Faith – Hope – Love

Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash

Colossians 1:1-5 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus our brother, [2] To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. [3] We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, [4] Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints, [5] For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;

What Is The CAUSE Of The Christian?

Every Book in our Bible serves a Divine Purpose – and that is to teach us more about Jesus, more about living as Kingdom People, more about living life as our Heavenly Father designed it to be. The Book of Colossians was written by the Apostle Paul during his first Roman Imprisonment. The proof of this is found in the last verse of this Book, which reads:

Colossians 4:18 The salutation by the hand of me Paul. Remember my bonds. Grace be with you. Amen.

Paul is imprisoned for preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Colossians 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God

God said of Paul, “he is a chosen vessel unto Me, to bear My name before the Gentiles, and

kings, and the children of Israel” (Acts 9:15). Paul was to focus on sharing the Gospel with the Gentiles first, but also to “kings” and “the children of Israel”. Paul was not arrested for preaching the Gospel to the Gentiles. He was arrested and bound over to Rome for trial because he preached the Gospel to the Jews of Jerusalem.

Paul had never been in Colossae, nor amongst the Christians in the Church there. Easton’s Bible Dictionary notes:

It does not appear that Paul had visited this city when he wrote his letter to the church there.”

Paul did not have to visit this Church to write to it. As an Apostle, God the Holy Spirit worked through Paul to address the Church in that city. The Bible says that:

2 Peter 1:20-21 no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

The Apostle Paul knew that what he wrote was God’s Words, not his opinion. He said in another place:

1 Corinthians 14:37 If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.

Word Study Paul is an APOSTLE of Jesus Christ. The word apostle, the Greek αποστολος, apostolos, ap-os’-tol-os), is a word that comes from the Athenian or Greek Navy. The apostolos was, in the Navy, similar to the rank of “Admiral” in our Navy today. Just as the

“Admiral” relays the orders of a greater authority to the ships under his control, the Apostle relays the directions of God Himself to the Church. Paul is addressing the :

Colossians 1:2 … saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse

Who Are “Saints”? The word translated “SAINTS” is the Greek αγιος, hagios, (pronounced hag’-ee-os) , meaning someone who is “set apart for specific use by God, someone who is sanctified”. Who is a “Saint”? The Bible says:

1 Peter 1:15-16 but as he which hath called you is HOLY, so be ye HOLY in all manner of {living}; 16 because it is written, Be ye HOLY; for I am HOLY.

The Christian, called of Christ and saved by the Blood shed on Calvary, is to be HOLY. The word translated “HOLY” in our 1 Peter text is the same αγιος, hagios translated “saints” in our Colossian text. In short, the Christian is supposed to be a “Saint”, or set apart for God’s glory. How does one become a “saint”? By receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior. The members of the Church at Colossae heard ….

vs 5 … the word of the TRUTH of the GOSPEL

They heard the preaching of the Gospel from someone – I do not know who. But they heard that they needed to repent, and receive the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior. They acted on what they heard ….

Romans 10:8-13 … the word of faith, which we preach; 9 that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. 12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. 13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

They heard the Gospel – and Paul, though imprisoned, heard of them.

Colossians 1:3-5 We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, [4] Since we heard of your FAITH in Christ Jesus, and of the LOVE which ye have to all the saints, [5] For the HOPE which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;

What is the CAUSE of the Christian? Is it our works, our goodness, how we inherently please God? NO! The CAUSE of the Christian is God Himself. Three words are emphasized in our text:

FAITH in Christ Jesus
LOVE toward all the saints
HOPE laid up for us in Heaven

All of the things we have in this life will one day erode away. Our bodies fail us. Our property leaves us. Our jobs, and our talents, will one day be gone. Our loved ones are as fragile as we are. What does the Bible say?

James 4:14 whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

What you have in life is but an early morning fog. As the day grows, the fog dissipates. But the Bible says that three things abide: FAITH, LOVE, and HOPE (1 Corinthians 13:13).

