In Verse 24, Paul was referring to the numerous persecution he has endured all that time, even as he spoke, he was being held hostage. He was rejoicing about being persecuted because he counted it as an honor to be treated or made subject to the same sufferings as Christ did. It wasn’t a burden for him to be persecuted, it was infact his joy.
This last verses to me are an example of what a minister should do and be. As ministers of the gospel of Christ, we should rejoice in all forms of suffering and persecution that may be meted to us as a result of our work with the gospel.
In verse 25, Paul reiterated his calling, as a minister to the gentiles. A minister ought to know to whom he is sent. We are to preach to the entire world but we can’t all go to the entire world; some of us would go to the east and some others to the west, some would speak to orphans while some would minister to the rich. The same God gave the service and the same God would be honored by all.
Verse 28 is very key as it brings to the fore what Paul had been trying to communicate all chapter long.
For God wanted them to know that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too. And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory.
God wants us to know that the riches and glory of Christ are for us as well. Let that sink in.
The riches of Christ are for you too; what Christ has, you have! We get to share in the glory and abundance and power of the Lord Jesus Christ, what an honor! Christ lives in us, we carry him everywhere we go and we are assured of sharing his glory. The almighty Christ, which he had just finished adulating in previous chapters lives within you and me.
“the design of the Gospel is to put men in possession of the Spirit and power of Christ, to make them partakers of the Divine nature, and thus prepare them for an eternal union with himself” Adam Clarke’s Commentary
The remaining verses are important to me as a minister.
- We tell others about Christ - everyone in our circles need to know about this incredulous opportunity and perfect redemption. The gospel must burn in our hearts so much that we can’t help but spill it out.
- Warning and teaching everyone with the wisdom God has given us - when we see someone going the other way, we are to warn them and teach them the right way. I like that Paul added that we use the wisdom given to us because many Christians fall prey of inferiority complex when it comes to sharing the gospel. We believe that we are not qualified and because we cant read greek or sing in tongues, then we have nothing to share but this is false. We use what we have right now to share what we know right now. Every Christian, young or mature, has a responsibility to snatch others out of the fire of hell by warning and teaching them. Share what you know and when you get to the limit of your knowledge, refer them to a more mature person but let nothing keep you from sharing the message of Christ.
- The goal is to present people to God, perfect in their relationship with Christ - our goal is not just to get you saved but have a perfect relationship with God. This involves discipleship, mentoring and prayer but that’s the goal ministers should aspire to
- We struggle and work hard, depending on Christ’s strength to help us - as a minister, I am sometimes lacking in power or motivation to do God’s work but here Paul is telling me that he regularly depends on Christ’s power. I can’t get spiritual work done in my own strength, I have to lean on the one who sent me to get it done.