Sunday, January 8, 2017
“Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God” (Colossians 1:25 KJV).
And, just what is this “dispensation of God which is given to [Paul] for [us]?”
Today’s Scripture carries the meaning of the Apostle Paul being given something—something deposited to him, something for our benefit, something for him to give to us. We read it again with the surrounding verses to gain additional insight: “ Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;  Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:  To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory….” Ephesians and Colossians are two sister epistles—each one a commentary of the other—so we should consult the parallel passage.
Ephesians chapter 3 says: “ For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,  If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:  How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,  Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)….” (The thought continues down into verse 9, but we will stop here and return to it later. For now, just pay attention to the fact that Paul’s “dispensation” has the full title of “the dispensation of the grace of God.” This Apostle has a very unique role in the Bible, and we should not overlook it!)
Thus far, we see that the Lord Jesus Christ—post-death, post-resurrection, and post-ascension—revealed some special information to the Apostle Paul. Paul was given that body of truth, previously unrevealed to mankind, so he could be God’s spokesman to make that truth known to all nations (“Gentiles”). Now, let us proceed to bring into account the ideas of steward and stewardship presented earlier….