Colossians 1:5-6a Faith, Love and Hope

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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 that has come to you. (Col 1:5-6a)

 

Faith, Hope and Love. These three sound so familiar that we can’t resist thinking about the classic Scripture on this, 1Cor 13. We find that Paul is connecting something here too. We find that Paul is taking faith and love and then connecting that to the Hope we have. This Hope is Christ and as we discussed in the Colossian Battle: False Teachings.  Here Paul is going to make this connection even stronger because faith and love are stemming from Hope. We have hope too in another sense. It is an expectation of things to come. It is built upon a solid foundation. That foundation just so happens to be Christ. He is the chief cornerstone connecting Himself and us to heaven.

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Taken from: http://guitarchrsbll.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/faith-hope-love.jpg

 

I.  The faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven…(Col 1:5a)

 Paul is making hope the basis for faith and love. That makes sense since the idea of Christ being the Mikveh, the Hope of Israel (see Jer 17:13). Hope is the binding tool that motivates faith and love.

Hope here refers to “the totality of blessing that awaits the Christian in the life to come.” (Moo 85) Paul is reminding us of the solid foundation in which everything rests. The Colossians need that reinforcement that Christ can supply all our spiritual needs, nothing else is needed. No add-ons, no philosophy or special days need to be adhered to. Christ supplies all our needs.

 Faith and love come from Hope which is “stored up” in heaven. The Colossians’ salvation is a reality that is reserved for us where Christ dwells—heaven. Christ who paid the price secures salvation—it is this in which we depend. Our faith is secured in what Christ has done becoming the hope to which we point to as the reason why we live differently, why we love those who don’t love us, why we are a neighbor to everyone.

 Paul is further doing the deed of reassuring that what they are trusting needs no additive, no set of works (see Eph 2:8-10). Christ has fulfilled the law. It is our inheritance “kept in heaven” for us (1Pet 1:4-5). It is their faith in Christ Jesus (Col 1:3) that secures this and nothing else!

 This is the same for us, our faith secures our place. True faith as I said before (see Col 1:3-4) marks a genuinely saved person. The life you live needs to be marked with love, love for the saints of God, and even our enemies. We are different from the world as Paul is thanking God for this wonderful work. We too should thank God for His work in us, and those we love.

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35)

To be marked then as a true disciple, one must be marked by having love. Do you have this characteristic?

II.  And that you have already heard about in the word of truth, the gospel that has come to you (Col 1:5b-6a)

The Colossians have already heard about the word of truth—the Gospel, in which came to them. They knew the truth to which he was already speaking. This word of truth is “a word of message, that can be relied upon.” (Moo 87) It takes what they heard and holds it as high as the Old Testament. It can be regarded as true in every aspect of it. God has given this to them and Paul is thanking Him for this.

This again sets the stage to assure the Colossians that the word they first received needs nothing and stands on its own. No other spiritual activity, no other gospel or word is needed. They have every “spiritual blessing in Christ.” (Eph 1:3)

False teaching to which Paul would address can be said that it offers no “reliable basis for hope.” (Moo 87) No philosophy, no human tradition can offer what our Mikveh—Hope—has given us.

Hope sacrifices the now, for the future. It looks to that which is “stored up”, reserved for us in heave. We are “willing to forsake the present glory, comfort, and satisfaction of this present world for the future glory that is [ours]…in Christ. (MacArthur 20)

They heard the Gospel that gave them a future and a hope (see Jer 29:11). And hope does not disappoint because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit He has given us (Rom 5:5).

The Gospel is a message of hope “for all people in all cultures.” (MacArthur 21) It’s message is of unity breaking all barriers and boundaries with which we sinful humans create. Christ is that cornerstone that joins Jew and Gentile, connects us to God the Father, and destroys the barrier to Himself, so that we would no longer be at enmity with God.

 

Summary:

Indeed God has given us what we could never get on our own. We could never earn what we have. We could never gain entrance into heaven apart from the work of Christ—the Hope of Israel. God has joined us to Himself through faith in Christ. Christ died, rose again and sits now at the right hand of God making intercession for us. The Gospel has come to you! God has given you a great gift. We can be like the Colossians and have true faith in the Hope that is stored up for us in heaven, which manifests itself by love or we can rest upon our works which will never gain us entrance into heaven (see Eph 2:8-10 for an example).

Paul even told the Galatians that if a gospel comes to them other than that which they received, the one preached by Paul, the one to whom brings it Paul calls for condemnation. These Galatians were turning to a different Gospel and Paul we trying to rescue them from making some of the greatest mistakes one could ever make. It is abandoning the God who sent His son to die on the cross for us! It is resting in things that could never take sin away. Paul even lets them know that the Gospel he preached came directly from God and was not something man came along and made up, he received this by revelation from Jesus Christ. (see Galatians)  They knew just as the Colossians do: the truth. Some are so deceptive that they can lead some astray. We must be wary for Paul even tells Timothy to watch out for decievers (see 2Tim 3).

Paul is thanking God for the Colossians in that the faith and love they have is grounded in the hope that is stored up for them in heaven and that they already heard about that word of truth, the Gospel. Indeed they needed to know that whatever comes along that changes or abandons that truth, was false and could not be relied upon for salvation. Paul is thanking God for their true faith but we must be wary. If your faith too is true, we must watch out. We must take care that we don’t let others come in and destroy our faith in Him and move our trust into other things.

 


Works Cited:

MacArthur, Jr., John. The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: Colossians and Philemon. Chicago: Moody Publishers, 1992. Print.

Moo, J., Douglas. The Letters to the Colossians and to Philemon: The Pillar New Testament Commentary. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Erdmans Publishing Co., 2008. Print.

About Ernest Grogg

First and foremost I am married to Olesya and looking forward to the rest of our lives together. Marriage is a journey and it is interesting and fun. Saved at the age of 25 and while salvation has been a challenge, God has always been faithful.

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