Love for the Church. Power in the Gospel.

“We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people—the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel that has come to you. In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world—just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace. You learned it from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf, and who also told us of your love in the Spirit.”—Colossians 1:3–8 (NIV)

I have two powerful takeaways I want to present to you.

1. There’s an inseparable link between trusting Jesus and loving His people.

It’s a fact: You can’t love God and hate the Church. With respect, the idea that anyone can love Jesus but not His bride is an unbiblical fabrication. It’s not how it works. The person who loves Jesus must also love His people.

I’m not saying we should approve of or ignore everything that’s happened through the Church, excuse all the wrongs or hurt. Not at all! The Church isn’t perfect because it’s made up of imperfect sinners. But just as God loves us despite our imperfections and sent Jesus to die for us, we can love the Church and be an active part of a fellowship as we strive together hand-in-hand to be conformed to the image of Christ and build one another up. If this seems impossible for you based on past hurts and distrust, you can ask Jesus to give you His love for His people.

For the Colossians, their allegiance to Christ inspired a beautiful love for His people. Their faith and love for God—which sprang forth and overflowed from the work of the Holy Spirit in their lives—was made evident in their love for and service to God’s people. And the same should be said of you and me today!

2. The gospel bears fruit wherever it goes.

Why? Romans 1:16 (NIV) says, “Because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes.” There are no borders, language, philosophy, lifestyle, hard heart, or lost soul the gospel can’t reach!

Paul saw the gospel move in pagan Gentile cities and take root within the Jewish culture. And the awesome thing is we’re still seeing today!

We can look to Genesis 12:3 (NIV) and see God say, “All peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” This blessing, the gospel, came by the work of Jesus and has been spread out over the course of history by the Spirit through the Church. Now, there are Christians practically everywhere—in China, Turkey, Iraq, Brazil, Africa, etc.—even in previously unreachable, closed off areas.

Before our very eyes every day, God is flooding the earth with His glorious gospel! And, Christian, here’s the best part: God has called, equipped, and empowered us to be part of this work! He’s positioned us as His voice, His hands, His feet, and His representatives to a lost and dying world. He tells us to “Go!”

When we take up the cause of Christ and carry forth the Great Commission, just like Paul said, the gospel will bring forth fruit everywhere it spreads, “just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace.”

DIG: Why is it important for believers to be connected to and have love for the Church?

DISCOVER: How have you seen the gospel move around you?

DO: Share the gospel with someone this week!

About the Author

Danny Saavedra

Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.