Let Us All Give Thanks To God For Our Foundation of Hope! Colossians 1:3-8

Colossians 1:3-8 Amplified Bible

We give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, as we pray always for you, for we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus [how you lean on Him with absolute confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness], and of the [unselfish] [a]love which you have for all the saints (God’s people); because of the [confident] hope [of experiencing that] which is reserved and waiting for you in heaven. You previously heard of this hope in the message of truth, the gospel [regarding salvation] which has come to you. Indeed, just as in the whole world the gospel is constantly bearing fruit and spreading [by God’s power], just as it has been doing among you ever since the day you first heard of it and understood the grace of God in truth [becoming thoroughly and deeply acquainted with it]. You learned it from [our representative] Epaphras, our beloved fellow bond-servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf and he also has told us of your love [well-grounded and nurtured] in the [Holy] Spirit.

The Word of God for the Children of God.

Adeste Fidelis! Venite Adoremus! Dominum.

Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Amen.

The Root Of Our Hope Is Our Savior Jesus

It’s wonderful when someone comes into the kingdom of God.

That person receives God’s gift of grace through faith in Jesus, and they begin a new life of walking with the Holy Spirit.

The new believer realizes that the full measure of their “sacred cow” plans for their old life of selfish pursuits offers them nothing that will ever satisfy them.

By their new hope in Christ Jesus, they have turned their back on the darkness and are enjoying the light of the world, Savior Jesus – Praise God for his love!

Paul is filled with thanks to hear that the people of Colossae have come to faith in Christ Jesus and are showing their love for all God’s people.

He even says, “We always thank God . . . when we pray for you . . .”

They have become wonderful examples of living by faith in Jesus.

They believe and trust, they love, and they hope in what God has already stored up in heaven for them.

Drawing all this together, today we can echo with great assurance with Paul that the new faith of the Colossian believers is decisively rooted in Jesus Christ.

Friends, my prayer is you will have faith in Christ Jesus; my hope for you is that in Jesus’ name you are loving others, giving yourself up for them, and growing in hope in all that God has promised and is storing up for you and me in heaven.

Stay rooted in Christ, stay united in His hope anticipating the reality of our own resurrection, the reality of God’s coming kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.

The Hope of Resurrection Brings Us All Together

What is the basis for Christian unity?

What is the basis for being able to correct another believers doctrine?

What is the foundation of love and faith in the Christian life?

Paul answers these questions in the beginning of his letter to the church at Colossae.

In the beginning of Colossians, Paul teaches that the basis of Christian faith and love is hope.

We can view hope as elemental to the gospel message, proclaimed to all who believe.

This foundation of hope in the gospel unites us with other believers, for all believers share the same foundation of the message of Christ.

From those foundations proceed faith and love, essential to the character of believers.

Faith And Love As Reasons For Giving Our Thanks

Paul thanks God for the faith and love evident in the church at Colossae.

The believers at Colossae were believers in Christ Jesus, found in Him and known by Him.

Their faith set them on the side of light.

For, Christians have been rescued from darkness and transferred to the Kingdom of the Son, Jesus Christ (Colossians 1:13-14).

The Incomparable Christ

13 For He has rescued us and has drawn us to Himself from the dominion of darkness, and has transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption [because of His sacrifice, resulting in] the forgiveness of our sins [and the cancellation of sins’ penalty].

Faith is what made these believers dwell in a new understanding about life, truth, what matters on this earth, and what matters for times to come.

And Paul even heard about the faith of the Colossians, so completely notable was their expression of it.

Paul also heard about the love that believers had for the saints.

The believers had love for their fellow believers, and this was an outworking of the eternal truths of the gospel.

Their love is further identified in the letter as being “in the Spirit” (Colossians 1:8), the mark of its veracity.

Paul notes the rich and beautiful Christian love of the Colossian church:

Colossians 2:1-3 Amplified Bible

You Are Built Up in Christ

For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those [believers] at [a]Laodicea, and for all who [like yourselves] have never seen me face to face.  [For my hope is] that their hearts may be encouraged as they are knit together in [unselfish] [b]love, so that they may have all the riches that come from the full assurance of understanding [the joy of salvation], resulting in a true [and more intimate] knowledge of the [c]mystery of God, that is, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge [regarding the word and purposes of God].

Paul will ultimately write to the church at Colossae about heresy creeping in, and with that in mind, he writes he desires the body of Christ to be encouraged together with hearts unified in love.

This is Paul’s desired way for the church to have reception of truth and correction of error: to write to a church about these matters who is knit together in the love of Christ.

Then, they would be able to further share in the genuine message of Christ, separate truth from error, and have the full experience of Christ leading and guiding in truth amidst His very own body at Colossae.

No wonder Paul thanks God for the love he sees in the saints at Colossae: it gave him genuine confidence about the message of correction he would be sharing.

That love in the context of faith was made possible by the foundation of hope in Christ and Christ alone present in the church.

The Hope of the Gospel in Us

Hope as a Foundation

Paul credits hope as the foundation for the believers’ virtues. Hope is the basis for Christian faith and love.

Hope is the basic element of the faith — that we have a future with Christ through the truth of the gospel.

And hope is the basis for Christian love — that we have a future with One who unites all believers.

Faith springs from the message of hope. Love flows through the message of hope because the message is what unites the church, one to another.

Hope from the Gospel

Hope comes from the gospel, the word of truth.

