Pastor David B. Curtis

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Faith, Love, and Hope

Colossians 1:3-5a

10/26/2003

We all experience difficulties and trials in our lives, even as believers. All of us, as God's people, have experienced hard times. Suffering and hardship can have both a positive and negative impact upon us. It's during those hard times that we sometimes become a little bit self-focused. We are all too often taken up with self, and the difficulties that we are having. If we're not careful, we become self-focused. We'll want to talk about "our" troubles, "our" problems and how hard life is for "us". And even if we're not talking about it, we're thinking about it. Yet trials and difficulties can do just the opposite. They can cause us to take our focus off this life and place it upon the Lord. By doing that, we can appreciate more fully that He is sovereign, that He is working His purposes to use us for His honor and glory.

The Apostle Paul is an example of a man in whom suffering had such a positive impact. You remember when God saved Paul on the Damascus road. God reached down, took hold of Paul and turned him around. Paul believed that Jesus Christ was the Savior, and he was gloriously saved. God sent Ananias to talk to Paul, to restore the sight of Paul's eyes which had been blinded. God said to Ananias:

Acts 9:16 (NKJV) "For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name's sake."

God says, "I am going to use him to accomplish My purposes, and I will show him how much he is going to have to suffer for Me." And from that point on, the Apostle Paul's life is one of trial and difficulty and suffering.

In 2 Corinthians, chapter 11, Paul gives a summary of the kinds of things he has experienced in his service for the Lord up to this point. 2 Corinthians was written about four or five years before the letter to the Colossians was written. So we've added to the list that he gives here by the time he writes Colossians. But you get some idea of what the life of the Apostle Paul was like. The context in 2 Corinthians is that some people were challenging Paul. Did he really serve the Lord?

2 Corinthians 11:23-28 (NKJV) Are they ministers of Christ?; I speak as a fool; I am more: in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often. 24 From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; 26 in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; 27 in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness; 28 besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches.

Sounds like a fun life, doesn't it? You get some idea of the life of the Apostle Paul and the suffering that he went through. Yet in all of this, we never find Paul becoming self-absorbed and self-centered.

What does this have to do with the letter to the Colossians? You remember from our previous study that the book of Colossians is one of those letters called "a prison epistle". It was written by Paul while he was a prisoner of Rome. By the time he wrote this letter, he had spent close to three years in prison. He was arrested in Acts 21:27 at Jerusalem. Then he was taken to Caesarea and held there before he was moved to Rome. Almost three years have gone by, and he is still a prisoner. He could have much to say about this - "Do you understand what it means to be a Roman prisoner? You understand I haven't had a moment alone for almost three years. I'm chained to a Roman guard who's with me everywhere. He never leaves me, and I mean never!" But you know what? The book of Colossians is not about the sufferings of Paul. The book of Colossians is about the supremacy of Christ, that He is above everyone and everything, and that He is worthy of our complete loyalty and devotion. I have a greater appreciation of the focus of a letter like this when I understand and appreciate the circumstances out of which it comes. After the salutation in verses 1&2, Paul writes:

Colossians 1:3 (NKJV) We give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,

Notice carefully where Paul starts out? Remember all the suffering that he has experienced. Remember that he has been a prisoner of Rome for about 3 years. Does he moan about that? No, he begins with an extended expression of thanksgiving to God for what He's done in the lives of the Colossians. As Paul starts his letter, you get the sense that what is overwhelming him, filling his heart and mind, is the thanks he has to God for what God does. What a terrific focus of life! What a good way to remind us how our lives are to be lived.

Verses 3 to 8 of chapter 1 are one extended sentence in the Greek text. Some of the English versions have broken it down into smaller sentences to make it a little easier to read, but it is one extended sentence. It is built around the subject of thanksgiving. That first statement in verse 3 governs everything else that will be said through verse 8: "We give thanks to God..."

As we move into the body of Paul's letter to the Colossians, we again get a glimpse of the prayer life of the apostle that is evident in all of his epistles. Somewhere in the early portion of his epistles, Paul begins with either thanksgiving or with praise to God, Galatians being an exception. His prayer life clearly demonstrated a God-dependent attitude and a perspective that formed the foundation and source of the apostle's ministry, indeed, his very existence. And this becomes even more significant when you stop to realize that Paul wrote this letter while chained daily to a Roman soldier in his own house. His attitude of thanksgiving forms an instructional illustration for us today.

The apostle begins with, "We always give thanks" and not, "I give thanks." While some have argued that this is simply an epistolary plural, it is more in keeping with Paul's team spirit (cf. 1 Thess. 1:2; 1:3; 3:9) that the "we" is a reference to his prayer life in the company of others, like Timothy, with whom he regularly prayed.

