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Colossians 1:25

Made to Serve

25 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;


In the 23rd verse, Paul stated that he was made a minister of the gospel. In this verse, referring back to 1:24, he states that he is made a minister of the church. A minister, Greek διάκονος (diaconos), is a deacon, a servant. Paul was made a servant of Jesus Christ (Romans 1:1), a servant of the gospel, and a servant to the body of Christ, the church. In all these areas of service, he never claimed the glory for himself. He was made (passive voice) a servant by the Lord and not by his own will nor by his works.

"...according to the dispensation of God..." The Greek for "dispensation" is "οἰκονομία" (oikonomia), which means "the administration or stewardship of a household or estate. There are several ways that this could be understood. Perhaps Paul is saying that he was made a servant of the church "according to the stewardship of the household of God." The church is the house of God and all that dwell within it are His household. Paul was given the responsibility of managing and caring for it.

Or, he could be saying that he was given the position of minister to the church, according to God's stewardship of His own household, the church. In this instance, God is still the administrator in charge and gives the responsibility of serving the church to Paul. However, the definite article, "which," is feminine and can only refer to the stewardship and not to the position of minister. Thus, the Holman Christian Standard Version seems to be correct, "I have become its servant, according to God’s administration that was given to me..." Paul was both made to be the servant of the church and was given the stewardship responsibilities that still belonged to God.

The purpose of this stewardship, however, was to benefit the church. It was given to Paul "for you." It was in no way given for Paul's benefit, not for his glory, and not for any other form of gain.

"...to fulfil the word of God;" This means that Paul's ministry was for one purpose, and that was to supply the church with the full word of God. To do that, a minister must also live the word of God and so fulfill it. Our actions are as important as our words, and the preaching of God's word will not be well received from those who do not abide by it.

Before The Throne:

Every Christian is called to be a servant of Christ in some capacity. How has He called you to serve? If you cannot answer that question, pray and ask the Lord to give you an answer. If you know your calling, pray that the Lord would show you the increase. Praise Him for the things that He accomplishes through you.

For Further Study:

(v.25)
** I am. Col 1:23; 1Thess 3:2; 1Tim 4:6; ** according. Rom 15:15-18; 1Cor 9:17; Gal 2:7-8; Eph 3:2; ** to fulfil. Rom 15:19; 2Tim 4:2-5;

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