Paul’s Thankfulness – Colossians 1:3-8

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Pastor Scott L. Harris

Grace Bible Church, NY

July 25, 2010

Paul’s Thankfulness

Colossians 1:3-8

 

Introduction

 

We started our journey into Paul’s letter to the Colossians last week by
examining briefly the life of Paul, his co-worker, Timothy, and the background
of Colossae and the church there HTML clipboard(See:
Introduction to Colossians
). We found in Paul and Timothy examples of what God can do
with individuals that are willing to be and do what the Lord wants and go where
He wills. Both men became great blessings to others because they faithfully
followed the Lord and served Him. The same can be true for anyone that will do
the same.

Colossae itself declined over the years to just a small town, yet Paul’s
concern for them was as great as it was for the churches in large cities such as
Ephesus or Corinth even though he had not been there before. When your concerns
are directed by God, it is not size and prestige that determine importance.

The Colossian church was a mixture of Gentile and Jewish believers, and they
had avoided many of the problems that had developed in other churches. However,
they faced their own doctrinal dangers and Paul was writing to correct and warn
them as part of his own desire and effort to “present every man complete in
Christ”
(1:28). His salutation was an expression of his genuine desire for
them that they would have grace and peace from God our Father. He sought to
accomplish this by addressing the doctrinal issues in Chapters 1 & 2 and then
exhort them in Chapters 3 & 4 about how to walk with Christ in a manner worthy
of their calling.

As we continue our study this morning of Colossians 1, we find that Paul
follows his normal routine of expressing his thankfulness and prayers before
addressing the doctrinal issues later in the letter. A hallmark of someone who
is walking in the spirit of God is thankfulness, and that characteristic is
clearly evident in Paul. The importance of thanksgiving is seen in the
commandments concerning the thank offering in Leviticus 7. Thanksgiving is
expressed in 35 different Psalms. Jesus’ life was characterized by its practice
and Paul makes forty-four references to thanksgiving in his various letters.
Please turn to Colossians 1:3-8 and follow along as I read Paul’s expression of
thanksgiving in this letter.

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, 6 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; 7 just as you learned [it]
from Epaphras, our beloved fellow bond-servant, who is a faithful servant of
Christ on our behalf, 8 and he also informed us of your love in the Spirit.

Colossians 1:3-8 (NASB)

 


The Recipient of Thanksgiving (vs. 3)

Given to God. The first thing we note in verse three is that Paul’s
thanksgiving is directed to God.

While the actions of others and events in our own lives may prompt us to be
thankful, as occurs here and other places in the life of Paul, our response to
it will be determined by our understanding of reality. Paul understood that
ultimately it is God that is responsible for the blessings that occur in life.
Paul demonstrated this in his letter to the Philippians. They had sent him a
gift to help with his needs while he was in prison, and he responded to them in
Philippians 4:10 saying, “But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at
last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned [before,]
but you lacked opportunity.”
He explained to them verses 11-13 that he had
learned to be content in every circumstance and then commended them in verses
14-16 for doing well to share in his affliction and how they were the only ones
to do so in that early part of his ministry. Paul then expresses the real reason
for his joy in verses 17-18. “Not that I seek the gift itself, but I seek for
the profit which increases to your account. 18 But I have received everything in
full, and have an abundance; I am amply supplied, having received from
Epaphroditus what you have sent, a fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice,
well-pleasing to God.”
Paul’s rejoicing was for what the Lord was doing in
them and through them more than what he personally received in the gift itself.
Paul’s thankfulness was without any trace of selfishness.

James, the brother of the Lord, also understood this great truth that God is
the ultimate source of all blessings. James 1:17 states, “every good thing
bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of
lights, with whom there is no variation, or shifting shadow.”
That is why
our attitude of gratitude is directed to the Lord even while commending the
people or individual that God used to bring His blessing. The godly person
rejoices in that commendation because they desire the glory to go to the Lord in
keeping with Jesus’ command in Matthew 5:16 to “let your light shine before
men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who
is in heaven.”
It really is all about God’s glory, not our own.

