“5 because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. 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, just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf and has made known to us your love in the Spirit.”

Because the Colossian Christians were a family of faith, they had an opportunity to share their faith with others. We today have the same blessing and privilege to share the Gospel.

The Truth of God Is the Gospel Message (Col. 1:5b-6). Paul reminds the Colossians that since they have heard the message of the Gospel, they are a blessed people. But once we have heard the Gospel, it is our responsibility to tell others. This has been the will of God, even the Old Testament, and more importantly in the present. He reminds them that the “whole world,” the known world at that time around the Mediterranean, has been blessed in this manner. Reading the Book of Acts, we hear about evangelistic efforts of the Apostles and others who heeded the words of Jesus in the Great Commission. We are reminded of the words in Acts 1:8: But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” This is how the message of Jesus’ redemptive work got to Ephesus, and then by other faithful brothers to the city of Colossae.

Paul reminded the Colossians that they must not keep the message of the Gospel to themselves, but, rather, must share it with others. In like manner, we, today, must be thankful for the grace of God being bestowed on us that we be led to be an evangelistic people.

The Truth of the Gospel is a Global Message (Col. 1:6-8) In this passage the Apostle Paulis encouraging the Colossian Christians to live out their faith. One way this is done by them and by us today is to bear fruit in their lives. Since the Gospel Message is a global message Paul encourages them to be involved in taking the whole gospel to the whole world before Jesus returns.

Paul reminds them of how they heard the message of salvation. We read in verse seven of one of Paul’s co-workers, Epaphras. We told a little about him in our first article in this series. He is mentioned in both Colossians and in the Epistle to Philemon as a fellow laborer of Paul.

In this epistle, Paul tells the Colossians that he has heard of their faith and fidelity from Epaphras. It was Epaphras who was God’s instrument to reach the Colossians with the gospel. In a parallel passage about taking the gospel to other places, Paul wrote in Romans 10:14-15: How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard and how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”

As followers of the Lord Jesus, we, as well as the Colossian believers, have a responsibility to share the gospels with a lost and dying world. As Paul told the Ephesians in Eph. 1:3, “we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly place in Christ,” we must never keep the message to ourselves, but, rather, we must, as the song says, “take the Name of Jesus with Us.”


Larry Miles is Co-Editor of Word & Work and attends Cherry St. Church of Christ in New Albany, IN.