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Colossians 1:21-23 – Stable and Steadfast?

Posted by on Feb 1, 2011 in discipleship, scripture | 4 comments

Colossians 1:21-23 – Stable and Steadfast?

Okay, so this post is not really part of my series on my study through Colossians.

However, as I’ve been studying through Colossians, I’ve noticed the importance that Paul places on remaining faithful, steadfast, strong, walking in Christ, etc.

For example, consider the passage below which is part of his discussion of the preeminence of Jesus:

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. (Colossians 1:21-23 ESV)

We like to claim the promises of this passage: reconciled, presented holy and blameless and above reproach. But, what about the warning: “if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel.”

It doesn’t seem like we can accept the promises without the warning, since Paul wrote them both. What do you think Paul meant by this?


4 Comments

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  1. 2-2-2011

    our being presented holy and blameless is conditional upon our continued faith in the hope of the gospel. Interestingly enough Paul precedes this conditional promise with the fact that we have already been reconciled to his flesh through his death and Christs death is the condition on which we are presented holy and blameless. So as I see it faith in Christ’s death and the hope of receiving the promises that result from our sharing in his death is the only condition we must meet. Or more simply all we must do is trust in what Christ has done for us.

  2. 2-2-2011

    Bobby,

    I think I understand what you’re saying. So, if “all we must do is trust in what Christ has done for us” (and I agree), why do you think Paul included the if statement: “if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel…”?

    -Alan

  3. 2-2-2011

    because it is the continuation of our faith that guarantees we receive the promises. We cannot expect to receive them simply on a profession of faith back in 1991. Saving faith is perpetual, not historical.

  4. 2-2-2011

    Bobby,

    “We cannot expect to receive [the promises] simply on a profession of faith back in 1991.” Exactly!

    In Colossians, faith (along with love) is continuously growing and producing fruit.

    -Alan