Now there are plenty of people that will take this idea and run with it
logically to conclude that if God is sovereign and therefore responsible for all
the good stuff, then He must also be responsible for all the bad stuff. That
might be logical, but it is not true. The Scriptures are clear that bad things
happen in our lives for three different reasons or a combination of them. First,
there are the consequences of our own sin. As Galatians 6:7 states it
succinctly, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked ; for whatever a man sows,
this he will also reap.
” Second, we suffer because of the sins of other
people. Jesus even said that His followers should expect to be lied about,
slandered and persecuted just as the prophets before us have been treated
(Matthew 5:10-12), yet, we can rejoice even in the
tribulation we will have in this world because He has overcome the world
(John 16:33). Third, we live in a sin fallen world and
suffer along with it. Paul even explains in Romans 8:20-22 that the creation
itself was subjected to futility and groans and suffers at present while waiting
for redemption. Every time you have to pull a weed from your garden or flower
bed and sweat while working it is a reminder that we live in a fallen world due
to man’s sin (Genesis 3:18-19).

God’s goodness is seen in the extension of His mercy and grace to rescue us
from the consequences of our own sin, the sin of others and living in a sin
fallen world. We do not deserve it, yet we receive His kindness, forbearance and
patience all of which should lead us to repentance. The godly man will repent
and will change from cursing God for his problems to giving thanks to God for
the blessings he receives even in the midst of trials because of God’s ability
to work all things together for good for those that love God and are called
according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). Even in hard
situations, and remember that Paul was imprisoned in Rome when he wrote this
letter to the Colossian believers, we can rejoice and give thanks because God’s
love was proven for all time and eternity in Jesus Christ who gave His live to
redeem us while we were yet sinners (Romans 5:8), and
nothing, absolutely nothing, can ever separate us from the love of God which is
in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:35-39).

Second, we note that Paul describes God as “Father of our Lord Jesus
Christ.”
The phrasing here is a little different from Paul’s usual
expression, and so is very deliberate in emphasizing the relationship of Jesus
to God the Father. This begins Paul’s correction of the doctrinal attack against
Jesus’ deity that was occurring in that church. The God to whom Paul was giving
thanks is the same one revealed by Jesus as His Father.

Expressed in Prayers. The third point we note is that Paul’s response
of thanksgiving is expressed in his prayers for them. The ESV is a better
translation of verse 3 – “We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus
Christ, when we pray for you.”
Paul would give thanksgiving to God when
praying for them. This is a remarkable truth when we remember that much of
Paul’s letter will be spent correcting them. Paul did not let their weakness or
failures take away from his thanksgiving for the good things that had been
accomplished already and would occur in the future. That is an important point
for us to keep in mind as we deal with people. Do not let someone’s struggles
and failure in one area destroy your understanding of their overall character.
Too often we end up shooting our wounded instead of helping them overcome and
become strong. Paul would be giving strong correction of the heresies that were
creeping into the Colossian church, but he did so in hope of them making those
corrections because of their basic character which was the very cause of his
thanksgiving to God for them.


The Cause of Thanksgiving (vs. 4)

Their Faith in Christ Jesus. The first reason that Paul was thankful
for the Colossian believers was their faith in Christ Jesus. Though Epaphras had
concern for them because of the heresies that were rising, he did not travel to
Rome just to complain to Paul about what was going on in Colossae. He gave a
full report about their good characteristics too which included their faith in
Jesus. The particular preposition used here stresses the state of their faith
being secure in Christ. The Greek word for faith (pistiV/
pistis) includes the concepts of belief and trust and so it is far beyond the
idea of intellectual assent. We have faith in what we believe when we are
certain we can trust it. There is certainty in believing on the Lord Jesus
Christ for our trust in Him is secure since He loses none of those that belong
to Him (John 6:37; 10:28-29).

Their Love for All the Saints. Epaphras also told Paul about the love
that existed among the Colossian believers for all the saints. This is not
referring to an emotional attraction or fond feelings of affection for this is
agaph / agape love which is self sacrificial in the
best interest of its object. That is the love that God has for the world
(John 3:16) that resulted in Him sending Jesus to die as
the substitute payment for our sin (Romans 5:8). It is the
love husbands are to have for their wives (Ephesians 5:25, 28,33).
It is the love Jesus has for His disciples and the love He wants them to have
for one other (John 13:34-35). Paul gives a good
description of the attitude of this kind of love in Philippians 2:3 & 4 saying,
“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let
each of you regard one another as more important than himself; 4 do not [merely]
look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.”

