Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Divine Power Trio

In rock and roll, a power trio is bass, guitar and drums (no rhythm guitar, no keyboard). But I have something different in mind, a power trio that comes from God.
We give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, since 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, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel. (Colossians 1:3-5)
Having pointed out his and their identity in God and extended to them the blessing of the Father, Paul now offers a word of thanksgiving to God for the Christian believers at Colosse. Three things that stand out in them for which he is especially grateful.
  • Their faith in Jesus the Messiah.
  • Their love for all the saints.
  • The hope laid up for them in heaven.
Faith, hope, love. These are huge on Paul’s list — and God’s. They are the “abiding” things. Remember how Paul ends his discourse on love 1 Corinthians 13. “Now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love” (v. 13).

Notice, however, that Paul does not thank the Colossians themselves for these things, as if they somehow worked them up within themselves. No, he gives thanks to God, because they come from Him. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17), which is given by inspiration of the Spirit of God. Love is a fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22). Hope, which is a positive expectation, a joyful anticipation, comes by the work of the Spirit: “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” (Romans 15:13). Because this is the work of God, and not of ourselves, it is possible for faith, hope and love to be revealed in our own lives. Our part is simply to yield to the work of God in us.

Faith, hope and love are a divine power trio. All three come from God, and all three work together to release heaven on earth. Faith is the underlying reality of things that are not yet apparent but which we fully expect to see (Hebrews 11:1). However, faith without love is meaningless and vain, of no value or profit (1 Corinthians 13:1-3). This is because faith works through love, expressed and energized by love (Galatians 5:6). That is why, of the three, the greatest is love.

(For more about the prayers of thanksgiving found in the New Testament, see Praying With Fire: Change Your World with the Powerful Prayers of the Apostles.)

The Focus of Our Faith
The Focus of Our Faith
Paul’s Letters to the Jesus Believers at Colosse
Bite-Size Studies Through Colossians
by Jeff Doles

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Available in paperback and Kindle (Amazon), epub (Google and iTunes) and PDF.

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