Treasure worth Fighting For.

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Treasure Worth Fighting For.


W. E. Sangster was once interviewing applicants for the Methodist ministry when an interesting young man presented himself before the committee. When it came his time to speak, the would-be preacher said he felt that he ought to explain that he was rather shy and not the sort of person who would set the Thames River on fire—that is, stir up the city. Dr. Sangster responded with consummate wisdom:

My dear young brother, I’m not interested to know if you could set the Thames on fire. What I want to know is this: if I picked you up by the scruff of your neck and dropped you into the Thames, would it sizzle?1

Illustration -

 It is said that when George Whitefield’s preaching was getting people out of their beds in Edinburgh, a man on the way to the great tabernacle met David Hume, the Scottish philosopher and skeptic. Surprised at meeting him on his way to hear Whitefield preach, the man said, “I thought you did not believe in the gospel.” To which Hume replied, “I don’t, but he does.”2 Paul was like Whitefield; or better, Whitefield was like Paul.[1]


Paul's Apostolic Heart Bleeds Gospel Truth.

I. Pauls struggle (agon) for the Colossians and the Laodiceans.

Struggle (agon) - fight or footrace.

The word originally was derived from the place where the Greeks assembled for their Olympic games, a place where they agonized in wrestling and footraces, where they fought to win.[3]


A. Pauls struggle

1. Amazing considering he had never met most of them.

2. Paul shared with them union to Christ.

a. He was their spiritual father through Epaphras.

3. Was a struggle of Labor.

I Thessalonians 2:9

9 For you remember, brothers, bour labor and toil: we cworked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God.[5]

4. Struggle of empathy.

2 Corinthians 11:29

28 And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for pall the churches. 29 qWho is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant?[i]

5. Struggle in Prayer

a. Wrestling in prayer was Pauls work.

Colossians 4:12

12 vEpaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you, always wstruggling on your behalf in his prayers, that you may stand xmature and fully assured in all the will of God. [ii]

Ephesians 6:18

18 praying yat all times zin the Spirit, awith all prayer and supplication. To that end bkeep alert with all perseverance, making csupplication for all the saints, [iii]

The Treasure.

I. What you think of Christ, your conception of him, is everything. If you believe in Jesus Christ, that he is eternal, without beginning and without end, that he always was continuing; if you believe that he is creator of everything, every cosmic speck across trillions of light-years of trackless space, the creator of the textures and shapes and colors which daily dazzle your eyes; if you believe that he is the sustainer of all creation, the force which is presently holding the atoms of your body, your town, this universe together, and that without him all would dissolve; if you believe that he is the mystery, the incarnate reconciler who will one day reconcile the universe and redeem humanity to himself; if you believe that he is the lover of your soul, who loves you with a love bounded only by his infinitude; then, despite the fact that life will be full of trouble, nothing much will go wrong. Your vision of Christ will quicken and shape your life. What you believe about Christ makes all the difference in the world now and in eternity.[iv]


A. How does Paul say this knowledge of Christ is to be cultivated.

1. Through brotherly love in the Church.

a.  “Paul emphasizes that the revelation of God cannot be properly known apart from the cultivation of brotherly love within the Christian community.”5[6]

b. When we are loved by other believers we experience Christ through them.

c. When we love allowing the Holy Spirit through us to live the life of Christ.

d. As we love, there are "full riches of complete understanding."

No intellectual process will lead to a full grasp of the mystery of Christ unless it is accompanied by a love for him and for Christians that knits us, the Church, together in love. We cannot pursue knowledge of God in willful,

unloving isolation, rejecting fellowship with others. Historically, some have tried and have suffered incomplete or even distorted understanding. “Complete” understanding of the mystery comes in loving community.[7]

The treasure-

In Christ, as in a great storehouse, lie all the riches of spiritual wisdom, the massive ingots of solid gold which when coined into creeds and doctrines are the wealth of the Church. All which we can know concerning God and man, concerning sin and righteousness and duty, concerning another life, is in Him Who is the home and deep mine where truth is stored.… The central fact of the universe and the perfect encyclopaedia of all moral and spiritual truth is Christ, the Incarnate Word, the Lamb slain, the ascended King.6[8]

III.  Mutual love of the treasure, Christ is the way that brotherly love begins and is sustatined.  Brotherly Love is the means by which Christ is elevated and celebrated as the treasure.



b 2 Thess. 3:8; [Phil. 4:16]

c See Acts 18:3

[5]The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (1 Th 2:9). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

p See 1 Cor. 7:17

q See 1 Cor. 8:13; 9:22


[i]The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (2 Co 11:28-29). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

v ch. 1:7; Philem. 23

w See Rom. 15:30

x See Matt. 5:48

[ii]The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Col 4:12). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

y Luke 18:1

z Jude 20; See Rom. 8:26

a Col. 4:2-4

b See Mark 13:33

c 1 Tim. 2:1

[iii]The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Eph 6:17-18). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

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