“We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ.” – Colossians 1:28 NIV
The New International Version of Colossians 1:28 says we are to proclaim Jesus through admonishing and teaching with all wisdom. Some translations use the word, warn instead of admonish.
If Christians proclaimed was God loves you, you are perfect just as you are, there would be zero conflict with Christians and the world. That’s not the case, that wouldn’t be proclaiming Jesus with all wisdom, because we are not perfect just as we are. On our own we are far from perfect, and God is not just loving, but he is also just and righteous. He cannot overlook sin (lawlessness). This means that there must be a warning, and admonishment, that accompanies the proclamation of Jesus Christ. We must first be cut to the heart concerning our sins against God, and turn to him in repentance. Jesus has fulfilled all righteousness on our behalf and paid the penalty for our sins on the cross. Our sins must be proclaimed with the Good News of Christ’s saving work. The warnings, the admonishments, are not always received with welcome, but they are necessary to be spoken. It can be fearful for Christians to not only teach, but also warn. The good news in the following verse is “To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me” (Colossians 1:29). The end result is that people will come to salvation and be presented as perfect before the Lord and not receive the eternal condemnation we all deserve. The struggle is not through our own energy; it is through God’s powerful work in us. When we lean upon our own understanding and abilities, then we are fearful, but God has not given us a Spirit of timidity, but of boldness.
May we not be fearful of the world, but in love, in a winsome manner, proclaim, through warnings and teachings the Gospel message which has the power to save all who believe in it. It is the message that makes us wise unto salvation, although the message appears as foolishness to the wisdom of man.