Monday, August 8, 2011

Faith, Love and Hope (Colossians 1:3-8)

[3] We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, [4] since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, [5] because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel,
(Colossians 1:3-5 ESV)

This is one of the many places in scripture where we see the pattern of Faith, Love and Hope in the believer’s life. This pattern is too common to simply be a coincidence. In the case of Paul’s writings it seems to be an intentional pattern that he taught everywhere he started churches, that he talked about with the leaders he disciple and trained, and—as in this case—that he highlighted for churches he had not yet met.

Faith in Jesus is what brings us into a right relationship with God and changes who we are. Love for each other is what characterizes the new creation we are, what governs our behavior and relationships. Hope for the future God has planned for us—both here in time and later in eternity—is what helps us to stand firm in the many trials and difficulties that God’s people face in life.

The rest of this letter to the Colossians will—just like Ephesians—follow this pattern of teaching. Look for it as you read this epistle and the other writings of Paul as well.

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