This sermon was based on Colossians 1:1-14.
1Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,
2To the saints and faithful brothers in Christ at Colossae:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father.
Thanksgiving and Prayer
3 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4since 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 increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth, 7just 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.
9And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; 12giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 13He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
To Bear Fruit You First Have to Plant a Seed
- The church is Colossae was thriving because the gospel was transforming hearts and the whole community could see this. Verse 5 says that ‘the word of truth of the gospel’ was the seed planted in Colossae. The seed, the word, is powerful. When it is spoken, God works through it, spreading the plant of new life, colour, fragrance, and fruit in every place.
- Do you have the truth of the gospel planted within you? Do you know Jesus as your Saviour?
- The church in Colossae had the seed of the gospel planted in them, so that those around them were shown that they could stop hoping in the promises of the world and start hoping in the faithful, good promises of God.
A Plant Will Only Grow if it’s Nurtured
A plant needs water. It needs light. Some plants might also need just the right temperature. Some needy plants like you to sing or talk to them! If you don’t give a plant some of these things it won’t thrive. Much is the same for our spiritual wellbeing.
What does Paul say about nurturing our faith? In this passage he is explaining that when people become Christians, God plants in them a new sense of his presence and love, his guiding and strengthening. But this sense needs nurturing and developing. We’re given some directions in verses 10-12. We are to; live a life worthy of the Lord, we are to produce good things, we are to grow in our knowledge of God, and we are to be thankful.
The London Institute for Contemporary Christianity suggests 6 markers of a fruitful life in Christ. 1) Modelling Godly Character. 2) Making Good Work. 3) Ministering Grace and Love. 4) Moulding culture. 5) Being a Mouthpiece for truth and justice. 6) Being a Messenger of the Gospel.
We won’t produce any of these fruits alone. We need a relationship with Jesus. Through the Holy Spirit we are given the strength and power to live this way. If you are feeling wrecked and surrounded by brokenness, God wants to breathe new life into you. We are invited to plant our roots deep by living water. We can take inspiration from the church in Colossae and put our hope in God. God’s intention is for human life to flourish and bear fruit.
A Fruitful Garden Gives Glory to the Gardener
By remaining focused on Jesus, we should be producing good fruit that gives glory to God. Our actions should be pointing to the majesty, grace and love of God. We’ve not been saved by our good works; we’ve been saved for good works. We have been saved to be part of re-creation or renewal.
The language of ‘likeness’ and ‘image bearers’ is used throughout the Bible. Humanity has been given the task to be God’s royal representatives. We are invited ‘to be fruitful and increase in number’. So, with a royal identity, humanity is given a royal task, to rule and be part of this renewal. Our multiplying, planting churches, transforming communities is the means by which God’s own glory fills the earth.
A life pleasing to God is not boring. Living a life with kingdom mentality is exciting. Only Jesus will make your life fruitful. Only Jesus will give your life true meaning and satisfaction.