“Faith Hope and Love”

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In the 8th installment of the Star Wars saga, Kylo Ren, son of Han Solo & Princess Leia, has embraced the Dark Side of the force and bowed to the power of a Sith Lord named Snoke. Donned in a black robe and helmet like his grandfather Lord Vader, Ren believes he has crushed the rebellion once and for all. But Snoke knows better.
Returning from an apparent victory for the Dark Side, Ren is chastised by his master.Snoke: "You are no Vader. You're just a child in a mask." Kylo Ren: "I gave everything I had to you; to the Darkside." Snoke: "Skywalker lives. The seed of the Jedi lives. As long as he does, hope exists." Rebellions will live as long as they are led. It is true in the Star Wars universe. It is true in ours as well.
Some people live as though hope is a concept reserved to the "long ago," or relegated to a "galaxy far away." Hate reigns, lies rule, and fear sits as a monarch in the hearts of those who have surrendered to despair. But there is a rebellion subverting hate, lies, and fear. A counter-cultural existence led by a lowly Galilean carpenter. Some believe he died long ago. But he lives! And because he lives, hope exists!
But during our time. In our current modern culture. In the backdrop of all tension and confusion. Are we losing the cardinal virtues of the Christian Faith? Its funny as we progress through cancel culture, covid, and complacency it does seem that we are becoming more faithless, less loving, and less hopeful. People are so quick to give up. Christians more and more today are becoming more hopeless. More and more indifferent to others. Less and less faith in the promises of God. Where are our Christian attributes? But it is interesting as I watched starwars on how the concept of Luke being alive still gave people hope. I was reminded… as to how I have been saying now and have been saying since all of this stuff started. Do we believe that Christ is alive and sitting on the throne. It’s like the way we are acting in modern evangelicalism make me wonder if we still believe that Jesus is alive. We are acting like all that we to have to hope for is still in the tomb. But we have more than this. We are more than this. Lets take a look.
Colossians 1:2–8 NLT
We are writing to God’s holy people in the city of Colosse, who are faithful brothers and sisters in Christ. May God our Father give you grace and peace. We always pray for you, and we give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. For we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and your love for all of God’s people, which come from your confident hope of what God has reserved for you in heaven. You have had this expectation ever since you first heard the truth of the Good News. This same Good News that came to you is going out all over the world. It is bearing fruit everywhere by changing lives, just as it changed your lives from the day you first heard and understood the truth about God’s wonderful grace. You learned about the Good News from Epaphras, our beloved co-worker. He is Christ’s faithful servant, and he is helping us on your behalf. He has told us about the love for others that the Holy Spirit has given you.
The grass withers, the flower fades, but the Word of our God stands forever.
Faith Hope and Love
God Given Love
The first thing we will look at today is an overview of the Christian attributes that Paul and Timothy celebrated in Colossae. That is faith, hope and love. Second, we will see the love that we have for others is a gift of God for us and we get to experience this love because of the gift the Father gave because He loved us.
Thesis: Though sin and the pattern of this world may cause us to lose sight of the genuine marks of Christianity, faith, hope and love, it is the truth of scripture and the power of the Holy Spirit that will bring to us the fruit of the Spirit to display the reality of the power of God in our lives.
I. Faith Hope and Love
- The Cardinal Christian Virtues.
A. For a church that Paul did not visit, both Paul and Timothy always pray for them. Though Paul did not plant the church, He shows how they are just as much part of the family of God as Galatia and Corinth. And they are just as much in the heart and prayers of the Apostle. And they also celebrate.
B. Paul and Timothy celebrates the genuine faith of the church in Colosse. And the celebration includes the mention of the cardinal christian virtues of faith hope and love.
1 Corinthians 13:13 NLT
Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.
1 Thessalonians 1:3 ESV
remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Romans 5:1–5 ESV
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
Dr. Kent Hughes writes, “Faith, hope, and love are mentioned numerous times in Scripture as a sort of “apostolic shorthand” for genuine Christianity. None of these qualities can be manufactured by man; they all come from God.”
C. If we are Christians today, we are to be known for our faith. Again, Paul did not visit Colossae, however he could talk on the genuine nature of their Christianity, because there was the manifest presence of faith hope and love. The Colossian church is genuine and Paul and Timothy are thankful because they hear of their mark number 1. Faith. I personally define faith as assent or agreement to understood propositions. And very quickly here Hebrews 11 is not a definition of faith but a description of what faith does.
D. The Heidelberg Catechism define faith or more specifically true faith as True faith is a sure knowledge whereby I accept as true all that God has revealed to us in his Word. Historic protestantism has always taught that there aspects to faith.
- Notitia refers to the content of faith, or those things that we believe. We place our faith in something, or more appropriately, someone. In order to believe, we must know something about that someone, who is the Lord Jesus Christ.
- Assensus is our conviction that the content of our faith is true. You can know about the Christian faith and yet believe that it is not true. Genuine faith says that the content — the notitia taught by Holy Scripture — is true.
- Fiducia refers to personal trust and reliance. Knowing and believing the content of the Christian faith is not enough, for even demons can do that (James 2:19). Faith is only effectual if, knowing about and assenting to the claims of Jesus, one personally trusts in Him alone for salvation.
