Colossians, Christianity & Character - Audio
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, 5because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, 6which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and growing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth, just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf 8and has made known to us your love in the Spirit.
Paul's beginning words to the Colossian church are ones of commendation, praise and thankfulness to God. He begins his letter to the Colossians by pointing out that their faith in Christ, love for the saints, and their motivation and hope in heaven has not gone un-noticed. God is to be thanked for these attributes displayed in the life of the Colossians and He is to be thanked when these attributes are displayed in our lives. Faith, Hope and Love are synonymous with Christianity; they are not 'deeds' that one must do to try to be saved, rather they are 'fruit' that one possesses because he is saved - and from this fruit, good works come. Character cannot be overlooked in the Christian life - it is the Christian life. The Christian's life is like the branch that is connected to the vine. Because of his connection to the Father, the Christian bears much fruit and because of the Father's chastening, humbling, and reproving love and His overwhelming grace , the Christian bears more fruit and glorifies God.
The gospel is the means by which fruit is produced. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. Because the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation, it will ALWAYS be growing and bearing fruit as mentioned in Colossians 1:6. Anyone can profess Christianity, but how many can compare their lives to scripture and see the fruit that the Gospel has produced?
In addition to the power of the gospel in producing character and faith in the Christian, the method by which the gospel goes forth is through its preachers. The faithful minister presents the gospel clearly, in depth, unadulterated and filled with truth. Although all are not called to the pulpit ministry, all believers are called to be salt and light, and to preach the gospel to all the nations. Through the light of character and the preaching of the gospel, God is glorified and will draw as many as are called unto Himself. Furthermore, the faithful preacher labors day and night, praying fervently for his people. This was the testimony of Epaphras and it is the example by which we should follow as Christians. Praying not only for ourselves, but for the people whom God in His providence has placed into our lives is what the Christian is called to do. We should pray for the salvation of those who are lost and we are to labor in prayer for the growing of grace and maturity of those who are saved.