Friday, September 28, 2012

Colossians 1:23

if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.

The “if” should send readers back to remember the previous verse. (Hint – it was about being reconciled to God through Christ.) We have to be careful not to read into this verse that one can lose one’s salvation for mistakes made. It also does not mean that we will be presented as holy and blameless only if we remain perfectly faithful, as if our justification depended on our earthly thoughts and deeds. The Greek here is not an expression of uncertainty. It might be less confusing if translated “but”, “since”, or “however”. Paul is sure that since the Colossians have experienced life changing salvation they will remain faithful to the faith which saved them rather than following the latest trends of religious belief.

Paul also mentions that this gospel had been preached to every creature under heaven. Since every creature had not literally heard the truth of the gospel it can be inferred that Paul was countering the idea that true spiritual knowledge was something available only to a select few. We are all called as ministers to proclaim the good news to every creature under heaven.

Jesus said, "For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it" (Mt. 7:14). Life is not easy. I myself have endured many things this year that could have knocked my faith. Instead I have not only continued, but the trials have strengthened my faith, making it established and firm. Only trials give you real established roots, so never be moved from the hope held out by the gospel. You not only have the hope of eternal life, you can be assured that God is sovereign and in control of your life!

Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised him. - James 1:12

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