If indeed you continue in the faith
Colossians 1:18-2:7 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. 19 For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, 20 and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.
21 And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, 22 yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach— 23 if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister.
24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body, which is the church, in filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions. 25 Of this church I was made a minister according to the stewardship from God bestowed on me for your benefit, so that I might fully carry out the preaching of the word of God, 26 that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints, 27 to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ. 29 For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me.
2 For I want you to know how great a struggle I have on your behalf and for those who are at Laodicea, and for all those who have not personally seen my face, 2 that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4 I say this so that no one will delude you with persuasive argument. 5 For even though I am absent in body, nevertheless I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good discipline and the stability of your faith in Christ.
6 Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, 7 having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.
We saw recently in Philippians 2:12, that Paul exhorts us saying: Work out your salvation with fear and trembling. In today’s text it says: He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach— if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard. Salvation is not the final work of the cross in us. It is not the end. It is really only the beginning. We are to continue in the faith, working out and walking out our salvation. Ephesians 2:8-10 says: By grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. We are not saved by our own good works, but rather by grace through believing in the finished work of the cross. As a result of our salvation, being reconciled to God by the death of Jesus, we continue in faith doing the good works which God prepared beforehand. It is not enough just to believe in what Jesus did. The finished work of the cross must produce both salvation and a steadfast faith leading to holiness. Because of salvation we are to continue and also become blameless and beyond reproach according to the hope of the gospel. 1 John 4:19 says: We love, because He first loved us. We love in response to the love and grace of God. In John 14:15;23-24 Jesus says: “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments… If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words.” Salvation is the first work of the cross in our lives. Righteousness and holiness, through obedience to Christ is the continuing work of the cross in our lives. Paul says: Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude. Amen.
Thank You heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ and precious Holy Spirit for the finished work of the cross which continues to work in me. Thank You for salvation through the cross and for the continuing work of sanctification; that I may become holy and blameless and do the good works You prepared for me and prepared me for. Amen.