For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.  Colossians 1:13-14

 

The Fruitful Gospel; 1:3-8.  Paul begins with an expression of thankfulness for the faith and love of the Colossians.  Paul notes that these “spring from” two sources:  the “hope stored up for you in heaven” and the gospel message.  In the NT “hope” speaks of confident expectation and of a patient, disciplined waiting for fulfillment which spurs believers on to holy living.  It is disciplined and expectant waiting for fulfillment that has produced fruit among them, and “all over the world this gospel is producing fruit and growing.”  There is no reason for these believers to abandon the simple gospel and dabble in Gnosticism, hoping for immediate fulfillment.  The simple gospel is already producing results in their life.

1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,

2 To God’s holy people in Colossae, the faithful brothers and sisters in Christ: Grace and peace to you from God our Father.

Thanksgiving and Prayer
3 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4 because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people— 5 the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel 6 that has come to you. In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world—just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace. 7 You learned it from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf, 8 and who also told us of your love in the Spirit.

The Growth Process; 1:9-14.  Paul’s prayer for these believers who are so eager for spiritual fulfillment unveils the process of Christian growth.  Christians have been rescued from the “dominion of darkness and brought into the kingdom of the Son”.  Jesus has redeemed and forgiven sins, thus qualifying believers “to share the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of life.”  This is just the inheritance the Colossians so eagerly sought!  Paul’s prayer shows how to enter our inheritance, and how to know God in a deeply personal way.

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