Authentic Ministry part 2
Authentic Ministry part 2
28 Oct. 2008
Theme: 4 Things you must have in order to rejoice in the ministry God has called you to; no matter what the circumstances.
I. Authentic Attitude v.24
II. Authentic Motivation v.25-27
Paul’s attitude was right on because he was motivated by his great God and savior. He was not willing to live a life that used God, but lived a life that could be used BY God. Paul also had an authentic message that helped him even in the direst of circumstances serve God with the right heart.
III. We must have the authentic Message v.28
Again the message Paul was proclaiming was Jesus Christ. Paul’s passion stemmed from the Cross and what Jesus accomplished there. Christ is not only the main them of Colossians, but the whole Bible is pointing to Christ and His glory. Our goal in life and purpose in life is rooted in Christ and the proclamation of His gospel. The message never changes! From this message come two things that we need to do.
A. Admonish all man:
Paul realizes that he has an obligation to warn the people he comes in contact with about the consequences of a wrong whether in thought, word or deed. Paul’s job is to show people where they are at and where they need to be, spiritually speaking. He is like a guide on a tour, he points out on the map where they are and helps them to get to the end while informing and guiding them along the way.
B. Teach all man in all wisdom:
Not only was Paul to admonish or counsel people he was teaching people. The idea with teaching is twofold 1. He had someone to teach 2. He had something to teach. Each case is different in who he is teaching. He taught Timothy, he taught at the synagogues in Acts 17 and other places. The message never changed though. The things he is teaching is what we talked about last week. That message that was once a mystery that is now known, that is “Christ in you the hope of glory.” (1:26-27)
Again the message does not change! It is “Christ in you the hope of glory!” but after he has warned, admonished, counseled, directed and taught them the message there needs to be a result. Paul is not saying “because I am all wise so you need to listen to me…” What he IS saying is that I have counseled you and taught you the word of God and because of this apply this knowledge with wisdom and act accordingly. It contains the idea of walking or conducting one’s self according to what has been taught.
· For example: Think about a young child who is getting ready to touch a hot stove… and the parent grabbing them and warning/ admonish them that if they touch the stove it will be hot and they will be badly burned. That parent is not only warning them of the danger but they are teaching them that certain things can hurt them. The parents desire is that, that child apply wisdom and act in the right way concerning what they have been warned and taught about.
The ultimate end result for Paul is this that he might stand alongside of these believers when presented before the throne of God, and see them complete, perfect or mature. Paul recognizes that the Christian life is not a stationary thing, it is NOT a onetime decision that is made only to never think about again. It IS a change of being. Think about what he says earlier in this letter: (Colossians 1:13-14, NKJV) "He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins." (Colossians 1:21-22, NKJV) "And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight—" Or even the book of Philippians…
It is amazing how powerful God’s word is when you study it and let it affect you. If you will allow me to digress for a moment I would like to share with you guys how God really grabbed a hold of me this last week. We have been look at these 4 things: Authentic Attitude, Authentic Motivation, Authentic Message and Authentic Enabling…
I believe with all my heart that God has called me to the most awesome thing, that is being a youth pastor, but more specifically that he has called me to this church to work specifically with each one of you. And in the deepest depths of my heart I want to see you guys grow in Christ, I want to see you guys become more godly, I want to see you guys go from apathy to excitement in your relationship with God. And coincidentally because I am human and I cannot see your hearts I measure, wrongly sometimes, this by tangible means. So when I don’t see that, or when it doesn’t look like what I think it should I get frustrated, there I times I don’t sleep well because my mind runs and runs as to how I can get you to grow in your walk… with that as a short background of what goes on in my head and heart last week for no particular reason I was frustrated, and you know thinking about it Satan probably uses that to discourage me… I was thinking about these verses and it hit me like a ton of bricks… when I get frustrated often it is selfishness because I want to see results the way that I want to see them, but Paul says that he rejoices in his suffering for you… My joy cannot be grounded in the circumstances it has to be grounded in the truth of God. When I get discouraged I have to remember that my motivation must be in God and the fact that He has called me to fulfill the word of God in you guys. And so on…