There is some question regarding the adverb "always." Because of the lack of punctuation marks in the Greek text, "always" could be taken with "we give thanks," even though several words separate them. It would then mean "We always give thanks for you when we pray." But "always" could also be taken with "we pray," i.e., "we give thanks, always praying for you." Though difficult to decide, the adverb should probably be taken with "we give thanks". Regardless, the persistency of his prayer life is suggested by the word "always", and the fact the words "give thanks" and "praying" are in the present continuous tense in the Greek text. Paul's prayer life was regular, persistent, and faithful. He was a man who, because of his sense of inadequacy and dependence on the Lord, prayed without ceasing (1 Thess. 5:17). God was real to Paul. God was no vague or mere intellectual concept to the apostle, an idea he clung to just in case. His absolute confidence in God and his own sense of inadequacy drove Paul to his knees - he was a God-dependent man:

2 Corinthians 1:8-10 (NKJV) For we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of our trouble which came to us in Asia: that we were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life. 9 Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead, 10 who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver us; in whom we trust that He will still deliver us,

Paul's prayer life is a good reminder for us all. That's a good place to start. We should be praying for one another as a regular part of our prayer lives. A good place to start is to be thinking of those things we have to be thankful for that God has done in the life of that person. That makes a difference in the way we see one another; It makes a difference in the way we relate to one another. Stop and think about your marriage relationship. You think about your husband or wife, and you start dwelling upon what irritates you about them; what you don't like, what they haven't done, what they should have done, how they should have been more thoughtful. When you start thinking like that, pretty soon you don't like them very much. You love them, but you don't like them very much. Just think how all that changes when you sit back and think about what God has done in their lives. Pretty soon you start think, "How did I get such a wonderful partner." You know, that's a good way for us to function in the body of Christ. Let's start out by being thankful. What has God done in your life? If you are a believer, God has done a mighty work in your life. If I can't express thanks to God for what He's done in your life, my problem is not with you. My problem is with God, because I fail to appreciate the majesty of His work in a fallen, hell-deserving sinner. I need to start thinking, "What has God done in this person's life that I should at least thank Him for doing before I move on to ask Him to change him completely?" So Paul said, "It's my practice to always thank God when I pray for you."

Now Paul had never met the Colossians. He had never been to Colossae. He is writing after he heard certain things. So verse 4 says, "Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and the love which you have for all the saints." Paul could give thanks in his prayers for the Colossians, because of what he had heard about them.

"To God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ," points the reader to the person to whom Paul prayed. Paul's prayers were never ambiguous or lacking in Biblical clarity and accuracy. Theology or Biblical truth guided every aspect of his life. He did not pray to the man upstairs, or to the big guy in the sky, or some such nonsense. Being confident of God as his spiritual Father through Jesus Christ (vs. 2), he prayed personally to God, who is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Why would he say, "the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ"? Understand that the Spirit had a specific purpose in directing Paul to write it this way, which will prepare the way for what will be developed later on in this letter.

John 1:18 (NKJV) No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.

He has declared Him. He has made Him known. So you see, since no one has seen God, Jesus Christ has come to make God known in His fullness.

When you come to John, chapter 5, he will talk about Christ's relationship to God as His Father. In verses 19-21, Jesus Christ is doing what He has observed His Father doing. And the Father, in verse 22, not only has revealed Himself fully through the Son, but:

John 5:22-23 (NKJV) "For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, 23 "that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.

The stress is on this unique relationship that Jesus has with God as His Father. Over in John 8, the Jewish religious leaders question Jesus:

John 8:19 (NKJV) Then they said to Him, "Where is Your Father?" Jesus answered, "You know neither Me nor My Father. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also."

Jump down to verse 36:

John 8:36 (NKJV) "Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.

That's talking about freedom from sin, the bondage to sin, the defilement of sin, the judgment for sin. True freedom comes through the Son, and only the Son knows the Father. So this is the unique relationship among members of the Trinity, with the second person of the Triune God having become man, and so is the only one through whom God can be known. Over in John 14, Jesus says:

John 14:6 (NKJV) Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me".

There again we see His unique relationship to God as His Father. It is not possible to come to God except through the Son, Jesus Christ. Salvation is only found in Christ. So when we read back in Colossians 1:3, "We give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ..." Paul is stressing at the beginning of this letter something that will be unfolded later - the uniqueness of the relationship that Jesus had in His incarnation with God. He is the only One through whom we can know God and the only One in whom salvation is to be found.

