Taking The Test: Colossians 1:3-5
“3) We give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, 4) since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love which you have for all the saints; 5) because of the hope laid up for you in heaven, of which you previously heard in the word of truth, the gospel” Colossians‬ ‭1:3-5‬
Paul opens this letter to the Colossians believers in the same way he writes to the Thessalonians. He evaluates their faith, love and hope. (See 1 Thessalonians 1:2-3) Paul used these three qualities as a measuring stick of genuine conversion and spiritual growth.
With these three qualities present, people were bumped to the top of Paul’s prayer list. In the Thessalonian text, Paul talked about a “work of faith, labor of love and steadfast hope.” The Spirit of God used them for something bigger than themselves, deeper than themselves and more enduring than themselves.
These were not mere attitudes, they were actions. Their faith was engaged in godly activity. Their love was infectious toward others. And their hope grew into an unshakable confidence in God and the promise of eternal life. These were men and women of substance.
Paul was not interested in mere “spirituality” in people. Every pagan religion produces people who are spiritual. Don’t be deceived by mere “spirituality.” Paul wanted to see a genuine relationship with Jesus Christ evidenced by the working of the Holy Spirit in and through people. Paul looked for evidence of true salvation and conversion. He used faith, agape love and hope as his measuring stick. He understood that the gospel changes people.
Do you pass the test? Has your relationship with Jesus Christ produced a change in you? Is your faith producing a work for God that is bigger than yourself? Does Agape love flow through you? Is your confidence anchored in heaven? Are you walking with Jesus on a daily basis?
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global