Colossians 1:1-8 (ESV Strong’s Bible)
1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, 2 To the saints and faithful brothers in Christ at Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father.
Here Paul is simply indicating that He and Timothy were together at the same place when Paul was writing the letter. The letter was written in Rome while Paul was in prison. Paul was writing a letter to the Christians in Colossae and in this verse, He is simply greeting them.
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.
Paul says here that they always thanked God, when they prayed but, not just any God, but the God who is the Father our Lord Jesus Christ. They always thanked God when they prayed for those at Colossae ever since they heard of their faith in Jesus Christ and their love for all the saints.
This faith that they had in Jesus, and this love that they had for all the saints, was as a result of the hope that was laid up for them in heaven. Peter says in 1 Pet 1:4, he describes this hope as a living hope achieved through the resurrection of Jesus from the dead and it is a hope of an inheritance which is kept for us in heaven. Paul in Tit 1:2 describes this hope as a hope of eternal life and Paul says in Eph 1:13-14 that when we beleive in Jesus after we have heard the word of truth, which is our gospel of salvation, we are sealed with the Holy Spirit, which is our guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it. Paul says in Tit 2:13 that our blessed hope is the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. Paul says in Rom 8:18 that even the sufferings of this world does not compare to the glory that will be revealed to us.
This is the hope of Christians, the hope that through the resurrection of Jesus, we will also be raised from the dead into eternal life, in the Kingdom of God where our inheritance is kept for us.
So, it is because of this hope that they had faith in Jesus and developed the love for all the saints. For this, Paul always thanked God for them.
Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, 6 which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth, 7 just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf 8 and has made known to us your love in the Spirit.
Paul says to the Colossae that this hope that they had, they heard of it from the word of truth, which is the Gospel. It is this gospel that has come to them as it has gone to the whole world and it is bearing fruits and increasing among them as it is doing in the rest of the world. It is bearing fruit and increasing among them since the day the heard it and understood the grace of God in truth.
So Paul is simply telling them this: they have hope because they heard the word of truth, they heard the word of truth because the gospel was preached to them, because the gospel was preached to them, they understood the true grace of God. Peter says in 1 Pet 1:13 that we should set our hope fully on the grace that will be brought to us at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Paul calls this gospel that the Colossae heard in Eph 1:13-14, as the gospel of salvation.
Paul says the gospel is bearing fruit and increasing, meaning that the gospel is being preached in many more places and people are being saved through it and it is increasing daily. More and more people are hearing the gospel and are being saved. Paul says they, the Colossae heard it from Epaphras who is Pauls’s fellow servant and a faithful Minister of Christ.
My dear brothers and sisters reading this message, this is the same gospel that I am preaching to you, the gospel that contains the word of truth and the true grace of God which is only accessible through our God and Savior Jesus Christ. Set your hopes fully on Jesus and you will be sealed with the Holy Spirit which will be your guarantee of your eternal inheritance kept for you in heaven until you acquire possession of it. An inheritance which is imperishable, undefiled and unfading. All you have to do is to put your trust, your confidence, your hope fully in the grace of God which is through Jesus Christ. There is no better time than now.
In the next message, we will look at what happens next. Once you have placed your hopes and trust in Jesus, then what must we do? That is what we will discuss in Part 2 of this message.