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                  The Apostle Paul’s Calling

 

                     

       When Paul reflects on his calling as a missionary, he invariably attributes it to God’s grace and mercy. He considers himself the least of the apostles and unworthy to be an apostle because of his persecution of the church in previous years 1 Cor 15:9. He was indeed ‘formerly a blasphemer and persecutor and violent man’ 1 Tim 1:13, and Paul calls himself, ‘chief of sinners’ 1 Tim 1:15. However, we all know, Paul is a great apostle of the Lord, and was called by God to be so. ‘By the grace of God I am what I am’ 1 Cor 15:10, he states.

      When Paul considers his call and his conversion, he considers it as a testimony to divine mercy, and attributes his transformation to the awesome grace of God. This percept is found throughout all of Paul’s writings in the New Testament. The stewardship of grace entrusted to him is a divine gift Eph 3:2, and God graciously revealed to him the content of the mystery of the gospel, so that his insight into the mystery should not be ascribed to his own wisdom but God’s beneficence Eph 3:3-5. Paul is emphatic in stating that his ministry is a product of grace; he explains that his ministry is ‘according to the gift of grace which given to me according to the working of His power" Eph 3:7. The notion that Paul’s ministry is due to God’s grace is confirmed by his saying, ‘But I labored more than them all, and yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me"1 Cor 15:9-10.

        His ministry is a testimony to his untiring efforts to spread the Gospel, regardless of the circumstances. Concerted discipline and painful exertion characterize his ministry. For though Paul’s ministry is full of difficulties, persecutions, hardships, beatings, trials, imprisonments, lashings, it is the grace of God that provides the impetus for his work. It is the power of God himself ‘working in me…’ Col 1:29 that drives Paul and indeed brings him satisfaction as an apostolic messenger.

 

 

 

                      The Spiritual Truths of Colossians            

Colossians is perhaps the most profound letter Paul ever wrote, indeed the most profound in the Bible. There is a depth to the spiritual truths revealed in the letter to the Colossians. The message is greatly needed today as well. 

Paul affirms that what we need is an appropriation of what we already have in Christ Jesus. "And ye are complete in Him."

The Apostle Paul was a great encourager, and this letter to the Colossians is a good example of the grace of thanksgiving that often indeed most times was prevalent in Paul's writings.  He mentions giving thanks to God in at least a half dozen places in this relatively short letter. When you recall that Paul wrote this letter in prison, his attitude of thanksgiving is even more wonderful.

Like Paul, we should be grateful for what God is doing in the lives of others. As Christians, we are all members of one body. If one member of the body is strengthened, this helps to strengthen the entire body. If one church experiences a revival touch from God, it will help all the churches.

The Gospel is the good news that Jesus Christ has solved the problem of sin through His death, burial and resurrection. In our witnessing we should remember to emphasize the good news, the Gospel. Paul emphasizes this in Colossians. The theme, if you will, is the preeminence of Jesus Christ, and He is certainly preeminent in the Gospel. The false teachers at Colosse were trying to remove Jesus Christ from His place of preeminence. Paul knows and exhorts that this destroys the Gospel. The message is lost in philosophy, doctrine, religious system; it centers and has its foundation in Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

There are many messages that can be called 'true', but the Word of God is the only one that can be called 'truth'. Satan is the liar; to believe his lies is to be led astray into death. Jesus is the Truth. The Word of God's Truth stands. Yesterday, today and Forever.

 Paul tells us that the Gospel was bearing fruit in all the world. The Word of God is the only seed that can be planted anywhere in the world, and it will bear fruit. The Gospel can be preached 'to every creature which is under heaven'. If people are to be saved, they must hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And if they are to hear, we who are saved must carry the message. It is our obligation as it was Paul's.  Faith is our commitment to Jesus Christ.

In Colossians 3:16-17, Paul gives us the summary of his profound spirit revealed in this letter:  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

 

Read Commentary on Paul's  Armor of God  Click Here!

Read Paul's Evangelistic Strategy Click Here!

 

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