In his time, the apostle Paul laid spiritual foundations in the lives of many people, including those in Colossae. Not only was the Gospel spreading in their believing community and region, it was spreading its roots around the world. God’s community was advancing the Gospel.
“All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God’s grace in all its truth” (Colossians 1:6 NIV).
Christian community is meant to be a pathway on which the power of God travels into the lives of others.
While believers can independently share Christ with others yet to know Him, there is a magnification of the Gospel when believers live in a God-designed community! We are created for community so that the transforming power of Christ flows naturally into the lives of those around us.
It was that kind of community that first attracted me to Jesus. As a freshman in college, I found myself sovereignly placed among other believers who loved each other well. It was so attractive and I saw Jesus and His power in their interactions with one another. It may have been that clear expression of God’s love that most drew me to Jesus. I get caught up with emotion thinking about it to this day.
Jesus said, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34,35 NIV).
This unconditional love, when lived out in community, catches the attention of others. It’s the way they know that we are followers of Jesus.
Are you active in a community of other believers who are living among people yet to know Jesus? Is your community such a place of love and grace that those around you can’t help but see the difference?