The Message - Christ in You - Colossians 1:24-25
June 6, 2022, 8:00 AM

“24. 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. 25. I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness—"

Paul had a dramatic change in his life. There was a vast difference between a religion to which he was committed and a relationship with the person of Jesus Christ. The first was in his head. The second was in his heart.

Paul was thinking about his ministry while he was imprisoned. He wrote this letter to the church at Colossae while under arrest. He had suffered for the cause of sharing Jesus Christ in a hostile world.

We are reminded how Paul hated Christians at first. He was so zealous to the Jewish traditions that he did all in his power to arrest, persecute, and martyr followers of Jesus.

Paul had traditions, but it wasn’t until his trip on the Damascus road that he met Jesus Christ in a personal way. After meeting with Ananias, Paul had the commission, the mandate of God, to go and preach Jesus. Paul was especially chosen in a special manner for a special purpose to present the word of God in its fullness and later to the Gentiles. Paul was ready to change roles from persecutor to being persecuted, from inflecting arrest to being arrested, from a profaner of the gospel to a proclaimer of the gospel.

God intends for all the world to hear about Christ and the message will not spread unless people are dedicated to spreading it. You and I have a mandate also from God and it is similar. We are to be about making disciples. “Go into all the world and preach the gospel, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” ( Matt. 28:19). Jesus then added, as it says is recorded in the first chapter of the book of Acts.1:8b "Ye shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Samaria, Judea, and other parts of the world.”

The disciples were weak in faith too, until they saw the living Lord. Saul was opposed to Christianity until he encountered the living Lord.

Dr. Lou Petrie told us how he was invited to preach in the prison at Sioux Falls, S.D. The leader of this unusual church in prison was a man who had lots of zeal for the Lord. When Lou saw the effectiveness of this prisoner, he mentioned to the chaplain that he hoped he could stay for awhile to help fellow prisoners. The chaplain laughed and said “It’s more than you think. This man has four life sentences he has to serve without any possibility of parole.”

The serious crimes committed by this individual in the past required justice to be paid in prison, but while there he met the Lord and changed his life from darkness into day, from the old self into the new self, seeking to carry on the mandate to see other men come to know the freedom that lasts for eternity by making Jesus Christ Lord of their lives. He understood the mandate. It is a joy for him to carry it out.

For Paul, even his prison did not stop him from sharing the good news that we can read about thousands of years later.

Application: Seek God and let the truth confront tradition.

Prayer:  Lord, let Your truth penetrate my heart that I might share the gospel with those who need to hear.  

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