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Welcome to Refinery Life Australia.

Today we continue our series titled The Nature and Ministry of the Church.

These messages focus on the home, the school, the church, and the state, the four great institutions that give meaning and stability to western civilisation.

Today we are talking about The Church and Its Mission.

Prayer

Father, grant us the free spirit of giving as you have demonstrated it to us in the incomparable gift of your Son.

Help us realise that no gift to you is complete until we give ourselves along with our substance.

As best we know how, we offer you ourselves, weak and sinful creatures that we are.

Accept us, Father, along with our gifts, and make us conform to your holy will for our lives.

In Jesus name we pray.

Amen.

Text

Colossians 1:23-24 AMP

23 [and He will do this] if you continue in the faith, well-grounded and steadfast, and not shifting away from the [confident] hope [that is a result] of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which [gospel] I, Paul, was made a minister.

24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings on your behalf. And with my own body I supplement whatever is lacking [on our part] of Christ’s afflictions, on behalf of His body, which is the church.

Scripture Reading

Colossians 1:19-29 AMP

19 For it pleased the Father for all the fullness [of deity—the sum total of His essence, all His perfection, powers, and attributes] to dwell [permanently] in Him (the Son), 

20 and through [the intervention of] the Son to reconcile all things to Himself, making peace [with believers] through the blood of His cross; through Him, [I say,] whether things on earth or things in heaven.

21 And although you were at one time estranged and alienated and hostile-minded [toward Him], participating in evil things, 

22 yet Christ has now reconciled you [to God] in His physical body through death, in order to present you before the Father holy and blameless and beyond reproach— 

23 [and He will do this] if you continue in the faith, well-grounded and steadfast, and not shifting away from the [confident] hope [that is a result] of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which [gospel] I, Paul, was made a minister.

24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings on your behalf. And with my own body I supplement whatever is lacking [on our part] of Christ’s afflictions, on behalf of His body, which is the church. 

25 In this church I was made a minister according to the stewardship which God entrusted to me for your sake, so that I might make the word of God fully known [among you]— 

26 that is, the mystery which was hidden [from angels and mankind] for ages and generations, but has now been revealed to His saints (God’s people). 

27 God [in His eternal plan] chose to make known to them how great for the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in and among you, the hope and guarantee of [realizing the] glory. 

28 We proclaim Him, warning and instructing everyone in all wisdom [that is, with comprehensive insight into the word and purposes of God], so that we may present every person complete in Christ [mature, fully trained, and perfect in Him—the Anointed]. 

29 For this I labor [often to the point of exhaustion], striving with His power and energy, which so greatly works within me.

Introduction

A church does not choose its mission anymore than a soldier chooses what task he will do for for the general or a herald chooses what message he will deliver in the name of the king.

A mission suggests orders, and whenever people are sent on a mission or assigned to perform a task to perform, they have received directions from a higher authority.

Furthermore, those who are dispatched to fulfil a mission are not at liberty to change the orders or rearrange the assignment at will.

God has chosen to carry out His plan and purpose on earth through the church.

No other plan is set forth, or even mentioned, in the Bible.

In our study of the church so far, we have looked at theatre of the church, the growth of the church, and the under shepherds of the church.

This morning we will look at the mission of the church.

The words of our text, Colossians 1:25-29, comprise Paul’s commission from God in his own words.

The essence of God’s commission to Paul is identical to the mission assigned to the church.

Therefor we will discover that the mission of the church is, first to fulfil the Word of God.

Second, to proclaim the mystery of the indwelling Christ.

And third, to preach a universal gospel.

  1. To fulfil the Word of God.

Colossians 1:25 AMP

25 In this church I was made a minister according to the stewardship which God entrusted to me for your sake, so that I might make the word of God fully known [among you]—

How can the church do this?

The first chapter of Colossians shows us three ways.

  1. The church must exalt Christ.

Colossians 1:17-19 AMP

17 And He Himself existed and is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. [His is the controlling, cohesive force of the universe.] 

18 He is also the head [the life-source and leader] of the body, the [a]church; and He is the beginning, [b]the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will occupy the first place [He will stand supreme and be preeminent] in everything. 

19 For it pleased the Father for all the fullness [of deity—the sum total of His essence, all His perfection, powers, and attributes] to dwell [permanently] in Him (the Son),

This is one of the most significant statements in the Bible concerning the position of our Lord Jesus Christ in regard to His pre incarnate glory, and it also establishes Him as the head of the church.

Paul said that Jesus Christ was one with the Father before anything was made.

And not only so, after everything was created, He became the one in whom everything holds together.

So this is our springboard.

This is the way in which the church “makes the Word of God fully known” by exalting the incomparable Jesus Christ as Lord of Lords and King of Kings.

B. The church must recognise its role as a co labourers with God in the ministry of reconciliation.

Colossians 1:20-22 says, 

20 and through [the intervention of] the Son to reconcile all things to Himself, making peace [with believers] through the blood of His cross; through Him, [I say,] whether things on earth or things in heaven.

21 And although you were at one time estranged and alienated and hostile-minded [toward Him], participating in evil things, 

22 yet Christ has now reconciled you [to God] in His physical body through death, in order to present you before the Father holy and blameless and beyond reproach—

What happened when all the people sinned?

The most tragic fragmentation the world had ever known came about!

When Adam and Eve succumbed to satan in the garden of Eden, there was a moral explosion.

