“…just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace.” Col 1:6
In the same verse Paul was speaking about how the gospel had been preached throughout the entire world and was bearing much fruit, and immediately followed the same theme by making the reality of the gospel a lot more personal. He wrote “…Just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace.”
What was truly crucial was not what the gospel was doing among other people, but how it was operating among the Colossians, whom Paul’s letter was addressing.
The gospel may be universally applicable and effective, yet what it does to each individual is always personal and subjective. Undoubtedly, the gospel truth is an objective truth, yet it must be experienced subjectively.
What did the gospel do to you when you were converted, and what is it doing to you at the present time? This is our concern, really. We are fully aware of the fact what the gospel may do to others, yet it’s meaningless to us unless we also know firsthand what it has done to us. The term “personal Savior” may have long become a cliché, yet it still laden with meaning. Indeed, the Lord Jesus is a Savior for all, yet He is my personal Savior.
I have three sons, yet I am not their collective father; I am their personal father. My children may be sharing the same father, but to each of them I am just as personal as personal can ever be, and the experiences I share with each one of them is irreplaceable and unique.
The One who named all the stars in the vast universe has given each individual on earth a name also; and the One who takes notice of each sparrow’s fall also pays close attention to my every predicament and remembers my every tear. How unthinkable and unfathomable is this!
How can there be any other way but this? How can there be any exception to the all loving and all-knowing God? But this is the all-important reality: He knows all of us individually and his care and love for all of us is indeed tailor-made.
“For God so loved the world that he …” This saying has become so common place that it may not create any ripple in our hearts, for “the world” is merely a collective term, but when it gets to “whosoever” the collective seems to turns individualistic and we ourselves are included in the conversion. We turn into a person with a face and name whom the Lord loves personally.