3 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4 since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, 5 because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel.
Just as he does in 1 Corinthians 13:13, Paul brings into play here his formula of faith, hope, and love. Here, he explains how our faith in Christ Jesus and our love for all the saints are brought about. They are motivated by the hope laid up for us in heaven-the hope that we now have because we have heard “the word of truth, the gospel” (v. 5). This precious promise of Christ is that “you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him” (vv. 21-22). Our hope is not merely to make it to heaven, but to stand before Christ as blameless when we get there. Because of the faithfulness of Christ, this is a hope and a guarantee. I know I need to dwell on the gospel a lot more than I do…the Spirit will use it to change my heart, building my faith in Christ Jesus and my love for fellow Christians.