Faith and Love
Read Colossians 1:3-4 (ESV)
We always thank God, the father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints...
Who did the Colossians place their faith in and how did that faith manifest itself?
Some people may claim that they are not people of faith. But the truth is, we all place our faith in something. Some place it in themselves, some place it in science, some place it in various religions, philosophies, or superstitions. Some of us put a lot of faith in our money, insurance policies, careers, etc. But I have to ask you, do these things prove themselves to be faithful?
In today’s verse, Paul is giving thanks to God for the Colossian church because they have placed their faith in Jesus Christ. But it’s not a dead or empty faith. The Colossians weren’t just nodding in intellectual assent to the doctrines of grace in Jesus Christ. Paul says that their faith was evident in the love that they have for all of the saints.
It is interesting to note that Paul did not plant the church in Colossae. He had never even visited them. He had merely heard of their faith in Jesus Christ. Apparently, their faith in Christ and their love for each other was notable enough to be a topic of conversation among those around them. May that be said of us! That our faith and love for each other would be noteworthy!
Paul was thankful that the Colossians had placed their faith in Jesus Christ, who is the only One worthy of our worship. In verse 3, Paul emphasized the lordship of Jesus and pointed out that God is His Father. Throughout Colossians, Paul will continue to keep the preeminence of Christ as the central theme of his letter. Here, he celebrates the fact that Jesus is the object of the Colossians’ faith and as the letter continues, he expands on his reasons why Christ is worthy of their faith and trust.
Paul also points out important evidence of their faith in Jesus Christ—their love of the saints. Paul knew that their faith was genuine and real because the Holy Spirit was at work in their lives. Their faith was changing them. Like Jesus had said, Paul knew that they were His disciples because of their love for each other (John 13:35). They were not just concerned with looking out for themselves but were dedicated to one another and were unified in Him.
Friends, we all place our faith in something. But Jesus Christ is Lord! He is the only One worthy of our faith because He is the only One who proves Himself faithful in all things. When we place our faith in Him, He changes us. We become a part of the body of believers, His church. He works in our hearts and unifies us so that we love each other. We become a family of faith.
Jesus, I acknowledge that You are Lord. I put my faith in You alone. Change my heart, Lord. Increase my love for my brothers and sisters in Christ. May my faith be noticeable and draw more people to You. Amen.
~ Pastor Nat Crawford
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