3. Fully Mature in Christ Colossians 1:24 – 2:7 (p. 1089) P a u l ’ s L e t t e r t o t h e C h u r c h i n C o l o s s e
Demands on our time & attention An eventful week internationally & locally Hard to know how to respond to so many demands Its a never ending cycle Always too many demands / opportunities – Have to choose A Question of PRIORITIES – Absolute: Set by God’s wisdom & purposes for everyone Contextual/Personal: God’s specific call for us.
Priority 1: Willing to work & suffer “I rejoice in what I am suffering” (v 24) “Know how hard I am contending for you” (v 1) Concern for all the churches (2 Cor 11:28) Right Attitude: Not seeking suffering...... faithful no matter the opposition or obstacles.
Priority 2: Everyone fully Mature in Christ “So that” (v 28)... we may present everyone fully mature in Christ “To this end I strenuously contend (v 29)... with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me” Do our part – The Holy Spirit does the rest (1 Cor 3:5-9)
Priority 3: Live your lives in Him “My Goal” (v 2) Be encouraged in Heart Be United in Love Full riches of complete understanding of the mystery of Christ
Priority 3: Live your lives in Him... “My Delight” (v 5) How disciplined you are How firm your faith in Christ is “Continue” – (V 6) Rooted and built up in Him (v 7) Strengthened in the faith as you were taught Overflowing with thankfulness
A. Lacking in Christ’s Afflictions ?? “I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions” (v 24) 1.Faithful Israel perseveres through suffering to be a light to the nations (Isa 40-55 / 49:1-7) 2.Faithful Israel turns out to be one person – Jesus (Isa 53)
A. Lacking in Christ’s Afflictions... 3. After the suffering servant restores “Israel” (the church) it continues to suffer to bring in the new kingdom. 4. God has set a limit on the amount of suffering he will allow (Mark 13:19-20). 5. When the “amount” is full, time ends & Christ returns
A. Lacking in Christ’s Afflictions... Paul is “happy” to take on extra “tribulation” himself If it will mean others have to face less. If it will speed Christ’s return. What a great attitude! Paul was focussed & would not be distracted (Phil 3:12-21)
Priorities - 1.Willing to work and suffer for Christ 2.Everyone fully mature in Christ 3.Living our lives “In Him”