Covenant Words
Covenant Words

Episode · 2 months ago

2021-08-05 Morning Worship

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Faith, Love, Hope

Colossians 1:1-8

Colossus Chapter One beginning in verse:One Listen For this is the word of the Lord Paul, an Apostle of Christ, Jesus bythe will of God and Timothy, our brother to the Saints and FaithfulBrothers in Christ at Colosse. Grace you in peace from God our father. We always thank God, the father of ourLord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ,Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints because of the hope laidup for you in heaven of this. You have heard before. In the word of truth, theGospel which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world. It is bearing fruitand increasing, as it also does among you, since the day, you heard it andunderstood the grace of God in truth, just as you learned it from epaphrasour beloved fellow servant, He is a Faithful Minister of Christ on yourbehalf and has made known to us your love in the spirit. That's why the reading of God's word me.He bless it to us. Let's pray, a gracious heavenly father. Would youthank you for your word. We pray that you would give us eyes to see and earsto hear the the truth that you would have for us and the beauty that youhave forest in Christ. We pray this in Christ sang a men, please reseat it what's been many months since I've beenhere, but but the last time I was here, we looked together at the first twoverses of Colossians Chapter One and there, as we just read these firsttwo verses. Where Paul is greeting the church at Colosse, these first two verses may seemperfunctory may they may seem just like a common standard type of greeting andyet Paul's words of grace and peace from God to the church, draw us right away into the heart ofPaul's letter. I mean Paul's writing as an ambassadorof Jesus Christ, he's writing to the church at Colosse,who are saints, who are Holy Ones, who are faithful in Christ and he's writingto deliver the very grace, the very peace of God to this fellowship of Believers, that'sfacing a dangerous teaching and even though Paul has never visitedthis church he's heard a report about this church that is both exceedinglyjoyful as well as concerning he's joyful as well find out because ofthe Saint's reception of the Gospel they are believing upon the Lord. This church is growing in love,...

...but this is also a young church and it's facing opposition, and so he's writing not only to expresshis joy but to further encourage to instructthe church. In the Gospel I mean they've heard the Gospel they'veresponded in faith, and yet the good news of Christ isnever old news for his people to grow in our love, for Christ meanswe must know who he is. We must hear from him and of his lovefor us, so as the ambassador of Christ. Paulbrings the word of Christ to this new church. He begins with this announcement wherehe says grace and peace to you, from God, our father and in this shortletter, which is saturated with the person and work of Christ. This short letter is placed in thecontext, then of God's grace and God's peace to his church as Paul's words of comfort andInstruction are coming to this church. We know that God is at work actuallybringing about grace and peace. These are not just wishful thoughtsfrom the apostle. This is the very reason God's word has gone forth and his word does not return empty. The God who spoke creation intoexistence by his word continues to send forth his word to accomplish hispurposes. So look at the way in which the LordActually Brings Grace and peace to his people, as Paul says in verse. Three, we alwaysthank God, the father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you now, while Paul Typically begins hisletters with a note of thanks thanksgiving. These are not simple formalities. What Paul is doing here is he isinviting the church into his prayer life, not only in offering US instructions onhow we ought to pray for one another, but in order for us to see what loveand what concern he has for the Church and as we see this isn't just a onetime prayer this thankfulness is continual. Not only are his prayers frequent, theyare. They reflect this perpetual mindset for this young church is against realdangers. It's up against powerful foes, and so Paul is thankful for the Lord'swork and bringing grace and bringing peace to this church. The Lord's been doing great things.Just look at what he's thankful for. He says we always thank God, the fatherof our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray...

...for you, since we heard of your faithin Christ, Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints because ofthe hope laid up for you in heaven. So the grace and peace of God hasbrought forth a response from this church. It's brought forth faith, love, faith right in Christ, love for theSaints Prete because of God's grace and peace,but one gives rise to the other. Having responded to the Gospel in faith.These believers respond then, to the church the respond to the church withlove, which may sound obvious, but look at the bonser that are beingforged here, Paul's already called God, our father, and what did you just call Christ, our Lord, so by calling God our father? Don't youhear how it immediately puts us into a community into a family like Pauling Christ, our Lord? Itimmediately places us into a community into a kingdom and to a family and into a kingdom thisfaith in it. It places us into the fellowship of fellow believers where love is. What defines who we are.Love defines our lives and Paul is thankful because he's heardof their faith in Christ he's heard of their love for the saints remember what that word. Saint means. This is how our Lord describes hispeople. He calls the church saints becauseSaint Means Holy Once and so this church is bearing fruit andtheir love for the saints, but you realize the significance of this statement for us here. We're show not only what thechurch is to believe, but but what the church is to do. Faith in Christ will produce love forthe saints, which means that not only has the Lordcalled you holy. He calls you to love others whom he hasalso called Holy, that I know what you're thinking. If believers actually are holy ones ofthe Lord, then why are they so frequently sodifficult to love? Loving a holy person should be easyright. Think of how easy it would be to serveand care for someone who is always grateful, who's, never rude and neverarrogant, some one who's tender and easy to getalong with who always speaks with grace, who areselfless, bringing joy and comfort for...

