Summary: Dteails how the reality of Christ’s supremacy over al things impacts the Church. This is number 5 in a series on the Book of Colossians.
The Supremacy of Christ
The Nature of Christian Ministry
Text: Colossians 1:24-29
Illustration: A group of ministers and a salesman’s organization were holding conventions in the same hotel, and the catering department had to work at top speed serving dinners to both. The salesmen were having spiked watermelon for dessert. But the chef discovered that it was being served to the ministers by mistake. "Quick!" he commanded a waiter. "Bring it back!" The waiter returned, reporting that it was too late. The ministers were already eating the liquor-spiced treat. ’do they like it"? asked the chef. ’don’t know,? replied the waiter, "but they’re putting the seeds in their pockets.
Christ-centered ministry is evidenced by:
II. The Suffering of the Church (v. 24)
A. Fallacies regarding our thinking on suffering
1. We assume suffering is evil and therefore irreconcilable to God’s goodness.
Illustration/Quote: The atheist answers by explaining there is no god. The cynic says that there is a God, but denies that He is good or cares. Life is just one of God’s cruel jokes. The liberal believes that there is a God who is loving, good, ad kind. He explains suffering by denying the sovereignty of God. As a preacher once said in a funeral of a young mother who died from cancer, “It was not God’s will for this woman to die.” A biblical faith does not require nor permit us to deny any of the attributes of God. We maintain from Scripture not only does God exist, but also that He is good and great, a rewarder of the righteous and a judge of the wicked.
2. We do not understand God nor righteousness. –
If God who is righteous allowed Himself to be subjected to the suffering of the Cross, then we must accept that there are some things about suffering, righteousness, and goodness, we do not know.
B. Christians and good people will suffer because there is evil/wickedness in the world.
1. Sin brought suffering into the world
2. Suffering is the element that makes our faith stronger.
Illustration: Muscle strength is built due to resistance in weightlifting or exercise. It is painful and a struggle but it makes you stronger. Wickedness is the weight, suffering is the resistance and faith is the muscle.
III. The Servants of the Commission (vv. 25-26)
A. We are all called by God into the ministry of the Church
1. The proclamation of God’s word in its fullness
Matthew 24:14; 28:18-20 - And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
2. To minister in the name of Jesus. – James says true religion is taking care of the orphans and widows, not looking out for yourself. Too many Christians are not carrying out the call!
B. Some receive the commission to certain ministry
Romans 1:1 – Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God--
Romans 15:15-16a – I have written you quite boldly on some points, as if to remind you of them again, because of the grace God gave me to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles