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Bearing fruit

By Mark Grace, CCCNZ Ambassador

Colossians 1:6 

Kua whai hua hoki a kua nui haere ki te ao katoa, pena hoki i roto i a koutou, no te ra ano i rongo ai, i matau ai koutou ki te aroha noa o te Atua i roto i te pono.


In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world—just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace.  

The gospel has come to the city of Colossae and the Colossians. The message of Jesus’s death and resurrection has come both to the city and to its people. Change is underway.

The gospel is bearing fruit. The gospel is renewing people, making them new from the inside out. Out of renewed people flow renewed relationships, renewed homes, and renewed workplaces.

The gospel is growing throughout the world. It is expanding through all the peoples and cultures of the known world.

The gospel is growing among the Colossian church like a beautiful clear spring, an unending fountain of grace that they will never reach the end of.

How does this gospel grow and bear so much fruit?

In verse seven Paul writes that the gospel comes from hearing, understanding and experiencing God’s grace. God’s grace is experienced as we hear and appreciate who he is and what he has done for us in Jesus and his death and resurrection.

The gospel comes as people teach it to others.

We know so little about Epaphras. We know he brought the gospel to the city of Colossae; we know he was in prison with Paul; we know he was a prayer warrior, and we know he served the churches in Colossae, Laodicea, and Hierapolis. 

Epaphras' example teaches us that across the centuries and across our movement's history the main way the gospel grows is through ordinary people pointing other people to Jesus through the gospel from the Bible. As a movement, we believe that God has entrusted his mission to ordinary people, to us!

I loved hearing about a church recently that has a GDO—a “God-desired outcome”—for all of its volunteers.

The GDO is that each volunteer would point a non-Christian in their church ministry to Jesus through the gospel from the Bible. Volunteers across the church family are equipped to invite people to read the Bible together, showing them the good news of Jesus’s death and resurrection.

It is my prayer that through these ordinary but extraordinary means, our churches would see the fruit of the gospel, just as they did in Colossae. 



 

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