...others, nothing for a person like that would beincredibly easy. So why is loving others in the church,some of the most challenging work that we can do we're giving this amazing title. Godcalls you holy and yet the more we see of one anotheras we spend time with one another as we open our homes and our lives to oneanother. Loving the church is not always easy because, frequently we don't alwayslook that holy. Our lives are messy, so we fearjudgment. Other lives are messy, so we feelunequipped and yet we're called to love difficultpeople. You See Paul, isn't thankful that theColossians Love Saints as opposed to sinners. After all, Jesus and his sermon on theMount tells us that if you love those who loved you, what reward do you havedo? Not even tax collectors do the same. He you greet only your brothers. Whatmore are you doing than others? Do? Not even the gentiles do the same, so Paul is thankful for their love forall the saints and Paul of all people knows that thechurch doesn't always look that saintly. After all, Paul the one who says inFirst Timothy, O hundred and fifteen, the saying is trustworthy and deservingof full acceptance that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, ofwhom I am the foremost, and yet these Colossians they love these difficult people. These sinnersaints, both near and far from Colosse for notice. Their love is not beingdisplayed because of the holiness of the church. BAPU says: They're not loving the saints becausethey are holy and therefore easy to love. They do love the saints, but why First Five? Because of the hope laid up for you inHeaven? Isn't this wonderfully comforting? They love the saints not based off, noton the basis of some lovely qualities of those around them. They love the saints because in faithand in hope they see the church, as God does, sinners saved by grace. Sinnersdeclared righteous and holy, and this is so true the reason we're called to love. Othersis because Christ first loved US Jesus loves sinners. Jesus loves you soyou're called to love sinners, but then us how much more there is towhat Paul's words say here: How this adds to our understanding, Jesus lovedsinners so much that he actually...

...redeemed us? He justified his people. His church is righteous because hischurch is in Christ and God looks at his church and he seesthe perfect obedience of Jesus in each one of us, and so your status before God is holy. But look around. Is this how you seeyour brothers and sisters in Christ? Do you actually see them as being inChrist and if we are in Christ, let me ask you: This is Jesus difficultto love? Is His life a mess? Does he hold grudges? Is he kind ofawkward now he's patient he's full of grace? We love him because he actually islovely he's demonstrative that love forest more than we could ever repay, and so, if you see yourself seated withChrist in the heavenly places, then do you see your brothers and sisters inthe same way? Yes, we're called to love, sinners, even enemies and those whopersecute us, but when we love the church, it'sdifferent here we love the saints God's Holy Ones,not because they're easy to love, but because they belong to Christ andif we love Christ and we love his people, and this love doesn't spring from theholiness that we see around us. This love is on account of the hope laid upfor us in heaven. But you see, the church is wholly onlyon account of this hope, and yet it's called a hope laid up foryou in heaven, because we do not yet see it. It hasn't yet become a fullreality, as Peter says, in his first epistle chapter, one verse, three blessed bethe God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ. According to his great mercy,he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection ofJesus Christ, from the dead to an inheritance that is imperishableundefiled unfading kept in heaven for you who, by God's power, are being guardedthrough faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. So we love The saints because Christ'slove for his church. We love the saints because they belong to Christ and hedwells in them and we love the saints on account ofthis living. Hope of who we all be will be on the day of the resurrection, because on that day, there will be nomore fear, no more grudges, no more messes.

