Sermon Prepared by James McCullen
Email Preach Him with Dr. Jim

I Love This Mystery
Col 1:26-29

26 that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints,   27 to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.   28 We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ.   29 For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me. NASU

Introduction
Lee Stroble open his book titled The Case for Christ with this story. A police officer had been shot in the chest. A young man with a criminal record with the use of a fires had made a scene at this location before the shooting. He had confessed to shooting the police office.

It seemed to be an open and shut case. Then Lee Stroble at that time a legal reported for a Chicago News Paper got a call from an informer. The informing source said the policeman shot himself and is lying about it.

He was caring a pin gun and it accidentally went off and so he wounded himself. At first it seemed preposterous. But on through investigation it proved to be true.

The suspect had pleaded guilty because he was told he would get off with just a one year sentence and he had already been in jail over 300 days. He was told further the judge could give you 20 years if you don't take our plea bargain.

The suspect admitted he shot the policeman even though he really did not shot him. He did this rather than risk going to jail for an extended time.

Ultimately the police office confessed it was his own pin gun that accidentally shot him and the suspect went free. Most anyone could have seen those facts and from them voted to find the suspect guilty. The mystery of who shot whom was eventually worked out much differently that originally thought.

I want to emphasize I LOVE A MYSTERY

    I Love This . . Involved Mystery. v 26- 27

    I Love This . . Informative Mystery.

    I Love This . . Inspiring Mystery.




1.    I Love This . . Involved Mystery. v 26- 27


26 that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints,    27 to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Introduction:
One of my New Testament Professors Dr. Curtis Vaughan said this mystery (to the Christian) is an open secret.

Illustration
A church in town received a $250,000 gift. It was to remain a secret but many people know who gave the gift and many more think they know.
 

A.    An Involved Mystery In . . Time. v 26 a
        ". . . that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, . . . "

        1.    The Word Mystery is used 27 times in the N. T.
        2.    Hidden In Ages Past. 2. Who Is the Messiah etc..
 

B.    An Involved Mystery In . . Thesis. v 26 b - 27
        " . . . but has now been manifested to His saints, 27 to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles,

        1.    The Thesis is a Manifestation to the Saints.
        2.    Jesus is the mystery.        Col 2:2
            "that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the
        wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God's
        mystery, that is, Christ Himself, NASU

Matt 13:11 Jesus answered them, "To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted. NASU

IS THIS A MYSTERY?

TO A SAINT IT AIN'T.

C.    An Involved Mystery In . . Testimony
        ". . . which is Christ in you, the hope of glory."

Illustration
The person with a testimony is never at the mercy of a person with an argument.

John 9:25 He then answered, "Whether He is a sinner, I do not know; one thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see." NASU

In the Daisies of Nazareth, Hugh MacMillian tells of a highland shepherd on a lonely moor who for many years had been infirm and blind. He was so crippled with rheumatism that he could not stir from his seat beside his lowly peat fire.

One day a kindly visitor asked whether the hours which he spent in this manner were not weary and spoke of the blessedness of heaven. The old shepherd answered simply, "I know it well.

I have been in heaven during the past ten years." He went on to explain to his visitor that since Jesus had entered his heart he had not felt the weariness he had before.

Application

The world looks at this person and is amazed as they can not understand the peace he has. It is a mystery to them.
 
 

2.    I Love This . . Informative Mystery. v 28



    "We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ.

Intro: Note the phrase every man 3 different times.

A.    Informative in the . . Persuading of Every man. v 28 a
            "We proclaim Him, admonishing every man . . . "

    1.    ADMONISH NT:3560 from the same as NT:3559; to put in
    2.    mind, i.e. (by implication) to caution or reprove gently:

Col 3:16 Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. NASU

1 Thess 5:12-14 12 But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction, 13 and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Live in peace with one another. 14 We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone. NASU

B.    Informative in the . . Perfecting Of Every man. v 28 b
        ". . . and teaching every man with all wisdom, . . . "

        1.    98 times a form of the word Teach in the NT.
        2.    Wisdom used 52 times in the NT     James 3:13-15
            13 Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. NASU

Illustration We were discussing the AWANA ministry and said it may take some out of discipleship to work with these kids. Dave Ethington said is it wrong to take adults out of being in a discipleship class to go out and disciple children?

1 Cor 1:30-31 30 But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, 31 so that, just as it is written, "LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD."

C.    Informative in the . . Presenting Of Every man. v 28 c
        ". . . so that we may present every man complete in Christ. "

James 1:4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. NASU
 

Illustration EVANGELISM
"One Puerto Rican lady, after getting saved in church, came to me with an urgent request. She didn't speak a word of English, so she told me through an interpreter, 'I want to do something
for God, please.'

" 'I don't know what you can do,' I answered. " 'Please, let me do something,' she said in Spanish. " 'Okay. I'll put you on a bus. Ride a different bus every week and just love the kids.'

"So every week she rode a different bus--we have fifty of them--and loved the children. She would find the worst-looking kid on the bus, put him on her lap, and whisper over and over the only words she had learned in English: 'I love you. Jesus loves you.'

"After several months, she became attached to one little boy in particular. 'I don't want to change buses anymore. I want to stay on this one bus,' she said.

"The boy didn't speak. He came to Sunday school every week with his sister and sat on the woman's lap, but he never made a sound. Each week she would tell him all the way to Sunday school and all the way home, 'I love you and Jesus loves you.'

"One day, to her amazement, the little boy turned around and stammered, 'I-I love you, too.' Then he put his arms around her and gave her a big hug. "That was 2:30 on a Saturday afternoon. At 6:30 that night, the boy was found dead in a garbage bag under a fire escape. His mother had beaten him to death and thrown his body in the trash.

" 'I love you and Jesus loves you.' Those were some of the last words he heard in his short life--from the lips of a Puerto Rican woman who could barely speak English.

Application

This lady was perfected in love. What can you or I do if we wanted to serve anyway and anywhere?
Paul said the mystery is an Informative mystery perfecting the saints..
 
 

3.    I Love This . . Inspiring Mystery. v 29


    "For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me.

A.    Inspiring With A . . Purposeful Striving. v 29 a
        ". . . "For this purpose also I labor, striving . . . "

        1.    Striving is NT:75         from NT:73; to struggle, literally (to compete for a prize), figuratively (to contend with an adversary),

2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: KJV
It is always right to fight for right.

Fight when we must, when our cause it is just.
And this be our motto "In God Is Our Trust"

B.    Inspiring With A . . Powerful Source. v 29 b
        ". . . according to His power, which mightily works within me."

Illustration
The chorus I will relate has repetition to it. Some one criticize it as a 7 - 11 song saying it has seven words repeated 11 times. It does repeat itself. Now I like the song and I sing it to my self and I listen to it on CD. But I have questioned why it repeats so much.

You know right now there are some unknowns in my life as I near retirement. I was wondering to my self as we traveled to Florida a few weeks ago. Then this song came on and I was kind of singing it to my self and wondering again about the repetition.

Then it seemed as though the Lord said you sing it and repeat it but do you mean it? Is your life in me? Is your Strength in me? Is your hope in me.

Listen to the chorus's words"

My life is in you Lord
My strength is in you Lord
My hope is in you Lord
It's in you it's in you

My life is in you Lord
My strength is in you Lord
My hope is in you Lord
It's in you it's in you

It dawned on me that is why it is repeated so much it may take that long for the truth to soak in for some of us.

Application Is the Lord our source?

The presence of the Lord in us will be noticed by our world.

This is an Inspiring mystery Of Grace revealing JESUS TO the Saints.

Is It A Mystery?
To A Saint It Ain't