If We Continue in the Faith

I’m reading in Colossians 1 this morning. Paul addressed these thoughts to the saints and faithful brothers (fellow Christians) in Christ. So, he was not addressing these thoughts to the unfaithful nor to the Christians “in name only but not in truth”. And he was praying for them that they would walk (in conduct, in practice) in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work, etc. (see Colossians 1:1-12).

Colossians 1:13-14 ESV

“He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

When we believe in Jesus Christ with genuine God-given faith in him, God delivers us from the domain (control, rule, power) of darkness (sin, wickedness, evil) and he transfers us to the kingdom of Jesus Christ, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. He crucifies our old self with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin but to God and to his righteousness.

Jesus doesn’t just forgive us our sins and then promise us heaven when we die. He turns us from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God so that we might receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those sanctified (made holy) by faith in Jesus Christ (Acts 26:18). He changes our hearts, and he turns us away from living in sin to now living for him and for his glory. This is not automatic, though. We have to participate fully.

For, the truth that is in Christ Jesus teaches us “to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (see Ephesians 4:17-24). So, we must participate with Jesus in the being turned from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God.

And now we are to not let sin reign (control, rule) anymore in our mortal bodies, to make us obey its passions. For sin shall have no more dominion (control, power) over us since Jesus delivered us from our slavery (addiction) to sin and he empowered us to live godly, holy, and pure lives for the praise and glory of God. For we are slaves of the one whom we obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness and to sanctification and its end is eternal life with God.

So now we are to walk (in conduct, in practice) not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For if we live according to the flesh we will die in our sins. We will not have eternal life with God. And if we do not obey the Lord, in practice, we don’t know him. And if we do not forsake our sinful practices to follow him in obedience, we do not have God living within us. For Jesus died that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. So, we are to honor God with our lives.

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:21-25; Rom 12:1-2; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-10; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-11; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Ac 26:18; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15; Eph 2:8-10]

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.”

I live in America. The American church, at large (not all congregations), has gone the way of the world and has partnered with the government, with big business, and with the world. And so they have altered the meaning of “church”, and the purpose of the church (the body of Christ), and they have also diluted and altered the gospel of our salvation from sin so that it no longer requires death to sin and walks of obedience to our Lord.

So, rather than teaching a salvation message which delivers us from the domain of darkness and which transfers us to the kingdom of Christ, they are teaching that a mere profession of faith in Jesus Christ is enough to secure them forgiveness of all sins and salvation from sin and eternal life with God when they die. And some are even teaching against holy living, surrender to Christ, the forsaking of sins and walks of obedience to God.

And so we have many professers of faith in Jesus Christ here in America who are still living according to their flesh and not according to the Spirit, who are still living in deliberate and habitual sin against God but while claiming Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of their lives and while claiming they are forgiven of all sins (past, present, and future) and that heaven is their eternal destiny. And they are content living that way.

But that is not the truth that is in Christ Jesus. Living according to our flesh in willful, deliberate, habitual, and often premeditated sin against God and in willful defiance of him and of his commands is to be in our past, not in our present. Now we are to be walking in purity of devotion to our Lord in holiness and in righteousness. For God’s grace instructs us to say “No!” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we wait for our Lord’s soon return (Titus 2:11-14).

Now, this is important that we get this next part, too, for not many people are teaching this. Being saved is not a one-time thing that happens in our lives. Our salvation is progressive and it will not be complete until Jesus comes back to take his bride to be with him. And what did Jesus say? He said that not everyone saying to him, “Lord, Lord,” will enter into the kingdom of heaven but only the one DOING the will of God in heaven (Matthew 7:21-23; cf. Luke 9:23-26; 1 John 2:3-36; 1 Jn 3:4-10).

Therefore, we don’t “get saved” and then we live however we want and then we go to heaven when we die. We are saved (past) and we are being saved (present) and we will be saved (future) when Jesus returns for us. Then our salvation will be complete. But all this is provided that we continue in Christ and in his word and in walks of obedience to him and in the forsaking of sin, stable and steadfast until the very end. If we don’t, and we go back to living for sin and for self, and we do not repent, we will not inherit eternal life.

[Jn 8:31-32,51; Jn 14:15-24; Jn 15:1-12; Rom 2:6-8; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 11:17-24; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; Col 1:21-23; 2 Tim 2:10-13; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 5:9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:1-5; 2 Pet 1:5-11; 2 Pet 2:20-22; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Matt 7:21-23; 1 Jn 2:3-6,15-17,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10,24; 1 Jn 5:2-3; 2 Jn 1:6; Jas 1:21-25; Eph 4:17-24]

Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer

Lyrics by Thomas O. Chisholm, 1897
Music by W. J. Kirkpatrick, 1897

Oh, to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.

O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.

Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.

Caution: This link may contain ads

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s