Text: Colossians 1:24-29
Context: Paul wrote this letter to the Colossian church. Colossae is in the southwest of modern-day Turkey. Paul was writing the letter as a prisoner (house arrest) in Rome. He did not church plant the church in Colossae; it was Epaphras who planted the church there. In Paul’s third missionary journey, he stayed in Ephesus for three years, and it was there that Epaphras (Epaphroditus) heard about the gospel and was discipled by Paul. In return, when Paul was imprisoned, Epaphras assisted him and told him about the updates in Colossae. Though everyone seems to be growing in their church, it is sad that false teaching is creeping into their community and households. Hence, Paul writes a letter to equip them.
- Verses 24-25 speak about the suffering of Paul every time he proclaims the gospel of Christ.
- Verses 26-27 The mystery of the gospel is that the Good News is not only for the Jews but also for all people, the Gentiles. Take note that Colossae is outside the region of Israel but most likely has a strong population of Jewish people.
Two Kinds of Revelation:
- General/ Natural – human conscience, nature/ creation, morality, and common grace
- Special – the Living Word (Jesus) through the Written Word (Bible) – salvific in nature
Paul’s Dream/ Goal for the Colossian Christians: “perfect/ complete/ mature” (Colossians 4:12)
Paul’s prayer to the church is to “be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him” (1:9-10)
- Verse 28 It was not enough for Paul to see people make a profession of faith in Christ, as important as this is. Teleios could be translated as “perfect,” but full perfection will be attained only when Christ returns and believers are fully transformed. Until that time, the maturity Christians are to seek stands in contrast with the immaturity of infancy (cf. Eph. 4:14). Paul ministers so that every person will be complete in Christ.
- Verse 29 Paul struggles—with all his energy—to help Christians grow and mature in Christ.
Three Dreams of UCBC:
- UCBC’s growth and maturity in Christ
- Develop mature youth and YAs
- Everyone learns how to disciple
- Verse 7 – “learn” [manthanō] links to “disciple” [mathētēs]; more than merely listening to a simple gospel presentation, Paul makes it clear that the gospel involves systematic instruction in the faith and in how to live as a Christian.
Conclusion: We Have a Dream
We have a dream that one day, we will see everyone forgiving one another.
A day when everyone is busy with discipling over watching movies.
A day of being busy reaching out to others for Christ over busy reaching the American dream.
A day when our kids, our youth, are passionately studying the Word of God over getting exhausted playing games and entertaining themselves.
A day when we can encourage one another, pray for one another, and live out the Christian walk over dealing with some petty issues of disagreements and conflicts.
I pray for this dream that everyone will grow and mature in Christ.
Rev. John Paul Arceno
UCBC New Jersey
July 30, 2023
References: ESV Study Bible; Photo by Gelgas Airlangga: https://www.pexels.com/photo/shallow-focus-of-sprout-401213/