Summary: To establish hope is laid up for us in heaven, through faithful obedience to the word of the truth of the gospel; the grace of God; having been deposed from the power of darkness and seated in the Kingdom of God's dear Son.
1. The Gospel: The Word of the Truth
2. The Gospel: The Grace of God in Truth
3. The Gospel: The Glory of God’s Inheritance
1. In this lesson today, we will be discussing the theme: “Hope Laid Up For You.” This is another expository sermon. The outline of the study comes directly from the contents of the text. And the text makes up the majority of the lesson. Our text read like this: “Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints, For the hope which is laid up for you in heavens, of which ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; Which is come unto you...since the day you heard of it, and knew (of) the grace of God in truth: As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellow-servant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ; Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit...Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered (deposed) us from the power of darkness, and hath translated (seated) us into the Kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins,” Colossians 1:4-14; Ephesians 2:4-6.
2. First, we will review how the Colossians had: “Heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel,” of the hope laid up for them in the heavens, Colossians 1:4-5; Galatians 2:4-5. Paul reminds them that they had heard of it, through the preaching of “the word of the truth, of the gospel (the good news).” This has come unto them as it had into the entire world. He noted how it bringeth forth fruit everywhere, even as it had among them. When the "word of the truth, of the gospel, is preached." It bringeth forth fruit, "some a hundredfold, sixtyfold, and some thirtyfold," Luke 8:15.
3. Second, we will consider How the Colossians had learned of, and knew (of) the grace of God in truth (reality): by Epaphras their dear fellow-servant, who was unto them a faithful minister of Christ: Who also declared unto us (Paul and Timothy) of their love in the Spirit,” Colossians 1:7-8; Acts 20:24. Paul heard of their faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which they have to all the saints, everywhere, Colossians 1:4. This they had learned through the preaching and example of Epaphras, a faithful minister of the gospel of Christ. Ministers should always be examples of the faith, love, and commitment to the church's work and for the cause of Christ: who has sent them. Paul penned: “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, and purity," 1 Timothy 4:12. This charge was for Timothy and also for us His ministers.
4. Lastly, we will investigate “the glory of His inheritance to the saints in light.” He wrote: “Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet (worthy or acceptable) to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light,” Colossians 1:12; Acts 20:28-32. The glory of God’s inheritance unto us is this: “We have been rescued from the authority of darkness; being translated (conveyed) into the kingdom of His dear Son; in whom we have the redemption (being bought with a price); and having the forgiveness of sins: therefore, being counted worthy of the hope laid up for us in the heavens,” Colossians 1:12-14. What a tremendous promise from our heavenly Father who called us into the "inheritance with all the saints of light," Ephesians 1:18. With this brief introduction, let’s consider our first point in this lesson—“the gospel is the word of the truth.”
BODY OF LESSON
I THE GOSPEL: THE WORD OF THE TRUTH
A. Paul’s salutation: “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus our brother: To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colossae: Grace be (is) unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, always praying for you,” Colossians 1:1-3. Paul begins this Letter with his usual salutations. Observe--
1. Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by God's will, and Timotheus, our brother. He includes Timothy in this salutation: Timothy was with him in Rome during this letter's writing to the Colossians.
a. He would carry the Philippians’ Letter unto Philippi; Epaphras the Colossians’ Letter to Colossae; and Onesimus the Letter to Philemon.
b. Paul was busy writing letters of encouragement to the churches, those of whom he truly cared about the churches.