24 Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church. 25 I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness— 26 the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. 27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. 29 To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.
Three things strike me from this passage: the importance of telling the complete and accurate message; Paul’s childlike excitement in revealing the secret plan of God; and the secret itself which is that Christ lives in us.
Paul teaches the ENTIRE message. He knows it’s important to do this rather than to extract and focus on certain popular aspects of it. He WARNS as well as teaches, relying on the wisdom God gives to him. The reason he does this is because he wants the people to be blameless when they come before God. This is Paul’s God given responsibility and it is one he takes seriously enough to live with the physical suffering this brings him.
Despite all this seriousness, Paul is excited and energised by the good news he has to tell. Gods plan all along was that the Gentiles would also receive Jesus and enter His kingdom. He can’t wait to tell them. Does the incredible reality of the gospel inspire us to tell people about the gift God has for them?
The best thing about having a good secret is, after a suitable period of suspense, revealing it to a curious audience and seeing their reaction. Watching as someone opens a present from you, or revealing the twist in the tail of a movie. The secret hidden from the Jews all that time is that Jesus lives in all believers now, through the Indwelling of His Holy Spirit. Now it all makes sense. How much Paul wants them to see this.
Am I keeping the secret, or revealing it? The message is still that the Holy Spirit is here for everyone. Do I rely on God for the wisdom I need to speak the message. Is the message worth enough to me that I am willing to sacrifice my comfort. These things are a continual struggle for me. But when I tell the things of God to those around me with joy and energy people respond with interest and curiosity.
Lord I pray that your active presence in my life continues to inspire me to talk about you, and that others will catch the excitement. Amen
Written by Dimity Milne