The opening story to Luke’s gospel is one where the people of Israel were in a kind of “dark ages” marked by silence from the Lord. Then the Lord bursts into the nations life with a scene that sounds very much like the lords intervention with Abraham nearly 20000 Earlier. There are three important themes in this passage that Luke wants us to see:
At the head of a new section, Paul draws together all that he has been saying since 1:24 into a powerful, simple statement. Paul now puts things very simply. This is what he wants for them as an apostle. This is what he is aiming at in his ministry. Here is how to live the Christian life.
In Col 1:27, Paul stated the goal of Christian ministry: that we may present everyone mature in Christ. The word ‘mature’ means complete devotion. Our text today is a summary sketch of what it means to be a mature Christian. I’ve divided his depiction here of complete devotion or maturity into four ideas this morning.
Faith is the condition that brings us the riches of Christ. Yet it is not any ‘faith’ that saves. The faith that saves is a faith that perseveres. Saving faith is not some opinion or momentary good feeling. It is not here one day, gone the next. Saving faith remains. The key idea is simple: believers must continue in the faith.
The goal of these words are headed into verse 23: if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast. Paul’s goal is in part to strengthen their faith and commitment to Christ. It is also to reaffirm for them that Christ’s work applies to them especially. So this is what I want you to see: We must remain committed to Christ because of what he has done for us.
The story of Jethro is primarily given to us to make this important point: All men ought to give the true God glory for his wonderful works. Even during this time of salvation history where God is dealing primarily with Israel, God’s dealings with them is intended to bring all the nations to confess that Yahweh is the true God. Every man, woman, and child ought to give God the glory due his name.