I think we can all recognize that this kind of love is very different from
what is typically meant in our society when someone says they love someone else.
That is why when believers do have this kind of love for one another it
demonstrates that they are Jesus’ disciples. When most people claim to love
someone, what they actually mean is that they like being around them, they gain
benefit from them, they have fond feelings of affection for them, or if in a
romantic setting – they lust after them. Such love is selfish at its core
instead of self sacrificial for the benefit of the one loved.

Epaphras informed Paul that the Colossian believers were marked by this true,
godly love for other believers. For that reason, Paul gave thanks to God for
them. It demonstrated they were born of God and knew Him (1 John
4:7)
. Their example is one that we should follow ourselves.


The Source of Faith (vs. 5)

A Hope Reserved in Heaven. This kind of faith and love does not spring
up on its own and man cannot generate it out of himself for anything in this
world. Its source is outside this world. As Paul describes it in verse 5, it is
from the hope Christians have reserved for them in Heaven. The word hope (elpiV
/ elpis) as used in the Bible is an expectation with confident assurance and not
just a synonym for “wish” as we so commonly use it in English. Believers have
been given a sure promise by the Lord Jesus that He has not only forgiven our
sins and made us righteous before God, but that He will also take us to be with
Him in heaven in eternity. He told His disciples in John 14:1-3 that He would be
preparing a place for them in heaven and would return to take them there. Paul
stated that our citizenship was in heaven (Philippians 3:20)
and our expectation should be that we will either be caught up to meet
the Lord in the air and ever be with Him (1 Thessalonians 4:17),
or that if we died first, we would be in absent from the body, but be at
home with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8).

I realize that several Christian sects doubt this assurance of salvation and
heaven, but in doing so they are being contrary to the Scriptures, and frankly,
are making Jesus and the apostles out to be either very mislead or liars. The
biggest reason for this is that those sects along with many cults have perverted
salvation to be dependent on their good works rather than faith in the person
and work of Jesus Christ. Jesus Himself said in John 5:24, “Truly, truly, I
say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal
life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.”

The apostle John wrote in 1 John 5:12-13, “He who has the Son has the life;
he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. These things I have
written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, in order that you may
know that you have eternal life
.”

The Colossian believers were confident of Jesus’ promises that they were
justified by faith in Him and so would go to heaven and be with Him throughout
eternity because of what He had done for them on Calvary.

The Gospel. The source of that faith and hope is the gospel of the
Lord Jesus Christ. Gospel simply means “good news,” and the good news is that we
can be saved from our sins by God’s grace through faith in the person and work
of the Lord Jesus Christ. The bad news is that if we refuse to believe, we
remain condemned in our sins for the best efforts of even the best man is still
like a filthy rag before God (Isaiah 64:6) and therefore
far short of God’s standard of perfect holiness (Romans 3:10-12;
Hebrews 12:14)
.

The gospel encompasses both facts and faith. Faith in the wrong object will
leave you disappointed. Facts without the action of belief will leave you
stranded. If you were stuck on a desert island and in your wandering around on
it found a boat that had washed up on its shore, you would need faith and facts
to use it to escape. If you had faith in it, but it in fact the boat was not sea
worthy, you might get offshore only far enough to have the boat sink and you
drown. If you carefully check the boat out and determine it is in fact sea
worthy, but refuse to place your faith and trust in it as a means of escape, you
will remain stranded on that desert island.

The facts of the gospel are simple enough. God created a perfect world, but
Adam, by his own choice, disobeyed God and plunged mankind into sin. Every human
since then has by nature and their own actions disobeyed God incurring upon
themselves His just and holy wrath against their sin. God, by His own character,
has provided a means by which His justice can be satisfied and man can be
redeemed from His sin, be made righteous and restored to a proper relationship
with God by which Heaven is gained and Hell is avoided. That means is the Lord
Jesus Christ, who is God in human flesh, the promised Messiah, and who was born
of a virgin, lived a sinless life and then voluntarily laid down His own life
when crucified at Calvary as the substitute sacrifice for sin that makes
atonement for man and is the basis for forgiveness. Jesus bodily rose from the
dead on the third day proving His claims and assuring His promises. He ascended
to the right hand of the Father in Heaven and will return one day for His
followers. These promises are given to everyone who will place their faith in
the person and work of Jesus Christ. We are saved by God’s grace
(Ephesians 2:8)
and justified by faith (Romans 3:28).
This is the word of truth which has been revealed by God to man and which was
declared to the Colossians and which they believed prior to the coming of those
who were now teaching things contrary to it.


