Truth, gospel, love, faith, hope, grace

You have heard of this hope before in the word of the truth, the gospel that has come to you. Just as it is bearing fruit and growing in the whole world, so it has been bearing fruit among yourselves from the day you heard it and truly comprehended the grace of God. (Colossians 1: 5b-6)

The author says he is grateful for the Colossians and “the faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for [them] in heaven.” Because of the hope of heaven, they choose to be faithful and to exhibit real love, which is the fruit that is being borne in them, ever since they understood for the first time what God’s grace was like.

Here we have perhaps all the top special Christians words: truth, gospel, love, faith, hope, grace. God extends grace towards humankind, and people bear witness to this truth by spreading the good news. God’s grace pardons human sin, and thus provides a great hope of our being together with God. This, in turn, leads us to live the kind of life that pleases God, that God calls us to, and would make us pleasant companions forever: to live faithfully towards God and one another, and to love God and one another.

What’s not to like?

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About Will Fitzgerald

I work on recommendation systems and lexical resources for Wordnik.

One thought on “Truth, gospel, love, faith, hope, grace

  1. John Thomas says:

    It was pride and arrogance that prevented me from embracing the true gospel message and being transformed by the hand of God. I was above simple Christians, because I was deeply involved in so called esoteric christianity. I was so busy searching for what had been removed from the Bible or not included, because it was just too powerful for the average person to understand, that I failed to comprehend what the Bible actually taught. Over twenty years of my life were wasted as I sought to pull myself into heavenly realms through my own strength. I knew Christ existed and I desperately wanted a relationship with Him, but I was unwilling to comply with the requirements of God that are necessary for adoption into God’s family. My world view had to be turned inside-out.

    I had to take myself off of the thrown of God and allow God to occupy His rightful place in my life, but this would not be easy. For several years, I insisted on sharing the thrown of God with Jesus. He kindly let me sit next to Him while I smirked with a self-empowered grandiosity. He taught me to focus my attention on Him and to pray to our Father in heaven. He also suggested that I pay less attention to the New Age and esoteric christian teachings; and that I learn about the Holy Spirit.

    Even though I was raised Roman Catholic and had spent twenty-five years studying topics of spirituality; I actually knew nothing about the Holy Spirit of God. I decided to get some Christian books about the Holy Spirit. The more I read, the more I became convinced that I absolutely had to have the Holy Spirit in my life. Finally, one book said — if you want the Holy Spirit, then all you have to do is pray to God and He will bring Him into your life. There were a few silly warnings in the book about being prepared for the consequences of making such a request, but I figured I could handle anything that might happen. Besides, I was sitting with my buddy Jesus on the thrown of God. I prayed every day for the Holy Spirit and to receive the gifts of the Spirit. One thing lead to another and a month later I was being prayed over in a charismatic healing service. I definitely got the Holy Spirit, but I also got conviction about my lifetime of sin.

    God’s Holy Spirit didn’t approve of me putting myself on God’s thrown even if I let Jesus sit there with me. The Holy Spirit did not accept my sins. The Holy Spirit worked overtime to show me God’s truth and to reveal His immense disapproval of my beliefs, attitudes, and sinful ways. Ouch! I wasn’t expecting that! It didn’t take too long before I humbly slithered off God’s seat and fell on my face before His Glory.

    How had I failed to notice the sovereign power of God? I began to pray for the destruction of my pride and arrogance. In my inner torment and despair (orchestrated by the lies of Satan) I cried out for God to crush me so that I might be fit for some kind of work in His kingdom. God is good and God is faithful. I asked Him to turn up the heat and He did. The first period of humble repentance only lasted six months. Since that time, I have responded much more quickly and compliantly to His call to become more holy – more Christ-like. Thank you Lord for the forgiveness I didn’t deserve.

    So, in response to your question, “What’s not to like?” — Well — nothing! Today, the words written to the Colossians dance like sweet music in my heart, but they once fell on my ears like the sound of fingernails scratching on a chalkboard — they were strident and unintelligible squealing. Oh Lord, I pray that I will always choose conformity with Christ over conformity to the world. I pray that your inspired Word will always be a sweet song in my life.

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