Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love [which ye have] to all the saints,
Note 5 at Col 1:4: Notice that Paul heard of the Colossians' faith. Col 1:7 reveals that it was Epaphras who gave Paul this report. Paul did not preach the Gospel to the people in Colosse personally. This body of believers was a byproduct of his ministry in Ephesus. Either people from Colosse came to Ephesus, which was the main city of that region, and heard the Gospel and took it back to Colosse, or some of the Ephesians who received the Gospel took it to Colosse.
Because of the mention of Epaphras in Col 1:7 as "a faithful minister of Christ" to the Colossians, it has been supposed that Epaphras was the vessel God used to preach the Gospel in Colosse. Col 4:12 says that Epaphras was from Colosse. See note 10 at Col 1:7.
Note 6 at Col 1:4: One of the visible fruits of faith is love. Paul stated, "For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love" (Ga 5:6).
John Wesley (1703-1791), the primary figure in and founder of Methodism in the eighteenth century, believed that love, not faith, became the final goal of our salvation. Faith is the "handmaid of love.... Biblical faith, for Wesley, is so entangled with love...that it does not exist without [it].... True Christianity is to 'have the mind of Christ,' which is demonstrated in love for God and neighbor. The real freedom of the Christian is not the freedom from guilt or release from the pangs of hell but the freedom to love with the love of God Himself shed abroad in the heart by the indwelling Holy Spirit. In his 'Plain Account,' Wesley summarized freedom as 'nothing higher and nothing lower than this...love governing the heart and life, through all our tempers, words, and actions'" (Five Views on Sanctification, Zondervan Publishing; brackets mine).
Christ's love not only brings people to Himself (Ro 2:4), but it is the force that reaches out to others (1Jo 4:20). Paul thanked God for the love that the Colossians had shown to each other. "True saving faith is more than a conviction of the mind. It transforms the heart to love" (MacArthur New Testament Commentary, Volume 12, p. 19).