We can know God and pray to Him confidently, because God has revealed Himself in the person of His Son. Who can better reveal God than His own Son who shares the Father's heart, purposes, and character (Heb. 1:2-3; John 14:8-10; 1:14,18; so cf. Heb. 4:16; 10:19)? The fact that God is the Father of the Lord in no way depreciates the absolute and total deity of Christ, as Paul will make clear later on in this epistle.

Colossians 1:4-5 (NKJV) since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of your love for all the saints; 5 because of the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel,

The reason for thanksgiving is given in these couple of verses, where Paul writes that it's because, "... we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of your love for all the saints; because of the hope which is laid up for you in heaven...." These three words: faith, love, and hope often appear together in Scripture. In another introduction to one of Paul's letters, he comments:

1 Thessalonians 1:2-3 (NKJV) We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers, 3 remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father,

Probably the most memorized verse of Scripture where these three occur is I Cor 13:13, where Paul concludes his definition and description of love:

1 Corinthians 13:13 (NKJV) And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Other Scriptures where the three words lie in close proximity can be found in 1 Thess 5:8, Gal 5:5-6, Heb 6:10-12, 10:22-24, and I Peter 1:21-22. It seems a fair comment to make, then, that faith, hope, and love were considered to be almost a "trinity" or "triad" of graces, which were to be an integral part of the believer's walk.

Paul's first reason for thanksgiving before God in prayer is noted as being that: "...we heard of your faith." Of the trio of graces, faith always comes first. Paul heard this from Epaphras, who first brought the message to the Colossians. Many of them responded and became believers in Jesus Christ. Nothing is more important than this starting point - having faith in Jesus Christ. This is the dynamic evidence of God's transforming power at work in their lives, and it comes through faith. For the Colossians to have believed, they first had to hear. Epaphras was the messenger who brought them the message of salvation.

Romans 10:17 (NKJV) So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

When we talk about faith, we are talking about what? Can you give me a definition of faith? Faith is understanding and accent to the propositions of the gospel. The object of this faith is Jesus Christ. It is only faith in Christ that saves. Faith in this church cannot save. Faith in being baptized in church cannot save. Faith in being confirmed or taking communion or doing good works - none of those things can save. It has to be faith that has as its object the Lord Jesus Christ.

This faith is a remarkable thing. It has resulted in the forgiveness of their sins. They have been declared righteous by God. This certainly is a reason for Paul to be overwhelmed with thanksgiving. Wretched, vile sinners have put their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. By "wretched, vile sinners", I mean some people who would have been religious and morally outstanding, like Paul, himself, had been. You remember that Paul once was a Pharisee of the Pharisees regarding the law. He considered himself blameless, yet he was on the way to an eternal hell. It's remarkable that sinful people are saved by God through faith. That is a cause of overwhelming thanksgiving.

Faith, as used here, includes their initial trust in the person and work of Christ. This formed the root and that which brought them into a living relationship with Christ through the Holy Spirit.

A depositor's money is not safe in proportion to the depositor's faith in the bank in which the money is deposited. It is safe in proportion to the bank's solvency. So, the Christian is not a Christian because he possesses faith, but because he possesses faith in Christ. It is not simply faith that matters; it is faith and its object. (S. Lewis Johnson, "Studies in the Epistle to the Colossians, Part II," Bibliotheca Sacra (Dallas Theological Seminary, vol. 118, #472).

But it is important to also note that their faith is defined as "in Christ." "In" is the Greek preposition en, which may point to the object of their faith, but it most likely points to the sphere in which their faith lived or resided and acted, since it is not at all certain that en with pistis (faith) refers to the object. This may be a matter of splitting hairs, since one's faith cannot reside in Christ if He is not also the object of that faith. But a faith that resides in Christ would stress not only the past initial act of trust in Christ, but also the present focus of the faith of one who seeks to live by virtue of who and what Christ means to believers. Regardless, the issue is not just the presence of faith, but of a faith that resides in Christ. The apostle will deal with this concept in more detail in 2:6-10.

Paul's second reason for thanksgiving before God in prayer is noted as being that they, "...have heard...of the love which you have for all the saints". This love was a trait which is also exemplified in the life of other churches and individuals:

Philemon 1:5 (NKJV) hearing of your love and faith which you have toward the Lord Jesus and toward all the saints,
Hebrews 6:10 (NKJV) For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.
1 Thessalonians 4:9-10 (NKJV) But concerning brotherly love you have no need that I should write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another; 10 and indeed you do so toward all the brethren who are in all Macedonia. But we urge you, brethren, that you increase more and more;

This love seems to have been a primary characteristic of the early Church - not just one which came as a surprise to the believers who began following Jesus, but as one which was expected to be demonstrated amongst them.

