“faith-hope-love” grows us in Christ (the letter to the Colossians)

Russell Minick Bible exposition

Colossians 1:1-8  Faith in Christ’s victory, and Hope for what Christ’s victory means for the future, empowers practical and effective Christ-like Love here and now.

1:9-14 Paul briefly explains the sequence of growing from a wrong view of life to a healthy view of life.

God gives spiritual understanding >We live out the understanding>That produces results (fruit)>Those results enable us to understand more.

The cycle continues because God gives us the strength to keep it going.  When it works we understand and apply the difference between life outside of Christ’s Kingdom vs. life inside Christ’s Kingdom.

1:15-20  Christ is the Creator stepping into rebellious creation to reconcile effectively.

1:21-2:5  The reconciliation process is very painful in that it is against the grain of a world in rebellion.  However, it is worth it to endure pain for the benefit of seeing people grow up in Christ like they should be.

2:6-15  The greatness of Christ must be understood so that you don’t settle for a copy (and end up not escaping the disorienting influence of the rebellious creation).

2:16-23  Since Christ has overcome oppressive rules and oppressive spirits, don’t get sidetracked into issues of rules and spirits; focus on Christ.

 Chapter 3:1-17  Focusing on Christ works by treasuring a vision for a completed life with Christ, putting off what isn’t in accordance with that, putting on what is in accordance with that, and living it out intentionally.  The essence of the challenge is to rely on the Creator (revealed in Christ) instead of relying on some form of cleverness or intensity in you or elsewhere in creation to get what you want.

3:18-4:1  This is how your faith in Christ, with a hope of full reconciliation to your Creator, works in practical relationships which give and receive appropriate love.

4:2-18  Be aware that you are one of many people living this out personally and helping others to live it out as well.

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