We continue in our series on “gospel” and what it means by turning to the prison letters of Paul, and we begin with Colossians (1:5).
3 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4 because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints- 5 the
faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in
heaven and that you have already heard about in the word of truth, the
gospel 6 that
has come to you. All over the world [this gospel] is bearing fruit and
growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it
and understood God’s grace in all its truth. 7 You learned it from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf, 8 and who also told us of your love in the Spirit.
Now some observations:
1. Hope gives rise to faith and love in the Colossians; Paul heard about these things.
2. Paul’s gospel is about hope and Paul preaches this hope. This hope generates faith and love.
3. This gospel of hope is spreading … that is, making an impact by forming new communities shaped by this gospel of hope.
4. The Colossians experienced God’s grace and recognize the time when that grace came to them.
5. The gospel of hope is the truth.
6. This gospel is connected to Paul and to his extension/Epaphras.