Chapter Two, Lesson One
LOVING THE FLOCK Page
Loving the Flock
V. 1 ** In the first demonstration of his love for the flock of
God there in Asia-minor, what does Paul want them to know about his daily
"...how great a struggle I have..." Each day in the life
of Paul, he struggled for the cause of Christ!
The word translated here as "struggle" is agon, from which
we get our English word agony. Back in Colossians 1:29 Paul used a different
form of this same word to say that was "striving" in the ministry.
You will recall that agonizomai refers to competing in an athletic event,
and that we get our English word agonize from it. Either way, in agony
or by agonizing, Paul willingly and joyfully suffered on behalf of the
saints. cf. 2Corinthians 11:23-28, 2Timothy 2:10
** Paul says that his struggle was on behalf of the Colossians, was anyone
else to benefit from this man's willingness to stand for the gospel, even
if it meant he would experience "agony"?
Yes - "...and for those who are at Laodicea..." Paul's concern
was for all in the Lycus valley.
cf. Colossians 4:15-16
** As Paul spends himself "Loving the Flock", did it stop at
just those two churches?
No - "...and for all those who have not personally seen my face..."
That would include the church at Hierapolis as well (Colossians 4:13),
but it would also include in principle any of God's elect because Paul
simply loved the church - the Body of Christ!
We too should adopt and then employ such a genuine, self-sacrificing
love for one another. If we are Christlike, we should spend ourselves
"Loving the Flock" of God for which He died.
cf. 1Peter 5:2-3
V. 2 ** What impact was the knowledge of Paul's struggles supposed
to have in the life of those believers?
It was designed to "encourage" them. We have seen this word
before. Do you recall what parakaleo means? "To call alongside"
- Paul is going to love them by coming along side of them in their time
of need. Remember all of the false teaching and heresy which was being
spread throughout the area. Paul will encourage them by standing for
the truth and by proclaiming the truth to them.
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