A Faith that Stays on Target

he has reconciled you by his physical body through death to present you holy, without blemish, and blameless before him – if indeed you remain in the faith, established and firm, without shifting from the hope of the gospel

The letter to the Colossians is written by Paul to a community that he has not met. This community, addressed as the “the saints, the faithful brothers and sisters in Christ”, is being pulled toward adopting false philosophies through persuasive arguments (2:4,8), so Paul is writing to encourage them. In this letter, Paul is urging everyone to remain steadfast in Christ, who is first in all things (1:15-20), and endure in the faith (1:21-23).

But what is at stake for those who do not endure in their faith?

That is the question that is tackled in Grace, Salvation, & Discipleship (GSD). Continue reading

Do we need enduring faith?

While Paul was in prison in Rome he wrote a letter to the church at Colossae. In the letter he is urging the church to reject false philosophies and points to why we need Jesus. In verses 1:21-23 he presents us with a conditional statement that could be written out as follows:

if you really continue in the faith and do not shift from the gospel (enduring faith)
then you are reconciled by Jesus’ death and will be presented holy and blameless before him

The Martyrdom of Paul

The Martyrdom of Paul

In a conditional statement, like the one here, the if-clause is known as the protasis and the then-clause is called the apodosis. The apodosis can often be expressed as a statement that can stand independent of the protasis. Read Colossians 1:21-22 as if it had a period at the end of verse 22 and you see that this is a complete thought. It can stand on its own. However, the occurrence of an if-clause, like the one we have in 1:23, attaches a condition to this otherwise independent statement.

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10 Reasons we need Jesus [Colossians]

As I was reading through Colossians I kept seeing the amazing things that Jesus is able to do for us. I compiled this list from the book.

#1 We did not exist

But Jesus created us along with all things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible (1:16).

#2 We are deceived by human tradition, empty deceit, and false philosophies

But Jesus is able to provide us with true wisdom, knowledge, and philosophy (2:3, 8)

#3 We are enemies, alienated from God

But Jesus is able to reconcile us to himself, making peace by the blood of His cross (1:20-22).

#4 We are unholy and cannot stand before God

But Jesus is able to present us holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation (1:22)

#5 We are in the kingdom of darkness and are not qualified to enter the kingdom or to have a part in the inheritance

But Jesus is able to qualify us so that we can be brought into His kingdom and receive the inheritance (1:12-13, 3:24)

#6 We are guilty and a slave to sin

But Jesus is able to redeem us and forgive us of our sins (1:14, 2:13)

#7 We are condemned and owe a debt we cannot pay

But Jesus is able to cancel our debt by nailing it to the cross (2:13-14)

#8 We are dead in our trespasses and sins

But Jesus is able to raise us up with Him and give us life (2:11-13; 3:5-17)

#9 We are alive to the world and our flesh

But Jesus is able to make us die to the world and the flesh (2:16-23, 3:3)

#10 We are going to face God’s wrath

But Jesus is coming and we can appear with Him in glory (3:4)

Jesus is able to do all of these things – if indeed we continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that we heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven (1:23 ESV).