Everyone Mature in Christ
Ps Alby Yip
We desire to present Everyone Mature In Christ, and for this, we toil and struggle through the three core values of Personal Discipleship, Gospel Culture and Missional Communities. This is the “mission statement” of the Next Lap Vision. I hope all at Zion Bishan will remember, internalize, work and march together towards fulfilling this vision in this season.
Undergirding the Next Lap Vision is the biblical mandate in Colossians 1:28-29. “Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.”
I wonder if you would be drawn to read again the last sentence. Toil and struggle with “all his [Christ’s] energy that he powerfully works within me”? It sounds counter-intuitive to on the one hand be filled with the powerful energy of Christ and yet needs to toil and struggle. Understanding the context of this section in Colossians 1:24-29 is important.
In v.24, Paul said his sufferings were “filling up what is lacking in Christ’s affliction…” But what is lacking in Christ’s affliction that would require Paul to make up through his own suffering? It is unimaginable for Paul to mean that! So what did he mean? Now v.25-27 was Paul’s mission statement.
He was made a minister to make the word of God fully known (v.25). Of which, the mystery hidden for ages and generations (that is Christ in you, the hope of glory, the Gospel) but now (or has now been) revealed to his saints. In Zion Bishan’s lingo, it is to #getdeep and #getreal. But there is still something lacking in “Christ’s affliction.” v.27 “the Gentile”!
What was lacking in Christ’s affliction was not the sufficiency but that Christ was not able to bring the Gospel to the Gentiles. Hence, Paul was willing to fill up what is lacking in making known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery even if it meant suffering while doing it. Again in Zion Bishan’s lingo, that is #getsent.
Hence, it is for this, #getdeep #getreal #getsent that Paul toiled and struggle. And we all know he toiled and struggle much for the sake of the Gospel. But Paul reassured us that we are not alone or doing it with our own strength. We have all His, Christ’s, energy that He powerfully works within [us]. Let’s press on ahead, Zion Bishan, with this precious assurance!