Fully Filled in Christ
Read Colossians 4:17-18 (ESV)
And say to Archippus, “See that you fulfill the ministry that you have received in the Lord.’ I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you.
What is your biggest take away from our study of Paul’s Letter to the Colossians?
The world always claims to have something for whatever ails you. But have you ever noticed that it never satisfies? It never completely solves the problem? Or it solves one problem only to have another problem rear its ugly head soon after. And yet, we fall for the lies so often. We think the world has the answers to our problems. But we need to accept the truth. Everything we need is in Jesus Christ alone. The world is not enough. We are not enough. But Jesus Christ is enough.
This is the central theme of the book of Colossians—the sufficiency of Christ. Throughout this letter, the apostle Paul emphasized that Jesus is preeminent over everything. He is Lord over all creation and all human powers answer to Him. He repeatedly affirmed that salvation is found in nothing and no one else. Christ’s work on the cross was sufficient to redeem and restore us to God the Father.
Heresies were threatening the Colossian church that denied the sufficiency of Christ. These false teachers pointed to worldly, created things to help them attain their spiritual goals. They sought salvation in advanced spiritualism, they worshiped angels, they severely disciplined and deprived themselves, they clung to Jewish traditions. But none of those things save. Paul stressed that Christ is sufficient to save us! We don’t need to add anything to what He’s already done.
In today’s verses, we read Paul’s closing remarks. He urged a man named Archippus to fulfill the ministry that he had been given from God. We don’t know much about who Archippus was and we don’t know the specifics of his ministry. He is only mentioned here and in Philemon 2. He may have been Philemon’s son or a pastor of the church that met in Philemon’s home. Regardless, for reasons unknown to us, Paul felt that Archippus needed some encouragement to keep going.
Don’t we all need that encouragement sometimes? One minute we feel God’s calling on our lives and we commit to doing His work. The next minute we are filled with self-doubt, we wonder if we are doing anything right, and we can’t immediately see the fruits of our labor.
But Paul’s message to Archippus applies to all of us. We have each been given a ministry and a mission from the Lord. We have been told to make disciples (Matthew 28:19). And it doesn’t make any sense that He would give us a mission that He doesn’t equip us to fulfill. Remember, our ministry to others is God working through us!
Friends, God has a mission for each one of us and we should be diligent to seek to fulfill it. Remember, the fullness of God dwelt in Christ and Christ dwells in us (Colossians 2:9, Galatians 2:20). Because we are fully filled up with the power of Christ, we are fully equipped to fulfill the ministries that He has called us to. So, today, “see to it” that you fulfill the work that you have “received in the Lord.” And may God’s grace always be with you!
Lord, You are sufficient. The world doesn’t have the answer to all of my problems and salvation is found in no one else. Thank You for giving me everything I need to fulfill the ministry that You have given me. I am fully filled with Christ and fully equipped to do Your work. Amen.
~ Pastor Nat Crawford
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