From the Director’s Desk (March 2024) – Trent Kennedy

From the Director’s Desk (March 2024) – Trent Kennedy

To close out the great exaltation of Jesus Christ in Colossians 1, Paul turns his attention to the place of preachers in the great mystery (or plan) of God. The work of Paul, and by implication, preachers today, was to put the church first (vs. 24), to serve God’s plan as ministers (vs. 25-27), to preach (vs. 28), and to labor (vs. 29). It is through this labor that human beings become “perfect in Christ” (vs. 28).

Focus on Colossians 1:28 and notice four things about Gospel preaching:

First, see the attention of the message: Christ. The “Whom” goes back one verse where we clearly see the antecedent is “Christ.” Having boldly set forth the perfection of Jesus (vs. 13-23), Paul writes that we preach Christ in the fullness of His doctrine. He is the sufficient message to save the world from sin, to call his people to repent, to serve as the standard of morality and worship, and to serve as motivation for family relationships.

Second, see the constancy of the message: we proclaim. This passage was an ongoing verb whereby Paul stated that he was continually or habitually proclaiming Christ. Preaching is never one-and-done. Instead, this word suggests the public declaration or announcement of Jesus’ kingdom, redemption, deity, preeminence, headship, sacrifice, and reconciliation.

Third, see the balance of the message: teaching and admonishing in all wisdom. These two participles describe what it means to “preach” or “proclaim.” In preaching there must be a balance between teaching healthy doctrine and warning people about those things which endanger their souls. Unfortunately, we live in a sensitive world that does not desire to hear admonitions or warnings from God or His appointed messenger.

Fourth, see the scope of the message: every man. This phrase is repeated three times in our verse. The gospel should be preached without prejudice or pretense. God has no place for the partial preacher because Jesus did not die for a limited group. Every human being needs only Christ.

These simple “ABCs” of preaching will help each of us as we try to help those around us be perfect in Christ.