Col 1:21-24 “And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister; Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:”
We have not always been interested in knowing and doing God’s will. Fellowship with His children has not always been important to us. Going to church was a foreign concept: we had more important things to do. We did not participate (alienated) in the way of Jesus Christ, even to the point of being adversarial (enemies) to any who tried to talk to us about that way.
Our words and our actions showed that we could not care less about Jesus. Yet, while we were enemies toward the things of God, Christ died for us (Rom 5:8). We are now called back into union (reconciled) with Jesus through His death. Our eternal life is secured in Him as is our walk of faith (Eph 2:1, Col 2:13). Once translated to this estate by the will of God, we became ashamed of our loveless attitude towards Him and His bride.
By His death, He presents (stands beside) us. Because He stands beside us, we are holy (sacred, consecrated), unblameable (faultless), and unreproveable (beyond accusation). This is the way He sees us (in His sight). Since He does not see us as being non-participants and adversarial, we no longer have to see ourselves in this light. This is where the work of God’s children becomes important.
Christ has already died for us. We are reconciled unto God through Him. The manifestation of His work in our lives is in seeing that (see Strong’s definition of “if”) we remain (continue) in our reliance upon Christ for salvation (faith). By grace, we are built up and immovable from our confidence in the good news of Jesus Christ. After we are blessed to hear the gospel, we should walk according to the gospel. Our walk does not make us a child of God; rather it shows what we have become through His death.
Paul testifies here that he was caused to be (made) a minister of this good news. It was not something He decided to do on his own. The will and power of God caused this to come to pass. For all who truly minister according to the faith of Jesus Christ, we are caused to be ministers just as Paul was. Being made ministers, there are going to be seasons in our lives when we may be called on to suffer for those we minister to.
For some, that suffering may mean to be physically abused and imprisoned. For others, it may mean to endure ridicule and rejection. It may mean enduring a cold shoulder from people we love. However, if we are suffering because we have been made ministers of Jesus Christ, then we should expect to rejoice even in our suffering. It is our happy lot, through the Spirit, to be able to bear (fill up) any suffering that is needful for the good of the church. Like Peter and others, we should rejoice when we are counted worthy to bear stripes for His name (Act 5:41).
May we rejoice when we are afflicted for His name’s sake, knowing that He has made us holy, unblameable, and unreproveable in His sight!