Blogging through Advent 3
Just before my 10th birthday we moved from Kirkheaton, a village on the outskirts of Huddersfield to Mirfield, a nearby small town. One of the first tasks we had to do as a class in the new school, was to write a letter to a boy who had moved from that school shortly before I moved here. Someone I had never met.
Have you ever had to write a letter to someone you have never met?
Or have you received a letter from a stranger? Do you read it, or throw it away with all the other spam mailings?
1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through 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, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 We give thanks to God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, 4 having heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which you have toward all the saints, 5 because of the hope which is laid up for you in the heavens, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the Good News, 6 which has come to you; even as it is in all the world and is bearing fruit and growing, as it does in you also, since the day you heard and knew the grace of God in truth; 7 even as you learned of Epaphras our beloved fellow servant, who is a faithful servant of Christ on our behalf, 8 who also declared to us your love in the Spirit.
This was Paul’s problem here, the Church at Colossae was not one that he had founded. To make things worse he’d heard there was a problem with some sort of wrong belief there. What that wrong belief was we don’t know, Paul does not tell us. Instead he talks about why faith in Christ alone is enough. We don’t need Christ plus something else. Faith is in Christ alone.
Colossians 1:4-5 says, “having heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which you have toward all the saints, 5 because of the hope which is laid up for you in the heavens.”
Faith. Love. Hope.
Faith is in the past, itlooks back at what Jesus Christ has done.
Love is in the present, it looks outwards to others,
Hope looks to the future.
All three are needed for a complete Christian life.
Jesus Christ has died is raised fom the dead and will come again.
Our faith is in Christ died and risen. Heaven is promised to us. What is promised in the past will be realised when we get to heaven, or when God’s kingdom is realised when Jesus Christ returns. We live out that faith and hope by showing the love God has shown to us to others, not to earn our place in heaven, that is already promised, but by living the life of the Holy Spirit that is in us. Hope in eternal life produces love.
Christianity begins with Christ and ends with Christ. It is realised through the Holy Spirit. There is no need for anything else.