Continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast
Colossians 1:18-2:7 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
He is also the 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, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.
21 And although you were previously alienated and hostile in attitude, engaged in evil deeds, 22 yet He has now reconciled you in His body of flesh 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 shifting 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 am supplementing what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions in behalf of His body, which is the church. 25 I was made a minister of this church according to the commission from God granted to me for your benefit, so that I might fully carry out the preaching of the word of God, 26 that is, the mystery which had been hidden from the past ages and generations, but now has been revealed to His saints, 27 to whom God willed to make known what the wealth of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles is, the mystery that is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 We proclaim Him, admonishing every person and teaching every person with all wisdom, so that we may present every person complete in Christ. 29 For this purpose I also labor, striving according to His power which works mightily within me.
2 For I want you to know how great a struggle I have in 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 that they would attain 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 deceive you with persuasive arguments. 5 For even though I am absent in body, I am nevertheless with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your orderly manner 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.
In John 3:16 Jesus says: “God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life.” In today’s text it says: Although you were previously alienated and hostile in attitude, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His body of flesh 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 shifting from the hope of the gocspel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister. We are saved, everyone is saved who believes. It is not only that we believed. It requires also that we continue to believe; that we continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast. Our believing, our faith in Christ is not only in who He is, God’s Son, but it is believing in what He did for us, dying on the cross so that we could be reconciled to God. We cannot say that we believe, we cannot call Jesus Lord, yet continue to be engaged in evil deeds. If we are reconciled by His death, how could we continue to do the very things that He died to redeem us from? Do we choose to alienated rather than reconciled?
Romans 5:8 says: God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 1 John 4:19 says: We love, because He first loved us. In John 14:15 Jesus says: “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” God’s love for us is demonstrated in the cross. In response to His love, we demonstrate our love for Him through obedience. Ephesians 2:4-10 says: God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our wrongdoings, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the boundless riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not 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 saved by faith, by believing in God’s mercy and grace, by receiving the free gift of salvation; by His great love demonstrated in the cross. Through the cross, we are reconciled; recreated by and in Christ for the good works that God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
In Jeremiah 29:11 God says: I know the plans that I have for you, plans for prosperity and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In Psalm 139:13-17 the psalmist says: You created my innermost parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, because I am awesomely and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You When I was made in secret, And skillfully formed in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my formless substance; And in Your book were written All the days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them. How precious also are Your thoughts for me, God! How vast is the sum of them! Amen. Thank You heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ and precious Holy Spirit, for the plans You have for me. Thank You that by Your great love, demonstrated in the cross, I have been redeemed, reconciled to You and prepared for Your plan. May I continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not shifting from the hope of the gospel. Amen.