The Christian Puts Their Faith In The Right Place

I came across an interesting article today as I prepared for this message. What grabbed my attention was the title of the article:

The Soul Crushing Legacy of Billy Graham”

This article, written by Bob Moser for Rolling Stone Magazine (February 23, 2018), raged against Evangelist Billy Graham. The author was a gender confused individual who, throughout the article, slammed the Evangelist for speaking out against same sex marriage. It’s not my intent to plagiarize that article, nor to spend much time focused on gender dysphoria. What I do want to focus on is five words that begin the article:

Billy Graham saved my soul.”

Billy Graham cannot save a soul, no more than David Buffaloe can save a soul. God must save a soul. Faith put in the wrong Person will not save anyone.

We All Have Faith In Something Or Someone. This is true of the Christian, and true of the lost person. The Bible defines “FAITH” as …

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Saving faith is to believe in the unseen God, to trust what He has said in His Word, the Bible. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, belief that there is a future world called Heaven. Faith is to believe the evidence of things not seen, to believe that Jesus Christ did indeed come from Heaven to save sinners such as us. There is no faith when you can clearly see and possess what you desire.

Faith is to believe something that isn’t right there in front of you.

  • Evolutionists have faith. Evolutionary Scientists – relying on carbon dating – believe that the earth is billions of years old. They were not here when the earth was made, but they use methods to check fossils then declare truth based on what they find. They have FAITH in their carbon dating methods. They have FAITH in what they call the fossil records. They believe in a “Big Bang” that they have never seen. They believe in a concept that has never been proven, that something as complex as this planet and all that is within it can just accidentally come to be. Evolutionary Theory is not science. Science is provable and repeatable. No, they have “faith in the unseen”.
  • Abortionists have faith. The Abortionist believes that life does not actually begin until the baby leaves the womb. The Abortionist places FAITH in human emotion over actual scientific fact. Medical science now knows and can prove that the fetus in the womb is, indeed, a living creature. The baby in the womb reacts to pain and to other stimulation. Yet the abortionist believes that the life of the mother is much more important than the life of the child with. They have “faith in the unseen”.
  • Socialists and Humanists have faith. Both believe that all people are at heart just good, even though you only need to turn on the television for a moment and watch the news to realize the fallacy they believe. Every Socialist society has eventually faltered and fallen, for the reality is that no one is inherently good. It is as the Scripture says:

Romans 3:22-23 … there is no difference: 23 for ALL have sinned, and come short of the glory of God

Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

  • Atheists have the same faith that Humanists and Socialists have. They believe there is no Creator God, though His Divine Design is seen all throughout nature. The faith of the Atheist is so foolish that God designates them as “Fools”:

Psalm 14:1 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.

Where else do people misplace their faith? Some place their faith in MONEY, though “the love of money is the root of all evil” (1 Timothy 6:10). Others place their faith in BEAUTY, though the Bible warns “beauty is vain” (Proverbs 31:30). Some put their faith in IDOLS, which can do nothing at all for you.

Psalm 115:3-8 our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased. 4 Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. 5 They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: 6 they have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not: 7 they have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat. 8 They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them.

When you put your faith in the wrong thing, the wrong Person, the wrong Kingdom, the wrong Book, you waste your life. Jesus told us exactly where to put our faith. He said:

Have FAITH IN GOD” (Mark 11:22)

The one that God uses to write this letter we are now studying once had faith in the wrong place. As Saul, he studied at the finest schools of his time. He was well pedigreed. He came from the finest family. He was super conservative, and well to do. The man worked for the highest office in his nation, and was a type of detective with wide reaching powers. When he was told that a terrorist organization had arisen that was committing acts of treason against his beloved people he went out, broke up many of these groups, and was responsible for “neutralizing” many. As he was heading down an ancient interstate road one day something happened. Saul met Jesus.

SAUL had his faith in the Statutes, the Sanhedrin,
the Sacrifices, the
PAUL put his faith in God. He put his faith in Jesus Christ.

Saul was knocked down on the Damascus Road, but it was Paul who stood up and asked,

Acts 22:10 …. What shall I do, Lord?

Paul would later say,

Philippians 3:7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.

God will not save those who put their faith in the wrong thing. God will not bless those who invest their faith in anyone outside of Christ. For faith to be valid and valuable it needs to be solely vested in Christ!

