In a previous blog, I gave you Week 1, Day 1 of the study I am currently writing on the book of Colossians. Today, I am giving your Week 1, Day 2. Weekly video sessions will be available free of charge once the study is complete. The e-book version of this study will be free to all. I will have to charge for a paperback copy to cover printing costs. It is my hope that you will continue this study once it is published. My goal is help people to dig into the Word of God.
Day 2: The Faith of the Colossians
“We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints,” Colossians 1:3-4 (KJV).
(If you are taking the writing challenge, you could take a moment to write out verses 3-4.)
I am sure that you know someone personally who has great faith in Jesus Christ. As a matter of fact, this person’s faith simply amazes you. No matter the challenge or adverse circumstances, he/she does not seem to lose faith. This type of faith is the result of a focus on the cross. When I say the cross, I am speaking of the work Christ completed in His death.
It is when I think about His sufferings and death that my faith is strengthened. Take a moment and reflect on the cross considering that what Christ endured was for you. You and I were born with a sin nature. In that nature, we could not stand holy and righteous before God no matter how we might strive to do so.
Because of the cross, we are made right with God. Because of the blood, we are cleansed from sin and regenerated. The righteousness of Jesus Christ is given to you when you accept Jesus Christ as Savior. The atoning work of the cross is what makes a relationship with God possible.
After you take a moment to reflect on the cross of Christ, you might notice that any wavering faith is renewed and strengthened. In order to grow in faith, you must read and study the Word and hear the Word of God taught and preached.
Using your favorite Bible version, write out Romans 10:17.
Paul stressed that he was thankful for the faith of the Colossians. He also mentioned that he kept them in his prayers. Perhaps, Paul mentioned prayer because he knew that God’s people need each other. No matter how strong one’s faith might be, prayer and the Word are essential for us all.
Write down the name of someone whose faith encourages you along with the reason.
I could not speak of faith without asking you to turn to Hebrews 11. Glance over the chapter. Not one of the people specifically mentioned in this chapter was perfect by any stretch of the imagination. As a matter of fact, some of them made some horrendous mistakes. However, they are mentioned as having great faith. This fact should encourage you. No matter what sin you might have committed, no matter how many times you have acted rashly without using wisdom, you can still have faith and build upon it.
Choose one or two of the people mentioned in Hebrews 11. Write down the name(s) and why this person’s story encourages you.
Let me take this moment to insert a disclaimer. Our faith is not to be idolized. Too many Christians have used the word faith as a reason to become carried away into false teachings and doctrines. Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. Faith is not a life free from trouble, poverty, or illness.
Many people have erroneously convinced others that their faith was weak simply because they had problems. This is a serious error because the Bible warns us that we will have problems. We will also be looking at some of the problems the Colossians faced.
What do James 1:2-4 and John 16:33 say about trials?
It is not the lack of problems that builds faith. God will use our problems and other adverse circumstances to help us grow in our faith and knowledge of God and His sovereignty.
Polycarp was a martyr who lived from 69 AD to 156 AD. He turned many people away from Gnosticism which was a popular but false teaching during the time of the Colossian church. When the church was being severely persecuted by Rome, Polycarp was sentenced to death by burning. History states that the fire would not consume him so he was run through with a sword. Even with death looming over him, Polycarp refused to recant of his faith in Christ.
Looking into heroes in our day and time, Brooke Bartz is a lady who suffers greatly from severe rheumatoid arthritis and other chronic pain. She wrote a book entitled Chronic Love: Trusting God while Suffering with a Chronic Illness. I listened to her testimony on YouTube. She believes that God can heal her, but she also trusts that He is sovereign over her illness.
I mention Polycarp and Brooke because the outcome is not always what we personally desire, yet, trusting God in the middle of an undesired outcome takes great faith. Some of you who are reading this know exactly what I am talking about. You suffer from illness or some other circumstance that has not been changed. Just as God was with Polycarp and is with Brooke, He is with you. He is sovereign over your situation. He will get glory. He has not forgotten you.
We will close today’s study by reading Romans 8:28-39. Write Romans 8:28 below.
Paul was thankful for the faith of the Colossian believers. I am thankful for yours. Keep praying and studying the Word. Keep seeking God and drawing closer to Him. Your faith has great reward.
Tomorrow, we will look at love, hope and the gospel.
Memorization: Continue working on verses 1-2, or add 3 if you feel up to it.