A new year is here, just over a week old! And every January, the gym is packed! Why is that? Because we crave newness and want to change. Maybe for you, the gym isn’t your thing. But I’m sure that there are probably areas of your life which you want to change. So we try out many different things to help us change. Whether it’s the gym, or a new relationship, or even a new religion. You want change. You want freedom. You want to be a new person, that’s why we pursue change.
The problem is that although outwardly we might seem like we are changing, on the inside, we know that we haven’t. We believe we are free, we aren’t.We slip into the same patters of behavior, over and over again. Or, we slip into the same patterns of thinking, over and over again.
Everything we try to use in order to change is bankrupt. Because whatever we try, doesn’t change us at our very core. It doesn’t change what we ultimately love. All of our change efforts are in vain, because they come from self-love. All efforts to change are bankrupt.
Except one thing: God’s means of transformation.
God has provided us with everything we need to change: the gospel. The gospel is the good news that Jesus came into the world to save sinners. Furthermore, the gospel is powerful to transform your life.
God, however, desires that we don’t doubt the power of the gospel to transform our lives. To help strengthen our faith, God gives us three assurances about the power of the gospel.
 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,  To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are at Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father.
 We give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,  since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love which you have for all the saints;  because of the hope laid up 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 also. It is constantly bearing fruit and increasing, even as it has been doing in you also since the day you heard of it and understood the grace of God in truth;  just as you learned it from Epaphras, our beloved fellow bond-servant, who is a faithful servant of Christ on our behalf,  and he also informed us of your love in the Spirit.
I think there are three gospel assurances in this passage…
The gospel saves anyone
Paul was a bad guy, someone who persecuted Christians (Acts 9:1-2). Yet, God’s grace comes to Paul and totally upends his life. He goes from great persecutor of the church to church planter and writer of most of the New Testament. No one is beyond God’s reach.
The gospel spreads everywhere
“The gospel  which has come to you, just as in all the world also. It is constantly bearing fruit and increasing…”
If it spread across the pagan Roman Empire, it can bear fruit anywhere. Where do you doubt the gospel can spread? In your work, school, family? The gospel spreads everywhere.
The gospel sustains everything
“[Epaphras] also informed us of your love in the Spirit.”
Love is the sum and substance of the Christian life. Love is everything. But love does not come from the Christian’s own will power. It comes from God (1 John 4:19). And the gospel is the greatest demonstration of God’s love for His people (Romans 5:8). It is the gospel which sustains all of our love, all our ministry, and all of our life. What’s sustaining you?