“To the saints…who are at Colossae…We give thanks to God…because of the hope reserved for you in heaven, of which you previously heard in the word of truth, the gospel which has come to you, just as in all the world it is bearing fruit and increasing, even as it has been doing in you also since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth.”
The phrase, “the word of truth, the gospel” can also be rendered, “the word of truth of the gospel.”
When I read this passage, two distinct images come to mind – both are true. “The word of truth of the gospel,” paints the picture of the “good news” of salvation bearing fruit and increasing because fruit has seeds and generations flow from a single seed. This is Wide – the fruit is others.
“The word of truth, the gospel” creates the image of Truth being “good news” which is also, bearing fruit and increasing, even as it has been doing in you also since the day you heard it.” Obedience to Truth “will set you free” (Jn. 8:32) from being, “slaves of sin,” when you become “obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were entrusted” (Rom. 6:17). This is Deep – the fruit is in you.
Wide and Deep are, as I like to say, two sides of the same coin. They are inseparable because they both come from the same spiritual DNA – obedience in sharing and doing.
Below are a few references to add dimension to the ideas of Wide and Deep.
- Eph. 1:13 “After listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of the promise”
- 1Tim. 2:3-4 “…Our Savior 4 who wants all people to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.
- James 1:18 “In the exercise of His will He gave us birth by the word of truth”
- 1Jn. 1:4-6 “I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth… If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.”
- James 5:19 “My brothers and sisters, if anyone among you strays from the truth and someone turns him back…”
- Gal. 5:7 “You were running well; who hindered you from obeying the truth?