Sermon Detail

Hope Those Who Foster a Hope Orientation

February 25, 2024 | Buster Brown

“You learned it from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf, 8and who also told us of your love in the Spirit.
Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured."
  Colossians 1:7-8; 4:12

Epaphras is the leader of the church in Colossae and traveled to be with Paul to discuss issues regarding the church at Colossae (a church that Paul had not visited). Epaphras ends up sharing a prison experience with Paul in Rome.

Thanksgiving is deep gratitude that flows from the heart as you consider the goodness and greatness of the triune God in the past.

Hope is the certainty that our future mercies are not only adequate but inexhaustible because of: the Abba Father's love for his children, the crucifixion, resurrection, and reigning power of God the Son, and the application of these truths to our hearts by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Profile of an individual who lives with and fosters hope:

1. Community: Beloved fellow servant (v. 7).

Epaphrus was in rich community with other believers (Colossians 4). These believers spurred him on to love and good works, and a life of faith.

2. Calling: he was a fellow servant. 

“And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake."  2 Corinthians 4:3-5

“The real test of being in the presence of God is if you forget about yourself all together or you see yourself as a small dirty object. It is better to forget about yourself all together.”  C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, 3-8

3. Character: a trust-worthy (faithful) person.

"Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful."  1 Corinthians 4:2

"And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people, who will also be qualified to teach others."  2 Timothy 2:2

4. The focus of his life and ministry: their maturation and growth in faith (v. 12).

"Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me."   Colossians 1:28-29

“If we don’t let the cynicism and despair of the surrounding culture seep into our hearts and sour us—if we simply go about doing the things Scripture calls us to do, making melody in our hearts (Ephesians 5:19) with gratitude for a sure and certain hope in the resurrection—imagine how weird we will look.”  Tim Keller, Tim Keller Shares the Secret Gritty Hope (