With all that said you guys need to realize that this verse applies to you in the same way. As a Christian, as someone who has recognized your sinfulness and that you need someone to save you from it, that someone being Jesus Christ the very Son of God, and placing your trust in Him turning from your sin to Christ. If that’s you then you are called to do these same things. You are called to admonish one-another, you are called to teach one-another so that as fellow brothers and sisters in Christ you can walk in wisdom pleasing to God. Never forget that is to be your purpose in life, your goal in life cannot/ should not be as short sited and selfish to say “I want to be an astronaut, I want to be a mechanic, I want to an engineer, I want to be in the military, I want to be a missionary, I want to be a youth pastor.” If it starts with… I wanna be ____________. You have lost sight. We need to see it first and foremost God has called me to serve Him, to please Him, to glorify Him and I want to do that by being a ______________. And realize that whatever it is you do right now, which for most of you is school that is what God has called you to and you need to remember that first part. (Matthew 28:18-20; Eph. 1:17-21; Colossians 1:9-11; 3:16)
Thinking about all that… If you try and do this on your own you will fail, you will burn out and you will miss the whole point. Continuing on with the idea that Paul is desire is to stand alongside of these believers at the end of everything and present them complete, he says to what degree he does this and he says what the real power behind it is.
IV. We must have authentic Enabling v. 29
Paul says I work so hard at this end that I am physically, mentally and spiritually exhausted because of what I am contending for. However, that which enables me to work like this is the power of God. The tendency for us, and I think I already said it, is to segregate the Christian life from life in general we give it a title… In other words we look we treat Christianity as an adjective because it is modifying life, the noun. That’s not how it is mean to be.
A. The word struggle here is agōnizomai from which we get our word agonize. But it means to compete, fight struggle, with and emphasis on effort. Let’s put all this into a picture. There is no better picture than Christ Himself so let’s think about Him for a moment:
1. Jesus new the ultimate purpose for His earthly life was the cross. He didn’t live out his 33 years from day to day thinking about what he needed to get done before tomorrow, everything He did was in-light of the fact that He knew Headed to the Cross to suffer. And that was what renewed Him, inspired Him and so on.
2. In order to come to the cross and suffer for our sins there was constant denial in His life. Think about the very idea of His incarnation. The all-knowing, all-powerful all-seeing God stepped down from the throne room of Heaven voluntarily denying, for a time, Himself of certain privileges and honor so that He could be murdered on a cross.
3. All the while combating Satan thought the temptations, struggling against the Pharisees and Sadducees…
4. Ultimately knowing that He would suffer an excruciating death.
5. And all this was for you and me.
With these things in mind Paul realizes that in order for his life to be pleasing and fruitful for God it probably won’t be that much different than Jesus’. (Hebrew 12:1-3)
B. Paul reminds of the fact that all this which he is willing to endure, strive for, contend for is only through the enabling of God. God is the one that has called him to do all this and God is the one who is helping through all of it. It would be pretty arrogant if Paul we to say everything he has just said then say “I do it all on my own strength.”
Paul also recognizes that this is no small deal either. He says God who is working in me with His mighty power or Miraculous power. The word for power here is dynamis from which we get our word dynamite. Explosive power that has the ability to transform things. Think about how we build raods through mountains… we blow up the mountain to accomplish the road. There is no limit to the power of God to accomplish His purposes and if we will submit ourselves to God He will use us in a mighty way!
A quote that some of us are familiar with.
“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” Jim Elliot
There is no doubt that the pleasures of this world surround us and ultimately Satan desires to use them to draw us away from God and His plan. When we examine our lives and the things and people that we are pursuing are we doing it because it something that God wants for us or is something we want for ourselves? And is our motivation for doing to please God by bearing fruit for Him or gaining what we cannot keep?