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Soldier4Christ
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« Reply #6480 on: February 09, 2012, 07:10:28 AM »

Read Colossians 1:24–27

From a big picture perspective, the Bible is a single book, with God as the Author and the main story as His plan of salvation. The plot unfolds something like a mystery. The original crime took place in the Garden of Eden, with Adam and Eve as the guilty perpetrators. God promised right then and there that one of their descendants would crush Satan’s head (Gen. 3:15). But when and how would this promise be fulfilled? As history unfolds in the Old Testament, characters are introduced, prophecies made, and more clues given. Finally, the mystery is revealed: God’s redemption came in person! His Son Jesus became a man, died for sin, and rose again so that we could be saved from the penalty of death.

Paul’s life-purpose was to serve this mystery that is no longer mysterious (vv. 25–26). What did it mean for him to be a servant of the church and of the gospel? Part of what it meant was that he had counted the cost. Paul suffered for

the sake of the church (v. 24). He didn’t respond with complaining or even stoicism, but with rejoicing, following the example of Christ (Heb. 12:2). It’s not even as though the suffering was in the past, since he was imprisoned at the time he wrote this epistle.

Paul’s second point was that he had been commissioned by God to preach the gospel (v. 25). This was a serious responsibility, for the gospel was the revelation of a wonderful mystery (v. 26): God’s plan to send His Son, “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (v. 27). Another part of this mystery was the inclusion of both Jews and Gentiles in God’s plan. Since the Colossian congregation likely included both, the believers there understood the racial and cultural dimensions of the gospel-empowered reconciliation found in Christ. As Paul wrote elsewhere: “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male or female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:28).
Apply the Word

In verse 24, the word “lacking” doesn’t mean Christ’s redemptive sacrifice was lacking in any way. He did it all—we can add nothing. Yet at the same time, we’ve been given the mysterious privilege of sharing or participating in His sufferings. If you need encouragement through a period of suffering, write Philippians 3:10–11 on a card to review throughout the day. Our participation in suffering also assures us that we will share in the power of His resurrection!
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Joh 9:4  I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
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