The Effect of the Gospel (vs. 6)

It Bears Fruit in All the World. In verse 6 Paul points out to the
Colossians that the effect of the gospel in them was the same as had occurred
wherever it had gone. The gospel is proclaimed and it bears fruit in those who
respond and believe. That which was dead in trespasses and sin becomes alive in
Christ (Ephesians 2:1,5). The new believers are the fruit
of the gospel. Those who would claim some sort of hidden or special knowledge
were false because the gospel was being openly proclaimed. Paul uses the
hyperbole, “in all the world,” to emphasize his point that what had
happened among them in believing had happened and was happening many other
places too. They were a small part of something much larger.

It Continues to Increase. Paul also states that the gospel continues
to increase wherever it goes. This speaks of its spread by those who respond to
it. We tell other people about those things which are most important in our
lives, so it is natural for believers to tell other people the gospel so that
they too can repent and place their faith in Jesus for forgiveness and the
remission of sins. In that way, the gospel continues to increase or spread
throughout the world.

Their Own Example. At the end of the verse Paul points out that they
themselves were examples of the gospel bearing fruit and increasing. It had
happened among them when they understood the grace of God just as it had in
other places. The good news that had brought them hope in heaven came is a
message of God’s grace to man through Jesus. The gospel they had received was
contradictory to the ideas of asceticism that were being promoted in the church
that righteousness and eternal life would somehow be gained by decrees such as
“do not handle, do not taste, do not touch” (2:21)
and legalism in following dietary restrictions and observation of particular
days (2:16). Their own experience of the effects of the
gospel would be a witness against the false teachers and their ideas that were
troubling the church in Colossae.

The same can be said for any church. The experience we have had with the
power of the gospel to save individuals from their sin precludes looking for
some additional message that might make us spiritual. We have already received
all we need. Only five or six years later the apostle Peter would remind the
believers of this province and the surrounding ones of the same truth. We
studied 2 Peter last year and were reminded of this great truth that God has
already “granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through
the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence”

(2 Peter 1:3)
It is through the gospel that God “has granted to us His
precious and magnificent promises, in order that by them [we] might become
partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the
world by lust”
(2 Peter 1:4). And while there is a
part we are to play in growing in godliness and becoming more spiritual, that is
not through either asceticism or mysticism. Peter explains in 2 Peter 1:5-7 that
we will grow by applying all diligence to supplying in succession faith, moral
excellence, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness
and love, for each of these is founded upon and also builds up the previous
virtue. The word of truth from God as given through His apostles is sufficient.


The Messenger of the Gospel (vs. 7)

Though Paul had introduced himself in his greeting as “an apostle of Jesus
Christ by the will of God”
as a means of asserting his authority to address
the issues that would be in the letter, in verse 7, Paul reminds them that it
was Epaphras who had brought the gospel to them. It was not an outsider, but one
of their own that had delivered the word of truth to them and they knew his
character. Paul may have been an apostle, but he was unknown to them since many
of them had never seen his face (2:1). They would be much more persuaded by the
man that had previously taught them and whom they knew very well. For this
reason it was important for Paul to remind them that they had learned the gospel
from Epaphras and not some stranger in their midst.

Paul also stresses here Epaphras’ position and related character qualities as
another way to demonstrate the nature of the gospel they had received from him.
They had not been told a story by a charlatan or huckster who was out to exploit
them for his own gain in any way. They had received a message that was to their
own benefit from a man described as a slave and servant. They had received the
truth from a man who was bound to be faithful in delivering to them his master’s
message. His message could be either accepted or rejected, and they had accepted
it. They would be wrong to now to think the good news they had received had been
changed because of the proclamations of those without Epaphras’ position and
character.


Epaphras, a Fellow Bondslave. Paul describes Epaphras as a “beloved
fellow slave.”
The adjective “beloved” expresses the good character of the
man which had endeared him to Paul. If Paul had taught the gospel to Epaphras
when he was teaching in Ephesus, then Paul’s relationship with him extended back
many years and not just for the time they had been together in Rome. Paul knew
him well and valued him highly.

