The Survival Rule of 3’s States That You Can:
- Survive Three Weeks Without Food
- Survive Three Days Without Water
- Survive Three Hours Without Shelter
- Survive Three Minutes Without Oxygen
- Survive Three Seconds Without Hope
Wow, three seconds without hope. I find it interesting that among survivalists that they would put such a high priority on hope. Here’s what they say,
“The Survival Rules Explained: Let’s break down this rule of survival piece by piece so you best understand it and why it’s important for us to remember ‘3 Seconds Without Hope’ A big part of why preparation is so crucial is so that you don’t panic! If you panic, you’re done. The first part of the rule of 3’s in survival states that you can only survive three seconds without hope. So be prepared for emergencies before they happen so you’re prepared.” They explain that preparation brings confidence and hope which is vital.
To survive in today’s hostile environment to our faith, our passage shows us the hope we have in Jesus! We see that we can grow in our confidence and be prepared against doubt, false teaching and keep our hope alive in Christ.
The key verse in this passage is verse 27: “…Christ in you the HOPE of Glory.”
Let’s break it down from the beginning staring with verse 25 with Paul explaining how we get prepared with the hope we have in Christ.
Paul had referred to himself as “a servant of this gospel.” Paul’s service came because of God’s commission. No human had commissioned Paul; no human authority had called him; instead, Jesus Christ himself had spoken to him (Acts 9:4-6). Paul’s credentials as an apostle need never be questioned. Although Paul was called after Jesus’ resurrection and ascension, he and the other apostles were called by Jesus Christ and God the Father, and they answered to God as their final authority.
Paul explained that this commission was given to him for you, that is, for Gentile congregations such as the one in Colosse. When Paul was commissioned by God, the focus of his ministry was made clear. God said of Paul, “This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles” (Acts 9:15 niv). Paul was keenly aware of who had commissioned him, to whom he had been commissioned, and what he had been called to do.
He was commissioned to make the word of God fully known.NRSV The heresy in Colosse drained hope from Christ followers by claiming the need for mystical knowledge, and that only a few could find it. When Paul wrote of making God’s word fully known to all the believers, he was pointing out once again that God’s word is for all people. They could have all the wisdom they needed to be saved and to grow in Christ.
1:26 The MYSTERY which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but NOW has been revealed to His saints.NKJV
What is this mystery? There are some things God reveals to no one. Deuteronomy 29:29 says, “The Lord our God has secrets known to no one.” Still other things were hidden in the Old Testament but have now been revealed in the New. The New Testament calls them mysteries (mustērion). Paul’s use of this word is not to indicate a secret teaching, rite, or ceremony revealed only to some elite initiates (as in the mystery religions), but truth revealed to all believers in the New Testament. This truth, that has now been revealed to His saints, is that which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, namely the Old Testament era and people. Now refers to the time of the writing of the New Testament.
27 For God wanted them to know that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too.
One of the greatest scientists of our time was Albert Einstein. He was a man who was so focused on his scientific theories. He was so focused, he often neglected even the simplest things of life, such as personal appearance (as evidenced by his hair). One time, Albert Einstein was taking a train out of town for a speaking engagement. As he sat in his seat engrossed in his work, the conductor stopped by to punch his ticket. Looking up in shock, Einstein realized he didn’t know what he had done with his ticket. Frantically, he began to search his coat pockets, and then his briefcase. Gently, the conductor said, “We all know who you are, Dr. Einstein. I’m sure you bought ticket. Don’t worry about it.”
But, as the conductor moved along, he looked back to see Einstein on his hands and knees searching under the seats for his ticket. The conductor walked back, “Dr. Einstein, please, don’t worry about it. I know who you are.” Exasperated, Einstein looked up and said, “I, too, know who I am. What I don’t know is where I’m going.”
The Christians at Colossae had gotten to the point that they weren’t sure where they were going because somebody had begun to convince them that they weren’t going to heaven. Somebody had slipped into their midst and begun to tell them they weren’t acceptable to God
They weren’t even sure who they were. To understand what was going on here, it helps to realize that back in the days of this letter – behind the scenes – there was a spiritual battle taking place
The congregation at Colossae was composed of Gentile believers. A Gentile was anyone who was not of Jewish descent. (I asked the audience on Sunday how many of them had “Jewish blood” in their veins? Only one raised their hand. “The rest of you are all Gentiles”)
Gentiles had always been despised by God’s people. The Jews referred to them as dogs, and perhaps had even worse names for them. Jews refused to spend any time with them if they could avoid it. Jews wouldn’t eat with them, work for them, play with them. If a Jew purchased anything from a Gentile, the product was washed to cleanse it the filth of those who had no part in God’s covenant.
So when the church early got started it is no surprise that there were no Gentiles in the church. After the church had established itself in Jerusalem, God moved Philip to share the Good News with an Ethiopian Eunuch in Acts 8 who believed and was baptized. In Acts 9 God called Paul to “take my message to the Gentiles.” In Acts 10 God led the Apostle Peter to he household of a Roman Centurion named Cornelius to preach the Gospel to him and his family who all believed and were baptized.
As more and more Gentiles came to Christ, the apostles and church leaders met together to decide what to do about all the gentiles coming to faith in Chris in Acts 15: They agreed that God was drawing them and giving them the Holy Spirit as they believed (Acts 15:8) that they were acceptable just as they were – no circumcision required, no need to follow Jewish laws, or customs.
What Paul was telling the Colossians that there was something these false teachers didn’t understand. “The mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, is now disclosed to the saints. To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery,”
And, what was that mystery? It’s…”Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Colossians 1:26-27
Of all the mysteries God has revealed in the New Testament, the most profound is Christ in you, the hope of glory. The Old Testament predicted the coming of the Messiah. But the idea that He would actually live in His redeemed church, made up mostly of Gentiles, was new and mind-blowing! The New Testament is clear that Christ, by the Holy Spirit, takes up permanent residence in all believers (cf. Rom. 8:9; 1 Cor. 6:19, 20). The revelation of the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles awaited the New Testament (Eph. 3:3-6).
Believers, both Jew and Gentile, now possess the surpassing riches of the indwelling Christ (John 14:23; Gal. 2:20)! The church is described as “the temple of the living God; just as God said, ‘I will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people’” (2 Cor. 6:16).
That Christ indwells all believers is the source for their hope of glory and is the subject or theme of the gospel ministry. What makes the gospel attractive is not just that it promises present joy and help, but that it promises eternal honor, blessing, and glory. When Christ comes to live in a believer, His presence is the anchor of the promise of heaven—the guarantee of future bliss eternally. In the reality that Christ is living in the Christian is the experience of new life and hope of eternal glory!
- The Gentile believers in Colossae were already saved
- The Gentile believers were already acceptable before God.
- And the Gentile believers there already had the hope of living in Glory.
Why, because Christ was living inside of them. They were acceptable just as they were!
The hope was this: That God would let anybody be acceptable to Him through faith in Christ.
The hope was that God would allow those who had been His enemies to now be called His friends
Now that’s a supreme hope!
Watch Messages: YouTube-Upwards Church
Additional Sources: John MacArthur, MacArthur New Testament Commentary – Colossians and Philemon, (Chicago: Moody Press, 1992), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, 78.