Ministry of Love

The intention of this blog is to share Biblical messages at least on a weekly basis. Any response is appreciated. I do not expect everyone to agree with my interpretation of Biblical passages. I will try to respond with love and thoughtfulness.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Ministers of God's Mystery by John.

COL. 1:24-2:3

1. What do you think Jesus meant when He said, "All authority has been given to me in heaven and earth?"
(1) The KJ has "power" where the NAS and the NIV have "authority."
(2) I believe it means everything is under His control, don't you?
2. Look at Col. 1:18, "He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the first born from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy."
3. Col 1:19 says it pleased the Father for "all of His fullness to dwell in Him."
4. Through this magnificent power of Christ, (v. 20) He has been able to completely reconcile us with our Heavenly Father.
5. What a wonderful blessing we have in Jesus!
6. With the blessing comes the administration of responsibility!


1. It never ceases to amaze me that people who do not know God think they know His Will!
2. Before Paul became a Christian, he was zealous for the Lord as he understood Him. (Of course, he was wrong about what God wanted as so many of us are today.)
3. When Paul was converted, he rejoiced in suffering because he saw himself as filling up Christ's sufferings.
(1) I am not sure what that means.
(2) I am sure it does not mean Christ has not yet completed His sufferings.
(3) I think it refers to Paul's desire to identify completely with Christ's sufferings, and it may also mean he believed the church will suffer much more before the Kingdom is firmly established.
4. v.25 says God made Paul responsible for delivering the Gospel to all the Gentiles. (As we said in an earlier message, Paul did not start this church as far as we know.)
5. From the use of the words, "knowledge", "mystery", "wisdom" and the term "that which is lacking", this church suffered from the incursion of Gnostic teachings.
(1) Paul was thoroughly familiar with Gnostic teaching.
a. Christianity was simply a vehicle for them to use in spreading their beliefs.
b. They believed in several levels of spirituality.
c. They did not believe in the virgin birth.
d. They did not believe God could suffer, so they developed the idea that Jesus was born naturally, and that the Christ came on Him at His baptism. Then the Christ left Jesus when He went to the cross.
c. They also believed that only the elite, those who had achieved a higher level, would be saved.
(2) Paul used their pet terms against them by giving them a completely Christian meaning.
6. Being as wily as the serpent and harmless as the dove is a necessary Christian grace, as Jesus instructed the disciples in Matt. 10:16, "I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves."
7. We are called to salvation in Jesus, and we are ordained by God to be ministers of the church just as Paul was. Remember "minister" means "servant", or "bond slave." (That's our responsibility!)


1. The word "mystery" is used twice right here.
(1) In 1: 26, the Gospel was hidden from ages past, but now is revealed in Christ. (That defines the Biblical use of the word, "mystery").
(2) The mystery is revealed to be Christ in 2:2,3. Listen! "My purpose is that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." (The Old Testament prophesied about Jesus, but at that time, no one knew who He was, or would be. Now He is revealed to everyone.)
(3) All of the so called mystery religions of the past, including Gnosticism, used some form of initiation into secret wisdom, and claimed to take people to a higher plain, etc. And it was reserved for a select few!
(4) Paul wanted us to understand, the real Mystery, Jesus, is revealed to everyone of us who seek Him!
2. Worldly knowledge is never true knowledge. True knowledge is God's revealed truth!
(1) Evolution may have some good things in it, but it is never really true until it passes through the filter of God's Holy Spirit. Whatever is good remains, and will stand the test of time and eternity!
(2) Scientific knowledge must all pass the same test! If it coincides with God's truth, it will remain. If not, it will fail! ill. At a dinner party in a large city, a lady was discussing the latest popular novel with a stranger. The stranger disagreed with her
about the intention of the author at one point. The lady was indignant, "I think I have as much ability to determine the underlying thought as you have!" she said. "I am sure you do," he said, "but I wrote the book!"
3. God reveals Christ to us through His ministers in order that we may have true knowledge, and access to the treasures of real wisdom and knowledge.
(1) No one can teach you anything more worthwhile than God reveals to us in Jesus.
(2) There is no greater wisdom or knowledge than we receive through the Holy Spirit! He was sent to teach us and lead us to be all, ALL! God wants us to be.


1. Some people seem content to know they have power and never use it.
(1) In a sense, that power is wasted.
(2) It's true that it may remain as a potentially useful thing as the world sees things. ill. For instance, as long as we held the making of atomic weapons secret, no one would attack us. It was a mighty deterrent, but it has lost its power now.
2. A worldly bit of advice is "Use it or lose it!"
3. That adage is spiritually true! God gives us gifts to use! Failure to use His gifts are the way to lose them!
3. Paul used the power God gave him to the fullest he possibly could.
3. Isn't this what you and I need to be doing? We always need to be seeking ways to utilize God's power in every way we possibly can!
4. We can rest when the sun goes down, but we need to work while the sun is shining, and it is shining right now!
5. We worry that our children won't follow the Lord, and it certainly happens, and it has happened all through history.
6. How can we insure their followship?
(1) First, by example.
(2) Second, by teaching.
(3) Third, by true worship.
(4) Fourth, by prayer!
(5) Fifth, in all of these, share them with our children! (We can't take our relationship with anyone for granted!)
6. Paul did his best to utilize everything God gave him even to suffering and dying for Jesus!


1. We can identify with Paul. We become ministers ordained by Christ when we accept Him as Lord and Savior.
2. We must uncover and reveal the Mystery of God, Jesus Christ, to everyone to whom He is hidden!
3. We don't need to feel intimidated by anyone's greatness, and we don't need to take a back seat to anyone!
4. Christ is God! And He is Lord over all.
5. No matter how high an office, no matter how great, or popular, intelligent, or strong a person may be, he is just another of God's creations! And so are we!
6. We belong to the Greatest Man, and the Greatest God of all time and eternity, in fact, the only real God, and He has included us in His family!
7. Are you part of the Family of God right now? You can be! Take Jesus as your own Lord and Savior!

Emmanuel 8/13/2006


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