… at last revealed.
It is also a love story in the finest sense of that word.
It unveils God’s love for the world and for us.
The whole theme of Colossians is “Christ is all you need.” (agree)???
We are made full in Him, and that is all that is needed!
How tragic when Christians substitute man-made rules, disciplines, and rituals for the fullness we have in Christ!
As we have gone through the previous verses of Colossians chapter 1, we have been exploring the false teachings of a group called the Gnostics that wanted to add such works to the salvation offered in Jesus.
They claimed there was a fuller hidden knowledge to be had.
They even brought into doubt the truth that Jesus is fully God and fully man.
Previously, we explored the fact that Paul suffered much for the gospel of Jesus.
As Christians we must expect the same.
This morning, I want to leave you with a couple of thoughts in mind when you leave here today.
First, I want you to notice what Paul refers to as “the mystery” in verse 26.
That mystery is the truth about Christ and the church.
Paul shows us that his ministry was to help the saints grasp this great mystery.
No knowledge is hidden, as the Gnostic false teachers among the Colossians claimed.
All has now been revealed.
Paul described “the mystery” about Christ and the church that had been hidden in times past but was now revealed here in Colossians 1.
Paul also speaks of these same matters in Ephes. 3:1-13…(parallel passage) (look there)
For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles--
 Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you,  that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly.  In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ,  which was not made known to men in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets.  This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.
 I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power.  Although I am less than the least of all God’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ,  and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things.  His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms,  according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.  In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.  I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory.
Think back to the Damascus Road in Acts 9….Paul’s experience there.
Jesus can use anyone to preach the gospel, even a murderer…..as the apostle Paul had once been.
God had a stake in Paul.
You know, God doesn’t ask us to become great.
He only asks that we be faithful with the ministry that He gives us.
God entrusted Paul with some great truth.
His responsibility was simply to be faithful in giving it to others…and he was!
Paul’s first words when he saw the glorified Savior were, “Who are You, Lord?”
Paul recognized and acknowledged the lordship of Christ and His preeminence over all things.
God found the worst sinner he could find and revealed His Son to him.
Then He made him a minister of the gospel and a minister of the church.
The church that Paul refers to is not the local church…..rather, it is the church universal.
Throughout His ministry, the Lord revealed much to this man.
Paul was used mightily of the Lord so that God’s truth might be revealed to us.
This mystery that has been revealed here in Col.1 is all about the Lord Jesus Christ.
It is the mystery of His body, the church.
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.  I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness--  the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints.