What does it mean when Paul says he aims to present every man complete in Christ?
We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all (B)wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ. (Colossians 1:28)
Sanctification is not something described as an automatic process. Believers need instruction to promote their growth in godliness. This instruction focuses on Jesus Christ, not some counterfeit theology. The authentic Jesus with the doctrines we call Christology and Soteriology… these are truths about who Jesus is, and what he accomplished in his life, death, resurrection, and ascension.
There are two things we NEED:
- Teaching – instruction from others. (positive)
- Warning – help in order to avoid wrong behavior and attitudes. (negative)
Think about it… WHICH of these do you prefer to hear?
WHAT should be the ratio in each sermon you’ve heard or Bible study your attended? The KEY is WISDOM, in order to be effective. We need to pray for teachers and preachers, leaders given by God to help mature believers in their faith.
The PURPOSE of all of this Paul writes about is to present every man complete in Christ. This is what Paul mentions in passages like in Colossians 1:22.
Does Paul mean that EVERY person will be presented complete, saved, and transformed? Meaning, does Paul preach Universalism? Here he means everyone (Jew as well as Gentile) rather than everyone, like everybody. The issue of the day meant that Gentiles did not have to become Jews in order to be Christians.
WHAT were Paul’s means of accomplishing his goal?
- Proclaiming Christ (Colossians 1:28)
- Preaching God’s Word (Colossians 1:25).
Of all the topics that can be taught in a class or from the pulpit, it is worth nothing without the proclamation of the gospel. If someone is not saved, a good “how-to” or encouraging message is like putting a new suit on a corpse (think about Joel Osteen’s messages). The gospel is what transforms a person from death to life, from the kingdom of darkness into his kingdom of light.
And what IS the gospel? Remember 1 Corinthians 15:3-4.