26th April 2013

The Hour I First Believed

 “…the gospel…is bringing forth fruit…among you since the day you heard and knew the grace of God in truth.”
Colossians 1:6 (NKJV)
 

Becoming a Christian is the start of a life of bringing forth fruit for the gospel. 

Paul wanted Christians to appreciate who Jesus is, and what Jesus had done for them and for all of humanity. Most of the Colossian believers had come from a pagan background involving the worship of Pan, whose followers thought he was in everything, the all in all. All things, explained Paul, were created through Jesus and for Jesus, who alone is “the image of the invisible God”. Jesus is “before all things and in him all things consist” (1:17). What’s more in Jesus is the fullness of God, meaning that he is fully God and fully human, and therefore Jesus is the all in all. It pleased the Father “to reconcile all things to Himself” by Jesus, “having made peace through the blood of His cross” (1:20). 

This gracious reconciliation is not conditional on our acceptance of it. Elsewhere Paul wrote, “God demonstrates his own love towards us, in that while we still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). There is nothing we had done to merit such forgiveness, nothing we had said or confessed or believed or felt in our hearts. Having accepted this grace, it is now the time to show that our life has changed. 

So, what happens when we accept God’s amazing grace? How does the hour we first believe affect the rest of our lives? Paul explained to the Colossians that was since then that they had produced the fruit of the “all in all” dwelling within them. It was not that somehow a dormant grace kicked in and they were forgiven because of the action of their belief. They had already been forgiven. Upon accepting grace the Colossians began to respond to the Spirit of grace. They began to have a meaningful communion with Christ through the Spirit, whose fullness dwelt in them. 

Often Christians see “fruit” in terms of numbers, people being added to the church. Of course, that is a factor. More important, though, to Paul was that we produce what he calls “the fruit of the Spirit” – “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23).

When we accept the grace of Christ, the Spirit begins to produce His fruit within us. 

Prayer
Heavenly Father, help me to continue to respond to the Spirit of Jesus within me that I may produce His fruit in my life. In Jesus’ name.
Amen

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 openbibleAbout the Author:
James Henderson is the National Ministry Leader for Grace Communion International in the UK and Ireland.  This weekend James is speaking at our Bristol congregation. You are welcome to attend any of our Church congregations located throughout the UK.  For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.wcg.org.uk under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.

Contact:
Email:  admin@daybyday.org.uk

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