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Life Worth Living



“It’s not just an altar call. It’s an altered life.”

As we continue in our collection, Above All Earthly Powers, Ben Stuart breaks down Paul’s message in the book of Colossians and shows us how the power that works in us through Jesus changes the course of our lives.

Key Takeaway

God gives us a purpose, and He will empower us to take it on. We have to fully understand the cost of the pursuit and believe that no matter what, it will be worth it. Proclaiming Christ, His death and resurrection, will always be worth it.

The key text is Colossians 1:24-29

Paul will suffer for years to give a message to the people who persecute him, yet he helps change the course of the planet through his letters. Paul's life meant something.

  1. Source of Paul's power. Colossians 1:29
    • He toils- the language is that of a beating or execution
    • Struggling/striving/straining- conveys using all his energy, working hard
    • God is fueling Paul's mission. How did he get the power?

2) His purpose. Colossians 1:28

    • God empowers the proclamation of His Son. He releases His power for His purposes. So, if you want God's power to flow through your life, you need your life to be aimed through God's purposes. You need to be careful when you are asking God to empower your pursuits if they have nothing to do with Him. See Acts 8:9-25.
    • God strongly supports those whose eyes are fixed on Him. Paul is warning them that their thinking about how they conduct life and what their motives need to be corrected. He's also instructing them how to accomplish this - it's all through Jesus.
    • Jesus is a holistic ministry meant to change your life, so we proclaim; warning everyone, admonishing everyone, and teaching everyone in all wisdom so we might present everyone complete in Christ. We are complete and whole. That's the integrated life. That's the goal. It's not an alter call. It's an altered life.
    • What motivates Paul? What mystery drove Paul's mission? What mission had the power of God behind it? Colossians 1:26-27. Every time Paul uses the word "mystery," it's connected to words like "revealed" and "made known." It means that it is not a mystery to us. His mission was to make known the riches of the glory of this mystery: Christ in us, the hope of glory. Paul doesn't just give facts about Jesus; he wants to share the riches of the glory of who Jesus is. Jesus wants to be in you, to give you the hope of glory.
    • God has always wanted to bless the nations. In the Old Testament, there was knowledge of it, but there was a mystery around the mechanics of it. See Isaiah 49:6, 11:10. We didn't understand it until we saw the face of Jesus. He has broken every chain and made a way for us to be with Him. See Philippians 2:6-11, Romans 8:22, and Revelation 21:3
    • Colossians 1:25. Paul understood he was chosen to help people understand this message. God's Will determines your work. Everything in Paul's life went towards that end, his words, his letters, his tent-making skills, it all went towards proclaiming Jesus.

3) The nature of the pursuit. Colossians 1:24

    • It's hard. The proclamation involves persecution.
    • What does it mean that Christ's afflictions were lacking? There's similar language in Philippians 2:25-27, 29-30. Verse 30 is key. His service is what is lacking in the gift, namely the delivery of the gift. Christ purchased our salvation. Now we proclaim that salvation. Christ suffered to purchase it, so I will suffer to proclaim it. To proclaim Jesus is costly. It's difficult. The entire book of Acts is proclaiming, suffering, and the gospel spreading.
    • Blood makes the grass grow. Suffering brings victory. Suffer: it's worth it.
    • Paul embraced his suffering and took on the difficulties.

Learn how to approach the inconvenience.

Rejoice in the suffering because the reward is so great.

Jesus atoned, I announce.


"The blood of the martyrs are the seeds of the Church."


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Scripture References

  • Colossians 1:24-29
  • Isaiah 49:6
  • Revelation 21:3
  • Philippians 2:25-27
  • Philippians 2:29-30
Ben Stuart Ben Stuart is the pastor of Passion City Church D.C. Prior to joining Passion City Church, Ben served as the executive director of Breakaway Ministries on the campus of Texas A&M. He also earned a master’s degree in historical theology from Dallas Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Donna, live to inspire and equip people to walk with God for a lifetime.