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Jesus - The Centre Of The Gospel

Colossians 1:23b

The gospel is good news: that is what the word 'gospel' means - "Good News!" Everything that Jesus said and did is unknown unless somebody brings the Good News. Although the life and death of our Saviour was physically located in the Holy Land, the benefit of His sacrificial ministry will come to everybody ... but first they need to hear and believe the Good News (Romans 10:14-15).

Suffering For The Sake Of The Gospel

Colossians 1:24

This verse has often been misunderstood. Some think it means that Christ's work on the cross was insufficient to achieve salvation. Not so. The sacrificial work of the Lord Jesus Christ was complete, perfect and sufficient to pay for all the sin of the world (Hebrews 10:12-14). So, what does this verse mean?

Disclosing The Mystery

Colossians 1:25-26

Paul was commissioned to proclaim what had previously been a mystery. During all of the Old Testament period, God was preparing His people for the arrival of Jesus. The laws showed them what pleased and angered God, and the sacrifices provided temporary permission to worship God. But nothing was permanent or complete until Jesus came to be the Saviour and Redeemer of the world.

Sharing The Mystery With Everyone

Colossians 1:27

God's plan of salvation was shrouded in mystery until Jesus came. It was a half-understood secret which the Israelites thought was exclusive for them alone. God, was their God; and they thought that He would only speak to them; even though He had already told Abraham that 'all peoples on earth will be blessed through you' (Genesis 12:3). But part of the 'mystery of salvation', was that salvation through the death of Christ would be for all, Jews and Gentiles alike.

Gospel Gold Standard

Colossians 1:28-29

Making Jesus known is not easy. Many believers think it is simply a matter of advertising the church, so that those who are interested might enquire further. But that was not the Apostle Paul's approach: and his highly intentional approach to evangelism and discipleship attracted much opposition. But in order to fulfil his commission he had seven key objectives.

Gospel Pain

Colossians 2:1

Paul is not ashamed of his personal struggling as a servant of the gospel. Everything which is worthwhile will involve some kind of suffering (the word used here is 'agona'). Examinations, athletics, construction and school teaching - they all have rewards when done excellently, but they will all involve struggle and suffering. Much time is sacrificed, skills are painfully refined, outcomes are clarified, strategies are devised, problems are anticipated; and everything is committed to the task irrespective of the cost - because the outcome is important.

Gospel Purpose

Colossians 2:2-3

To some people, the Apostle Paul's lifestyle made no sense. His struggles and suffering seemed a waste: so he set the record straight. He was willing to sacrifice so much because he knew that faith in Christ would strengthen the churches in five ways: encouragement, unity, understanding, wisdom and knowledge. All these are found in Christ. Although hidden from the unbeliever, the apostolic task was to reveal the full riches of Christ to those who would believe.

Protective Teaching

Colossians 2:4-5

Many lies are attractive, especially religious lies. Indeed, every idea about God which does not accept the Son of God as Creator, Sustainer, Ruler, Saviour and Judge - is a deception (2 John 7). Nevertheless, history is littered with theistic inventions which exclude, marginalise or alter the character of Christ. That was the background to the Apostle Paul's ministry; and is the context in which the church proclaims Christ today.

The Way In, Is The Way Onward

Colossians 2:6-7

The gospel is clear: the only way to God's presence is through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. But if He is the way in, why do so many Christians not go on in Christ? Some are glad to grasp God's grace and forgiveness, but then fail to grow spiritually. Others start in grace but soon make their faith an exercise in legalism. Still others are swept away by ideas of living a more comfortable life. But the Apostle Paul has God's authority to say that we start with Christ as Saviour and we must continue with Him as Lord ... and all by receiving His grace.

Don't Be Deceived

Colossians 2:8

The gospel is attractive to spiritually hungry people, and those who submit to Christ receive forgiveness, enter a new family and start a new life. But these spiritual infants are vulnerable and need to be protected. Paul knows that spiritual predators are always nearby waiting for an opportunity to hijack young believers. So he warns the church not to be moved away from Christ as their only hope.