The apostle Paul had something very specific in mind (much of the time), when he talked about the “word of God” (e.g., Colossians 1:25). The Bible itself didn’t exist in the way we know it today; so Paul was usually referring to the Gospel, the Good News of Jesus!
Paul’s passion was to see the Gospel made known in its fullness. Then, as now, people often missed its full effect. His letter to the Colossians reveals this in wonderful ways. Here and in my next post, I want to discuss two life-giving aspects of the full Gospel Paul expected to see at work in his readers’ lives.
First, in Colossians 1 we read:
“We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints—the faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven and that you have already heard about in the word of truth, the gospel that has come to you. All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing (Colossians 1:3-6 NIV 83, emphasis added).
The first aspect of the full Gospel is that it results in a life filled with faith, love, and hope! The saints in Colossae were people of faith and love because they had received the hope that is embedded in the Gospel. How can our lives become reflections of hope? When we are transformed by the “word of the truth, the gospel,” we, too, will display this kind of full life!
Try reading through the Gospel of John, noticing the “I am” statements of Jesus. How does this increase your hope? Does it help you exude love and faith?