We give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love which you have for all the saints; because of the hope laid up for you in heaven, of which you previously heard in the word of truth, the gospel which has come to you, just as in all the world also it is constantly bearing fruit and ]increasing, even as it has been doing in you also since the day you heard of it and understood the grace of God in truth; just as you learned it from Epaphras, our beloved fellow bond-servant, who is a faithful servant of Christ on our behalf, and he also informed us of your love in the Spirit. [NASB1995®]
At the beginning of his letter, the apostle Paul mentions three virtues that should adorn the life of believers: Faith, Love, and Hope.
Faith in Jesus Christ: we should place ALL our trust in Him. Love for all the saints: the evidence of God’s love in our lives is shown when His love flows out of us towards others, reflected in attitudes, tangible acts, gestures, and actions. Hope in the certainty that the Gospel gives us: we are of Christ, and He has conquered death and sin. Our inheritance and our treasure is in Heaven.
This is Paul’s prayer for the believers in Colossae, whom he hadn’t met. The church there had been planted by Epaphras who, facing the problems that had arisen, decided to visit Paul in Rome, but ended up in prison as well. (Philemon 1:23)
Because of Paul and Epaphras’ love toward the believers that were in danger, this letter was sent to them through Tychicus. It is a call to remain firm in Christ and an exhortation to not follow false teachings, but in spite of the correction it carries it begins with words filled with love and thankfulness for the lives of the believers in Colossae.
We have several questions for you that arose while studying these verses:
Are we willing, like Epaphras, to suffer adversity and abandon our comfort (in his case, for prison) because of our love for Christ and His church? When we have to point out someone’s mistakes, do we do it with love?
May God help us grow in His Gospel… In faith, in hope, and in love…
God bless you!
Scripture quotation taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Translation By: Emily Stader