Which is come to you, as it is in all the world; and brings forth fruit, as it does also in you, since the day you heard of it…
I. In It's ADAPTATION AND ENTERPRISE. "Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world." The gospel, though first proclaimed to the Jews, was net confined to them. It reached and changed the Colossians. In them all races were represented. The world's greatest blessings are not indigenous; are not even sought; they are sent from above. Systems of philosophy lived only in the soil that produced them. Heresies are ethnic; truth is catholic. The success of Mohammedanism was of a different character, and effected by different means. It depended more on the scimitar than the Koran. Alexander, Sesostris, and others achieved similar conquests, and as rapidly, by the force of arms. The victories of the gospel were won by moral weapons.
II. IN ITS RESULTS. "Bringeth forth fruit and increaseth as it does also in you." The fruit-bearing denotes its inward and subjective influence on the soul and life; the increasing refers to its outward and diffusive influence as it makes progress in the world. The metaphor used by the apostle suggests that the gospel, as a tree, not only bears fruit, but grows, sending forth its roots more firmly and widely, and extending its branches in the air. We cannot monopolize that which is intended for the world. It is intensely practical, and aims at results corresponding with its character. The individual who is most spiritually fruitful will be most active.
III. IN THE MANNER OF ITS RECEPTION. "Since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth." Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. The mode of receiving the gospel is the same to all. It is apprehended by tim understanding, approved by the judgment. mad embraced by the affections. It is not enough that it falls on the ear like the strain of a seraphic melody, not enough that it enters the understanding as a clearly conceived, full-orbed truth, not enough that it ripples through the sphere of the emotions as an unspeakable ecstasy; unless, aided by the Divine Spirit, it be cordially embraced by the heart and conscience as the whole truth — the only truth that saves. It is in the gospel only that we "hear of the grace of God" — the good news that He has provided redemption and restoration for the race. Nature, with all its revelations, is dumb on this subject. Providence, with its vast repertory of mingled mystery and bounty, unfolds it not. It is only by believing the gospel that, like the Colossians, we can "know the grace of God in truth."
IV. IN THE METHOD OF ITS PROPAGATION.
1. It is propagated by preaching "as ye also learned," lit., "as ye were instructed," in the truth of the previous verse. Probably Epaphras first preached the gospel at Colosse and the neighbouring cities. Preaching is the Divinely-instituted means of disseminating the gospel. It cannot be superseded by any other agency. "It pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save."
2. It is propagated by men thoroughly qualified for the work.
(1) The apostle recognized Epaphras as a co-labourer with himself. The preacher must labour as belonging to Christ, as dependent on Him, and as attached to Him. With all frankness, affection, and modesty, the great apostle acknowledges Epaphras as "a dear fellow-labourer." Envy and jealousy of the gifts and reputation of others are pernicious and unjustifiable.
(2) The apostle recognized Epaphras as a faithful minister of Christ.
(3) The apostle recognized Epaphras as a man of deep spiritual insight. "Who also declared unto us your love in the spirit." Love is the leading characteristic of the gospel. Lessons:
1. The universality of the gospel a strong evidence of the: Divine authorship.
2. Though all the world were to reject the gospel it would still be true.
3. To whomsoever the gospel comes, the imperative duty is to believe it.
Parallel VersesKJV: Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth: