Grace Bible Church

Preaching the Living Word through the Written Word












 (Col 1:28-2:2a) 07/02/17

Grace Bible Church, Gillette, Wyoming

Pastor Daryl Hilbert



A.    Context of the Mystery

1.     The context is: Mystery Manifested to The Saints (Col 1:26); Mystery of The Body of Christ (Col 1:27a); and Mystery of The Indwelling Christ (Col 1:27b).

2.     For Paul, his administration of the mystery of God becomes very personal and practical. There is a purpose for this mystery which translates into a Purpose for Ministry, Power for Ministry, and the Passion of Ministry.

B.    Proclamation of Christ

1.     Christ is who Paul emphatically “proclaimed” (kataggellō - to declare plainly, openly, and/or aloud). Christ is to be proclaimed in speech (1Co 9:14) action (Rom 1:8; 1Co 11:26), and through the Word of God (Act 13 :5).

2.     Paul proclaimed Christ through admonishment.

a.     Admonishment” is the Greek word noutheteō and conveys encouragement and or warning. It is a strong word that suggests encouragement and instruction but if that doesn’t work then strong warning becomes necessary.

b.     It is used to encourage (Act 20:31; Rom 15:14; Col 3:16) instruct (1Th 5:12) and warn (1Co 4:14; 1Th 5:14; 2Th 3:15).

c.     Though we should warn unbelievers of impending judgment, the word is often used in the framework of believers.

3.     Paul proclaimed Christ through teaching.

a.     Teaching” (didaskō) refers to instruction whether formal (Act 15:35) or informal (Act 20:20; Act 28:30-31).

b.     Though we may bring unbelievers to an understanding of the gospel through teaching, it often refers to believers (Act 11:26; Mat 28:19-20).

4.     Paul’s vision was for “every man” to hear the proclamation of the gospel of Christ (Rom 15:19; Act 28:31), and if converted, “every believer” to be taught the word of Christ.

5.     It was done with “all wisdom” in the sense that it was both doctrinal teaching as well as practical teaching. Both have their source in the word of God (Col 3:16) and in Christ (Col 2:3).

C.    Complete in Christ

1.     The ultimate goal was that every believer be presented before the Lord, complete in Christ.

2.     Present” (paraistêmi) can mean to place someone or something before a judge (Act 23:33), at someone’s disposal (Rom 16:2), as an offering (Rom 12:1), or before the Lord (2Co 11:2; (Col 1:22; Col 1:28; Lord present to Himself - Eph 5:27).

3.     The believer’s character and service has some ramifications in the future when presented before the Lord, both in rewards (1Co 3:14) and bringing glory to the Lord (Eph 5:26-27).

4.     Paul’s purpose was not only to share salvation, but also see all believers mature and complete in Christ.

a.     Complete” is the Greek word is teleios and means to reach an end, totality, or measure. It can mean perfection (Mat 5:48) or in can refer to maturity.

b.     Believers do not reach perfection in this life (Php 3:12), but they do reach perfection immediately in the next (1Jo 3:2-3).

c.     Nevertheless, believers can become spiritually mature in this life as the NT states:

1)    Spiritual maturity is understanding the deeper spiritual truths (1Co 2:6).

2)    Spiritual maturity is thinking with biblical principles (1Co 14:20).

3)    Spiritual maturity is having spiritual discernment in all things (Heb 5:14).

4)    Spiritual maturity is not stumbling in word and deed or causing others to stumble (Jam 3:2).

5)    Spiritual maturity is building spiritual maturity in others (Eph 4:12-13).

6)    Spiritual maturity is not falling for false teaching (Eph 4:14-15).

7)    Spiritual maturity is Christ-likeness (Rom 8:29; Rom 13:14; Col 3:10).

d.     The Gnostics supposedly reach perfection through the enlightenment and recovery of their prior knowledge of their divinity by gnosis. Such perfection was worthy of returning to the divine (salvation).


A.    Power for Labor

1.     The practical reality of the indwelling Christ was that He lived and worked powerfully through Paul. With that power, Paul labored for this purpose (eis ho - “for which”) of the maturing the body of Christ.

2.     This was the purpose for which Paul labored. “Labor” (kopiaō) means to work hard or even grow weary through toil (Joh 4:6; 2Ti 2:6).

3.     It is sometimes coupled with the word “strive” (agōnizomai, 1Ti 4:10) which was an athletic term used in the public games, i.e. wrestle, and from which we get our English word “agonize.” The idea is not that we agonize over having to do the Lord’s work, but out of love for the Lord, we exercise strenuous labor the maturity believers.