Immediately, God, who had rested from His creative work on the seventh day, began a new work, the work of redemption, the  work of redemption, the end result of which was reconciliation, or the bringing back to Himself of that which had been separated from Him.

Then, to further compound the mystery of God’s sovereign grace, God made another decision in regard to this business of reconciliation, He decided to use the church.

Paul said in 2 Corinthians 5:18, But all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ [making us acceptable to Him] and gave us the ministry of reconciliation [so that by our example we might bring others to Him],

God was saying to the church, “This is a vital part of your mission on earth. You are the co labourers with Me in this ministry of bringing sinner face to face with their sins and with my saving grace!”

C. The church must consistently encourage growth and stability among its own.

Colossians 1:23 says,  [and He will do this] if you continue in the faith, well-grounded and steadfast, and not shifting away from the [confident] hope [that is a result] of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which [gospel] I, Paul, was made a minister.

What was Paul saying?

When a person is born into the family of God, the churches task is to teach and establish the new Christian in the faith.

Sometimes young Christians get off on doctrinal tangents because the church is derelict in providing the proper spiritual diet.

Thus the church that makes the Word of God fully known through its teaching and pastoral ministry sees its people grow in the grace of our Lord.

It sees them become established in the faith.

2. To proclaim the mystery of the indwelling Christ. 

Paul said of Christ’s indwelling believers that it was “the mystery which was hidden [from angels and mankind] for ages and generations, but has now been revealed to His saints (God’s people). 

God [in His eternal plan] chose to make known to them how great for the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in and among you, the hope and guarantee of [realizing the] glory.” In verses 26 and 27.

A. The mystery of Christ indwelling the believer was clouded in ages past.

Through the prophets and through Old Testament symbols and sacrifices etc, God prepared His people for this grand and magnificent truth, that He would one day come to live within His people in the person of His Son.

B. Furthermore, this truth about “Christ in you, the hope of glory” has been made manifest.

This means that it is “as clear as daylight.” 

When the sunrises each morning it is a miracle!

When the earth is shrouded in the darkness of night, the whole psychology of life is changed.

All kinds of evil and crime find compatibility in the darkness.

But after the night has ended, the eastern horizon begins to change.

There seems to be a struggle as the long fingers of light from the rising sun stab through the darkness.

When you see it, you know what is happening.

Thee is no mistake!

The sun is about to rise, and struggle though it may, the darkness is already defeated, and all it can do is slowly disappear, and give place to the light.

The same thing happened in the spiritual realm.

The first finger of light pierced the darkness and lit and warmed the heart of Abraham.

And the light kept coming, little by little, until Jesus came and the sun rose in its fullness and in its brightness.

C. What was the result?

“Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

We can say with all joy and assurance that the mystery is now an open revelation to those who will receive it.

The sun has risen, John 1:14, And the Word (Christ) became flesh, and lived among us; and we [actually] saw His glory, glory as belongs to the [One and] only begotten Son of the Father, [the Son who is truly unique, the only One of His kind, who is] full of grace and truth (absolutely free of deception).

3. To preach a universal gospel.

  1. It is a universal gospel.

Paul said in Colossians 1: 28 We proclaim Him, warning and instructing everyone in all wisdom [that is, with comprehensive insight into the word and purposes of God], so that we may present every person complete in Christ [mature, fully trained, and perfect in Him—the Anointed].

This gospel is not to be proclaimed only to a select few or to an elite group.

In his powerful sermon in Athens, Paul declared in Acts 17:30, Therefore God overlooked and disregarded the former ages of ignorance; but now He commands all people everywhere to repent [that is, to change their old way of thinking, to regret their past sins, and to seek God’s purpose for their lives],

In other words, the first note of the gospel is a clarion call to repentance.

That is the doorway.

For unless we repent of our sin, we cannot enter the kingdom of heaven.

This call to repentance is issued to all people.

It is universal in its scope.

B. It is also a warning.

The word Paul used for warning means to put in mind, to admonish.

This warning is about the impending danger of losing your soul.

Therefore the mission of the church is to be faithful in the warning aspect of its message.

C. “Teaching every man in all wisdom.”

This correlates beautifully with our Lord’s great commission.

After we have warned unbelievers of the danger of continuing their sin, we are to teach them how to find deliverance from sin and guilt and find peace with God.

Conclusion.

So there we have it.

The mission of the church is to make the Word of God fully known by exalting the Lord Jesus Christ, fulfilling our role as co labourers with God in the ministry of reconciliation and encouraging growth and stability among the saints.

We are to proclaim the mystery of the indwelling Christ and preach a universal gospel, warning and teaching all people that God, in His grace and mercy and inconceivable compassion, can save from sin and give assurance of eternal salvation.

Until next time

Stay in the Blessings

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I really want to encourage you to be diligent with your Bible study time, because God has so much more for us than we can get from just going to church once or twice a week and hearing someone else talk about the Word.

When you spend time with God, your life will change in amazing ways, because God is a Redeemer.

Theres nothing thats too hard for Him, and He can make you whole, spirit, soul and body!

You’re important to God, and you’re important to us at www.refinerylife.org

When it comes to prayer, we believe that God wants to meet your needs and reveal His promises to you.

So whatever you’re concerned about and need prayer for we want to be here for you! Or even if you just want to say Hi, you can contact us

2021 IS A YEAR OF REFORMATION

© www.refinerylife.org  2021 All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968, no part of this Article may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, communicated or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written permission. 

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