In this sermon, Pastor Neil talks about the trinity of graces– three aspects of grace that should be reflected in our lives: faith, hope, and love. Here are some excerpts:

The Trinity of Graces

Faith

First, let’s think together about faith. If you’re not convinced of the importance of faith, listen to what the Bible says in Hebrews 11:6: “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” Apart from faith, it is impossible to please God. Not hard. Not difficult. Impossible. It can’t be done…

The kind of faith the Bible commends has the Lord Jesus Christ as its object. It is faith in Jesus that marks the lives of His followers. It is faith in Jesus and Him alone that unlocks the door to salvation and peace with God. Faith in Jesus is one indispensable sign of true spiritual life – faith in His person and work as the Son of God and Savior of sinners, in the power of His love to save undeserving sinners like us and to change us so that we increasingly take on His character in our lives…

Love

The second of these three Christian graces is love. The love Paul has specifically in mind here in Colossians 1 is love “for all the saints” (Colossians 1:4). It is rooted in God’s love for us. Loving one another is a response to God’s love for us and is an expression of our love for Him. Jesus could not have made it any clearer. He said: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples – when they see the love you have for each other) (John 13:34-35, NIV, MSG)…

The Bible urges us to “be imitators of God and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (Ephesians 5:1-2). Love for one another, along with an unswerving faith in Jesus, is to be our calling card as Christians…

Hope

The third hallmark of the Christian life is hope. Like love, the word hope can either be a verb (something you do) or a noun (something you have or need). The hope Paul speaks about here in Colossians 1:5 is not the verb but the noun. It refers to what we hope for in heaven. It refers to heaven itself and the promise of an inheritance stored up for us there. Peter echoes Paul when he speaks of this hope in 1 Peter 1:3-4: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade – kept in heaven for you.”

… Hope, we might say, has to do with the promises God has given us for the future. Faith, on the other hand, has to do with the promises and gifts we have been given by God here and now. We have been justified – made right – with God by grace through faith. And we have the sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. God has promised it. Jesus has secured it. You can count on it…

The Trinity of Graces– Faith, Hope, and Love

Faith, love, and hope. Let these be the defining graces that mark you out as a child of God, a member of God’s family, a follower of Jesus, and a citizen of the Kingdom of God, with an inheritance waiting for you in heaven. Let these be the defining graces of our life together as a church.

 

 

October 13, 2019

Colossians 1:1-14

Dr. Neil Smith

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