When suffering comes, we will be tempted to give up. Hard times will come. Our reaction will be a determining factor of how we go through those difficult seasons. Paul demonstrates what a committed attitude looks like for us.
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: Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.
Verse 23 starts by calling our attention to our personal faith. Paul shows us that standing before God justified is contingent upon us contining “in the faith groudned and settled” We are encouraged to not”be moved away from the hope of the gospel.” It is important to note, that the moving away was from Christianity to Judiasm in most cases. When we forget who Jesus us, the temptation is to rely on other sources for salvation. Believers need to keep their focus on Christ.
The remainder of this passage focuses on Paul’s perseverance in preaching the gospel through suffering. Basically, as Paul preaches to all creation, he receives marks (wounds) in his physical body. However, they are worth Revert stripe.
The first point Paul Makes about his preaching is that it is the culmination of God’s plan. God has revealed Himself through time to different people, who then recorded it into what we call the Old Testament. Now, God’s plan has come to fulfillment in Jesus Christ, God’s Son. The Gospel, the good news about Jesus, that Paul preaches is the continuing of the Old Testament revelation.
The last part of this passage explains the purpose of preaching. Paul labored jn the ministry so that believes will be presented, “perfect” or “complete” before God. I do not use the word “mature” as many do for the word perfect. This is because God does not do any partial work in us. He is faithful to complete it. We do not need to fall in sin every day in word, deed, or thought. We can, by the power of the Holy Spirt, stay above sin.
All Scripture Quotations are from the King James Version.