The hope of the gospel is restored union and communion with Jesus Christ, the God who made us. 

Colossians 1:27 says that Jesus Christ in us is the hope of glory.

Surely this is the center of Paul’s message in the opening words of his letter.

Hope is the basis for faith and love — and the basis for this hope is that we have restored relationship with Jesus Christ.

This relationship means we have a future of even closer communion with Jesus when we are one day with Him in glory.

Hope Passed On

The word of truth is learned through the teaching of another.

The gospel is passed from person to person through teaching.

Hope becomes passed through the fellowship and instruction of other believers.

Not only had Paul and this church not met face-to-face, so it was with many believers spread throughout the world.

The gospel — the hope of Christ — spreading is an encouraging point of union between Paul and the church a Colossae.

Their shared hope is spread by Jesus Christ who would surely build His church (Matthew 16:18).

Hope is the foundation from which virtues spring and is testified to in the gospel of Christ.

The Blessed Unity of Believers’ Shared Foundation of Hope

Because Paul and his fellow believers at Colossae had a strong foundation of hope — with evidence he could hear about — he is solidified in his union with them through Christ.

Paul’s Connection with the Church at Colossae

Paul uses this expression of prayer-filled thanks to establish his unity with the church at Colossae.

He would be writing to warn against heresy creeping into the church.

But at this juncture, He is establishing truths about the faith, love, and hope that are basic to the Christian message.

He heard about this church’s faith through Epaphras, not being a church that he planted.

But he had thanksgiving-filled unity with this church nonetheless because of the message of the gospel.

Paul’s Connection with All Churches

With thanks, Paul indicates that the message of the gospel was spreading throughout the world — and not only through Paul’s ministry.

What joy that these Christians could receive a message of warning through Paul based on Christian gospel unity — and not based upon personal connection.

Many could, and indeed would, be wary to receive correction from someone not personally known, but Paul would deliver this message faithfully and with great hope that it would prayerfully be received well by those he had never even met.

Through the unity of the gospel and on the basis of broad Christian unity through Jesus Christ, Paul would be proceeding with his message of correction.

Suggested Points of Meditation and Application

As we consider Paul’s opening comments of the letter to the Colossians, we can note hope as the central theme, and basis for his commitment and unity with the church members.

This commitment and unity comes from a heart that shares the indwelling of Christ Jesus through the ministry of the Holy Spirit with fellow believers.

As you take these teachings to heart, pray over the following application points:

1. Strengthen your understanding with conviction in the hope that you have

2. Ensure that you are loving others in the church because of the hope that you share from the hope to be found only in resurrection of our Savior Christ Jesus.

3. Know that your hope means your faith is in a different world, for a different life to come. John 17:6-12 Amplified.

“I have manifested Your name [and revealed Your very self, Your real self] to the people whom You have given Me out of the world; they were Yours and You gave them to Me, and they have kept and obeyed Your word. Now [at last] they know [with confident assurance] that all You have given Me is from You [it is really and truly Yours]. For the words which You gave Me I have given them; and they received and accepted them and truly understood [with confident assurance] that I came from You [from Your presence], and they believed [without any doubt] that You sent Me. I pray for them; I do not pray for the world, but for those You have given Me, because they belong to You; 10 and all things that are Mine are Yours, and [all things that are] Yours are Mine; and I am glorified in them. 11 I am no longer in the world; yet they are still in the world, and I am coming to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, so that they may be one just as We are. 12 While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name which You have given Me; and I guarded them and protected them, and not one of them was lost except [a]the son of destruction, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled.

4. Trust a shared foundation of hope with other believers provides a foundation for doctrinal correction—should you ever be placed in the position of giving or receiving such correction

5. Be ever more thankful to God than to humanity for the unity of the gospel being spread throughout the world.

Resurrection of Hope

It’s not the experience of hope but the object of hope that is stored up for us in heaven–and that gives rise to faith and love, says the apostle Paul.

Colossians 1:27, Paul talks about “the hope of glory,” meaning the final unveiling of our salvation, when “righteousness and peace kiss each other” (Psalm 85:10). 

This grand source of hope does not mean we ignore this present life.

Instead, this hope encourages love.

In a sermon on this text, author John Piper says,

“Only one thing satisfies the heart whose treasure is in heaven: doing the works of heaven. And heaven is a world of love.”

He adds, “It’s not the cords of heaven that bind the hands of love. It is the love of money and leisure and comfort that do that, and the power to sever those cords is Christian hope.”

To live in the utter certainty, centrality of the hope of His coming glory, frees us all from greed and bitterness, despair and laziness, from impatience and envy.

Being fully captivated by this future Paul says we’ve heard about in the gospel empowers, inspires, moves us forward against the tsunami’s of culture, to give us grace to live in faith and in love to become examples of God’s new creation.

In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,

Let us Pray,

In your kingdom, Lord,
there are no favourites,
all are equal,
all carry the image
of the one who made all things,
and all are welcome in your home.
You forgive those who in humility
make the journey to repentance,
even those who now reject you.
Such love,
Such faith, Such hope,
beyond our imagining.
Such love, Such faith, Such hope,
that could die for us.
Such love, Such faith, Such hope,
sown into hearts,
that we might display its beauty
through hopeful lives and hope-filled words.
Thank you Lord!

Adeste Fidelis! Venite Adoremus! Dominum.

Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Amen.


Author: Thomas E Meyer Jr

Formerly Homeless Sinner Now, Child of God, Saved by Grace.

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