Key text: Col. 1:5b-6 – “You have heard of this hope before in the word of truth, the gospel that has come to you. Just as it is bearing fruit and growing in the whole world, so it has been bearing fruit among yourselves from the day you heard it and truly comprehended the grace of God.”
- The gospel “bears fruit” and produces growth.
- This seems to be a reference to the numerical growth of the early church – there must have been reports of the growth in the known world.
- The Church continues to grow today, mainly in developing countries, not in the “traditional” church locations (ie. Europe & N. America)
- We need to celebrate what is happening in the rest of the world.
- The growth is based on a message that people hear, and an understanding of God’s grace.
- Its not a growth strategy – its what we need to tell people because it is true.
- “bearing fruit” can also be about evidence of the fruits of the spirit among the people: righteous action, love toward one another.
- An understanding of grace leads to grace-filled living (this is bearing fruit and growth)