E. These days we struggle with faith because we are not sure what it really is. Many of us look at faith and will define it like Mark Twain. “Faith is believing what you know a’int so.” Some will say it is believing in something when you have reason to believe it. Shooting in the dark and believing that you will hit something. Samwise in the Lord of the rings says that it is simply believing that there is some good in this world.
F. If we believe this, then no wonder we can’t withstand anything anymore. We would even pass the first challenge to our faith. Paul makes it very clear by adding a faith that is in Christ Jesus. Our faith is not blind. Its not a convincing our selves to believe for no reason. It is not faith in our faith. The reality is, faith has no intrinsic value in itself. It must derive its value from its object. When someone says that he or she has faith, the question which must be asked is: “Faith in what?
G. This is why I say that our faith is not blind. It is directed toward Christ. Our faith is not without target when shooting in the dark. It is aimed at Christ’ coordinates. And in my opinion, God’s words have so much more certainty then what we see with our eyes. Faith in God’s word is more sure than what we can see. My eyes can be deceiving, but we have promises given to us from a God who cannot lie. This is as certain is it could ever get. This is why we can be certain. Our faith is a sure knowledge. In a sure Lord. In a sure Savior.
H. The second foundational attribute of a Christian given here is love. If we today are Christians and we really do have true faith, we will see it expressed with love.
Galatians 5:6 NLT
For when we place our faith in Christ Jesus, there is no benefit in being circumcised or being uncircumcised. What is important is faith expressing itself in love.
I. We have all met, known and even lived with people who claimed to be good Christians, who were upstanding, honest, and orthodox—but amazingly unloving. They had an empty indifferent loveless goodness. One theologian wrote , “an orthodoxy without charity, a questionable faith. They were the kind of people Mark Twain had in mind when he said, “He is a good man—in the worst sort of way.” Love for the brethren is a sign of true faith. Which means no love for the brethren is a picture of a dead faith. Or better yet. No faith.
J. Love is an import fruit of the Spirit and an important evidence of authentic faith in Christ. We are talking about a love that is sacrificial. It is a love that has to cost us. It is easy to love as long as it does not cost us anything. The love of a Christian is also to be indiscriminate. It is to all people. All walks, all cultures, all races, all socio-economic levels… what is more we are also commanded to love our enemies.
Matthew 5:44 NLT
But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!
K. And the love we have for people is the thing that will show the world that we are really his disciples.
John 13:35 NLT
Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”
L. A Story is told of a soldier who was watching a nurse wrap and treat gangrene infected wounds from fallen soldiers. When she came to him… he said I dunno how you do it. I wouldn’t do that for a million dollars and she said, neither would I.
L. And what is the love loveless love that we are showing the world today. Today in the church we are mean to each other, we show indifferent judgements, we do make sacrifices that we know we should, we are not showing compassion, and if you don’t believe me all you gotta do is look at the posts coming from professing christians on social media. Where did this if you don’t agree with me then forget you attitude coming from? Is this showing the world that we are his disciples? Can we celebrate the love of the modern church like Paul and Timothy did with Colossae?
M. And finally, as those who are in Christ we cannot be people who have no hope. In this instance, Paul mentions hope last because he is showing how faith and love is springing up from it. Again, the Colossians were having doubts concerning the sufficiency of Christ. Faced with teaching that led them to wonder whether Christ could supply all their spiritual needs, the Colossians need to be reminded that their present experience of faith and love rests on the solid foundation of what God has committed to do for them in the future. Their hope of glory.
N. It is not simply a hope on hope, but a hope of what God has reserved for us in heaven. This is not a new thing in the scriptures.
1 Peter 1:4–5 ESV
to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
O. Today, many will look at hope as wistful thinking. A blind optimism without any foundation at all. We like to say things like I hope the Broncos win the superbowl … or I hope so. But for us as Christians this is not so. We hope in a risen Lord and we look forward to what He has promised us in the future. We are hoping with eager expectation for all that Christ has prepared for us in the future. Hello Colossians and everyone today… there is something more after this life here on earth. We do believe that there is life after death.
P. And it is this belief that leads us to live our lives here with confident hope. Hope that we will one day receive all that Christ has established for all of his people. The promise of heaven. The promise of a eternal home. The promise of final redemption. And the promise of a final resurrection.
II. God Given Love
- The gifts that He has given.
A. It is important for us to see that all that we have is given by God. God is our source and we see it vividly here. Verse 8
Colossians 1:8 NLT
He has told us about the love for others that the Holy Spirit has given you.
B. God gives and He continues to give and give. But we see the gifts we receive is because of the amazing gift the Lord has given us. The gift of His son. Faith hope and love are wonderful gifts that we have in this life ultimately because of the wonderful gift the Father has given us. The gift of His Son. The gift of the power of the Holy Spirit is a wonderful gift the Father and Son has given to us, because of the gift of His Son. Salvation is here.
C. Jesus died for our sins according to the scriptures and he was buried and he was raised on the third day according to the scriptures. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance that Christ Jesus came into this world to save sinners.
D. The promises continue that if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord … All who call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
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