Of this church I was made a minister according to the stewardship from God bestowed on me for your benefit, so that I might fully carry out the preaching of the word of God.
1st we saw that Paul found his true joy in Christ and in serving Him. He was made a minister and rejoiced in his sufferings for Christ. Now we will also see that Paul knew the origin, the focus, and the purpose of his ministry.
1. Paul knew the origin of his ministry.
Paul knew that his ministry was a stewardship from God (v.25). This stewardship is an administration or management usually of household affairs in which he was placed in charge of. He would be accountable to God for how he managed this ministry or stewardship bestowed upon him. We need to see our gifts, our calling, our service, and our ministry as rightfully coming from God and not ourselves. Its origin point is God and that means it did not originate in us.
This is why there will never be any self-made men or women in the body of Christ. In fact, the greater notoriety a ministry gains, the more humble those behind it should be because they should know that the origins of their ministry did not come from themselves but from God Almighty.
When you understand that your ministry is from God then there are no competing agendas in the church. Paul never saw himself as anything other than a servant of Christ and was willing to do anything his Master required of him.
2. Paul knew the focus of his ministry.
The focus of every ministry as defined by Paul in verse 25 is for the benefit of others. There is zero room for selfishness and pride. We are called into service to others. By submitting ourselves to God and to the Word of God, we find through our obedience the true focus of our ministry. This means that people matter. It means that people matter more than things. Our ministry and stewardship is to be one born out of agape love which is a sacrificial love which sees others as more important than one's self.
Paul says, “Of this church I was made a minister.” He was not a minister to Paul but to the church, meaning to the body of believers that comprise the church. In serving others we fill up or complete the Word of God. This means that one of the greatest ways we live out the word of God in our lives is in service to others.
3. Paul knew the purpose of his ministry.
That is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints, to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. (Colossians 1:26-27 NASB)
We are all called to a specific purpose in ministry. Paul was proclaiming what up until that time had been a mystery. A mystery is something that was not clearly revealed at one point during redemptive history. The saints in the Old Testament looked forward to Messiah. Paul revealed that Messiah indwells believers. What was a mystery at one time has not been fully revealed in Jesus Christ the Messiah. Another example is what we find in 1 John, chapter 3.
Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as His is pure. (1 John 3:2-3 NASB)
At this point in redemptive history, it has not been clearly revealed to us what we will be exactly when Christ returns. We know that our body, if we died physically, will be resurrected on the last day and we will receive a new, glorified body and it will be different than what we experience now. It will obviously not be affected by sin in any way and we will have certain capabilities that this present body may not have. What those are and what all of that will exactly look like remains a mystery to us now. However, those who have the hope of the resurrection and the future glorification fix our hope on the same person who provides our current justification and sanctification, and that is Jesus Christ.