Today’s passage: Colossians 1:24-29
- Christ’s suffering was not incomplete and we do not need to finish suffering in order to finish the work of our salvation. However, Jesus promised us that the afflictions He endured would come upon those who followed Him as well (John 15:18-20). This is what Paul means by “Christ’s afflictions.”
- Paul rejoiced in the persecution he endured because it was an indicator to him that he was following Jesus! The message he preached resulted in at least two things: (1) The birth/growth of churches and (2) persecution. This meant he was being faithful!
- The people of the Old Covenant (Old Testament) did not know all that was to come in Jesus Christ. The whole of the works of the Messiah had been a mystery. The people of the New Covenant have seen the mystery revealed in Jesus.
- The goal of Paul’s ministry was not just to get conversions, but to present the people “mature in Christ.”
Questions to consider:
- How much effort did Paul put into his work to proclaim and teach the gospel of Jesus Christ (Verse 29)? What does it mean to toil and struggle with all the energy God put in him? (Note: Verse 29 is not a command, but a testimony of Paul’s. Though it can be an encouragement for us to work hard for Christ.)
- Why was Paul able to rejoice in his suffering? What kind of rejoicing do you think it was? Was Paul giddy in his persecution or do you think he endured sadness and grief mixed with hope and peace? Why?
- How long did Paul’s suffering last (1 Peter 1:6)? How long will he be thankful he did what he did to bring on that suffering (Knowing that God was glorified and souls were saved)?