Summary: A sermon series in Colossians tracing the word "Eucharisteo = to give thanks." This message reveals Paul’s thankfulness for the hope of the Colossians.
A Thankful Faith • Colossians 1:3-8
SERIES INTRODUCTION: meaning of “eucharist = to give thanks”
INTRODUCTION: Often times when we give thanks, we focus upon the blessings we have RECEIVED which are often times TEMPORARY. In this passage, Paul gives thanks for the blessing OF OTHERS which are ETERNAL.
1) Paul shares a SIMPLE FORM for thanksgiving. (v 3)
• Except Galatians Paul uses a similar form in His letters
• Rom 1:8, 1 Cor 1:4, Eph 1:15-16, Phil 1:1-3, 1 Thess 1:2
• IMP – expression of thx for Col. 1:3-8 forms a single sentence in GRK
• Various translations handle this phrase differently (KJV, NASB vs NIV,ESV) – read literal rendering… in GRK adverbs almost always follow the verb it modifies
• “Praying” is a participle… simultaneous action with the main verb…
• On every occasion that Paul prayed for the Colossians, he gave thanks for them.
2) Paul shares a CENTRAL FOUNDATION for thanksgiving. (vv 4-5a)
• Central Foundation is familiar isn’t it… a common triad… faith, love, hope in that order (1 Cor 13:13, Rom 5, Gal. 5) Typically as Paul writes the greatest of these is… love…
• In this particular passage, these three are not exactly coordinated as we are accustomed to seeing.
• The Col faith in Christ & love for their fellow believers Paul is saying are based on the hope which is laid up for them in heaven.
• The hope that we have & already enjoy as Christians has a future aspect in Christ, doesn’t it
• The hope is here and now but the fulfillment lies ahead, in the coming of Christ
• Paul says the relationship between faith & love is grounded in Hope... he is not referring to hope as being some inward disposition (i.e. hopeful)… The inheritance… the hope of Christians has the effect developing stronger faith and greater love… not the production of it but the deepening of it…
• ILLUSTRATION: certainty produces other characteristics… hard to accomplish something when you are hesitant… skim boarding…
3) Paul shares a SINGULAR FOCUS for thanksgiving. (vv 5b-8). Singular focus = gospel (euangelion = good news)
a. The REACH is GLOBAL (…as indeed in the whole world…) *
• Bad news mankind by nature & choice has ignored God and we are suffering the consequences of it… Rom 1
• Paul says not only had the news reached Colossae but was spreading…
• Illustration – tony & trish pitaniello (photos)
b. The RESULT is GROWTH (…it is bearing fruit and growing…) *
• Middle voice – subject is acting in its own interest
• Subject is the Gospel… power of the Christian life is not in us… it is in the power of the gospel that is at work in us… anytime we come to phrases like this in Scripture we become self-centered… the reality is this verse is not obligating you to bear fruit or grow…
• Paul says there is a continuous nature of the gospel’s productivity and if we are living gospel-centered lives then the gospel produces growth within us… if our lives are not centered around the gospel the fruit generated in our lives is man-made not Holy Spirit –produced.
c. The REALITY is GENUINE (…as also it does among you… just as you learned it from Ephaphras our beloved fellow servant…) *
• By Illumination... John 16… says that the Holy Spirit “guides us in all truth”
• By Expression… Bearing fruit and growing among them…
• By Proclamation... just as you heard it from Ephaphras
d. The ROOT is GRACE (…since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth…) *
• The gospel = grace of God
• Christian life is not merely the avoidance of eternal punishment
• It is the freedom to live life as it was mean to be – to show God as desirable because of His amazing Grace upon us who are sinners…
ACTION STEP: 1) Express thanks to God for sending Jesus Christ by receiving His grace. 2) Give thanks for another whom God has used to encourage you.
* Sub-Points a.b.c.d. adapted from an outline by Capitol Ministries - Maryland