… because of the hope laid up for you in heaven.
Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel,
I love the beginning of new studies. The feel of that brand new notebook free of crayon scribbles, wrinkled pages, spills or dried on food particles. I look forward to sitting down with my Bible, pen and a cup of tea to read and dig into God’s word but before I can even open up my book the distractions begin. Kids get up way before they are suppose to, the dog decides she has to go potty that very minute or I remember something that I was suppose to do and it is going to drive me crazy if I don’t get it done right now. Have you ever been there?
Satan will do anything to keep us from reading God’s word because he knows something that we often forget. He knows that scripture is powerful. It is living and active, able to pierce our very souls and change our lives (Heb. 4:12). Nothing else on earth can do this. It is the instrument God uses to breath life into us, sustain us, and to transform us into godly women.
Don’t let the enemy frustrate you or discourage you, persevere because in the Bible we find life.
So lets dig into the book of Colossians with the very real expectation that God will grow us in grace and godliness and give us a deeper love for him.
What stood out to me this week was Paul saying that we have a hope, and that this hope is found in the gospel. It is fundamental that we know exactly what this gospel is because without it we have nothing.
At our church we often say, “The Gospel is the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.” This is essentially what Paul says in 1 Cor 15. The gospel is history. It happened. And in these events we find everything.
The Life of Jesus
We often talk of Jesus’ death as “substitutionary,” but his life was also lived on our behalf. He lived selflessly while we are consumed with self. He fulfilled the law while we are lawbreakers. He was always kind, patient, compassionate and giving while we can be mean, impatient, callous and stingy. Basically his life was perfectly righteous while ours are, well, perfectly unrighteous. And it is his perfection that God credits to us, to those who believe. Through Jesus’ life we are made righteous.
The Death of Jesus
Jesus’ death on the cross was not simply the unjust murder of a righteous man at the hands of lawless men. It was also the predetermined plan of the Father to make perfect atonement for sin through Jesus as sacrifice. Through Jesus’ death we are forgiven of every sin.
The Resurrection of Jesus
Jesus resurrection from the grave not only demonstrated victory over death and his Lordship over all, but it is also a promise to us. Because he was raised, we will be raised. We have the hope of an everlasting body in an everlasting paradise. And as we wait for that final stage of salvation, we also have the power of a resurrected life today. We can walk with God, delight in his ways, and become increasing transformed into the image of Jesus, because the Spirit that raised Jesus dwells in us! Through Jesus’ resurrection we have a secure future and power to live a godly life today.
But we can’t stop here. It is never enough to simply know biblical truths. We have to find out how all of this applies to our specific situations in life. How is the gospel relevant to those of you who are newly married and trying to figure out this whole marriage thing? Or to those of you who spend your day changing diapers, cooking dinner, doing laundry and painfully teaching multiplication facts. How does the gospel apply to you who go out into the workforce and deal with co-worker and demanding bosses? How does Christ’s life, death and resurrection affect those of you who are suffering?
For me the gospel is my lifeline. Without it I would sink into despair. When I lose my patience with my two year old because once again he has stuffed 3 cookies into his mouth and can hardly breath I know that I am forgiven of my impatience because of Christ’s work on the cross. In Christ I learn patience because he is patient with me and when the Father looks at me he sees the perfect patience of Christ which covers my sin.
This is what the gospel does for me in just one small, but common situation. It goes well beyond saving me from hell. It saves me from myself. It is my hope.
Looking To Jesus,