READ IT SLOW: Highlighting points of Guidance in Colossians
PART 4: “The Big IF”
Colossians (Kol-ah-shuns) is an epistle from the Apostle Paul and Timothy that speaks directly to living after the nature of Jesus Christ. I hope these points of guidance serve you, are edifying, and help you in bringing honor to the Lord Jesus. Please join me as we read and remember you can leave remarks in the comment section on this page.
Read Slowly. Read with purpose. Don’t rush.
Colossians 1:22-23 (NIV)
“But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation– 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.”
Verse 23 I find helpful because we are told we will be present before God as holy, blameless, and above reproach.
Yes, it says, IF. If indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, then what is written is about you.
The verse goes on, but I will stop at the word heard. The hope of the gospel is what we receive by faith which is Jesus. Jesus is the One in whom the fullness of God dwells. We hold to the belief that God loves us and we follow and love others by following the direction of the Spirit deposited in our hearts. But again, the apostle Paul says IF. So, don’t think you’re going to be presented as holy, blameless, and above reproach, if you shift and are unstable in believing the hope of the Gospel.
Let that sink in a little.
Paul goes on about rejoicing in sufferings. First, let me say Paul is not talking here about suffering for the forgiveness of sins. Jesus finished that Himself. He is talking about suffering involved in the work of reconciling people to God. Anyone who shares in that work should be honored and rejoice.
I think this is what the Christian is to live for and even suffer toward knowing. God, in sending Christ, assures us He will bring rejoicing in sufferings. Since we can see in Christ the result of faithfulness to God and just what God is bringing about for us. We are to understand as it is poetically stated in 2 Timothy 2:12: “Here is a trustworthy saying: if we died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us: if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.”
Therefore, we are to be firm even to the point of suffering for Christ. God builds His character in us as we follow the way, the truth, and the life (see John 14:6). This builds up the body of Christ by the power of Christ who through His death brought to life His body, the Church.