Colossians 1:28-29 28We proclaim him, by admonishing every person and teaching every person with all wisdom, so that we may present every person complete in Christ. 

This verse begins by referring back to Christ with the use of a pronoun in the objective case: “him we proclaim.” The verb proclaim (katangellomen) has the sense of giving a public announcement. Paul is referring to how he joins in the stream of the Old Testament prophets and makes known this mystery. The difference for him, however, is that he has experienced the mystery first-hand. The message of “Christ in you” is no longer a mystery because Christ has come and redeemed the world on the cross. The mystery has been revealed. Paul does not do this alone, but again uses a plural we, inclusive of Timothy and others who follow the call of God to preach the gospel.

The rest of verse 28 describes how these evangelists share the message about Christ using two parallel instrumental participles. First, they proclaim by admonishing (nouthetountes), which has the sense of teaching and warning about proper or improper actions. Second, they proclaim by teaching (didaskontes), which has a more positive sense. Both types of training are needed as people mature in their faith. There are times to warn people, not in a judgmental way, but to provide the data by which the Holy Spirit will bring conviction. With both participles, Paul includes every person. This fits well with his emphasis that the gospel is for both Jews and Gentiles. Everyone is included in the hope of glory.

The job of the “minister” is to make sure people know the right path. Helping people find this path takes all wisdom. God is the source of wisdom and grants deeper insights to those who fear him and seek his kingdom first. Those who teach and preach must seek their guidance in God’s revelation and not from their own thinking and imaginations.

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