Summary: The ministry of the Gospel requires suffering, stewardship, and sweat, in order to see believers mature in Christ.
Introduction: Our journey through the book of Colossians.
• Charles Quarles: “This false teaching threatened to undermine the supremacy of Christ, rob the church of its peace and joy, and
destroy the unity of the church that had characterized it from the beginning.” Lifeway Study, p. 37
• In the first part of this letter, Paul has encouraged the church to keep standing only on the gospel message and the teaching of the
apostles. Christ is all they need to believe in, and this is seen in their faith in the gospel, their growth in wisdom, and their personal
relationship with Jesus Christ. Now the Apostle Paul seeks to defend his calling; seeing that in most cases these false teachers
were deliberately smearing his name in church.
• ILL: Let’s say that this morning I announced that we would have a special speaker/preacher next week. He makes news
everywhere he goes, usually stirring up trouble. He has a history of murder, and even has been kicked out of several cities he has
gone to speak in. He is a very intolerant, radical individual who has just been released from prison. I have invited him to speak to
our children and youth about even adults about how to be happy even when the world seems to be against you. Is this a speaker
you would want me to invite to speak in our church? BE CAREFUL! That describes the Apostle Paul.
• The next session of Paul’s letter is a personal testimony of sorts. Paul is not using these verses to pat himself on the back, but
rather to defend his calling and to show the church of Colosse what are the characteristics of a teacher/minister who truly loves
Christ, the gospel, and the church.
Proposition: The ministry of the Gospel requires suffering, stewardship, and sweat,
in order to see believers mature in Christ.
I. Christ is All You Need To Believe In. (key verse – 1:18)
E. You Gotta Sacrifice for the Gospel. (1:24-2:3)
(Three key components of a true minister of God’s Word)
1. Willing to Suffer Joyfully for the Gospel. (1:24)
• Paul was not ashamed of his chains (4:18), in fact it was a badge of honor because of the reason for his chains, the
preaching of the gospel.
• Paul mentions that the enemies of Christ no longer can hurt Him, so they turn their hate toward Christ’s servants.
There is both joy and benefits in suffering for Christ
i. Suffering for Christ: “I rejoice…in the afflictions of Christ…”
ii. Suffering for Gentiles. “I rejoice in my suffering for you,…” (Colosse; those who were once Paul’s enemies are
now the ones he suffers for)
iii. Suffering for the church. “…for the sake of His body, which is the church.”
• Application: Ill: Parents who sacrifice for their children to go to swimming, sports, academic practice. (father that
sends his son to football camp in California for training. Parents fly from Atlanta to Cal to see games) There are
times the parents don’t feel good, or may not have the money, or may be too tired, yet they push through for their
children. They want to see their children succeed…and there is where the joy comes in. (MUST DO SAME FOR
o Many Christians are not willing to sacrifice much for the welfare of the church. The more willing we are to
suffer for the things of Christ the greater our influence will be for the gospel.
2. Stewardship of the Gospel. (1:25-28)
• A steward is “someone who manages his master’s household. A steward does not owe the property, but his
responsible in his use and investment.
• In these verses Paul gives us three proofs that the Gospel and his ministry were not his inventions or schemes but
rather given to him by God.
i. God chose him for this ministry. Acts 9:15
ii. God entrusted him with the mystery. 25-26
iii. He has declared the whole mystery. 26-28 Paul has not left any of the details out that make up the gospel.
• “Mystery” does not mean unsolved case (like ufo’s, bigfoot), but rather meaning hidden truth. Dr. Handley Moule
states “A mystery is a truth indiscoverable, except by revelation.” Paul mentions the word mystery three times in
this passage (26,27,2:2). The mystery saved for the NT period involves three truths: (1) the establishment of the
church; (2) Christ is living within you. (3) God is revealed in Christ Jesus.
• What Paul is saying is that the greatest surprise of all is the God would chose to come to earth in the form of a
man, die for man, and offer salvation to both Jews and Gentiles; and then use them (church) to reach the world with
the gospel message.