Show me Your ways, O LORD; teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; on You I wait all the day. (Psalm 25:4-5, NKJV, emphasis added)
The truth of the gospel is made powerful to you when you wait on God with hope – Part 3.
Because of the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel. (Colossians 1:5, NKJV)
In the introduction part of Paul’s letter to the Colossian church he gives the cause of the good report he received concerning them, and that cause is the hope they had laid up for them in heaven. Thus, hope was delivered to them through the truth of the gospel. Once again, the picture is clear for our admonishment. The gospel is preached, then people respond, and the hope they have causes a change in character which produces fruit. The main fruit Paul speaks of is their love, both for saints and love in general. Martin Vincent adds, “Faith works by love, and the ground of their love is found in the hope set before them.
Kenneth Wuest in his Ephesians and Colossians in the Greek New Testament says the following concerning hope, “…this hope of reward has been the incentive to the Colossians in their faith in the Lord Jesus and their love to the saints, encouraging both and causing both to make progress and grow more intense. The preposition ‘for’ is dia, which is a preposition of intermediate agency. This shows clearly that the hope is an active thing, working in the saints, energizing that faith and love to a greater intensity.”
Laid up in the Greek is to be reserved, to put to the side. In the future, the disciple will enjoy his or her rewards in heaven where our treasures put aside there (Matthew 6:20) because we are citizens of heaven (Philippians 3:20) and our inheritance is reserved there (1 Peter 1:4).
Of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel. Paul is contrasting the gospel truth preached by Epaphras with that of the false teachers that have infiltrated their churches. The gospel truth was at one time close to the Colossian disciples, but the new teaching was causing problems. They needed to go back to the truth. At once the fruit of the gospel truth was strong, as it has been in the entire world Paul mentions in the preceding verses. The truth brings much fruit and the disciples needed to eradicate the false teachers and go back to the gospel truth. Once more we find it is important to wait on God and learn the truth and to seek after it with diligence.
Wait on the Lord with great hope and pursue the fruit of following the truth of the gospel. Paul in the passage surrounding our verse details this fruit produced from the hope heard in the word of truth of the gospel:
- They were faithful brethren (1:2)
- They had love for all God’s children (saints) (1:3)
- They were very fruitful (1:6)
- They loved in the Spirit (1:8)