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Summary: The Gospel bears fruit in the lives of believers. The Apostle Paul's prayer for the believers in Colosse reveals what that fruit should be.

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Jesus is greater than everything.

INTRO

Is Jesus greater?

Is he really more satisfying than sex outside of marriage?

Is he really more satisfying than drugs?

Is he really more to desire than pornography?

If you lose your job, but have Jesus, are you really better?

PAUL – church planter, preacher, former Christian killer

Timothy, a guy who is his young apprentice

QUICK SURVEY OF THIS background, including:

< SLIDE 2 – Ephesus Main street

< SLIDE 3 – Ephesus temple

< SLIDE 4 - Ampitheater

< SLIDE 5 – Library

< SLIDE 6 – Asia Map with Colossae arrow

How did the church here get started?

Acts 19:9 So Paul… took the disciples with him and had discussions daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus.

10 This went on for two years, so that all the Jews and Greeks who lived in the province of Asia heard the word of the Lord.

From the vantage point of Ephesus, people would come hear the gospel and go back.

The gospel spread in such a great way that it was impacting the whole region. What is going on is so powerful, the movement of the Holy Spirit is so mighty, that 4-5 million dollars worth of magic books are burned publicly, that the trade associated with idol worship is

Wouldn’t it be incredible if the owners of porn stores, the drug dealers and the gang leaders of Oklahoma City and Clovis, NM got together and said “This church is killing our business?” Almost throughout all of Central Oklahoma and Eastern NM, that Bible Methodist Church, that Servant’s Heart Chapel has done the terrible deed of dampening our business! Let’s go after them!

All because some people came here and heard the Gospel. Then they went back home and said, “We need this where I come from.”

Epaphras – the guy who apparently started the church in Colosse. He’s gone back home from Ephesus to Colosse and planted churches there and in a couple nearby cities.

Paul is now all the way up in Rome and is in prison…

He is visited there in prison by some old friends, Epaphras and some other folks from Colosse, they bring him news.

It’s mostly good news, but Epaphras has some concerns that he wants Paul to write back to them about. He’s kind of going back to an expert in Christianity, and saying, “Look, I’m concerned about this and this… am I right? Do you mind writing back and giving them some advice about avoiding the mistake of losing their focus on Jesus?”

< SLIDE 7 - Scripture

Colossians 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,

2 To the holy and faithful brothers in Christ at Colosse: Grace and peace to you from God our Father.

3 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you,

4 because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints—

5 the faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven and that you have already heard about in the word of truth, the gospel

6 that has come to you. All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God's grace in all its truth.

When you believe the true Gospel, it bears fruit in your life.

The gospel is like a seed. It always bears fruit.

If you want the fruit of the Gospel in your life, make sure that the seed is the Gospel – God’s grace in ALL its truth.

So there are three natural questions we have to answer:

1. What is the Gospel, the seed?

<3 MINUTE SUMMATION OF THE GOSPEL

2. What results (fruit) should we be looking for?

Be careful here, because the answer isn’t better circumstances, sudden improvement in earning and income…

The fruit of the Gospel is not prosperity, it’s CHARACTER.

Romans 6:22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit (GREEK: FRUIT) you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.

3. What does it mean to believe?

3 elements of faith:

• Believe what God says.

• Commit to do what God requires.

• Rest on what God promises.

Hebrews 11:6 “Without faith, it is impossible to please Him, for he that comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”

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