For This I Toil

Colossians 1:21-23 ESV

And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.

Some people believe that once you are saved that you can never lose your salvation. Others believe that you can lose your salvation – that just as you chose to receive Christ by your free will, that you can later on choose to reject him. And, there are plenty of scriptures to support both beliefs.

Yet, my intention here is not to get into a theological debate on that subject. My goal here is merely to present to you what the scriptures teach with regard to our salvation from sin. For, there are many false teachings within the church with regard to our salvation from sin which are leading many people astray, and which are giving them a false hope, based on a lie.

Thus, based off this passage of scripture today, we can see clearly that before our faith in Jesus Christ we were bound in our sins, doing (practicing) evil deeds, and that we were alienated from God (See Rom. 3:23).

So, this means that, when we are saved from our sins, our sinful lifestyles should now be past tense. And, that is what scripture teaches, too, that faith in Jesus means we now die with him to sin, not just one time, but daily, and that we now live to him and to his righteousness (Lu. 9:23-25; Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; 1 Pet. 2:24).

For, we were reconciled to God through the blood of Jesus Christ, shed for us on the cross. He bought us back for God with his blood that we might now be God’s possession, and that we might now glorify God with our lives – with our minds, bodies, and emotions. And, He died for us on that cross that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for him who gave his life up for us (1 Co. 6:19-20; 2 Co. 5:15, 21; 1 Pet. 2:24; Eph. 4:17-24; Tit. 2:11-14).

And, he did this that he may present us holy and blameless and above reproach before him, IF we continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the gospel message of our salvation which was taught by Jesus and by his New Testament apostles.

We Must Continue

So, what this is saying is that our salvation is conditional upon us living what we say we believe. And, it is also saying that it is continuous, and progressive, and that we must walk (in lifestyle) according to (in agreement with) the Spirit of God, IF we want to be saved from our sins and to have eternal life with God (Lu. 9:23-25; Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; Eph. 4:17-24; Gal. 5:19-20; Gal. 6:7-8, etc.).

So, whether you can be saved from your sins and later on reject Christ and lose your salvation is really not the issue here. The issue here is “What is salvation?” Well, it isn’t a one-time deal which takes place in your life which secures you heaven and which can never be taken away from you, no matter how you live your life from that moment forward.

And, this is where a lot of people fall into error and think their salvation is secure and so that they can live however they want and still go to heaven when they die.

Yet, that is not what the scriptures teach. Our promise of eternal life with God is always tied in with our walks of faith in scripture. For, if we walk according to the flesh, no matter what we profess with our lips, we are going to die in our sins without God and without hope of eternal life with God. But, if by the Spirit we are putting to death the deeds of the flesh, then we will live with Christ for eternity. So, our salvation from sin is continuous.

Colossians 1:24-27 ESV

Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

When we present to people the truth of the gospel of our salvation, though, and we tell people that praying a sinner’s prayer or merely acknowledging who Jesus is, and who he was, is not going to guarantee them salvation from sin and eternal life with God, we are going to be met with opposition. We are going to have people try to argue with us or accuse us falsely of teaching works-based salvation, or who will accuse us falsely of being self-righteous, bigoted, intolerant, hateful, prideful, judgmental, and the like.

But, we have to be willing to suffer disgrace for the name of Jesus Christ, if need be, in order to tell people the truth that is going to set them free from sin, if they will follow it, and if they will follow Jesus Christ with their lives.

And, I am not talking here only of those outside the gatherings of the church. I am speaking to those who profess faith in Jesus Christ. I am sharing with you the truth that is taught in scripture regarding our salvation from sin so that you will believe the truth, and so that you will be genuinely saved, being saved, and so that one day your salvation will be complete when Christ returns. For, you must walk (in lifestyle) according to the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh if you want eternal life with God.

Colossians 1:28-29 ESV

Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.

We can’t teach the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ without warning people against living in sin, against idolatry, against complacency, and regarding judgment. For, we are saved from the judgment of hell and damnation when we are believing in and following Jesus Christ with our lives.

We, too, are saved from our slavery (addiction, bondage) to sin when we are walking in the Spirit and no longer by the flesh. And, so we must warn people (including those who profess faith in Jesus Christ) against taking God’s grace for granted, thinking that his grace gives us free license to sin against him.

And, the goal of this teaching, and the goal of these warnings is not to be negative or judgmental or to be critical, but it is so that people can know the truth that is going to set them free, and so they will reject the lies that are keeping them still bound in their sins, still wallowing in the mud. And, it is so that those who profess faith in Jesus Christ might grow to maturity in Christ.

And, this is no picnic teaching these biblical truths over and over again, which is what scripture does, too. For, we know it means we will be hated and rejected, even by many people within the gatherings of the church, and even by those who are preachers and teachers of the Word within the church.

Yet, because we love God, and we are called according to his purposes, and because we love our fellow humans, we will persevere in telling them the truth which can set them free.

But, we don’t do this in our own willpower or strength, but only according to the will of God and his purposes for us, and in his power and strength at work within our hearts and lives. So, all the glory and praise belong to Him.

God is With Us

An Original Work / June 11, 2019
Based off Psalm 46

God’s our refuge. He is our strength,
A present help to us when in pain.
Therefore, we will not be afraid,
Although the earth beneath us gives way.

Though the mountains be moved to the sea,
Roaring waters abound so free,
And the mountains now tremble so,
We will not fear, God is near, we know.

God is with us and He makes glad
The hearts of all who to Christ have fled.
Christ is in us, so we’ll not fall
When on our Savior our hearts do call.

God will help us, as mornings arise,
To be faithful to His design.
Nations raging, and tempers flare.
Our God is with us. We know He cares.

Come and see the works of the Lord.
He’s armed for battle with His great sword.
He’s the Word, and He is the Life.
He gives us strength in all of our strife.

Be still and know that He is our God.
He’s exalted where’er He trods.
The Lord Almighty, with us still;
The God of Jacob, our citadel.

 

8 thoughts on “For This I Toil

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