“Faith, Hope and Love”

Paul began his letter to the Colossians much like he commenced letters he wrote to other churches.  He identified himself as the sender, the saints at Colossae as the recipients, and then wished them grace and peace from God (Col. 1:1-2).  As was also typical of Paul, he included a thanksgiving section in which he thanked God for the Colossians, and reminded them of his continual prayers on their behalf (Col. 1:3-8).

Paul prayed for them ever since he had heard of their faith in Jesus Christ, and of their love for all the saints.  They also had hope, a hope that was laid up in heaven for them (vs.5).  Peter wrote something very similar: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you (1 Peter 1:3-4).  The Colossians heard about this hope of heaven in the gospel.  They had heard that Jesus Christ died for their sins, and rose from the dead that they might be forgiven and have the hope of heaven.  Ever since the day they believed the gospel, it had been bringing forth fruit among them.  Part of that fruit was their love for the saints (vs.4).  In fact, Epaphras also declared their love in the Spirit (vs.8).

The gospel of Jesus is the gospel of hope.  Those who have faith in Jesus bear the fruit of love for all to see while setting their hope on heaven.  Oh that others might hear of our faith in Christ Jesus and of our love for all the saints!