Let's back up just a minute and notice that this love was demonstrated toward the saints. The same Greek work is translated: "saints, sanctified and holy" in the English Bible. All come from the same basic Greek word that means: "to be set apart". So Christians - those who have believed in Christ - have been set apart by God from sin for Himself. It's like an adoption has taken place. This child originally didn't belong to you and was not part of your family. But you went through the process, and that child became part of your family. He is now set apart from all other families and belongs to your family. That is what happened when God made us saints. Saints aren't a particular class of people among Christians. Saints are Christians. That's why Paul writes to the saints at Colossae, those who have been set apart by God for Himself. They are the Christians, the believers.

Paul now says these people have a love for all the saints. The Greek word that Paul uses here for love is not phileo, which is used for the love which is expressed between friends. This would be the word Paul would have used if a reference to the commitment to one another was in mind that flowed out of a natural affection and affinity.

The word love here is the Greek word agape. That this word was taken by the New Testament writers and applied to the love of God - hints at a totally different source for the action which springs not from the natural circumstances of the believers, but from a supernatural origin in God Himself. The key ingredient in agape love is its sacrificial character. It is not a love of emotion. It is not a love of response for something that you do to me or for me. We often characterize it as a love of action. Turn back to John, chapter 13. This is among the chapters which take place on Jesus' last night on earth before His betrayal by Judas, and His crucifixion the next day. In preparing His disciples, Jesus tells them, in verse 33, that He is only going to be with them a little longer, then He is leaving, and they can't follow at this time. Then He says:

John 13:34 (NKJV) "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

The commandment to love is not new. I mean, they were instructed to love in the Old Testament. They were to love their neighbor as themselves. What is new in this commandment is that love is placed in a totally new dimension. Christ says, "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you..." He says this on the brink of going to the cross for them. This love that He has for them is a love that knows no limits or bounds. Jesus told the disciples on this same night:

John 15:13 (NKJV) "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends.

Then he says:

John 13:35 (NKJV) "By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

This becomes an identifying characteristic of one who is Christ's disciple. He loves other believers. Please notice that Jesus didn't say, "By this all will know that you have faith in me". He could have said that, but He didn't. He said their love would distinguish them as His disciples.

One writer, in commenting on this verse says, "The second area that motivates Paul's thanks is '...the love which you have for all the saints.' This is what identifies their faith as genuine, saving faith. They have a true, God-given love for all the saints." Along this same line, another writer states, "We will do well to search our hearts to see if we love God's people. The outstanding, tangible, visible, external evidence that we have faith in Christ is that we love all the saints on earth that we know. That means the ornery ones and the nice ones too."

Now, if what they are saying is true, and if you are not loving your fellow saints as Christ loved us, what should you do? Get saved! If love is a proof of salvation, and you are not loving, then you must not be saved. But being a Calvinist, you know that salvation is a work of God, so now what do you do? Let's put their view in a syllogism:

Major premise: All true Christians love each other. (I don't believe this, but
many believers do).
Minor premise: Joe doesn't love his brother in Christ, Mike.
Conclusion: Joe is not a true Christian.

Love is not the proof or evidence of salvation, it is the fruit and evidence of fellowship with the Lord Jesus through an active faith (John 15:1-9; 1 John 3:14, 23). A faith that resides in Christ, and a love for others are twins that should walk together in life. Where the faith is a living active faith, love will be evident.

It is also important to note that "such love was directed toward all the saints", not to those of the same social class or intellectual stratum. It is to all the saints without exception that Christian love is to be shown. The communion of saints means, not a series of loosely related cliques, but an all-embracing and self-abnegating fellowship.

Epaphras came back, he told Paul, "You know, they not only believe in Jesus Christ and are trusting Him, but they are loving one another! They are giving of themselves for one another. They're willing to be inconvenienced. They're willing to go out of their way. Why? Because they love one another. Why do those people share their goods like they do? Why do they inconvenience themselves and give their time to do whatever they do? They love one another." That's what Paul heard when Epaphras came. He heard about their inconveniencing. Why? They loved one another.

Finally, Paul was thankful for the hope of the Colossians, but rather than coordinating hope with faith and love, as in 1 Thessalonians 1:3, it is set forth here as the cause or motivating factor in the spiritual welfare of the Colossians. While this phrase may be taken with the main verb as the ground of the thanksgiving, it is better to take it with the words "faith" and "love" as seen in the NET Bible's translation, or with "love" only, which is favored by word position.

