“If Ye Continue In The Faith”

Paul writes to the Church at Colosse saying that they had been reconciled to God through the death of Christ and by His death they would stand holy and unreproveable in His sight. And he adds to that in the next verse, “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.” (Colossians 1:23)

He was not making their full salvation conditional upon their doing something. No, he is saying that this is what characterizes those who have been reconciled and this is the evidence of salvation in the lives of the reconciled. They “continue in the faith.” They continue having faith, believing, but they also continue in “the faith.” The faith here is the true gospel which they had “heard” from Paul. He was a minister (servant) of God and to them, preaching unto them the gospel of Christ crucified. Against a rushing stream of error, he stood firm declaring the truth. As he was enabled by God to continue preaching it till his death, those who truly were enabled by God to believe it would likewise continue to do so. Continuing to believe the truth is the evidence of those God saves! If the face of every obstacle, every assault against them for their identifying with Christ, and every attack on that truth, they continue in the faith. Many who hear the gospel and profess it do not continue in it. They are like those hearers that Christ spoke of in Mark 4:14-19: “The sower soweth the word. And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts. And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended. And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.”

God’s believing people “continue.” They continue in THE faith. They hold fast to the word of the ruth of the gospel. They continue to identify with God’s people and those who preach this gospel. They continue in worshipping Christ both privately and publicly. They continue no matter what the trial or persecution, because God gives them grace to! They do not do so in their own strength but through Christ who strenthens them. Those who do not continue in the faith were never really in the faith. They never truly had faith in the Christ revealed “in the faith.”

G. Shepard

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