The “works” of the Apostle Paul

Col 1 :29 ‘It is he (Jesus ) whom we proclaim, warning and teaching everyone in all wisdom , so that we might present everyone mature in Christ.’

Many of us would be quick to say an ‘amen’ to this as it reflects Jesus own words in the great commission  “teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you”. However, I, for one, am interested in the process and context by which this training/ making apprentices of Jesus occurs. What is the attitude that leads to the making of little Jesus’s like me and you. Paul helps our understanding  in the next verse:-

For this I toil and struggle with all the energy that he powerfully inspires in me

Paul toiled – this would seen to mean that this is hard work and requires sustained exertion to achieve the high calling that is presented to Paul and all who follow Jesus.

Paul struggled against that which would hinder him from his mission. What would hinder him? Most likely the lethargy and perhaps laziness that can have a grip on us. But against this we have the energising power of the Holy Spirit of God to aid us.

If this sounds a bit like hard work then I think we might ask  a question regarding grace. Isn’t all this discipleship stuff  supposed to be a gift (grace). Dallas Willard helps us once more  :-

Grace is opposed to earning, but it is not opposed to effort