Many years ago, the Lord gave Colossians 1:27-29 as our theme verses for Living in Christ Ministries. "To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily." These profound words describe what message we are to proclaim, why we are to do it, and how we are to do it.
What We Proclaim
God has a gloriously rich message that He wants us to declare. It is about His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. "Him we preach (proclaim)." Our message is about a Person. It is not about success or health or wealth. It is not about revolution or recovery or religion. It is not about philosophy or psychology. It is not about politics or programs.
We are sent forth to proclaim "Christ in you, the hope of glory." Here is the amazing life-giving and life-changing truth. The Son of God comes to live in and among and through the people of God. As He dwells with us this way, He is our hope--our expectation, our confidence, our certainty--of glory (heaven with God some day and glorious things of God day by day).
Why We Proclaim Him
We are to proclaim Christ, "that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus." The only message that will cause lives to grow more and more into spiritual maturity and wholeness is the proclamation of Jesus Christ, who He is and what He has done and what He has provided. This is why we must proclaim Christ to Christians. We know that we must proclaim Christ to non-believers, because believing in Him is the only way that they can enter into His salvation. Likewise, living daily by faith in the Lord Jesus is the only way that believers can enter into the fullness of life that God has for them in Christ.
How We Proclaim Him
This proclamation of Christ involves warning and teaching. "Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man." Our message must certainly include teaching and instructing believers about the person and work of the Lord Jesus. However, it must also include warnings about the things that are not of Him--the flesh and self-centered living in the wisdom of this world. All of this teaching and warning must be done "in all wisdom"--that is, by seeking the wisdom of God.
This proclamation of Christ also involves a unique type of laboring and striving. "To this end I also labor, striving." In getting out the message of our Lord, there is necessarily a great expenditure of our very lives. We work hard, even striving (literally, agonizing). However, this is not the vain striving of the flesh. It is a spiritual striving, "according to His working which works in me mightily." The dynamic power behind the energy we pour out in proclaiming Christ is to be the Holy Spirit of God working mightily in and through our lives. (NOTE: for further study, a one hour audio CD entitled, "Proclaiming Christ to Christians" is available upon request.)