This post is dependent on the foundation laid in previous posts. Though we will only look at one verse, it is packed with important truth. The context is reconciliation to God through the provision of His Son. That provision is available to us through faith that is evidenced through a continued commitment to obey God.
Colossians 1:23 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;
“If ye continue…” – This is a continuation of the thought in the previous verses; you have been reconciled and will be presented righteous “if….” This type of verse causes some to think that they can lose their salvation. No scripture should be isolated from the context of the whole of scripture regarding doctrine. This verse is an admonition from Paul to examine oneself regarding the sincerity of your profession of faith. True faith will be evidenced by the fruits of the Spirit in the life of the believer (as discussed earlier). We all know that believers can and probably will experience times of disobedience; scripture is full of examples—beginning with Eve and continuing with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, Jonah, Peter, etc. The important truth is that true men/women of faith always come to a point of repentance. The Apostle John states the truth clearly.
1John 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.
Continuance in the faith is evidence of a sincere profession of faith. People can be amazing actors and deceivers for a variety of motivations—all self-serving. Again, James makes it clear that “faith without works is dead” (James 2:26). The Apostle John amens that truth.
1John 2:3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
God never contradicts Himself. Those who have put their faith in Jesus as Savior and Lord have received the Holy Spirit as a seal (stamp for security or preservation) and as the earnest (security deposit) of their inheritance to come.
Ephesians 1:13-14 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
Salvation is the work of God in us, and He always finishes what He starts. He never fails.
Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
Yes, this is a sensitive area to me. I think the enemy has been so successful in deceiving people to connect their work to their salvation—to think that God needs their help—to think that His word can’t be trusted and His provision isn’t sufficient.
“grounded and settled” – Grounded is reference to a foundation, and settled is a reference to being immovable. A believer is a person who has chosen to live his/her life on the foundation of the Word of God. He has made a choice to follow God in faith and obedience despite the circumstances and the attack of the enemy. Again, he/she may stumble or fall along the way; but he/she will always seek God in repentance; and He will always forgive and restore by picking them up and giving them a new start.
1John 1:7-9 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
“and be not moved away…” – This is the same truth that John stated as referenced above in 1John 2:19. It gives emphasis to the word settled.
“the hope of the gospel” – This is a reference to the confident expectation the believer has of eternity in the presence of the Savior.
“which ye have heard…” – Paul is addressing those whom he knew had been clearly and correctly taught the gospel. God is clear in scripture, however, that He has revealed Himself through the creation and men are without excuse. The gospel is the good news of God’s love. Man has no reasonable basis for doubting His written word or the provision of His Son. The creation declares Him as Almighty God of righteousness and truth; One to be feared and believed.
Psalm 19:1-4 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.
Romans 1:19-20 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
Paul proudly declares himself to be a minister (servant, teacher) of that gospel.
(to be continued...)
(to be continued...)