Paul also describes him as a sundouloV / sundoulos.
This is a compound word using the prefix suvn /
sun which designates association and is usually translated as “with,” joined
with douloV / doulos which is the word for slave.
Most English versions translate the word as “servant” because even in the 1600’s
Englishman did not like the idea of being a slave themselves. Yet, that is
exactly the relationship the Christian has with Jesus. We have been bought with
the price of Jesus’ death (1 Corinthians 6:20) and He is
our Lord, our master (Romans 10:9; Colossians 4:1; Jude 4).
One of Paul’s most frequent descriptions of himself is as a slave of Jesus
(Romans 1:1, Titus 1:1 etc.). Epaphras was also such a
slave of Jesus Christ.

Epaphras, a Servant of Christ. Paul also described Epaphras as a
“faithful servant of Christ on our behalf.”
The adjective, “faithful,”
describes another aspect of Epaphras’ character. He could be trusted. He would
carry out his responsibilities to their fullest extent. Epaphras is also a
diakonoV / diakonos of Christ. We transliterate this
word into English as “deacon” and also translate it as “minister.” The idea of a
deacon is well illustrated in Acts 6 by the men the apostles placed in charge of
making sure the widows received proper care. Paul used the term of himself in
relationship to his various ministries (Ephesians 3:7; Colossians
1:23,25).
Paul states that Epaphras was a servant or minister of Christ,
that is, he would carry out the responsibilities entrusted to him by Christ.
Paul also adds that he did this on “our behalf,” though some manuscripts read
“your behalf.” Both would be true of Epaphrus who was at that time ministering
to Paul while he was in prison in Rome, and he had been faithful in bringing the
good news of Jesus Christ to them.

These characteristics of being a beloved bondslave and faithful servant of
Christ should mark our lives as well. If they do not already, then simply
continue in growing in your knowledge of the Lord and be diligent to walk with
Him and they will.


The Love of the Colossians (vs. 8)

Commended for Their Love in the Spirit. Paul concludes this paragraph
of thanksgiving by recognizing their “love in the Spirit” which Epaphras
had told him about. There were serious concerns about what some were teaching in
Colossae, but evidence of their earlier proper response to the gospel was great.
As in verse 4, this is agape love, the love that extends itself in
self-sacrifice for the best interest of others. Epaphras’ report made it clear
to Paul that their love for others was obviously directed by the Spirit. As I
pointed out earlier, it is by our demonstration of this kind of love that others
will know that we are disciples of Jesus Christ.

 

Conclusions

 

True thanksgiving is directed toward God because ultimately it is understood
that every blessing we receive comes from His hand. Paul gave thanks to God when
he considered and prayed for the believers in Colossae because of what he had
learned from Epaphrus about them. They had responded well to the word of truth,
the gospel, and bore the fruit of genuine faith exhibited in their love for all
the saints prompted by the Holy Spirit. This earlier response to the gospel
would be the source of both correction and defense against the heretical
teachings that some among them were proclaiming.

We should follow the example of Paul in our own thanksgiving and prayers. We
should follow the example of the Colossian Christians in our own response to the
gospel in bearing its fruit in sacrificial love. We should strive to be like
Epaphras in being a beloved slave and faithful servant of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The good news of the gospel means that all of these things are not just
possible, but assured as the Lord changes us as we walk with Him. Praise the
Lord for His faithfulness to us and His promise that He will perfect the good
work He started in us (Philippians 1:6).

 

 

KIDS CORNER

 

Parents, you are responsible to apply
God’s Word to your children’s lives. Here is some help. Young Children
draw a picture about something you hear during the sermon. Explain your
picture(s) to your parents at lunch. Older Children – 1) Write down all
the verses mentioned. 2) Count how many times Paul is mentioned. 3) Talk with
your parents about Paul’s example of thankfulness and your gratitude to God


THINK ABOUT IT!

Questions to consider in discussing
the sermon with others. Why was Paul writing to the Colossians? To whom was Paul
thankful? How did Paul express his gratitude for what he had received from other
people? What is the source of our blessings in life? Why is it wrong to conclude
that God is also the source of our sorrows? What are the sources of our sorrows
in life? How does God demonstrate His goodness to us in the midst of the sorrows
of this life? What should man’s response be to this? Why was Paul thankful for
the Colossians even though he was writing them a letter to correct them? What
specific things was Paul thankful for in the Colossian believers? Define faith.
Describe the particular kind of love the Colossians had for all the saints. What
is Biblical hope (ejlpiv” / elpis)? Why does the
promise of heaven give us hope? How can a person be assured they are going to
heaven? What are the facts of the gospel? What is your faith in relationship to
those facts? What fruit does the gospel bear wherever it goes? How does it
increase? What was the effect of the gospel on the Colossian believers? How does
that contradict the ideas inherent to ascetic legalism? What is needed to live
the Christian life successfully? What were some of the character qualities of
Epaphras? What is the significance of him being a “fellow slave” of Christ? What
does it mean that he was a “servant of Christ?” What did the love among the
Colossians demonstrate? What blessings have you received from God? How do you
demonstrate gratitude for what God is doing the lives of other people? What
examples in the lives of Paul, Timothy or Epaphras do you want to follow in your
own life?

