Colossians 1:21-25
Col 1:21 (KJB)
And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled
Sometime - Formerly or once upon a time
Alienated - To be estranged
Wicked - Evil or depraved
Paul uses no uncertain terms about the condition of the Colossians before they were reconciled unto God. They were estranged from God and they were the outright enemies of God as all unbelievers are. Notice that Paul states that they were wicked in their minds accompanied by wicked works. Then Paul places a conjunction in this statement showing the contrast between what they were and what they are now. At one time they were wicked in both mind and deeds but now God has reconciled them unto Himself.
Col 1:22 (KJB)
In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:
Unblameable - Unblemished condition
Unreproveable - Blameless, not open to accusation
It was through the death of the Lord Jesus Christ on Calvary which was the way God reconciled His Elect. Only those who are chosen in Christ are truly reconciled unto God. The reconciliation through Christ was so complete that it made the true believer holy, that is, separated unto God, taken out of the world system. Then the true believer is made absolutely unblameable, that is, in God’s sight we are in an unblemished condition plus we are made absolutely blameless, that is, no one can bring an accusation before God about us because we have been reconciled unto God. (Rev 14:5 KJV) And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God. Revelation 14:5 shows the believer before the throne of God in Heaven and if you notice, they are without fault.
Col 1:23 (KJB)
If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;
Ye continue - Stay, remain, or persevere
Grounded - Establish or lay the foundation of
Settled - Firm or steadfast
Heard - Hearing with understanding
Preached - Proclaimed
Paul starts out with the word “if” and this does not indicate an element of condition. The word is in the indicative mood which means it can also be translated “since.” If the word “if” was in a mood of condition, it would be in the Subjunctive mood. The subjunctive mood would be something like “if you do this, then I will do this.” Once a person becomes saved, there is no condition required to continue on. The Holy Spirit indwells the true believer and with that indwelling, we become grounded in the faith and settled upon the foundation of the faith, who is the Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Cor 3:11 KJV) For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Paul also warns them that they must be vigilant in their Christian walk and guard against drifting away from the truth of the Gospel. Paul is reminding them that they have heard the Gospel but not only heard it, through the Holy Spirit they heard it with understanding. This is why Paul is warning them about drifting. Paul then states that the Gospel had been preached to every creature under heaven, that is, it went all over the known world through the preaching of the apostles and their converts. Paul ends this verse up by stating that he too, has been made a minister of the Gospel just as the others who were proclaiming the true Gospel.
Col 1:24 (KJB)
Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church:
Fill up - Complete
That which is behind - Lacking
Afflictions - Tribulations
Paul continues from verse 23 that he was made a minister of the true Gospel and he rejoices in his sufferings for the Colossians. He was always willing to suffer for the cause of Christ and for the churches he helped found. He also states that the sufferings of the Lord Jesus Christ were absolutely complete and he had lacked in accomplishing the level of sufferings the Lord Jesus Christ had endured. Paul was basically saying that he was willing to go as far as Christ did in suffering if it meant the Colossians would continue to grow and flourish in the faith. He was willing to sacrifice his own life for the sake of the body of Christ which is the church, the redeemed among men.
Col 1:25 (KJB)
Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;
The dispensation - Stewardship or administration
Paul was very aware that God had given him a commission to proclaim the word of God. He was very concerned for the proclamation of the Gospel and he always wanted to give out the Word of God wherever he went. It was considered a stewardship. (1 Cor 4:2 KJV) Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. One can always say that Paul was very faithful as a steward of the word of God and that is what every Christian is. We are stewards of God’s word as we give it out to the world. A steward is like a house manager or a manager who directs things. His desire was to fulfill the Word of God, that is, to take the Gospel message and proclaim it and teach it so people become saved. As we proclaim the Gospel, we must be very careful that we never become bogged down in inconsequential things which always hinders the spread of the Gospel. Our desires must match Paul’s as we want to get the Word out so people become saved and discipled, and then they go out and do the same.