The Fruit-Bearing GOSPEL

Many times when we think of the gospel, we only think of it as the information a lost person needs in order to be saved. We see it as the entry requirements for the Christian life.  Instead, the gospel is not just the diving board that gets us into Christ, but it is the entire pool itself.  As believers, we need to hear the gospel preached every week to us on the Lord’s Day. We also need to remind ourselves of it every day.

In Colossians 1:3–6 Paul writes, “We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth.”

Interestingly, Paul is writing to those who are already Christians and yet reminds them that the gospel is bearing fruit and increasing in their lives. Does the good news of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus still enthrall you? Are you bored with the gospel? Is the word of truth bearing fruit in your life?

A great book by the Puritans called “Valley of Vision” contains powerful, deep, and very moving prayers that encourage us to stay focused on Christ.  Listen to one of the prayers: “Holy Trinity, continue to teach me that Christ’s righteousness satisfies justice and evidences your love; help me to make use of it by faith as the ground of my peace and of your favor and acceptance of me, so that I may live always near the cross.”

Is that your prayer? To always live near the cross by faith so that the gospel permeates your thinking and it affects every aspect of your life. Do you pray for the gospel to increase in your heart?

Milton Vincent in his book “A Gospel Primer for Christians” writes these very encouraging words: “There is simply no other way to compete with the forebodings of my conscience, the condemning of my heart, and the lies of the world and the devil than to overwhelm such things with daily rehearsings of the gospel.”

That’s what we need. A daily rehearsing of the gospel in our hearts and minds. We need to be saturated in the gospel so that we can overwhelm the temptations of this world with the glory and majesty of Christ.

Jesus was very concerned that we would bear fruit as He tells us in John 15:5: “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”

Are you growing in your understanding of God’s grace? Is the gospel bearing fruit in your life? Are you abiding in Christ through reading His Word and prayer? Has the good news that Jesus rescued you from the penalty and power of sin through His death on the cross become stale? Has the wonder of the empty tomb become so common place? Do you still weep at the glory of having all your sins forgiven by a holy God who was not obligated to save you?

Do you still stand amazed in the presence of Jesus the Nazarene and wonder how he could love you, a sinner, condemned, unclean? How marvelous! How wonderful! And my song shall ever be: How marvelous! How wonderful is my Savior’s love for me!

Pray that the gospel would bear fruit and increase in your life as you abide in Christ!

 

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