Monday, April 10, 2006

The Gospel has legs!

Word Alive is all about getting into the Bible, glorying in the cross and seeing the Spirit at work in our lives.

This year in the student celebration, where 2000 students from throughout UCCF: The Christian Unions gather, we dug deep into Colossians. It was great to have around 45 of the students from my patch there.

Richard Cunningham spoke on the first night (last Monday) from Colossians 1:1-14. Our focus all week was on Authentic Christianity and that theme runs from the start of the letter... a focus on Jesus Christ. I think that was one of the things that struck me all week. Everything was distinctively Christian.

We were reminded that there is no-where to move onto... beyond the gospel is beyond Christ. We can't get further than Christ. So we see:

1. The Nature of the Gospel - a true word to be understood, with power to spread and transform life. The gospel has authority and power: the gospel has legs!

2. The Fruit of the Gospel - faith, love and hope. We have faith in Christ - we don't have faith in "faith". There is love for all the saints - a corporate Christianity which is costly. And we should notice that Hope is not the consequence but the foundation. It is the source... hope is not the icing on the cake, it is the cake! We might be mocked for being too heavenly minded but we can only be of earthly good if we are utterly heavenly minded.

3. The Growth of the Gospel - Paul is in constant prayer for the Colossians. (I was struck later as I looked at Acts 6 that the heart of gospel ministry is both word and prayer ministry - not one or the other) For what? Knowledge and power. Why? So they live a worthy life. So what? Endurance, patience and joyful thanksgiving. He wants them to stay Christian - growing in knowing God and the Holy Spirit's power to keep going.

No superspiritual saintliness - but a joyful thankful perseverance... great joy in the struggle. Around that we praised God, ably led by Sam Chaplin, Mark Stone and Jayne Lewis. The next day in Impact Group we reflected on The Gospel - Objectively, Personally and Growth.

Next: Vaughan Roberts on Colossians 1v15-29: Christ the All-Surpassing! and Understanding, Applying & Teaching the Bible from Exodus.


  1. I still get challenged by what Paul says about his 'constant' prayers for the churches that he had a stake in. I barely manage to pray for those closest to me. How did he do it?

  2. Yeah. I know. When I look at the work I do I don't struggle too much to keep the Word at heart of things, but to give prayer a high value is harder....

    Some of it is probably that I don't believe God is sovereign, I assent to it but do I really believe it?

    There's a really interesting article on this in The Briefing (from this month, by Christopher Ash.