 


Sermon Notes – 7/25/2010

Paul’s Thankfulness – Colossians 1:3-8

 

Introduction

 

Paul & Timothy are ____________ of what can do with those
willing to be and do what the Lord desires

Paul was writing to correct doctrinal problems as part of
effort to present every man _________in Christ

 

A hallmark of someone who is walking in the spirit of God
is _________________


The Recipient of Thanksgiving (vs. 3)

    Given to God – Paul’s thanksgiving is directed to
__________

Paul understood that God is the
ultimate source of _____ blessings that occur in life – Phil. 4:10-18;

James 1:17 – God is the source of
________ good thing bestowed and _________ perfect gift

Matthew 5:16 – It really is all
about ________ glory and not our own.

We suffer because of our _______
sin – Galatians 6:7

We suffer because of the sins
_________ – Matthew 5:10-12; John 16:33

We suffer because we live in a sin
fallen _________ – Romans 8:20-22

The godly man gives _______ for
God’s mercy & grace even when suffering – Romans 5:8; 8:28. 35-39

 

    Expressed in Prayers

 

Paul gave thanksgiving to God
whenever he ___________ for the Colossians

Do not let someone’s struggles and
failure in one area destroy your view of their __________character


The Cause of Thanksgiving (vs. 4)

    Their Faith in Christ Jesus – was the first reason
for Paul’s _______________

Faith (pistiV/
pistis) includes the concepts of belief and _________. It is not just
intellectual consent

    Their _________for All the Saints – was the second
reason for Paul’s thankfulness

This love (agaph
/ agape ) is self sacrificial in the best interest of ___________

It is God’s love
(John. 3:16),
Jesus’ love and the love ______are to have for one another
(John 13:34-35)

 

It is _________ and other centered
(Phil. 2:3-4), it demonstrates we are _________of God
(1 John 4:7).


The Source for Faith (vs. 5)

 

A Hope reserved in Heaven

 

Biblical hope (elpiV
/ elpis) is an expectation with ________assurance and not a synonym for “wish”

We have sure promises of a future
in ___________ – John 14:1-3; Phil. 3:20, 1 Thess. 4:17, 2 Cor.
5:8

 

Our confidence of salvation and
eternal life are in _____________promises (John 5:24; 1 John
5:12-13)

 

    The Gospel is the source of our faith and
___________

_____in the wrong object will
leave you disappointed and Facts without belief will leave you stranded

The __________is the good news
that God has provided forgiveness of sin through faith in Jesus

We are saved by God’s _________(Ephesians
2:8)
and justified by faith (Romans 3:28)

The Effect of the Gospel (vs. 6)

The gospel bears the same __________ wherever it goes –
New believers are the fruit of the gospel

The gospel continues to increase by its __________ to
others by those who responded to it.

Their _________ example demonstrated the fruit of the
gospel and its increase

The gospel they had received was contradictory to the
ideas of _______________being promoted

The gospel is _________ – 2 Peter 1:3-4

Our part is to apply all ___________ and continue to grow
in godliness and its virtues


The Messenger of the Gospel (vs. 7)

Epaphras, who had brought the gospel to the Colossians,
was _______________ by them.

They had received the gospel from a man bound to be
_____________, not a charlatan or huckster

    A Beloved Bondslave – Epaphras’ _________ character
endeared him to Paul as “beloved”

He was a
sundouloV
/ sundoulos – fellow ___________. Jesus is our __________, we
are His slaves

    A Faithful Servant of Christ – Faithful described
his ___________________ character

He was a
diakonoV
/ diakonos of ________- he carried out the responsibilities
given to him by Christ


The Love of the Colossians (vs. 8) – Their reported love for others
demonstrated the Spirit in their livesHTML clipboard

 


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