Colossians 1:24-2:5 Radical Living when Christ is Preeminent

The Preeminence of Christ  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Not a water sport guy.
But I respect greatness in any sports
I stand amazed at people doing radical things that set them apart.
Let’s look at a video of big wave surfing – the later part of this video shows the surfing world record largest wave. It is pretty radical.
What drives these people? In an interview with Laird Hamilton – the surfer who holds the record for the largest wave ever surfed Made these comments?
“They must enter the world’s largest ocean.
It is a demanding task.
They have to embrace the danger
Their heroes are those who have come before – men/women who have lived this life
They are driven by an inner compulsion – it is who they are not some external activity
It is a life choice.
Life for them is a mission.
It is a constant focus.
Their life is consumed with this as a priority.
They make surfing preeminent in every aspect of their life.
They are driven to live a radical life devoted to surfing
No wonder they are successful. “
For me it seems sad. To give one’s life for stuff that really doesn’t matter.
What if we sought to have this passion for things that do matter?
What if we would make Christ preeminent in the way these surfers make big waves preeminent?
If only we would seek to be radical in our devotion to Christ. To live radical lives making Christ preeminent.
That is what Paul models and asks of the Colossians. It is what Christ asks of us.

I. Radical Living when Christ is Preeminent: A Radical Commission

A. A commission to serve Christ’s body

(ESV) Colossians 1:25 of which (the church) I became a ministeraccording to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known,

1. Not what I can get

A servant – a slave - serving is greatness

2. Greatest men in the Bible – those who serve – Moses – Jesus came to serve not be served - Jesus talking about greatness in the kingdom

B. A commission as a stewardship from God

(ESV) Colossians 1:25 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,

1. An arrangement established by God – a job set up by God

God has assigned a role to play – serve

C. A commission for the sake of others

(ESV) Colossians 1:25 of which I became a ministeraccording to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known,

1. Outside of me – for your sake

Later in vs. 28 he repeats everyone three times – a universal approach

D. A commission to make the Word of God known

(ESV) Colossians 1:25 of which I became a ministeraccording to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known,

1. Get the word to everyone

Tell it in its fullness

II. Radical Living when Christ is Preeminent: A Radical Message

A. A message no one knew

(ESV) Colossians 1:25 … to make the word of God fully known, 26 the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints.

1. Not fully revealed – hints of a universal gospel – always from the perspective of Israel

B. A message revealing God’s great glory

(ESV) Colossians 1:27 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.

1. Full message – salvation available to all - always about God reaching into the world

Christ in you – a close relationship beyond anything fully revealed

2. Hope in Him – not my own actions

C. A message focused on Christ

(ESV) Colossians 1:28 Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, …

1. Proclaimed a person – topic of their preaching

Warned of the false – counsel about avoiding something or stopping something

2. Taught the right

III. Radical Living when Christ is Preeminent: Radical difficulty

A. A need to know the difficulty

(ESV) Colossians 2:1 For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen meface to face,
ἀγών Agov - Agonize – to strive to do something with great intensity and effort

1. Major struggle

Even for those he has never seen

2. Struggle is part of the life – accept it – rejoice in it – these difficulties have purpose

B. Difficulty with a purpose

(ESV) Colossians 1:24 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,
πάθημα Pathama – to suffer pain with
θλῖψις Thlipsis Christ’s – hardship / distress / affliction – trouble that includes direct suffering

1. Purpose creates joy in the midst of the difficulty

Serving Christ is always costly – but in the very act of sacrifice and dying – seed sprouts

2. For Christ’s sake – suffering for Him and the kingdom

a. Not that His suffering was not sufficient for salvation
Continuing the work – Christ’s work included essential suffering / mine too – I suffer as His representative – in His place
b. Privilege to suffer as a means to advance the kingdom
Model Christ

3. For the community of God – I pour out myself for your sakes - sacrifice so that you may benefit

Glad he can serve and suffer because it is part of what produces results

C. Difficulty but with His empowerment

(ESV) Colossians 1:29 For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.
κοπιάω Labor to exhaustion – work hard with difficulties and trouble
ἀγωνίζομαι Agonize – to strive to do something with great intensity and effort

1. Deep struggle again

With His energy / strength

2. He is actively working within me

He is powerfully working with me

IV. Radical Living when Christ is Preeminent: A Radical Impact

A. Bringing others to maturity

(ESV) Colossians 1:28 … that we may present everyone mature in Christ.

1. Mature in Christ – current state – grow into maturity now

B. Encouraging others

(ESV) Colossians 2:2 that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love,

1. Paracalew – encouraged / built up

United / knit together – mark of maturity is to be mutually encouraging

C. Giving others understanding in Christ

(ESV) Colossians 2:2 … to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

1. Solid assurance – no need to wander around in uncertainty

Truth to build one’s life upon

2. Truth practical living

In Him is wisdom and skills for living

D. Establishing others with firm foundations

4 I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments. 5 For though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the firmness of your faith in Christ.

1. Avoid false teaching – no matter how convincing – understand the truth will avoid being deluded – does it align with what scripture says or not

Orderly life

2. Firmness in the faith

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