Bible Study Colossians

Christ, the Hope of Glory (Colossians 1:24-29)


On this occasion, we will finish chapter 1 of the letter to the Colossians; looking more into Christ, the Hope of Glory. In this portion, after highlighting the greatness of Christ, it appears that Paul drastically changes the subject to talk about himself and his work. 

However, if we read it in detail we can see that Paul is not making his letter of introduction, but rather reaffirming how valuable the work of Christ is, enough to spend himself for it and defend it.

Decorative Text: Which is Christ in you the hope of glory Colossians 1:27
Christ, the Hope of Glory (Colossians 1:24-29) 6

What’s missing from the afflictions of Christ (v. 24-25)

Reading this verse, we might think that there is a sacrifice that I need to make to complete the work of Christ, but this is not what Paul is teaching. 

We have to make a distinction between living a sacrificial life in the service of others and the sacrifice that brings forgiveness of sins and redemption to our souls. 

Let us remember that Paul already established to the Colossians that Christ is the head of the church (1:18) and therefore we must follow his example of dedication and sacrifice in our lives.

On the other hand, we have also seen how Paul emphasizes to the Colossians and to us that it is through Christ that we have redemption: the forgiveness of sins. (v.14) This work of Christ is complete and unique, we read in Hebrews 12:2: 

Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

The redemptive work of Christ is sufficient and does not need anything else, we cannot contribute anything else to this sacrifice. Why then does Paul speak of making sacrifices for the church?

Why is Paul talking about doing sacrifices for the church?

Let’s read what he told Timothy in the Second Letter: Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. (2 Timothy 2:10) 

Paul says that his sufferings are for those chosen of the Lord for a purpose to obtain salvation, not because Paul is going to save them, but because he is the instrument that will bring them the Word of Truth

It says so in verse 25: that it benefits the Colossians for preaching the word of God. So our contribution is through the preaching of the word, and this will bring suffering and difficulties; that we must endure for the sake of God’s chosen ones.

The Hope of Glory (v. 27-29)

We saw that Timothy is told that Paul’s motivation, purpose, and call is for the elect to receive salvation and eternal glory. Likewise, he tells the Colossians that God wanted to make this hope of glory in Christ known to the Gentiles. 

In the past few lessons, we have taken a closer look at what this hope implies. In verse 28 he explains in more detail how to fulfill that call; through Christ’s proclamation, admonition, and teaching. 

We have seen how Paul proclaims Christ, and in the following chapters we will see in more detail the admonition and teaching.

Making this hope known should also be our motivation, fulfilling those actions that lead others to salvation and living righteously before God. Complying with these activities will not be rosy as we say; while we do it, we will suffer in many ways and such sufferings could discourage us from continuing; but Paul reminds us that we strive not in our strength but in the power of God that works in us.

Colossians AD
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Our response to this hope

As we read this portion and seek to apply it to our lives, we may think that it only applies to pastors or ministry leaders and not to us with our daily lives full of dirty clothes and dishes. 

However, Paul says that he suffers and strives for the sake of the elect so that they can be presented before Christ perfect. 

Look around you, and you will see the people for whom you will suffer as you proclaim to them the words of truth. While admonish them to live lives worthy of the sacrifice of Christ Jesus (as we will see in more detail in the rest of the letter), and you teach them the wisdom of God.

We all have this call to make known to others the hope of glory that we have in Christ. No matter how far we go to fulfill this call, from one country to another, from the living room to the dining room or two houses up our street. 

The Lord will give us the power to face the sufferings that come. It is my prayer that the Lord keep our eyes on Him, the author and finisher of our faith; in our hope of glory.

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