Colossians 1:24-26 ESV
“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.”
What were Paul’s sufferings for the sake of the believers in Jesus? He was treated much the same as Jesus was treated and basically by the same people and for the same reasons. He was hounded, harassed, criticized, attacked verbally and physically, fought against, disbelieved, falsely accused, falsely arrested, given unfair trials, spent years in prisons unjustly, had some of his people turn against him and desert him, and had his enemies convincing his people to reject and to abandon him, etc.
And if we are being the light of the world and the salt of the earth (Matt 5:13-16), and if we are proclaiming the excellencies of him who called us out of darkness into his wonderful light (1 Pet 2:9), and if we are making disciples of Christ of people of all nations, teaching them to obey our Lord’s commands (Matt 28:18-20), and if we are opening the eyes of the blind, and if we are turning them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God (Acts 26:18), and if we are being the Lord’s witnesses (Acts 1:8), we should expect that we will be treated similarly to how Paul was treated.
But we should rejoice with Paul in our sufferings for the sake of the believers in Jesus, and for the sake of the gospel, and for Jesus’ sake, and for the sake of the salvation of human lives. We should rejoice because we know that the truth of the gospel is going forth into all the world on the faith that many are hearing and responding to the truth of the gospel, and that many are turning from their sins to follow our Lord Jesus in obedience to his commands, and that many are growing to maturity in Christ Jesus, our Lord.
But as we do this, it is critical that we are making the word of God FULLY KNOWN, not partially known. And I don’t mean that we are teaching every passage of Scripture in the Bible, but that we are teaching the whole counsel of God, the full gospel message, not the half-truth, diluted, and altered gospel message that many people are teaching today. We are teaching that to come to Jesus we must deny self, take up our cross daily (daily die to sin and to self) and follow (obey) him with our lives, in practice (Luke 9:23-26).
Colossians 1:27-29 ESV
“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.”
Sharing the gospel of our salvation in Christ Jesus is not limited to just telling of Jesus’ life, death, burial, resurrection, and ascension back to heaven, and of his sending his Holy Spirit to indwell his followers. It is also not just talking about how we need to believe in Jesus and how we will now have eternal life in him. It is teaching what Jesus taught that to come to him we must deny self, daily die to sin and to self, and follow him in obedience.
It is teaching what Jesus taught that it is not enough to just say to him, “Lord, Lord,” but that we must be doing the will of God the Father in heaven if we want to enter into the kingdom of heaven. And it is teaching what Paul taught that we are slaves of whom we obey, and if it be sin, it will end in death, but if it be obedience, it will end in life eternal with God. And he said that if we walk according to the flesh we will die in our sins, but if by the Spirit we are putting to death the deeds of the flesh, then we will live.
And it is teaching what John taught when he said that if we say we have fellowship with God while we walk (in conduct, in practice) in darkness (sin) that we are liars who do not practice the truth. But if we walk (in conduct, in practice) in the light (truth, righteousness, Christ), the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin (unrighteousness). And he said that by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments, for if we don’t, we don’t know him, and by saying that we do, we are lying.
And it is teaching what John taught when he said that no one who abides in Christ makes sin his practice, and whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as God is righteous, and whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, not of God. And it is teaching what Paul taught when he said that whoever makes sin his practice will not inherit eternal life with God and that the truth in Christ is that we must put off our sinful practices and put on Christ and his righteousness and walk in that righteousness and holiness.
[Lu 9:23-26; Matt 7:21-23; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Gal 5:16-21; Col 3:5-10; Eph 5:3-6; Eph 4:17-24; Tit 2:11-14; Rom 12:1-2; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8]
Dwelling In Beulah Land
By Miles C Austin (1911)
Far away the noise of strife upon my ear is falling;
Then I know the sins of earth beset on every hand;
Doubt and fear and things of earth in vain to me are calling;
None of these shall move me from Beulah Land.
Far below the storm of doubt upon the world is beating,
Sons of men in battle long the enemy withstand;
Safe am I within the castle of God’s word retreating,
Nothing there can reach me, ’tis Beulah Land.
Let the stormy breezes blow, their cry cannot alarm me;
I am safely sheltered here, protected by God’s hand;
Here the sun is always shining, nothing there can harm me;
I am safe forever in Beulah Land.
Viewing here the works of God, I sink in contemplation;
Hearing now His blessed voice, I see the way He planned;
Dwelling in the Spirit, here I learn of full salvation,
Gladly I will tarry in Beulah Land.
I’m living on the mountain, underneath a cloudless sky,
I’m drinking at the fountain that never shall run dry;
Oh, yes! I’m feasting on the manna from a bountiful supply,
For I am dwelling in Beulah Land.
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