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About-Him.Com Devotional 06-04-2011

Christ is Preeminent in His Church - Colossians 1:24 - 2:3
Colossians 1:24  Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:  

Paul was writing this epistle to the Colossians (and Laodicians), who were people whom he had never met personally. He was writing from a prison dungeon, which entailed a good bit of suffering.  Paul did not complain about the suffering, in fact he rejoiced because of it. Jesus had suffered for the church and was now in heaven. Paul felt it was his privilege, as a minister to suffer also.  

25  Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;  

Paul was a chosen vessel to carry the gospel to the gentiles, kings and the children of Israel (Ac. 9:15). He preached throughout the known world and we are highly blessed that his teaching has come down to us.  

26  Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:
27  To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

Paul preached the mystery of Christ to all the churches. The mystery of Christ is simply that God clothed Himself in the flesh of Jesus  to purchase our salvation on the cross of Calvary (1Tim. 3:16). Jesus died and was resurrected to the throne of heaven and poured out His Spirit to all willing believers (Ac. 2:33). He now lives in us by His Spirit (Col. 1:27, 2Cor. 3:17).  

28  Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:  

Paul cared to know nothing among his charges except Christ and Him crucified (1Cor. 2:2). Some followed Peter because he was a Jew. Others followed Apollos who was a great orator. I’m sure that others had their favorites, whom they followed over some variance of doctrine. Paul would have none of this. To him, the message was simply Christ crucified, resurrected and ascended.  Seems to me that this is the message that we need today.  

29  Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.  

Colossians 2:1 ¶  For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh;

Unlike some who practice ”out of sight, out of mind,“ Paul had great conflict over these folks he had never seen.  

2  That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;
3  In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

He desired that these people who were being bombarded with false teaching and heathen philosophy,  would have a fresh vision of their eternal God and Savior in whom is hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.  

Paul preached the preeminence of Christ in His church. We are privileged to have Him dwelling within us and we are thankful for the hope of eternal life that He has given us. In Ephesians 1:17-23, Paul prayed for the Ephesians that they would be able to comprehend the magnitude of the God that they served. God demonstrated His power by raising Jesus from the grave and enthroning Him in heaven far above all principality, power, might and dominion and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come.  

Ephesians1:22  (Amplified Bible) And He has put all things under His feet and has appointed Him the universal and supreme Head of the church [a headship exercised throughout the church],

23 Which is His body, the fullness of Him Who fills all in all [for in that body lives the full measure of Him Who makes everything complete, and Who fills everything everywhere with Himself].

Christ is on the throne and His awesome power fills the universe. But, how is this power demonstrated to a lost and dying world? You’re right, it’s by you and me, who are His body. We are His ambassadors, we hold forth the Word of Life in the midst of a crooked nation/world , and we plead with them to be reconciled to God (2Cor. 5:20; Php. 2:15-16). When Jesus was on earth we saw how His body operated. With His hands he broke bread and fed a multitude  (Mk. 6:44). With His feet He walked to heal a Centurion’s servant (Mt. 8:7).  His heart was the very heart of God. He agonized over folks who were frittering about as sheep without a shepherd (Mk. 6:34). He wept over Jerusalem and foretold their destruction because they would not repent (Lu. 13:34). With His mouth, He always had a word for the weary one (Isa. 50:4). He prayed in the garden, “Not my will, but thine be done.”  With His mind, he laid aside His prerogatives as God and became subject to the death of the cross (Php. 2:6).  

We as His body (1Cor. 12:27) are His hands, His feet, His ears, and His heart. Jesus was always reaching out to the lost, and so must we. This is a full time avocation. If He is preeminent in His church, He must also be preeminent in our daily living. His work is our work and His agenda is our agenda. He taught us to pray, “Thy kingdom come and thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven.”  If this is our prayer, then we  as His representatives, must do all in our power to see it effected.  

Jesus commissioned Hs disciples to go into all of the world to preach the gospel, and that they did in a big way. They turned the world upside down in a very short time. They didn’t leave it all to the preacher and his paid staff. They simply witnessed to the things that they had seen and heard (Ac. 4:20). Which begs a very important question for all of us. What have we seen and heard  and how well do we share it with others?  I’ll be the first to confess that I fall far short.  

We are to go into all the world and preach the gospel, with signs following.  The one who receives the gospel and is baptized will be saved, those who not will be damned. We have the power to heal the sick and cast out demons in the name of Jesus and to speak with new tongues. Also, in His name we can take up serpents and if we drink any deadly thing it will not hurt us. I venture to say that most of us have never gotten past the new tongues. There‘s something about snakes and poison that we shy away from. However, if the need arises we have the authority from our Lord to use the power of His name to handle the situation (Mt. 28:19; Mt. 16:15-16).      

At the beginning of Jesus’ ministry he read the scripture of  Isaiah 61:1, which is recorded in Luke’s gospel. This was His commission from God and as members of His body, it is our commission also.  

Luke 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because he hath anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
19  To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

Next Week: Freedom From Enticing Words  

Song: I'll Never Cease to Tell the Old Story  
Somebody Has Said
The greatest proof that the Bible is inspired is that it has stood so much bad preaching. --A.T. Robertson

Free Ebooks That You Can Download.

An Expository Study on the Book of Colossians  

The I AMs of Jesus     

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Don and Marie Spooner
About Him! Ministries

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