What is HOPE?

Let me give you the Biblical definition of hope, because the word "hope" has come to have a different meaning today than that which was originally used in the New Testament. Today it indicates something of contingency; an expectancy that something will happen, but there is some question as to whether or not it will really occur. We say, "I hope they'll show up," or, "I hope I can make it to next payday," indicating some uneasiness or uncertainty about the future. But this is not the New Testament usage.

The noun for "hope" appears 54 times, and the verb 32 times in the Textus Receptus, the basis of the AV, but it's plain on at least fifteen occasions (Acts 23:6, 24:15; Rom 5:2, 8:20, 8:24, 8:25; II Cor 3:12, Gal 3:12; Eph 1:18; Col 1:5; 1:27, Titus 1:2, 2:13, 3:7; I Peter 1:3 - it's also implied in three places in Acts 26:6, 26:7 and 28:20) that it refers to something which was expected to take place in the future. In the other occasions where it's used, it isn't always defined by context, and the nature of its meaning in these fifteen usages seems to be the best one available to give it.
In the New Testament ,"hope" indicates an absolute certainty about the future, an attitude of eager expectancy, of confidence in God and his ability to do what He has promised.

In our current passage, it's plain that it refers to a future time, for the writers talk of the hope being "...laid up for you in heaven." And it is possibly defined for us later, in Colossians 1:27, when Paul speaks about, "...the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory".

This idea is echoed in Romans 5:2, where Paul speaks of the present rejoicing on earth as a response to the hope of sharing the glory of God in the future. That is, both the Colossian and Roman believers were projected forward in their thinking to a day when the glory of God would clothe them, a day synonymous with the resurrection from the dead of all believers and the securing of eternal life. Since both are plainly thought to occur at the return of Jesus Christ, the hope is also spoken of as centering in that event itself with all that it implies:

Titus 2:13 (NKJV) looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,

The second coming of Christ was clearly the hope of the first century church, but it is a hope that has been fulfilled. We believe that Jesus Christ returned in the first century, just as He promised He would.

Now, since the second coming, the resurrection, eternal life, and righteousness have already come, we no longer hope for them, You don't hope for what you have:

Romans 8:24-25 (NKJV) For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.

As preterists, we are not taking hope away, as we are so often accused of doing; we are saying it is fulfilled. We have as a present possession what the early church hoped for.

So, what is our hope today? To those who do not believe in Jesus Christ, there is no hope:

Ephesians 2:12 (NKJV) that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.

But for all of us who have placed our trust in Jesus Christ, our hope is heaven - "But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance". We don't "see" heaven, but we have an absolute certainty about the future. Remember what we said; Biblical hope is not finger-crossing. It is a confident expectation of good things to come:

2 Corinthians 5:1 (NKJV) For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

Now, there's another point in verse 5 which is foundational. As we said earlier, the word "order" here indicates that their faith and love were strengthened by their hope. Why do they have such faith? Why do they have such love? It's "because of the hope laid up for you in heaven..." The foundation of what he has said is because of the hope. That's why I said that it's important to recognize that the faith Paul mentioned in verse 4 is just not initial saving faith in Christ, but it's an ongoing faith. They didn't have this hope in Christ until they believed in Him initially, but now this hope becomes an ongoing source that feeds that faith. Now that faith continues to grow and develop. The gospel is dynamic; it continues its work. They have this ongoing faith and ongoing love, because of the hope laid up for them in heaven.

So, our text in Colossians tells us that their faith and love were strengthened by their hope, but in other texts, we are told that hope comes from faith:

Romans 15:13 (NKJV) Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

"The God of hope" - this means that he is both the origin of hope and the object of hope. "In believing" - this is the key to hope. Our life must first be a life of faith, and from our faith comes hope. If you have lost your hope, it is because you have taken your mind off of God and become focused on your circumstances.

Romans 15:4 (NKJV) For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.

We see that in one place hope is attributed to the Holy Spirit (15:13), and in another place it is attributed to the Bible. Hope comes as the Holy Spirit enlightens believers to understand and trust the God of the Bible. As we focus on the Lord through the Scriptures, our faith will grow and our faith in God will give us hope. And as our hope grows, it will strengthen out faith. So, hope strengthens faith, and faith strengthens hope.

These three graces that Paul had heard about in the lives of the Colossians should be something that all believers are characterized by. If Paul were writing to you today, would he say, "We heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of your love for all the saints;

because of the hope which is laid up for you in heaven?" Does your hope strengthen you faith and love?

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