Summary: Why do we gather each week in this thing we call church? What is supposed to result from our time together. In this section of Colossians Paul gives us "Three Motivations For Ministry"
I. What is the purpose of church?
II. What is supposed to be accomplished at and by church?
III. In other words, why come, what is supposed to happen as a result of my being here?
IV. If you listen to many of those in church leadership, and many church goers, you will get many different answers.
A. Some see the church as primarily a place to dispense the gospel,
1. For these the message must be the “gospel” every week, and
2. There must be an “altar call” every week.
3. The idea being to simply see people get “saved”
B. Some see the church as a duty
1. I have to go so God will be happy with me,
2. I have to go because your supposed to go,
V. Some see church as a place to make you “feel good” whatever that means.
1. The rest of your week stinks, so you certainly don’t want to come to church and have it stink too.
2. Church is a place to help us believe life has something better to offer.
B. What is church?
1. It is a place to come meet Jesus, that way,
2. You will feel better
3. You will have a richer life,
VI. But, is that really what church is about?
A. Is that really what ministry should be?
B. What is supposed to happen to us, or around us, or because of us, since we went to church.
C. I believe God speaks to these questions in these few verses from Colossians,
D. Please open your bibles to Colossians 1, verse 24.
24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body (which is the church) in filling up that which is lacking in Christ’s afflictions. 25 Of this church I was made a minister according to the stewardship from God bestowed on me for your benefit, that I might fully carry out the preaching of the word of God, 26 that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations; but has now been manifested to His saints, 27 to 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. 28 And we proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, that we may present every man complete in Christ. 29 And for this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me.
2:1 For I want you to know how great a struggle I have on your behalf, and for those who are at Laodicea, and for all those who have not personally seen my face, 2 that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4 I say this in order that no one may delude you with persuasive argument. 5 For even though I am absent in body, nevertheless I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good discipline and the stability of your faith in Christ.
VII. This morning would like us to consider three reasons, not for coming to church, BUT, “Three Reasons To be Involved in Ministry,
A. Going to church is important, BUT
B. It seems to me that the bible is more interested in our being involved in ministry than in going to church.
To Further What Christ Began
24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body (which is the church) in filling up that which is lacking in Christ’s afflictions. 25 Of this church
I. Most of the various bible translations are very similar
A. The words are different, but almost always the meanings are the same.
B. Here however, is a pretty big difference between reliable translations.
1. If you have an NASB, which I typically use, it says of verse 24, “Now I rejoice in MY sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body, which is the church...)
2. If you have the King James, it reads,”...Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:”
3. If you use the NIV, it reads “ 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.”