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Aug 13, 2017

The Mystery & The Minister

The Mystery & The Minister

Passage: Colossians 1:24-2:5

Series: Colossians

Keywords: jesus christ, ministry, mystery, salvation, freedom, wisdom


This message looks at how the Gospel is Christ + nothing and how that can impact us and free us from wrong thinking, wrong beliefs and wrong practices.


“The Mystery and the Minister”
Colossians 1:24-2:5
John Moody
Mosaic Fellowship, Spokane
August 13, 2017

1) Introduction
a) “Col. Mustard in the ballroom with the lead pipe.” What is it?
b) Clue – try to solve the mystery – who did it, in what room, with what murder weapon
c) We love mysteries!
d) Sherlock Holmes, Miss Marple, Hercule Poirot, Jessica Fletcher (Murder She Wrote),
e) What is a mystery? Something intriguing that we don’t know the answer to…
f) But in the New Testament, the word mystery is a little different – something that was
formerly unknown or hidden but has now been solved.

2) The text:
Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in
Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, of which I became a minister
according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of
God fully known, the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints.
To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory
of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we proclaim, warning everyone
and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For
this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.
For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for
all who have not seen me face to face, that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit
together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge
of God’s mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and
knowledge. I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments. For
though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and
the firmness of your faith in Christ.

3) The mystery
a) How is it described?
i) Called the “word of God” (verse 25-26)
ii) Hidden in the past, but has now been revealed
(1) So the entire OT was a giant mystery, and that mystery is solved in the NT!
iii) Revealed to the saints
iv) A big deal – “the riches of the glory of the mystery”
b) What has been revealed?
i) Christ
ii) Among the Gentiles
iii) Christ in you,
iv) The hope of glory
v) In Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge
vi) Summary: Everything required for a right relationship with God - both in this life
and eternally - has been accomplished for us by the person and work of Jesus, and is given to everyone who believes, both Jews and Gentiles alike.

c) This was important for Paul to say, because the false teachers in Colossae were heaping
a lot of extra stuff on the church
i) Read Colossians 2:16-18
d) You don’t need Christ-plus!
i) Christ plus Sabbath-keeping
ii) Christ plus Lent
iii) Christ plus tithing
iv) Christ plus speaking in tongues
v) Christ plus summer mission trips
vi) Christ plus vegetarianism
vii) Christ plus Crossfit
viii)Christ plus essential oils
ix) Christ plus homeschooling
x) Christ plus voting Republican
xi) Christ plus being a member of a particular race, sex, or social status
xii) Some of these are good things, but when we make them gospel things, we distort
the gospel!
xiii)Christian - You don’t have to jump through hoops to be “more acceptable” to God!
(Eph 1:3)
xiv)Non-Christian – Christ doesn’t call you to a schooling option, a health regimen, or a
political party. He calls you to himself, and says that everyone who turns from their
sins and embraces him as Lord will be accepted by him forever. He will have you!

4) The minister
a) Given a stewardship from God (1:25; 2:1-3)
i) Read 1:25, 2:1-3
ii) Analogy: Shawn the housesitter
iii) Romans 1:14
iv) Paul and the Gentiles
b) Proclaims Christ (1:28)
i) Read 1:28
ii) Warning everyone
(1) There are false teachers out there!
(2) Read 2:4 – Plausible arguments
iii) Teaching everyone
(1) Know what you believe
(2) Christianity is more than doctrines – but it is NOT LESS!
(3) Read Eph. 4:11-14

iv) To present everyone mature in Christ (again, he’s a steward)
(1) No one left behind
v) Who are you listening to? Do they proclaim the Biblical Christ? (We are so
indiscriminate as to who we listen to!)
vi) By the way, this statement (“him we proclaim”) is not limited to ministers!
(1) “proclaim” vs. “preach” or “evangelize” – more general term
(2) We are all supposed to be telling the mystery, warning and teaching
(3) And we must do so with the goal of presenting everyone mature in Christ!
c) Is empowered for ministry and suffering by God
i) Read 1:29 – “struggling with all HIS energy”
ii) It is entirely possible to do good things in our own strength, but there are two
reasons we shouldn’t:
(1) God’s strength can greater than ours, so greater things get done
(2) God prefers to do things in such a way that He gets the glory
(a) Abraham/Sarah/Isaac; the Red Sea; Jericho
(b) Read 1 Cor. 1:26
d) Summary:
i) Paul did not act on his own authority, but was a faithful steward on mission
(1) Are we on our mission, or God’s?
(2) What has the Bible called us to do as individuals? As a church?
(3) If we are not making disciples, all our works of charity are pointless!
ii) Paul did not proclaim his own message, but proclaimed Christ
(1) We need to become Gospel people!
iii) Paul did not act in his own strength, but relied on God’s power.
(1) Read 2 Cor 11:23-28
(2) Are we depending on God for our strength? We won’t endure when the hard
times come if we are relying on our own strength!
5) Takeaways
a) You have everything you need in Christ.
b) Like Paul, God has called you to be a faithful steward of Christ.