B.    Power of the Indwelling Christ

1.     Since Christ lives in believers, it was indeed Christ’s “power” (dunamis - effectual power) that worked in Paul. Literally it reads, “according to His working (energeia - operational energy) that is working (energeō) in me powerfully.

a.     The indwelling Christ is the secret of power the Christian life (Col 1:27).

b.     The indwelling Christ is the believer’s power for living (Php 4:13).

c.     The indwelling Christ is the believer’s power for service (Rom 16:12).

d.     The indwelling Christ is the believer’s power for preaching and teaching (1Ti 5:17).

e.     The indwelling Christ is the believer’s limitless power for service (1Co 15:10).

f.     There is something to be said about the believer’s participation with the indwelling Christ. To the extent the believer avails himself of the power of Christ, is the extent of how much the Lord can use him.


A.    Passion in Spite of Struggles

1.     Paul’s purpose was to labor to bring every believer to maturity in Christ (Col 1:29). In Col 2:1-2 he wanted them to know how much he struggled for them. Not that Paul was trying to glorify himself, rather he wanted the Colossians to know how much passion he had for them and their spiritual maturity.

2.     He wanted them to know his passion versus the motives of the false teachers. The motives of false teachers are always suspect and disingenuous (Gal 4:17; 2Pe 2:1-3).

3.     Struggle” is the noun form (agōn) of agōnizomai (Col 1:29). Paul’s struggle here was in regard to his passion to see them complete in Christ.

4.     Paul, in a sense, agonized in his prayers for the them (Col 1:3-4), in his preaching (Col 1:28), and writing (Col 4:16). This passion in ministry would result in Paul’s trials and imprisonment (Col 4:3, 18).

5.     However, Paul’s passion was on their behalf. His inward passion was the purpose of building them up in Christ, regardless of any outward struggles, such as imprisonment (Rom 8:18).

B.    Passion for all Believers

1.     Paul’s passion was not limited to a small group of believers. It included other believers in the region, especially the Laodiceans (Col 4:13, 15, 16).

2.     In fact, Paul’s passion included all believers, even those he had never met (not personally seen my face).

C.    Passion for Encouragement, Unity, and Understanding

1.     The struggle on behalf of the Colossians was first of all, that their hearts may be encouraged. That is, his passion was for them not to be discouraged by the false teachers, but be encouraged to stand fast, grow, and go forward in their Christian faith.

2.     Secondly, he wanted them to be knit together in love. His passion was also for them to be strengthened through the unity of believers. This was not at the expense of doctrine, but was by believers embracing both doctrine and unity in love. That would be the definition of a healthy church.

3.     Thirdly, his passion was that they would know about all the wealth (spiritual) they have in Christ, would understand them fully, and would be fully assured in them. That is the definition of being established in the faith. That is the definition of being spiritually mature. That is the definition of being complete in Christ.


A.    Nouthetic Counseling -  Nouthetic Counseling is biblical counseling or admonishing from the Scriptures. Like every generation, this generation needs to understand the importance of Nouthetic Counseling and submit to Nouthetic counseling. That is submit to God’s Word and the counsel we receive from it.

B.    Strive to Grow in Maturity - We must strive to be spiritually mature. Yes, it is God’s work in us, but it is also our work as well. None of us have arrived at perfection. In fact, having such notions proves we have not arrived. We must take our spiritual “immaturity” head on.

1.     What are the areas you need to grow in?

2.     What are the areas that you have been convicted in by the Scriptures?

3.     Those are the areas w you must take head on, study the Scriptures on those areas, if you really want to get serious, memorize those Scriptures. Pray spiritual maturity into your live in those areas. Be committed to becoming spiritually mature in those areas.

C.    Labor Hard for the Lord - Can the Lord use you more? The Lord is in complete control of spiritual success. But to the degree that we labor harder for the Lord is greater the degree the Lord can use us. Can we say with Paul, “For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me”

D.    Passion for the Lord - If someone were to ask you to suggest the most important qualities that a believer can possess, you might argue for intelligence, education, leadership ability, boldness, holiness, or speaking ability. Although all those are essential components, perhaps the most necessary ingredient in the life of any believer is love for the church. No one can truly serve God in the church without that motivation.





Grace Bible Church · 4000 E. Collins Rd ·  PO Box #3762 · Gillette, WY · (307) 686-1516