Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Colossians 1:5-6

Vs. 5. because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. You have heard of this hope before in the word of the truth, the gospel...
The reason Paul and others have heard of their faithfulness and love for the church is because they are motivated by “the Hope lad up for you in heaven.”
Hope can have either a subjective sense, referring to the at of hoping, to expectation, yearning or desire, or it can have an objective sense, referring to what one hopes for (1 Thess 5:8; Gal 5:5; Rom 8:24-25). The descriptive phrase “kept for you in heave” makes it clear that the second or objective sense is in view here.[1]
Christ’s victory, and their participation in this victory through allegiance with Christ, provokes them to action. It’s a confidence in what Christ has done that sets them free to explore ways to know him, and make him known. Hope inspires exploits for the King and his kingdom. Heaven beckons a life-long reaction to God’s grace revealed in Christ Jesus, the Lord. But how can one talk of hope, without immediate reference to the gospel? Thus, Paul is quick to note that “hope” is found in the proclamation of great news, the world changing news that is, Jesus the King.
Vs. 6. that has come to you. Just as it is bearing fruit and growing in the whole world, so it has been bearing fruit among yourselves from the day you heard it and truly comprehended the grace of God.
This message has come to them in the “true story” or “message of truth” which is, the gospel: the announcement of Jesus’ victory through his life, death and resurrection which means that he is none other than the LORD. This is the story of which they have now become part of and which they are telling and living. The story of God’s kind intervention, the announcement that Jesus, the crucified and risen Messiah is Lord, is having a global impact. Seeds are not just being planted and scattered, rather they are already gathering in a harvest. There is an immediate participation and reception of God’s grace and kindness which has included them. The consequences and effects of this narrative proclamation have been grasped and applied to their lives. There is possibly a rhetorical strategy here, whereby saying that they have “truly comprehended” the gospel, the Colossians will question whether or not they have, and then make sure that they have. Paul is pastorally very concerned that believers and followers of Jesus fully know and understand what it means to confess Jesus the King, as LORD.
[1] Thompson, Colossians and Philemon, pg. 20

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