Gospel Growth

I tend to overthink things. For example, have you ever wondered how seeds work? They are tiny things with no brain or ability to reason. Yet if you place them in the ground with the right amount of water, nutrients, and sunlight, all those ingredients somehow make a plant. Nobody walks the seeds through each step; it just happens as all the chemical and biological processes occur.

As seeds turn into plants, they will grow and bear some type of fruit or flower. This is a common image in the Bible to describe the work of the gospel in our lives. Paul uses this illustration twice at the beginning of Colossians:

Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, which 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. (Colossians 1:5b-6)

… so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work… (Colossians 1:10)

In both cases, Paul is communicating the idea of the gospel changing our lives so we bear fruit. What does this mean? It means we start to resemble Jesus more in how we treat others; it means we show the fruit of the Spirit in our lives (Galatians 5:22-23); it means we follow God more closely in faith and obedience; it means we live in a way that others come to know Jesus. 

Our life in Christ is very much like a plant. A seed must be planted, die in the ground, then spring to new life for fruit to be produced (John 12:24). The life of this new plant is a gift given to it by its surroundings. Yet the plant grows as it receives water and nourishment. 

We aren’t as passive as a plant as we are called to walk in faith, but we certainly don’t produce our own life or fruit. God miraculously works in us to make our lives fruitful as we abide in Jesus (John 15:4-5).

In your life, where have you seen fruit produced? If you feel like your fruit is lacking, the key isn’t to try harder but to seek Jesus more. As he tells us, “Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5) Take time to abide in Him through prayer, worship, and reading your Bible.

By Philip Jones

Philip and his wife, Stacy, have been attending Immanuel since 2015. They are blessed to be raising four kids. His passion in ministry is to help others follow Jesus through teaching, preaching, and personal discipleship.






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