We are all broken things. The Bible declares:

Romans 3:23 For ALL have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

That is the BAD NEWS. But the GOOD NEWS is this:

Romans 5:6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

Think on this, dear ones, and let it sink deep within your soul. “When we were yet without strength”. None have the power to save themselves. Have faith in yourself to be saved, and be ye damned! But like the leper come to Jesus seeking cleansing. Like the blind man come to Jesus seeking sight. Like the cripple come to Jesus seeking legs. Like the deaf come to Jesus seeking sound. When we were without strength – unable to help ourselves – unable to get in the healing waters on our own – Jesus passed by. He said take up your bed and walk. And being saved, we did!

The Saints Of God Are Called To A Ministry Of Love

Colossians 1:2, 4 To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. … [4] Since we heard of your FAITH in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints,

Once a Christian is saved by faith in Christ, God commands us to love. Love is the natural fruit of a properly placed faith.

The Scripture says:

1 John 4:7-13 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. [8] He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. [9] In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. [10] Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. [11] Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. [12] No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. [13] Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.

Outward love is the proof of an inward faith. Periodically I have people call me up and say “I’m just not satisfied with my life. Are you living your life as Jesus commanded? If not, you will never be happy. While you are being waited on rather than waiting on others, you will never be blessed.

In John 13:17 Jesus said, If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them. What was Jesus talking about? Our Lord knelt down, and washed the feet of the disciples. He told them:

John 13: 13-15 Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.

The most miserable people I meet are those who are always being waited on, but never serve anyone else. The Christian – once saved – is called to a ministry of loving service. We are called to:

Matthew 22:37-39 Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

God is to be loved FIRST and FOREMOST. We are to love Him with our ALL. But after this, we are to love our “neighbor”, that is, those in proximity to us, as we wish to be loved. Jesus even carried this further. He said in:

John 13:34-35 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. [35] By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

John 15:12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.

We are to love even the unlovable, for we ourselves are often unlovable. We are to love as God has loved us.

of the love which ye have to all the saints,

We are to love without qualification. We are to love without prejudice. As the Apostle said:

1 Thessalonians 4:9 … ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.

Love is the proof of our salvation. A compromised love, a love that is racist, white only, or specific to a certain type of person is not the love that Christ bestows on us. The Apostle says:

1 John 2:9-11 He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. [10] He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. [11] But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.

The grand Preacher C.H. Spurgeon said:

We have a common hope, let us have a common affection: we are on our way to God, let us march in loving company; we are to be one in heaven, let us be one on earth. One is our Master and one is our service; one is our way and one is our end; let us be knit together as one man. We all of us expect to see our Well-beloved face to face, and to be like him; why should we not even now love all those in whom there is anything of Christ? Brethren, we are to live together for ever in heaven: it is a pity we should quarrel. We are for ever to be with Jesus Christ, partakers of the same joy, of the same glory, and of the same love; why should we be scant in our love to each other? On the way to Canaan we have to fight the same enemy, to publish the same testimony, to bear the same trials, and to fly to the same helper: therefore let us love one another.”

Proper Faith Produces Love, Which Reminds Us Of God’s Promise

Colossians 1:5 .. For the HOPE which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;

We who are Christians, saved by faith in Christ, have a sure promise from God that we have a place reserved for us in Heaven. Jesus said:

John 14:1-3 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. [2] In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. [3] And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

You see, there is a place beyond this place that our Jesus has gone to. He died on that Cross of Calvary, rose again the third day, and ascended unto the Father in Heaven. Jesus died for us. And this same Jesus that we place ALL our faith in has promised us that there is a blessed hope LAID UP FOR US IN HEAVEN. Jesus does not nor cannot lie.

Heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people.
Not a perfect people, but a prepared people.

It is a place where those who have surrendered to the Lordship of Christ will go. Those who are in Heaven love God and love one another. Hope is not a make believe, should have been steak but is only liver place. Hope is the certain promise of God. We don’t have it yet. We must walk and live through this veil of tears first. But one day we who are His will receive that Blessed Hope.

Titus 2:11-14 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13 looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ; 14 who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

Faith, love and hope. Faith saves. Love proves. Hope is our promised Destination, a Heaven where love, peace and joy rule. Praise the name of the Lord! May God the Holy Spirit plant this Word deep into your hearts, for the glory of Christ. Amen and Amen!

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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