Prison Epistles Lesson 21

Paul’s Ministry of Suffering and Preaching
( Colossians 1:24-29)

KEY TRUTH:

Considering what Christ has done for you, the proper response is to serve Him in vigorous and sacrificial service.

  1. Paul responded to God’s grace by willingly suffering for Christ’s church. (Colossians 1:24)
    1. Paul suffered willingly because it brought good to others.
    2. Paul suffered willingly because it allowed him to be identified with Christ.
    3. Paul suffered willingly because his ministry brought him joy.
  2. Paul responded to God’s grace by stewarding the Gospel. (Colossians 1:25-27)
  3. Paul responded to God’s grace with a focused strategy for discipleship. (Colossians 1:28)
  4. Paul responded to God’s grace with all of his energy. (Colossians 1:29)

IMPLICATIONS

  • If it comes your way, suffer for Christ and His church with an attitude of rejoicing.
  • Find a place of ministry and be a faithful steward of that ministry for God’s glory.
  • With the people in your life, be intentional about helping them reach maturity by proclaiming Christ and His Word.
  • In all that you do for Christ, do it with all your energy!

QUESTIONS

  • Are Christians you know prone to quitting when things get hard? Is the church in our culture ready to face suffering well? What do you think would be some of the results if severe persecution of Christianity broke out in America? How do Matthew 5:12, Acts 5:41 and Hebrews 10:34 inform your thinking on the biblical view of suffering?
  • Paul’s ministry was unique in that we no longer have Apostles. However, what principles can we learn from the way Paul approached his ministry? How can we as Christian men be good stewards of the Gospel?
  • What are some strategies you could implement to be more intentional about helping people achieve maturity in Christ?
  • As you evaluate Christianity in America, could most Christians say that Colossians 1:29 is true of them? What observations do you have regarding the average Christian’s approach to ministry? What might need to change in your personal approach to ministry?