On that day, the sinner saints whosurround you will be truly and finally just saints, and so we don't hold backon our love for one another waiting for that last day. Right now, we love all the saints because of whom they've been declaredto be in Christ because of who they will be on thatlast day, for this hope is both a present and afuture reality, while this living hope is laid up forus in heaven awaiting its future. Revealing this hope is a present reality, as wewill hear later, encouragements in Colossus chapter three is Paul. Speaking to this same churchsays, if then, you've been raised with Christ seek the things that are above,where Christ is seated the right hand of God, and so loving. The saints is a way ofseeking Christ for it acts on the present reality ofour status in Christ as it expects and waits for this future hope, and so the hope that we rely upon the hope that Paul describes here isnot a fickle or a wavering wishing for things right. We use that we used hope allkinds of different ways. Today we use hope to express our desires forthe future. Some desires may be more likely thanothers hope you have a good day. Hope you have a safe drive, others can be more far fetched, butthis hope described by Paul is not an inner attitude of optimism is not a longing or a wishing againstthe forces of time and decay as Paul says. Elsewhere. Romans eight chapter, eight verse, Twenty three, notonly the creation, but we ourselves who have the first fruit of the spiritgrown inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons. The redemption of ourbodies for in this hope we were saved now hope that is seen is not hope forwho hopes for what he sees, but we hope for what we do not see. We wait for it with patience again, angalations chapter, five, listen for what this hope looks like for throughthe spirit by faith. We ourselves eagerly wait for the hope ofrighteousness, and so, while we do hope for that whichwe do not yet see, this doesn't make the outcome uncertain rather recalled to eagerly wait for ourhope to become sight. Don't you see, then, the way ofpatience and eager expectation of the resurrection? What does that look like here and now it looks like faith in Christ. It looks like love for the saints for how do we patiently wait for theresurrection...

I loving Christ, who is faithful not just to individualsbut to a body of believers? How do we love because of this hope, we love by seeing one another the wayGod sees us saints who have been given an eternalinheritance in heavenly places, the weak and the frail brothers andsisters sitting beside you and in your own families? You can love not just because Christloved you, but because Christ loves them, and so we're called to love the saints, and wouldn't it be great if we werealready perfectly holy and yet, if this is how God has described you, if he'sthe one declaring you to be a saint and a holy one, then who are we to respond yeah butthey're kind of hard to get along with my Christ has claimed this person forhimself, and so we love the church by loving those Christ has called tohimself. We Love Christ, I loving those whomChrist dwells within, and so speaking of, this faith is love,and this hope Paul continues in this introduction of this you've heard before. In theword of truth, the Gospel which has come to you, as indeed in the wholeworld, it is bearing fruit and increasing, as it also does among you,since the day you heard of it and understood the grace of God in truth,just as you learned it from a papers, our beloved fellow servant, He is aFaithful Minister of Christ on your behalf and has made known to us. Yourlove in the spirit, there's a whole lot that I could beunpacked there, but I want to focus on this word, love that shows up again inverse. Eight, do you see how God has not abandoned usat any moment in this process of our loving one another? It's His grace,that's gone forth. In truth, it's his truth. The good news of Christ, whichhas been bearing the fruit of faith, love and hope, and now this same love for all thesaints is described as your love and versate. In the spirit, this is so awesome. I mean, as we youve seen, you'recalling to love of the church is not based on the loveliness of the saintsit's based on the loveliness of Christ, who unites himself to his church andyet Paul takes it even further here and versate when he says that the love for thechurch, but your love for the saints occurs inthe spirit. It means that the love that...

...you share is not your own. The love that your share is itself agift, a gift from God himself and when the church loves one another, the church gets to participate in thatlove that exists between father, son and Holy Spirit. This is why Paul is thanking God for the Church's faith, love and hope the life of the church. The lifetogether is an act of our triune God. Let us at all three persons are alreadylisted. We always thank God, the father of ourLord Jesus Christ, for your love in the spirit. Speaking of that love as Paulreferences, faith, hope and love. He does so elsewhere in a famous passage.First Corinthians chapter, thirteen where he says. For now we see in amirror dimly but then face to face now. I know in part than I shall now fully,even as I have been fully known now, faith hope and love abide these three,but the greatest of these is love. Have you ever wondered? Why faith faith is this instrument thatsaves us from our Sin Right hope in the resurrection? These are glorious things.What makes love better than these other two one day your faith will become sight right. One day your hope will become a reality will be fullyrealized, but the love, the love that has always existed amongfather, son and Holy Spirit is eternal. It will never end, and it is this love which has beengiven to us from the father in the sun by the Holy Spirit. The love of God defines our lives bothhere and in eternity. So, of course it's bearing fruit. Ofcourse it's increasing, as God draws us to himself. He draws us to a body offamily to a kingdom that shall have no end whose love shallhave no end a men. Let's pray our gracious heavenly father. We are humbled, we are humbled by your love. We do thank you for your love, whichwhich creates love in us, which creates...

...life in us, which creates lightrighteousness in us. Your word is wonderful, and we ask that your word would causeyour people to be drawn to the loveliness of our savior. As we see your grace as we, you seeyour mercy to your people cause us to further glorify your triunename. Would you thank you for your Gospel, which which produces the fruitsof faith and love because of the hope laid up for us in heaven, for as we long to our faith, to becomesight, as we long for our hope to become manifest? Cause your love to abide in your peopleboth now and for ever. We pray this in Jesus name, Amen,.

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